El Mariachi

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TonyE, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. TonyE

    TonyE Stunt Coordinator

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    The only DVD i see for El Mariachi is the Desperado/El Mariachi disc. How is the quality of this disc? I know that there is a Superbit version of Desperado.

    Note, i have not seen El Mariachi. How is this movie compared to Desperado? The only way for me to rent this movie is on VHS, and if everyone recommends this disc as being a good movie and a good disc i would just end up buying the disc w/o renting it.

    If i do this should i still buy the Superbit version of Desperado?
     
  2. Daniel P

    Daniel P Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got the Desperado Superbit disc and the Desperado/El Mariachi disc together in a clear double Amaray case, with the Superbit sleeve on the outside, and the Desperado/El Mariachi sleeve on the inside, all within the Superbit slipcase. A custom Superbit Deluxe if you like...

    The Desperado/El Mariachi disc is worth buying, if only for its extra features.

    El Mariachi is a highly entertaining film, especially for budding film-makers like myself...

    The commentary tracks and featurettes are brilliant, and put together with the incredible transfer on the Superbit disc, it's one hell of a 2-disc set. The Ultimate edition...
     
  3. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    I thought the two versions used the same HD transfer of Desperado only that the Superbit has a higher bit rate and better compression?
    Jeff
     
  4. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    No, the superbit version has a new transfer in addition to the superbit treatment, which makes the decision a little tougher. Despite the improvements in video performance...
    I would recommend the dual title release of El Mariachi / Desperado over the superbits title ( unless you have a large RPTV or FP ) on the merits of the extras on that disc, plus the strengths of the original film. Also, while the new tranfer is superior, I don't think the older transfer was exactly dogmeat.
    Of course, Daniel has the right idea with his ultimate version. ( I don't have the fancy case, but I do have both discs as well. )
    - Walter.
     
  5. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    El Mariachi was the precursor to Desperado. Desperado is a sequel to the film. It was made by Robert Rodgriguez with a very low budget and the film was presented in Spanish.

    The DVD gives El Mariachi a pretty good 16:8 transfer, especially considering the original elements. The film also has a good Dolby Digital Spanish stereo surround soundtrack with optional English subtitles.

    If you want to see the films in order, you'll would have to purchase the Director's Double Feature disc.

    So it would be El Mariachi, then Desperado, and coming soon is the third film: Once Upon A Time in Mexico.
     
  6. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    El Mariachi kicks arse!! I saw Desperado first but I reckon Mariachi is better since I've seen both.
    Buy the double disc.[​IMG]
     
  7. Matthew Brown

    Matthew Brown Supporting Actor

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    Wile a good transfer, El Mariachi is not the original aspect ratio on the DVD. I prefer the laser disc of this one.

    Matt
     
  8. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    This whole question is a little sticky. The aspect of the dvd is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The LD was 1.66:1. The film was shot flat on 16mm, so both versions are matted.

    The question of intent is a tough one to say, as I have never seen any specific details from Robert on his intended framing (and I'm unsure if this is mentioned in the commentary).

    However- if you read the excellent book "REBEL WITHOUT A CREW" which is essentially the production diary of El Mariachi, the story of the film production is clearly outlined. The film was always intended to be a "demo" attempt by Robert to be sold to the mexican direct to video market. He felt he could use the film (and actually a planned trilogy) to practice filmmaking on a small scale, selling each to a mexican distributor. That way- if they were bad, he wouldn't earn a bad reputation in Hollywood (because the film would be made outside the LA reality)-- and if they were good, he could use their success as a demo reel.

    So the film was shot flat 4:3, and Robert even cut it (originally) on video instead of on film in order to keep the budget low. With that in mind, my assumption would be that the shots were framed at 4:3 with the video release in mind.

    Only when Rodriguez travelled to LA to attempt to sell the film to a Mexican distributor did he (essentially accidentially) get the interest of the major studios. In the end, columbia really only bought the rights to El Mariachi because they had signed Rodriguez to shoot a big budget remake/sequel, and they figured they didn't want to risk the film bieng exploited by a mexican company before their version was made.

    Even then, there was no intended theatrical exhibition of the film- and only eventually did Columbia decide to screen the film publicly at festivals and in limited releases in NY and LA. Really, these screenings were done with a "whatever" attitude by the studio- more like "well, we bought the film, might as well screen it to see what we have..." Robert had to go back and recut the film on film, resync all the dialog (and remix) and do foley and other post production work (Ironically the etire film shot for $7000 but they spent about $250,000 on post production!)

    So- I would say that the OAR was 4:3 (unless someone has some Rodriguez quote to the contrary. I have to admit I have only read "Rebel WIthout a Crew" once.) The original theatrical ratio was likely dual matted: 1.66:1 for festival screenings (where such an aspect is common) and 1.85:1 for more mainstream exhibition.

    But, given the situation and conditions the film was shot- and the mentality in which it was spawned, I really think the film could be matted in post and still be the preferred/intended version of the director. As far as which matting the director considers the correct matting- well, I'll leave that up to someone else.

    -V
     
  10. Matthew Brown

    Matthew Brown Supporting Actor

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    I think it may have been one of the commentaries on the EL MARIACHI/DESPERADO dvd where Rodriguez says that some things look cut off with the 1:85 framing. He may even mention the laser disc's framing but it's been a while since I listened to it and I am paraphrasing anything that was said.
    I did find it difficult watching EL MARIACHI on the DVD after watching the laser disc. The 1:85 framing looked forced.

    Matt
     
  11. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    The DVD actually states 1.77:1 but I agree it's a bit chopped...
     
  12. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    I enjoyed both movies when I originally saw them, but always enjoyed El Mariachi more. I bought the DVD double feature, and after watching both again, I felt that El Mariachi holds up much better. Granted, Desperado has Selma Hayek, but El Mariachi holds up better overall.
     
  13. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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    So essentially the DVD's AR will match what I saw in the theater, which is fine by me.

    Ted
     
  14. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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  15. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    Here are Robert Rodriguez's comments on the original laserdisc, from his book, "Rebel Without A Crew Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player". This comes from the epilogue: "The Curse Of El Mariachi"

     
  16. Greg_C_T

    Greg_C_T Second Unit

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    I've got the Double Feature and love it! The commentaries and "film schools" are worth the purchase price by themselves. I think it's so cool that Desperado is both a remake AND a sequel at the same time. Rodriguez is quite the talented filmmaker.

    Oh, and nice cameo by the actor who played the Mariachi in the first film. He is one of guitarists Antonio calls up for the big showdown (the one w/the machine gun cases, I believe).
     
  17. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The work done by Steve Buscemi and Cheech Marin in Desperado's opening sequence are the highlight of the film in my opinion. Yeah, Selma Hayek is pretty easy on the eyes [​IMG], but I agree that El Mariachi is superior.
     
  18. TonyE

    TonyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Well it sounds like Robert Rodriguez's isn't too adamant about releasing this movie in the OAR that was intentionally set when first filming El Mariachi. This probably means we won't see another release of El Mariachi on a stand alone DVD in the near future with a different aspect ratio, unless the "supposedly" third film is a huge hit and prompts a SE of the first film. And i guess if i am really in the mood to see Selma Hayek in more detail i might pick up the Superbit version of Desperado... [​IMG]
    If anyone has any more information about the film's OAR, please inform us!
     
  19. TonyE

    TonyE Stunt Coordinator

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    One more thing, it sounds as if the LD doesn't crop the picture as much as the DVD does, but how is the picture quality compared to the LD version. Is it virtually the same or has anything been cleaned up or retouched (colors, etc.)?
     

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