Once Upon a Time in Mexico

  • Directors: Robert Rodriguez
  • Producers: Robert Rodriguez, Elizabeth Avellan, Carlos Gallardo
  • Writers: Robert Rodriguez
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Western
  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes, Danny Trejo, Enrique Iglesias, Marco Leonardi, Cheech Marin, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Tito Larriva, and Willem Dafoe

The plot centers on El Mariachi (Banderas), who is recruited by CIA Agent Sands (Depp) to kill General Marquez. Marquez had murdered El Mariachi’s wife Carolina (Hayek) and child and has been hired by Mexican drug lord Armando Barillo to assassinate the Mexican President. Sands wants El Mariachi to kill Marquez after Marquez has killed the President. Sands recruits retired FBI Agent Jorge Ramirez to kill Barillo, as Barillo had been responsible for the death of Ramirez’s partner, Agent Archuleta. Sands also hires AFN Agent Ajedrez to tail Barillo.

As the plot unfolds, Cucuy and informants begin to turn on El Mariachi and Sands. On the day of the coup against the President, Sands is captured, tortured, and blinded; his eyes having been drilled out by his captors after Ajedrez reveals herself to be Barillo’s daughter. With the help of a young gum-selling boy, however, he manages to exact his revenge. Meanwhile, El Mariachi recruits his two friends, Lorenzo and Fideo, to assist him in rescuing the President. Much like Quino and Campa from Desperado, Lorenzo and Fideo also wield weapon guitar cases; in this case, Lorenzo wields a flame thrower, while Fideo has an RC Remote Bomb, which are able to destroy heavy armored vehicles. El Mariachi kills Marquez by shooting both his kneecaps and then shooting him in the head, avenging his lost wife and daughter, and goes on to assist Ramirez in killing Barillo – who falls off a balcony when El Mariachi shoots him with a lupara.

The movie ends with El Mariachi walking on a desert road into the sunset.

From Dusk Till Dawn

  • Directors: Robert Rodriguez
  • Producers: Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Bender
  • Writers: Story, Robert Kurtzman, Screenplay, Quentin Tarantino
  • Genres: Action, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Fred Williamson, Tom Savini, Cheech Marin, Salma Hayek

Fugitive bank robbers and brothers Seth (George Clooney) and Richie Gecko (Quentin Tarantino) are fleeing the F.B.I. and Texas police. During the first few minutes of the film, they hold up and then destroy a liquor store and kill the clerk, a cop and a witness. They then take a hostage, whom Richie later rapes and murders (offscreen).

The Fuller family — Jacob (Harvey Keitel), the father and a pastor who is experiencing a crisis of faith; his son Scott (Ernest Liu); and daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis) — are on a vacation in their RV. They stop at a motel and are promptly kidnapped by the Geckos, who force the Fullers to smuggle them past the Mexican border. Seth and Jacob make an uneasy truce: if the Geckos can make it past the border, Jacob and his family will come out of the ordeal unharmed. They succeed and arrive at the “Titty Twister”, a strip club in the middle of a desolate part of Mexico, where the Geckos will be met by their contact Carlos (Cheech Marin) at dawn. The Geckos demand that the Fullers have a drink with them before leaving, despite Kate’s obvious discomfort.

Soon after entering the club, chaos ensues as the employees and strippers are all revealed to be vampires. Most of the patrons are quickly killed, and Richie is bitten by the star stripper, Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), and bleeds to death. Only Seth, Jacob, Kate, Scott, a biker named Sex Machine (Tom Savini) and Frost (Fred Williamson), a Vietnam War veteran, survive the attack. The slain patrons — including Richie — then come back to life as vampires, forcing Seth to kill his own brother.

Kate asks Seth if she can go with him, but he rebuffs her. She (in the RV) and Seth (with Carlos) go their separate ways after Seth gives Kate some cash. As they leave, the camera pans back to reveal that the “Titty Twister” was actually the top of a buried ancient Aztec temple, presumably the home of vampires for centuries, and that hundreds of trucks and bikes have been toppled down the side of the cliff.

Cars

  • Directors: John Lasseter, Co Director, Joe Ranft
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Story, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, Jorgen Klubien, Brenda Chapman, Screenplay, Dan Fogelman, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, Kiel Murray, Phil Lorin, Jorgen Klubien, Additional Screenplay, Robert L Baird, Daniel Gerson, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Steve Purcell, Dan Scanlon
  • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family, Sport
  • Actors: Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Tony Shalhoub, John Ratzenberger, George Carlin, Jenifer Lewis, Cheech Marin, Michael Keaton, Paul Newman

The last race of the Piston Cup stock car racing season ends in a three-way dead heat between retiring veteran Strip “The King” Weathers, perennial runner-up and dirty fighter Chick Hicks, and the self-centered rookie Lightning McQueen. A tiebreaker race is scheduled for one week later at the Los Angeles International Speedway. McQueen, eager to start practice in California as soon as possible in order to become Piston Cup champion and take The King’s place as the sponsored car of the lucrative Dinoco team, pushes his driver Mack to travel all night long. Mack tries to avoid falling asleep, but becomes a victim of a gang of reckless street racers, subsequently causing the sleeping McQueen to roll out of the back of the truck unnoticed. Waking up in traffic, McQueen speeds off to find Mack, but becomes lost and ends up in the run-down town of Radiator Springs. A mishap with the local sheriff causes McQueen to inadvertently tear up the town’s main road. McQueen is arrested then tried the next day by the town’s judge and doctor, Doc Hudson, who at first wants him to leave immediately; at the insistence of local lawyer Sally Carrera, Doc instead sentences him to repave the road as community service.

As the race begins, McQueen’s thoughts keep drifting back to Radiator Springs and he is distracted from performing well. However, he is surprised to discover that his new friends have come to serve as his pit crew, with Doc — once again outfitted in his old racing colors — as chief. Cheered by their presence and their incredible pit stop speed, and using tricks he learned during his time among them, McQueen is able to counter Hicks’ dirty driving tactics and take the lead. On the final lap, Hicks purposely rams The King aside, causing him to veer off the track and end up in a terrible wreck. Just short of the finish line, McQueen stops, letting Hicks win the race, and backs up to push The King the rest of the way across the finish line, helping him to complete his final race. Hicks is shunned and booed off the awards ceremony stage despite his Cup victory, while McQueen is praised by The King and his wife, Dinoco, and the press and crowd for his sportsmanship. He is offered the Dinoco sponsorship but turns it down, saying that he would rather stay with the team that brought him this far. McQueen returns to Radiator Springs and decides to move his team’s headquarters there, helping to revitalize the town and its businesses, much to the pleasure of his new friends.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

  • Directors: Raja Gosnell
  • Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, John Jacobs, Ricardo Del Rio
  • Writers: Analisa LaBianco, Jeffrey Bushell, Jeffrey Bushell
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
  • Actors: Piper Perabo, Manolo Cardona, and Jamie Lee Curtis, with the voices of, Andy Garcia, George Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Eddie Piolin Sotelo, Cheech Marin, Loretta Devine, and, Drew Barrymore, as the voice of Chloe

Vivian Ashe (Jamie Lee Curtis) leaves her pet chihuahua Chloe (voice of Drew Barrymore) with her irresponsible niece Rachel (Piper Perabo) to watch the dog. However, when Rachel decides to go to Mexico with her friends, Chloe gets lost and bonds with Delgado (voice of Andy Garcia), a lonely German Shepard who used to be a police dog, and goes on the run from a ruthless Doberman called El Diablo (voice of Edward James Olmos). Meanwhile, Papi (voice of George Lopez), a hyperactive chihuahua who falls in love with Chloe, attempts to find his love in Mexico while El Diablo attempts to capture Chloe and get her colar to his owner, a dog fight ringleader.

Spy Kids

  • Directors: Robert Rodriguez
  • Producers: Elizabeth Avellan, Robert Rodriguez
  • Writers: Robert Rodriguez
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, with Robert Patrick, and Tony Shalhoub, Alexa Vega, as Carmen, Daryl Sabara, as Juni, George Clooney

Carmen and Juni Cortez live with what they think are boring parents. One night, Carmen asks her mother Ingrid to tell her a story, and with Juni listening, Ingrid recounts the tale of two spies, who though they are on opposing sides and originally supposed to kill each other, end up falling in love and getting married instead. What Carmen and Juni don’t know is that this is the true story of their parents Gregorio and Ingrid. The newly married couple makes a big decision. They retire from the OSS (Official Strategic Service), the spy organization they were working for, to raise their family.

Ten years later, the family is facing some problems. Carmen enjoys tormenting her younger brother, who does not have many friends. In fact, the only enjoyment in his life comes from watching “Floop’s Fooglies”, a children’s TV show starring a man named Fegan Floop, his sidekick Alexander Minion, and strange, humanoid Fooglies that speak in gibberish. Ingrid longs to return to spy work, while Gregorio just wants everyone to be happy.

Trouble begins when Gregorio is called in on a mission to locate some OSS Agents that have gone missing. The latest disappearance was that of Donnagon Giggles, an old fellow agent. The next morning, as Juni watches Floop’s show, the strange host introduces a new Fooglie character- “Donnamight.” Gregorio and Ingrid become suspicious when they realize that the strange character resembles Donnagon. The camera reveals that Floop is actually working for a villain named Mr. Lisp, and was paid quite a lot of money to develop an army to take over the world. Lisp is unhappy with the Fooglies, and is prepared to cut all funding for the project. Floop and Minion quickly present their latest idea – the Spy Kids, child-sized robots that have the athletic prowess and intelligence of the world’s best spies. Unfortunately, the robots are currently brainless- but Floop does have a plan…

Floop realizes that the Third Brain has already been copied and ingrained into every Spy Kid’s head, and runs off to try to reverse the process before they can leave the castle. The Cortez’s team up in the main room and prepare to fight Lisp, Gradenko (with burnt hair from the last encounter with Juni and Carmen), and even Minion, who now has four heads and three hands on each arm. Minion summons the Spy Kids, and the family prepares to fight, even Machete, who appears at the last minute to provide support. Floop is suddenly struck with inspiration thanks to Juni’s words. The Spy Kids are programmed to do only evil deeds… so he changes their understanding of right and wrong. The newly happy robots play by tossing Minion, Lisp, and unfortunately Gradenko into the air, and, after watching, the whole family returns home. In the end, Floop uses the Carmen and Juni robots on his show, which prove to be just what it needs, and the chief of the OSS, Devlin (George Clooney in an obvious cameo), summons Carmen and Juni to another mission. The final quote of the story is “Spywork, that’s easy. Keeping a family together, that’s difficult. And that’s the mission worth fighting for.”

The Lion King

  • Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
  • Producers: Don Hahn
  • Writers: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Musical
  • Actors: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Moira Kelly, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings

The Lion King takes place in the Pride Lands of the Serengeti, where a lion rules over the other animals as king. Rafiki (Robert Guillaume), a wise old mandrill, anoints Simba (cub by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, adult by Matthew Broderick), the newborn cub of King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Queen Sarabi (Madge Sinclair), and presents him to a gathering of animals at Pride Rock (“Circle of Life”).

Mufasa takes Simba on a tour of the Pride Lands, teaching him about the “Circle of Life”, the delicate balance affecting all living things. Taking advantage of the cub’s naive nature, Simba’s scheming uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) (who is very angry because Simba’s birth means that he’s no longer next in line to the throne) tells him about the elephant graveyard, a place where Mufasa has forbidden Simba to go. Simba asks his mother if he can go to the water-hole with his best friend, Nala (cub by Niketa Calame, adult by Moira Kelly). Their parents agree but only if Mufasa’s majordomo, the hornbill Zazu (Rowan Atkinson), goes with them. Simba and Nala elude Zazu’s supervision (“I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”) and go to the graveyard instead. There, the cubs are met by Shenzi, Banzai and Ed (Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings), spotted hyenas who try to kill them, but they are rescued by Mufasa.

Atop Pride Rock’s peak, Simba corners Scar. To gain Simba’s mercy, Scar blames everything on the hyenas but Shenzi, Banzai and Ed overhear this betrayal. Simba demands that Scar go into exile. Scar pretends to leave but turns to attack Simba, resulting in a final duel. Simba triumphs over his uncle by kicking him over a low cliff. Scar survives the fall but finds himself surrounded by the now-resentful hyenas, who attack and kill him. Simba and Nala become the new king and queen of the Pride Lands. The film concludes with the Pride Lands turning green with life again and Rafiki presenting Simba and Nala’s newborn cub as “The Circle of Life” continues.