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El Mariachi / Desperado

61 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Mar 09, 1999)
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$5.97 $0.96
(Aug 26, 2003)
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Special Edition
$3.50 $0.01

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Antonio Banderas, Carlos Gallardo, Quentin Tarantino, Cheech Marin. Includes El Mariachi (1993/81 min/Spanish Surround/English subtitles) and Desperado (1995/103 min/English DD 5.1). 2 DVDs. Color/NR/widescreen.

Before Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi, Mexicans in North American action films were typically maids, drug dealers, or prison inmates. Even if the Cisco Kid was a friend of yours, you handled a dust cloth or a Mac-10 if you lasted in Hollywood longer than a New York minuto. But when El Mariachi crossed the border in 1992, things changed. Granted, it still involved a drug lord in a shoot-em-up, bang-bang, but this time the good guy was a Mexican. Austin-based Rodriguez made El Mariachi for a fistful of pesos and a little help from his friends. He wrote, directed, coproduced, edited, and operated the camera. Plus, he assembled a cast that had never acted before to work por nada. All for a paltry $7,000, a milagro without a beanfield war.

Desperado continues the outrageous action adventure. Working with a much bigger budget, Rodriguez returns the nameless mariachi to nonstop action. Again thrust into a world he never made, the hero takes his guitar-case arsenal deep into the criminal labyrinth of Bucho (Joaquim de Almeida), el gran chingon of the Mexican drug lords. With an amigo (Steve Buscemi) and a beautiful bookstore owner (Salma Hayek), el mariachi confronts an outrageous cast along the way, including a bartender (Cheech Marin), a drug deal pick-up guy (Quentin Tarantino), and the original mariachi (coproducer Carlos Gallardo) as a new-found compa'. Antonio Banderas has the lead this time, and if he's not quite up to the challenge, it's probably because he's Spanish, not Mexican, a distinction not lost by anyone raised on what the popular media now calls "ethnic food." That said, Desperado is not to be missed. Using intelligence, romance, and humor--as well as plenty of explosive, surreal violence--Rodriguez again showcases the timeless struggle between the forces of darkness and light. And, in the process, he's recasting the mold for the contemporary action hero--kids now argue about who gets to play the Mexican. --Stephan Magcosta

Special Features

  • Student movie Bedhead
  • Featurettes: "10-minute film school" & "10 more minutes: Anatomy of a Shootout"

Product Details

  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gómez, Joaquim de Almeida
  • Directors: Robert Rodriguez
  • Writers: Robert Rodriguez, Bryant Delafosse, David Rodriguez
  • Producers: Carlos Gallardo, Bill Borden, Carmen M. De Gallardo, Elizabeth Avellan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 1999
  • Run Time: 184 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767811054
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,446 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "El Mariachi / Desperado" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Gary Jonas on May 4, 2000
Format: DVD
All right, let's be clear here, the movies on this dvd are both cool. EL MARIACHI is a stunning achievement. Robert Rodriguez filmed the movie for $7000.00, most of which was spent buying film! DESPERADO was filmed for $7 million, but it looks like a $30 million action flick. How did he do it?
He tells you all about it on the director's commentaries for both movies. A lot of director commentaries are an instant cure for insomnia. But Robert Rodriguez is NEVER boring. He explains how he accomplished various shots. He tells you how he made El Mariachi for only $7,000! He tells you how to make a little money go a long way. This is a new or aspiring filmmaker's dream and for those of us who are simply curious, it's fascinating to hear. On top of that, there are two ten minute featurettes. On the EL MARIACHI side you get an awesome 10 Minute Film School and on the DESPERADO side you get the Anatomy of a shootout. It's amazing to see how Rodriguez made the movies. Also fun is the short BEDHEAD, which Rodriguez filmed several years prior to EL MARIACHI.
This dvd belongs on every movie fan's shelf. And as a note to any directors out there who plan to do commmentaries--listen to Rodriguez first to see how it's done!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crane on February 3, 2004
Format: DVD
This is the package to get if you're thinking about checking out the two movies, "El Mariachi" and "Desperado." Why buy both separately when you can get them both for a great price? The "Desperado/El Mariachi" Collector's Box Set is a great offer that gives you plenty of action and thrills for a more than reasonable price. Not to mention that the set includes the "Special Edition" DVD versions of the two movies.
"El Mariachi" is the directorial debut from Robert Rodriguez that became an instant classic and received critical praise. The film is about a Mariachi who gets into trouble when a case of mistaken identity forces him into a violent and bloody conflict. "Desperado" is the sequel that's filled with outstanding shootouts and amazing action sequences. The film continues the story of the Mariachi and his plan for revenge. The two films together equal a very entertaining time.
Both of the DVDs included are "Special Editions" that are loaded with some cool extras. Extras that can be found on the DVDs are commentaries, featurettes, trailers and more. "Desperado" is mastered in High Definition and provides a very clear picture, while "El Mariachi" has a new film transfer that was supervised by the director.
This box set is really the way to go if you're thinking about purchasing the two movies. I have a feeling that the set will be even more popular with the recent release of "Once Upon a Time in Mexico." You get two great movies for a very low price. It's almost like paying for one DVD and getting the other one free. The "Desperado/El Mariachi" Collector's Box Set offers the best quality DVD versions of the two films. If you're looking for action and excitement, this is the place to be. A definite worthy purchase, if you want my opinion. -Michael Crane
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maverick41 on October 5, 2000
Format: DVD
If you are even an avid fan of action films, you cannot be without this incredible double-feature DVD. Robert Rodriguez shines with his Mariachi films, "El Mariachi" and "Desperado. El Mariachi, filmed on a bare-bones budget of 7k, is one of the most spectacular action films I have ever seen. Mainly for it's flawless script, and the amount of depth it gives the characters, the film really keeps you on the edge of your seat. Desperado, the big-budget hollywood feature, is considered sub-par by many, but I throughly enjoyed the action sequences for what they were: A bunch of people shooting each other. And Antonio plays his character beautifully, so I didnt take the time to anylize the acting of the other cast members, or the effects, I just watched and enjoyed. If you watch Desperado for anything, watch it for Cheech, Tarentino and Trejo. Why are you even reading this? You cannot go without having this DVD in your collection, especially with this price.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Higher Ed Technologist on December 28, 1999
Format: DVD
Robert Rodriguez is one of the best young filmmakers today. His debut film, El Mariachi, is a compelling romatic/action film created on a shoestrong budget ($7K) and non-professional actors. This film should be watched by any aspiring director with no studio backing. Mariachi makes moronic big-budget action films like Armageddon look completely silly.
Then there is Desperado. Having been discovered, Rodriguez now commands a larger budget and a-list talent. No penny is wasted. In my opinion, Desperado is not as good a story as Mariachi, it does include some highly innovative action sequences and excellent performances from Banderas, Buscemi, and Hayek.
As if these two great flicks were not worth the price of the DVD, there are also some really great extra features on the disc, including a very entertaining short film starring the director's kids. If you are a fan of action movies, or if you are an aspiring filmmaker, I strongly recommend this DVD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Terence Carter ( on March 10, 1999
Format: DVD
El Mariachi is a crowning acheivement for independent film makers. Made for about $7,000, Robert Rodriguez (the director) used his friends and family as cast and crew for the film. He truly shows how one doesn't need a huge Hollywood budget to make an incredible action film. It is full of laughs and thrills and YOU WILL LOVE IT!
Desperado was released several years later, once Rodriguez had become known after El Mariachi and Bedhead (his first film - a short - also included on this DVD - so it's really a 3 for 1 deal!). This time, Columbia/TriStar put in $3 million for the budget, so Rodriguez was able to pull in Antonio Banderas (who was made for this role) and Salma Hayek (one of the most beautiful women in film today). While Rodriguez uses his friends in this film too (the Mariachi from the first film - Rodriguez's real-life best friend - makes a guest appearance as Banderas's friend), this one is definitely a Hollywood production. But it is still FANTASTIC!
El Mariachi has more slap-stick comedy combined with the action, whereas the humor in Desperado comes more from the ridiculousness of the action and plot. But the fact that it is not believable does not detract at all from the film. It loses nothing because of that; in fact, it gains everything from it.
Both movies are extremely violent and not for people who don't like action movies, but they are both honestly worth the time and money.
The quality of the DVD is also incredible! The sound and video is crystal clear and LOUD! Both films are on 1 double-sided DVD and each is in Widescreen. It also includes Rodriguez's short film "Bedhead" and several Director's Commentaries and extra featurettes! This DVD is packed! It is what DVD was made for!
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