Monday, March 28, 2011

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Tommy Lee Jones, 2005 (8.8*)
The first feature film directed by Tommy Lee Jones is a modern western classic. He plays a rancher, Pete Perkins, whose Mexican friend Melquiades is found murdered and buried in the Texas desert. To fulfill a promise to him, Pete takes to body on a personal quest to bury it in his home soil of Mexico.

This film primarily deals with racism along the southern border, especially from the border patrol. Apparently there is a code in place that supercedes the legal one; it's almost survival of the fittest and fastest,like the old American west.

A pretty good directorial debut from Jones, who also turns in one of his signature performances. Barry Pepper is also terrific in a supporting role as a bigoted border patrol officer. There are scenes and moods reminiscent of the novels of Larry McMurtry and Cormac McCarthy, and of course, the Coen Brothers film (from the McCarthy novel), No Country For Old Men (2007), which this film predated by two years. It would make a good double feature with John Sayles' Texas law enforcement murder mystery Lone Star (1996), starring Chris Cooper.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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