The film opens on Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper), a writer who has just hit the jackpot with his first book “The Window Tears.” It has brought him all of the fame and fortune he has ever dreamed of. There’s only one catch: Rory plagiarized it. How and why sets up the first third of the film, where we learn how Rory was an aspiring writer who had written a couple of mesmerizing short stories, but no one was willing to publish him.
Machete, the Robert Rodriguez action massacre, was released into theatres recently. While it delivers plenty of sleaze and carnage, the movie also takes time to comment on the plight of illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States. Even the “Illegal” trailer from back in May took a stand on the issue. With that in mind, I thought this edition of Reel Rumbles could feature two movies about gringos who aren’t too welcome south of the border. In Bandidas, Mexican heroines Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz take on a ruthless American interloper who is aggresively swindling people out of their land. Turistas involves naive white people vacationing in Brazil who become unwilling organ donors. Maybe the basic message of both Bandidas and Turistas is that other countries are not gringo playgrounds. You can’t just come around and act like you own the place, or there will be consequences. (Or, the message could also be that it never hurts to cast attractive actors and dress them up in sexy attire whenever possible.)