Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Julio Cedillo, Dwight Yoakum, Barry Pepper

I liked it. It's set in West Texas in the middle of NOWHERE in Van Horn, TX. It's a bit timely in that it features the Border Patrol and a bad accidental death. It leaves you with some questions and is edited to where you go from the future to the past to the future and to the past. Once you figure that out, the story makes more sense. Tommy Lee is looking older and looks particularly weathered in this part. We all age, I guess. He really looked the part he was playing and I was impressed with his skill in the Spanish Language. The topography is stunning and so deadly. Some parts remind me of Weekend at Bernies, but this is not a comedy. It did bring me a chuckle when I thought of the comparison. Dwight Yoakums character is pathetic. Levon Helm makes an appearance as a sad, old man left alone to die in the desert but you gotta see the movie to see how and why. I don't want to betray any plot before you see it. It has gained word-of-mouth popularity. For a month I tried to rent it at the Portland Blockbuster and not a one was ever on the shelf. It wasn't until I joined Blockbuster online that I received it in the mail and got to see it. Barry Pepper was very good in his role and you go from hating him to pitying him. He's good in every role he plays. Amoung the most memorable are his part as the sniper in Saving Private Ryan and as a prison guard in Green Mile. He's one of my favorite "new" actors. Julio Cedillo was quite a surprise. I met and spent some time with him when I competed in the Buscando Estrellas in Los Angeles. He was competing in the acting category. He is a very talented actor very devoted to his family in Dallas. I was so happy to see that he was still acting and had gotten the title role in this movie. Go Julio! I'm proud to have briefly spent time with you as a fellow competitor.
So, I recommend this movie for all of the above reasons. I think it's one that went straight to video, but that's more a reflection of the movie industry than the quality of this flick. I like it and thought it was good. Tommy Lee Jones directs it, too.
See it.

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