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ZORRO Screens In Seattle!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

Well, with Fantastic Fest in full-swing right now, I’m probably the only one actually near the e-mail box this weekend. I just finished a script today after pulling some long sleepless nights this week, so I’m gonna hunker down and try to get through all these articles I’ve been promising. First, though, some news...

... like this review for a screening of THE LEGEND OF ZORRO that just took place in Seattle. I thought the first film was a lot of fun, so I’m hoping the second one is, too. What’d this guy think?

Hey AICN,

Back from a preview screening in the rainy city Seattle of The Legend of Zorro that they had last night and all I can really exude is "Ah, swashbuckling!" If there is any kind of movies that I like to watch just for fun, this genre is the one. No other films can take me back to the imaginative, adventuring kid I once wan. No scratch that, I'm still that kind of kid, just a little older now. It's been really exciting recently for these types of films having Serenity, Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow all come out and just flat out knock all our socks off. Well, The Legend of Zorro definitely follows in the same vein in keeping my inner adventuring child alive.

I don't know too much about Zorro other than the first movie, The Mask of Zorro, which I saw many years ago. As for the original Zorro Saturday serial that aired back in the late 50's, all I know about that is what my mom tells me back when she was little. Form what she has told me, she, her mom, and her grandma were all going to run off and marry Zorro together. Every time she tells me this I don't know whether to think it's just cute or Guy Williams could have had the ultimate in mother daughter action. I think I'll just stick to the movies and not ever have to think of that again.

In Legend, Zorro (Antonio Banderas) is still at it slashing "Z's" and doing flips and tricks around town while fighting oppressive bad guys. It's the 1850's and California is still not a state of the union yet. During the voting process to become an official state of the union, an evangelic, cross scared villain named McGivens (Nick Chinlund) tries to steal all the votes so the poor people of California can continue to be oppressed by the rich and greedy. But Zorro swoops in saving the day for the people but making new enemies with McGivens and his master Don Armand (Rufus Sewell). Once everything is safe and well in town, there is trouble at home for Zorro. His beautiful wife Elena de La Vega (Catherine Zeta-Jones) wants him to give up his double life as Zorro and just become Don Alejandro de La Vega so he can spend more time with his son Joaquin (Adrain Alonso). Though Alejandro loves his family very much and would do give his life for them, Zorro still can't turn his back on the people that need him. Elena is furious that Alejandro wont leave his double life and divorces him, but not for the reason they quarreled for; something secretive that Alejandro doesn't know about. Something that Elena has been forcefully recruited to do to ensure the safety of her whole family and for the protection of the United States in a time of unrest and conflict.

This chapter in the Zorro saga plays much darker like many sequels but still offers all the amazing and thrilling stunts and action that the first one had. But the problem with the film is the fact that it is darker, but doesn't offer any real peril or sacrifice that Zorro has to choose and make. His family is threatened by the villainous Don Armand but as for his wife actually leaving him, we as an audience all know what she is really up to because we have all seen the preview to the film and know Elena is working as a spy. But the way they cut the movie is more like they wanted to keep it secretive for the audience so you didn't know what she was really up to. It seems like it's a big error by the marketing department for the film. As for Alejandro giving up Zorro, its nothing like Spider-Man 2 where Parker does make a choose and tries to live with it, the story kind of just chugs on never really confronting the issue that should really be giving Zorro more trouble than his enemies; what life style does he love more?

As for the humor of the film, it was the usual comic relief to brighten the film so not to be too overly dark. But an important sassy character of the story fell victim to being the comic relief of the film; Zorro's trusting but independently willed horse Tornado. This new vision of Tornado was less of the real life spunky horse that tested Zorro's tolerance, but more of a Looney Toons cartoon creation. I almost started to expect it to start talking like Scooby-Doo or Garfield. Too much when into this horse and it needed to be humbled a bit.

But those being the things that didn't work for me I still found the film enjoyable the same way I found the first Zorro movie delightful and other swashbuckling adventure films. Is Legend of Zorro as good as the first one? No. But everyone evolved still seems to really like what they are working on. Banderas and Zeta-Jones work very well with each other and really seem to have that "they can't stand each other but that's what keeps the fires going" relationship. The boy who play there son, Adrain Alonso, has a fantastic devilishness that he portrays almost too well just about stealing the show from Banderas and Zeta-Jones. He almost beats Zorro in his level of defiance of rules and the way he express his boldness is almost more creative than his Dads. Director Martin Campbell really shows that he cares what he is making and is good at directing the complex sword fights with elaborate scenarios that take place during the fights. The train sequence at the end of the film is a great example of how many elements he can throw in to make it more complex and ridiculous but at the same time, still able to pull it off to make for a thrilling climax.

This film does have its flaws and mistake that the studio should have taken more time with its run of the mill sequel script and the trailer snafu, but as far as going to the movies for a good time, The Legend of Zorro won't disappoint.

-The Last Westerner

Thanks! Hopefully I’ll be sneaking a peek at this one in a few weeks m’self.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 7, 2005, 9:08 p.m. CST

    who fucking cares

    by DAS JANKE

    zeta jones isn't even hot anymore

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 9:08 p.m. CST

    first Biatches

    by kate Moss

    I'd tap that zetas ass

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Well seconds not that bad

    by kate Moss

    and zorro *meh* who really cares, the first one was instantly forgetable, just proves hollywoods out of ideas

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 9:13 p.m. CST

    OK.

    by MattCG

    I'll be sure to download it for free.

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 9:23 p.m. CST

    "It's the 1850s and California is still not a state"

    by I Hate Movies

    Jesus. I mean, just ... Jesus.

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 9:31 p.m. CST

    "Guy Williams could have had the ultimate in mother daughter act

    by seppukudkurosawa

    You do realise you're referring to your own grandma and mother, right? It's people like you who brought that kid from Deliverance into this world to lead tortured lives with nothing but their banjos to bring them company.

  • You guys are pathetic to post just for the reason to post and say stupid shit. Anyways, I loved the first modern Zorro film and I can't wait to see this one in the theater. Zeta-Jones is still uber-hot and I love sword play. ___KNEEL___

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 9:58 p.m. CST

    To make amends in Zod's books

    by seppukudkurosawa

    I'll say that I enjoyed that review, even though there were a few mistakes. And there was also the fact that you said your mother and grandma were the ultimate bread to your salami in a rollicking three-person, all-night orgy. I might be paraphrasing a bit there, but that's just the gist of it. Thanks for the review again Westerner.

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 11:19 p.m. CST

    No.

    by Flummage

    I liked the first movie despite all the cliches. It was upbeat and it did what it did with a bit of style. BUT The things that I didn't like about the first movie, namely welsh Cathrine Zeta Jones, Welsh Anthony Hopkins, latin Antonia Banderas, VS Evil Cowardly Posh English Bag Guy. Now they are pretty much doing the same thing, without the gravitas of Hopkins. It also sounds hugely derivitive - he quits beeing Zorro? Then goes back to save the day with some luck from his fiesty sword slashing wife huh? No. Just no. "With predictbale plotting, beaten to death Hollywood stereotypese, and finely tuned facial hair, comes great responsibility!" I'll always leave final judgement untill I see see a film, but this feels so empty and hollow. I want to spend the limitied number of movie watching hours I have in my life, filled with more inventive, original and honest work than this appears to be. So no. No thank you.

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Shit, nobody told me about this one

    by Vern

    Somebody tell me when they're showin a Zorro movie in my area. I like to watch Zorro movies. Just a heads up for everybody there. thanks guys.

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 11:34 p.m. CST

    I hope they make a third Zorro film and its Zorro meets the Lone

    by astronato

    I enjoyed the first film and l love the character of Zorro. Banderas is a really good Zorro, right up there with Tyrone Power and Guy Williams in my opinion. I think Banderas should keep coming back to Zorro. And Catherine Zeta Jones is a hottie.

  • Oct. 7, 2005, 11:48 p.m. CST

    It's a PG?

    by I Dunno

    I'm not one of those fanboys who needs every movie to have an R rating but jeez, even the next Harry Potter is a PG-13. Any sequel that gets a wider rating than the original is an immediate red flag to me. This smells like a rental.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 12:10 a.m. CST

    first of all it hasn't been rated yet (unless i'm out of

    by Holodigm

    and that seemed like a pretty obvious plant to me. the kid does a great job of almost stealing the show? felt like it was straight out of Roots, because that was plantspeak.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 12:22 a.m. CST

    "having Serenity, Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith, and

    by Capt. Spaulding

    Are you serious? Star Wars knocked your socks off? Were they already hanging by a thread off your toes? Sky Captain? Why would I pay eight bucks when Max Fleisher cartoons are free? Anyway, the first Zorro was okay, despite the absence of any Mexicans. Pretty entertaining, not great.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 1:35 a.m. CST

    In answer to the first Talkbacker "I fucking care!"

    by TheGinger Twit

    I love the first Zorro. "Hn-I king arthur, declare Zorro the new king of england!"

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Capt. Spaulding. You must be a pretty fucking sad pathetic littl

    by TheGinger Twit

    Episode 3 was wasted on you.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Good God, here we go again

    by Doc_Strange

    The haters have spread into the Zorro Talkback. What next?

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 2:53 a.m. CST

    "zeta jones isn't even hot anymore"

    by DocPazuzu

    Yeah, I'm sure you'd turn some of that down, Das Janke. You and NewYorkKid need to get together and publically list all of the women in the world you think are ugly and unworthy of your staggering sexual prowess (and whose feet you incidentally aren't fit to sniff) so that we can admire how discerning and totally cool you are. I never knew how poor my taste in women I'll never carnally know was. Thanks for setting me straight. I tremble in awe before your mad fanboy hot-or-not skillz. As for Zorro - great! I loved the first one and will definitely see the sequel. Banderas was well cast as Z.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 2:59 a.m. CST

    "The haters have spread into the Zorro Talkback. What next?"

    by Thirteen 13

    Well there is always the chance that this talkback will morph into a "Serenity" talkback. Although Harry has been doing a pretty good job and shutting that down once it starts by deleting those posts.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Legendary Zorro!!

    by Psycho_Kenshin

    Hey, Zorro is nothing to fuck with. This film will be legendary, it'll knock your face off. - Its a Z thang.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 3:18 a.m. CST

    PLANT!! Being a Seattle citizen myself, we NEVER refer to our ow

    by Ted Striker

    The writing style is a big tip, too. I liked the first Zorro, and will see this one too. No doubts it will be good, but does AICN have to post these obviously fake reviews? Maybe the Studios pay them to do it?

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Jove almighty, what a dullard...

    by SalvatoreGravano

    He speaks of "the original Zorro" in reference to SOME TV SERIES? Has this analphabetic clown even heard of McCulley? And as far as adaptations go, does it even know the name "Fairbanks"?

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 4:53 a.m. CST

    I have to agree with...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...the chlorophyllic accusations. Any reviewer who mentions "Serenity, Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" in the same blanket statement is trying too hard to cover all geek bases. That having been said, I have no doubt I'll enjoy the hell out of the new Zorro film.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 6:18 a.m. CST

    why is this film a big event?

    by Rupee88

    It seems like there have been a million Zorro movies...wasn't there just one a couple of years ago. I don't know why anyone cares about this, but lots of people say it will make $100 million...weird.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Yes it has been rated, Holodigm

    by I Dunno

    PG

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Pazazu stfu.

    by DAS JANKE

    zeta jones is boring looking. i didn't say she was ugly, but i suppose your mind holds few grey areas, huh? i don't have incredibly high standards at all, but her features are instantly forgetable and would bore me silly. but then, i guess you know my tastes so well as to presume to tell me who i'd fuck and who i'd send off in a parade of tears and silent vows. shut the fuck up bitch. my statement reflected my views and my views alone--if you felt they were digging into your opinions then perhaps you need to step away from the fucking computer for a little bit and realize not everything in the world revolves around your sorry little life. in other news, this reviewer is clearly a plant; sky captain was horribly done. it looked real pretty but the fucking story was bullshit. and don't even get me started on that tv movie serenity that i fucking paid nighttime prices for. and if you think this zorro movie's going to be an actual worthwhile use of 2 hours, then i feel sorry for you. the only reason i'd see it is for that dude from dark city.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 5:31 p.m. CST

    The first one was about half as cool as that 'Shadow' mo

    by Stan the Bat

    ... so I expect the sequel to be about one-quarter as cool as that 'Phantom' movie with Billy Zane. Most of you kids won't believe it, but a man gets to a time in his life when he's seen enough bad movies.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 5:33 p.m. CST

    "i guess you know my tastes so well"

    by DocPazuzu

    No, it's not that - although I'd bet my life you'd shit yourself if she so much as glanced in your general direction. What I was commenting on was one of the most telling types of behavioral aspects of the eternal fanboy, namely the feverish declaration of how unimpressed they are by a famous woman's looks in order to seem like they know something that nobody else does. It's puerile and reeks of exceedingly poor self-esteem. That you would even entertain the notion that you come across as sincere is mindboggling. You might have sounded believable if you hadn't made your statement the tentpole of your feelings toward the film: "Who fucking cares... zeta jones isn't even hot anymore". Also, in your last post you said: "her features are instantly forgetable and would bore me silly." Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you initially say that she wasn't hot "anymore"? Now I know age can affect our appearances, but going from "hot" to "instantly forgettable" features that bore you "silly" in less than ten years doesn't really add up. You do receive extra points for a wordy and indignant recovery attempt, however, but I think you said all you needed to in your initial post.

  • Say it ain't so, Stan.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 7:14 p.m. CST

    every time i think of zeta jones

    by kate Moss

    i remember her opening a wb cinema in the middle of nowehere in england. then all of a sudden she marries grandpa michael douglas and life is good. she probably only agreed to do this movie cause it was the one that was her breakout hit.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 7:56 p.m. CST

    The first Zorro was great.....

    by King Conan

    It kinda harkened back to the days when hollywood took some chances on a movie based on a character that wasn't contemporary. It also had a good story and awesome stunts that actually EMPLOYED REAL FUCKING STUNTMENT NOT COMPUTERS! Assholes who are shitting on this movie are part of the reason why they aren't made anymore. Hollywood is fucking lazy and just go to the "sure thing".... a computer, cgi, a dumb script and a pretty bitch who can't act but might fill seats. This is the closest thing we'll get anymore to a real adventure movie. Its sad but true.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 8:10 p.m. CST

    'Hollywood is fucking lazy and just go to the "sure thing"..

    by Stan the Bat

    And you're saying the first Zorro was substantially better because it had *real stuntmen* in addition to its dumb script and 'pretty bitch'? Sorry- not buying.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 8:27 p.m. CST

    nah fucker...

    by King Conan

    thats not what i said, can you read?

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 8:28 p.m. CST

    ZORRO screens at Blockbuster video on new release tuesday!

    by Doom II

    Still think it's a joke that this film has theatrical release. Is anyone going to pay to see this on the screen? Those who do are jackasses and most likely voted for a second term Bush administration (thanks btw)....Zet The first Zorro these 2 did was average at best, Jones is now haggard and Antonio Banderas in a wig for two hours...hoo haaa! Let's go to the movies!

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 10:44 p.m. CST

    You said it, DocPazuzu!

    by darthbinks1220

    Right after Rachel McAdams and Elizabeth Banks, Catherine Zeta Jones is pretty much the hottest girl on the planet. Here's my top ten 1) Rachel McAdams 2) Elizabeth Banks 3) Cindy Crawford (pre Fair Game) 4) Traylor Hotti....ah Howard 5) Scarlet Johanssen 6) Charlize Theron 7) Jessica "hottest girl on the planet" Biel 8) Sharon (Basic Instinct I not II) Stone 9) Claire Danes 10) Kelly Clarkson Also, I think another "Z" movie needs a sequel. "Zoolander 2: School is too Cool for You" would gross 500% of the original. Kinda like what "Spy Who Shagged Me" did after AP I. Damn I luv T-Mobile commercials.

  • Oct. 9, 2005, 1:22 a.m. CST

    The Ginger Twit

    by Capt. Spaulding

    Episode III was wasted on me? Let me ask, as someone who grew up as a Star Wars fan, someone who bought all those goddamn toys, bought all the VHS and DVD releases, someone who waited in line for eight hours to see Episode I, HOW WAS IT WASTED ON ME? I've been looking forward to those movies since 1983. They were terrible, accept it. It breaks my heart to say it, but the truths the fucking truth. APOLOGY to everyone else on here, I know this is supposed to be about the new Zorro film, but I had to respond to the ginger twat.

  • Oct. 9, 2005, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Apology accepted Captain Need.......err Spaulding

    by darthbinks1220

    Sorry, it isn't my place, but I couldn't help myself. I also apologize for omitting Catherine from my top ten hottie list. She's #3. Also, gotta put Amy Smart in there right after Charlize.

  • Oct. 9, 2005, 5:35 a.m. CST

    One of these things is not like the other...

    by SnowMann

    Starts by comparing it to Serenity, Ep. III and Sky Captain? Did he just pull those movies out of his ass?

  • Oct. 9, 2005, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Good point, Ted Striker. People from Seattle refer to it as the

    by FrankDrebin

    It's Portland Oregon that's known fot its rain. But this reviewer wouldn't know that, being stuck in the LA Marketing Dept of DreamWorks.

  • Oct. 10, 2005, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Meh.

    by EriamJH

    Zorro, wife and child -- hero gives up dangerous life to be a family man, but gets "pulled back in" -- a format I would like to see with other genre-specific heros. Conan the Barbarian, for instance.

  • Oct. 10, 2005, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Let

    by Plazola_MEX

    After star wars there is no future. UUUps sorry i take it back... there is future.... a boring future in movies.