(ca) wrote: Two brothers, Seth (George Clooney) and Richard "Richie" Gecko (Quentin Tarantino), having just robbed a bank, stop at a liquor store to pick up a map. When the arrival of Texas Ranger Earl McGraw threatens their getaway, they kill him and the cashier, burning down the store in the process. During the gunfight, Richie is shot in the hand. Fleeing a combined force of FBI and local police, they head towards Mexico where a contact has arranged a safe-house for them. Along the way they stop at a motel and unload a bank teller whom they are holding hostage. While Seth goes out to "sight see" checking on the border and to buy fast food burgers, Richie brutally rapes and murders the teller. Seth, who pictures himself as a professional thief, becomes furious over Richie's sadistic behavior, but forgives his brother, embracing him and talking about how their future will be better in Mexico. Meanwhile, Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel), a pastor who is experiencing a crisis of faith due to the passing of his wife, arrives at the same motel with his daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis) and his adopted son Scott, who is of Chinese descent. The Geckos kidnap the family and order Jacob to take them across the border in his RV. After a tense inspection by a border guard, the group crosses into Mexico. They stop at the "Titty Twister", an isolated strip club and brothel where the Geckos have arranged to meet their contact Carlos at dawn. Seth and Richie beat up the doorman, Chet Pussy, when he tries to deny the group entry. Although the bartender initially refuses to serve them, he relents after Jacob successfully argues that he is a trucker, but Seth remains annoyed by the disrespect. They take a table, and Seth encourages everyone to drink as the strip show begins. Richie takes special notice of the club's star performer, Santnico Pandemnium (Salma Hayek), during an extended solo performance, after which Chet Pussy and some others confront the group. When Richie is stabbed in his already wounded hand, Santnico transforms into a horrific vampire and attacks him, biting him on his neck, which causes him to bleed to death...Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars and described it as "a skillful meat-and-potatoes action extravaganza with some added neat touches". In her review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, "The latter part of From Dusk till Dawn is so relentless that it's as if a spigot has been turned on and then broken. Though some of the tricks are entertainingly staged, the film loses its clever edge when its action heats up so gruesomely and exploitatively that there's no time for talk". Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B" rating and Owen Gleiberman wrote, "Rodriguez and Tarantino have taken the let-'em-eat-trash cynicism of modern corporate moviemaking and repackaged it as junk-conscious 'attitude.' In From Dusk till Dawn, they put on such a show of cooking up popcorn that they make pandering to the audience seem hip". However, in his review for the Washington Post, Desson Howe wrote, "The movie, which treats you with contempt for even watching it, is a monument to its own lack of imagination. It's a triumph of vile over content; mindless nihilism posing as hipness". Cinefantastique magazine's Steve Biodrowski wrote, "Whereas one might reasonably have expected that the combo of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez would yield a critical mass of nuclear proportions, instead of an atomic fireball's worth of entertainment, we get a long fuse, quite a bit of fizzle, and a rather minor blast". In his review for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle called the film, "an ugly, unpleasant criminals-on-the-lam film that midway turns into a boring and completely repellent vampire 'comedy.' If it's not one of the worst films of 1996 it will have been one miserable year". In Marc Savlov's review for the Austin Chronicle, he wrote, "Fans of Merchant-Ivory will do well to steer clear of Rodriguez's newest opus, but both action and horror film fans have cause for celebration after what seems like a particularly long splatter-drought. This is horror with a wink and a nod to drive-in theatres and sweaty back seats. This is how it's done". This is yet another Quentin Tarantino vehicle (with Robert Rodriguez at the steering wheel) I have gotten back to lately and re-seen with a personal negative response in the end. When re-seeing "From Dusk Till Dawn" it just feels like the same old ultra violent never ending dialogue driven action dribble we have seen so many times now from Quentin. They both believed in their on hype and thought they could get away with whatever at that point. Something they repeated with their Grindhouse films "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror". Throughout the years I have become so tired of this action set up and Quentins accepted freedom to push down this "mindless violent nihilism" (as Desson Howe wrote) down our throats and getting away with it due to some sort of comic relief in the midst of the gore. The problem with "From Dusk Till Dawn" is that it starts off as one type of film and ends up as something else. The overlapping of the genres doesnt fully work and the special effects are quite poor. And we get to see the usual Tarantino/Rodriguez suspects in several roles which in one way makes the film a bit richer but also too familiar and boring. Yes, at that point it was "fresh" to see George Clooney play such an unlikeable character. And as I have said so many times, Quentin Tarantino shouldve never put himself in any films as he cant act. Then again, we have the hubris issue.... And it boggles my mind that Tarantino as the writer, assumed that we would find his character, the murderous sexual deviant Richie, ok as being some sort of babbling psychotic comic relief. Tarantino/Rodriguez tries to outstage each other with whom can come up with the most crazy character or weapon. Such as Sex Machine and his crotch-based gun that only fires when "erect"... Thats just bad in my opinion. Not cool, not funny. Just B-Movie crappy. I reckon the film wants to be offensive, but misses the target with miles as the bits and pieces simply cant connect. The best part in this movie is the lovely Salma Hayek and her character Santnico Pandemnium. Thats pretty much it.