24 June 2005

History in the movies...

I saw an interesting show called And Starring Pancho Villa as himself. The part that I know is true: A film company made a deal with Pancho Villa to film his revolution. Apparently this film, The Life of Pancho Villa, is now lost. Which makes me wonder what source material they used for this new movie.

Reservations about accuracy aside, it was quite enjoyable. A naive back east film crew is sent down to Mexico for the culture shock of their lives... Alan Arkin gives a very entertaining performance as a Jewish hired gun. Antonio Banderas is absolutely believable as Pancho Villa. Eion Bailey plays the naive movie mogul perfectly (and, no, I'd never heard of him either). All in all, very entertaining and well done.

I did think there was more foul language than necessary, but I suspect that was partly to ram home the culture shock. Also, there was a small amount of pointless nudity that didn't further the plot. As it was an HBO production, perhaps they felt they were obligated to provide language and nudity to their audience.

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