The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

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Genre: Dramas
Director: Theatrical Release: 2005
Rated: R (MPAA)
Length: 121 mins
Studio: Sony Pictures Home
Format: DVD
Language: English

Tommy Lee Jones takes his second turn in the director's chair with THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA, the follow-up to his 1995 western THE GOOD OLD BOYS. The action takes place on the border between West Texas and Northern Chihuahua in Mexico, which is a hot spot for illegal crossings. But Jones's movie ingeniously flips this dangerous yet all-too-common practice on its head, with a tale of a man hell-bent on crossing the border in the opposite direction.<BR><BR>The journey to Mexico begins when Pete Perkins (Jones) uncovers the identity of a Border Patrolman, Mike Norton (Barry Pepper), who has shot and killed his best friend, Melquiades Estrada (Julio Cedillo). Kidnapping Norton and forcing him to dig up Estrada's body, Perkins straps the corpse to a horse, and informs Norton that he will be traveling with them to Mexico. Once there, they will bury Estrada according to instructions he gave Perkins prior to his death. Jones paints Norton as a mean-spirited individual; caught up in a loveless relationship with his wife, Lou Ann (January Jones), Norton's day job frequently involves him him either exploding in a violent rage or idly masturbating over a well-thumbed copy of Hustler. The two men don't exactly bond on their journey, the wedge that's been forced between them being far too great for them to reconcile their differences. But Jones coerces a riveting tale from Guillermo Arriaga script, with a choppy chronology reminiscent of Arriaga's own 21 GRAMS. Comparisons to Sam Peckinpah's masterfully bleak 1974 movie BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA are inevitable, although Jones's film has a tender edge that Peckinpah's nihilistic epic was never quite capable of reaching. A film that suggests Jones has a bright future ahead of him as a director, THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA is one of the most absorbing pieces of cinema to emerge in 2005.;

Language Usage   Subtitled
Release Language   English
Color   Color
HiFi Sound   N
Surround Sound   N
Digital Sound   N
Stereo Sound   N
CXEncoding   N
AC3Sound   N
THXSound   N
DTSStereo   N
Unedited Version   N
Collector's Edition   N
Director's Cut   N
Closed Captioned   N
Letterboxed   N
Extra Info   Copy Protected
Rating Reason   for language, violence and sexuality
Levon Helm - American Musician/Actor
Dwight Yoakam - C&W Singer
Luc Besson - French director/writer: LEON/THE FIFTH ELEMENT
Chris Menges - British Director Of Photography/Director, THE BOXER (1997)
Barry Pepper -
Julio Cedillo -
Marco Beltrami - Composer
Michael Fitzgerald - Producer/Executive
Vanessa Bauche - Actress, AMORES PERROS (2000)
January Jones - Actress, BANDITS (2001)
Guillermo Arriaga Jordan - Screenwriter; AMORES PERROS (2000)
Rolling Stone
12/15/2005
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Jones shakes you in a way you do not see coming. His movie is a powder keg."
New York Times
12/14/2005
"[The film] strikes both fresh and familiar chords, most of them pleasingly dissonant. Directed with a steady hand and an eye for eccentric detail..."
Entertainment Weekly
02/01/2006
"THREE BURIALS has some savvy scenes of small-town gossip and adultery..."
Los Angeles Times
12/14/2005
"Tommy Lee Jones has been a strong and witty presence in the movies, and in directing himself he has reached the pinnacle of his career with THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA."
Uncut
04/01/2006
4 stars out of 5 -- "[E]vocative of Peckinpah's death-drenched Mexican masterworks THE WILD BUNCH and BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA."
Sight and Sound
04/01/2006
"Beautifully shot by Chris Menges and expertly acted by Barry Pepper...Dwight Yoakam...and, most compelling of all, Jones, this is a film that, for all its echoes of other cross-border excursions, is genuinely original."
Total Film
08/01/2006
5 stars out of 5 -- "The magic of THREE BURIALS lies in Jones' understated, hugely affecting performance."
Ultimate DVD
09/01/2006
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] tough, touching and darkly comic directorial effort."

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