In every age, there is a hero who rights the wrongs and restores justice to the world. Created in 1919, Zorro (aka Don Diego de la Vega), was the Robin Hood of his day.
Zorro has had several incarnations on screen since his introduction to the world nearly 100 years ago.
In 1998, Zorro was re-imagined as The Mask of Zorro.
Don Diego de la Vera (Anthony Hopkins) is a nobleman living in Spanish controlled California with his wife and young daughter, Elena. Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson) is Diego’s rival, politically and romantically. As Spain concedes California to Santa Anna, Rafael uses this opportunity to strike back at his rival. Diego’s wife is killed, his daughter is taken away and he is thrown in prison.
A generation later, Alejando Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) is a common thief who watched his brother die. Diego sees the promise in Alejandro, but knows that work must be done. While Diego is training Alejandro to wear the mask of Zorro, Rafael and the noblemen are becoming wealthy at the expense of the lower classes. Rafael has also raised Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) as his own. Alejandro will put on the mask of Zorro, but is he ready to avenge his brother and restore justice?
It’s Zorro. Rocket science and Oscar worthy, it’s not. But it is entertaining, even if Elena, like many women in this genre are reduced to love interests and damsels in distress.
Do I recommend it? Why not?
Masks are simple, but deceptive items. Masks represent who we want the world to see, not the person inside of us.
In the 1994 film The Mask, Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is a nice guy. He is so nice that he lets everyone walk all over him. On what he thinks is the lowest day of his life, Stanley finds a mask that according to legend, originated from the Norse trickster g-d Loki. The mask turns Stanley into the man he wants to be: slightly cartoonish, but wildly romantic. The mask attracts the attention of Lt Mitch Kellaway (Peter Riegert) and mobster Dorian Tyrel (Peter Greene), both are who extremely eager to unmask The Mask.
There is something that is almost philosophical about this movie. Stanley is an every man. We all wish sometimes that we could be the person who is inside of us, instead of conforming to the world just to survive.
I recommend it.
The best art is often the hardest to create.
In the 2007 movie, Music and Lyrics, Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) was one half of a 1980’s pop music duo. But his music glory days are long behind him. He lives of the residuals from this pop music past and by performing at high school reunions and state fairs. Alex is given a second chance at his music career by writing a song for the newest teen music sensation Cora Corman (Haley Bennett). The only problem is that while he can compose the melody, the lyrics are a bit harder to come by. Not only that, but he has only a week to complete the song. Enter Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore). Sophie is helping a friend by watering Alex’s plants, but has the heart and a soul of a poet. She agrees to help Alex write the song, but Alex’s past may be the barrier to the song’s success.
The on screen pairing of Barrymore and Grant just works on screen. This movie is simple, but charming and entertaining.
I recommend it.