Daryl Taja

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The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada Review


Extraordinary
Tommy Lee Jones made his big-screen acting debut in the 1970 classic Love Story, yet it took him over 20 years and impressive performances in movies like JFK and The Fugitive to become a household name. Acclaim for Jones as a director should come much faster, if his debut film, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, is a sign of things to come. Burials is a complex and remarkably assured film, taking the audience on a literal and metaphoric journey through the sand-blasted wastelands of south Texas to a point of redemption and agony, of forgiveness and searing regret.

Written by Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams), the story is broken into several parts, each introduced by a chapter heading, jumping forward and backward in time. The action begins with two hunters coming upon the disinterred body of an illegal Mexican immigrant, Melquiades Estrada, who has been shot to death and hastily buried in a makeshift grave, only to have a coyote dig him up. The redneck sheriff (Dwight Yoakam) doesn't care enough about a dead Mexican to investigate his death, even though Melquiades' friend and employer, Pete Perkins (Jones), gives him evidence implicating a border patrolman.

Continue reading: The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada Review

The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada Review


Extraordinary
Tommy Lee Jones made his big-screen acting debut in the 1970 classic Love Story, yet it took him over 20 years and impressive performances in movies like JFK and The Fugitive to become a household name. Acclaim for Jones as a director should come much faster, if his debut film, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, is a sign of things to come. Burials is a complex and remarkably assured film, taking the audience on a literal and metaphoric journey through the sand-blasted wastelands of south Texas to a point of redemption and agony, of forgiveness and searing regret.

Written by Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams), the story is broken into several parts, each introduced by a chapter heading, jumping forward and backward in time. The action begins with two hunters coming upon the disinterred body of an illegal Mexican immigrant, Melquiades Estrada, who has been shot to death and hastily buried in a makeshift grave, only to have a coyote dig him up. The redneck sheriff (Dwight Yoakam) doesn't care enough about a dead Mexican to investigate his death, even though Melquiades' friend and employer, Pete Perkins (Jones), gives him evidence implicating a border patrolman.

Continue reading: The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada Review

King's Ransom Review


Unbearable
If a truly bad movie -- like, say, Gigli -- deserves to be bashed, then a miserable, wretched, wholly unredeemable movie like King's Ransom deserves to be bashed, burned, and have its ashes scattered over Hollywood. Think of this gesture as a memorial to all the luckless filmgoers who will lose 95 minutes of their lives watching this steaming pile of dreck.

In case you need convincing, here's the setup. Malcolm King (Anthony Anderson) is a tycoon who's on the verge of selling his company for $25 million. (Apparently sales have been brisk for the company's bestselling product, "Boneagra," an erectile dysfunction medicine whose ads feature the tagline "Straight Up.") The problem is, Malcolm is in the middle of an acrimonious divorce, and his wife is determined to take him for everything he's worth. So he hatches a plan to stage his own kidnapping, demand an extravagant ransom from himself, and thereby shield his wealth from his wife. (How exactly this is going to work after the ransom is paid is never actually explained.)

Continue reading: King's Ransom Review

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