SPY KIDS
2001, Dimension Films, 88 min, USA, Dir: Robert Rodriguez

Carmen Cortez (Alexa Vega) and her younger brother, Juni (Daryl Sabara), have no idea that their parents are retired international spies until mom (Carla Gugino) and dad (Antonio Banderas) are kidnapped. It’s up to the two spy kids to rescue them from an island castle - and maybe learn to get along with each other. This delightful family adventure was a worldwide hit, launching several sequels.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO
2003, Sony Repertory, 102 min, USA, Dir: Robert Rodriguez

The final installment of director Robert Rodriguez’s Mexico Trilogy stars Antonio Banderas as the gunslinging El Mariachi, hired by a CIA agent (Johnny Depp) to kill a renegade general (Gerardo Vigil) working with a drug-lord (Willem Dafoe) to overthrow the Mexican government. Like the Leone Westerns that helped inspire it, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO is packed with larger-than-life characters and bravura action sequences. With Salma Hayek, Eva Mendes and Mickey Rourke.


EL MARIACHI
1992, Sony Repertory, 81 min, USA, Dir: Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez’s feature directorial debut was famously made on a shoestring for the Mexican home video market before being picked up for distribution by Columbia Pictures. Carlos Gallardo stars as the title musician, thrown into the fight of his life when he is mistaken for a ruthless criminal who also carries a guitar case. In Spanish with English subtitles.


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