Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, January 12, 2007

Bandidas are bringing cowgirls back

One thing I've learned about from watching cooking competition shows is the concept of fusion food,which is the combining of cusine from two different cultures(like Chinese & Vietnamese)to create an interesting new taste sensation. In the new DVD release Bandidas,we are served up a film fusion of Mexican and French cinematic styles. Not the most likely combo you'd expect to encounter(sort of like having a Swedish/Greek platter)but it does have some flair to it.

Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz star as two gals,Maria and Sara,from the opposite sides of town(Salma's the rich bitch,Penelope is the Mary Ann)who team up to rob from the rich and give to their poor fellow townspeople who have had their land stolen by evil American Tyler Jackson(Dwight Yoakam).

Tyler also killed both of the girl's daddies (or tried to,Penelope's dad survives a gunshot to the chest)and plans to rip off the entire nation of Mexico to set up a railroad. Maria and Sara get some bank robber training from Bill Buck(Sam Shepard,yes,THE Sam Shepard)and later on,blackmail a 19th century CSI type(Steve Zahn)into giving them a hand.

The movie is cute fun but not what you expect,good or bad. The ladies do have a couple of fights that involve hairpulling but nothing too sexy goes on beyond a kissing lesson by Sara to Maria using Steve Zahn as a practice dummy. The only one who gets naked in this movie is Zahn,mainly for punchline purposes. Also,the humor is pretty broad at times,almost like watching a live action cartoon. Maria and Sara are given some quirky characteristics(Sara hiccups when nervous,Maria has a whole Dr. Doolittle thing with horses)but any attempt at dramatics is about as seriously played as any TV soap opera.

Dwight Yoakam's performance in this movie is very Snidely Whiplash;I kept waiting for him to twirl his mustache as he tied one of the ladies up to the railroad tracks.Actually,his whole demeanor reminded me of Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element which is not that surprising since Luc Besson co-wrote the Bandidas script. Trust me,watch TFE after Bandidas and you'll swear that these fellas are like evil peas in a pod:

So,is Bandidas worth a look? Let me put it to you this way-it's not as great of a cowgirl film as Cattle Annie and Little Britches but it's not as awful as Bad Girls by any means. If you're in the mood for a silly,fun flick with some South of the Border action,this is the one for you. Please click the title link for more info about the DVD or just watch this trailer to keep Bandidas in mind when heading out to the video store near you:

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