Patrick H Willems Explains 'The Mask of Zorro' (And Why It's Great)

Oozer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,798
I haven't seen this movie, but I love Patrick and we have pretty similar tastes (Paper Rings is totally awesome) so I think I'm gonna have to see this. Also, he better actually do a video on The O.C. like he joked about.
 

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,723
Small note that the character is supposed to be in the public domain - it's just that one company remains even more stupidly litigious than the Conan Doyle estate

I first watched it in full a few years ago, and what honestly astonished me was the sheer amount of well choreographed stunt work. When Alejandro goes on his night time raids, you are straight up sold on his abilities


Wish we could get a Batman on this level
 

Htown

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,621
no person in the history of the planet has ever been as attractive as catherine zeta-jones was in this movie

the rest of the movie was also good
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,902
Killing you villain by dropping on top on him all the gold they were stealing is quite a "Nazis melting after opening the Arch of the Covenant" moment.
 

Darkmaigle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,769
Really loved this movie as a kid and now as an adult. CZJ, AB and AH were all throwing mega heat the whole run time
 

Speevy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,729
I remember loving this movie but I haven't seen it in a while. Good to hear it wasn't just me behind 13.
 
Oct 28, 2017
14,031
California
Saw this yesterday, love how Patrick is analyzing the movie while being in the middle of a deposition lol

And yeah, I remember watching this movie as a kid in the movie theater and absolutely loving it. Haven't seen it years but I see that it's on Netflix.
 
Oct 27, 2017
29
Martin Campbell directed this, GoldenEye, and Casino Royale. Admittedly, he also made Green Lantern, but still. That's not a bad trio.
 

Dommo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
894
Australia
Yeah I've mentioned before how cool it is that Zorro got his own gunbarrel.



Yeah this is the definition of 'well-executed simple blockbuster.' A good film doesn't have to deal with lofty themes or ideas or subvert expectations: it just has to be well told. It's the proto-Pirates of the Caribbean: Classical arcs, solid revenge plots, stakes and tension against the backdrop of whimsy and lightheartedness.

It also executes its 'passing-the-torch-to-the-next-generation-this-time-to-an-orphan' plotline far better than The Dark Knight Rises does. Maybe not quite fair, considering that was a subplot, and here it's front and centre, but it speaks to how convoluted that film is and how its dour tone doesn't actually add gravitas. The Mask of Zorro carries far more heft without getting lost in its own glumness.

Although I gotta say this film has two of the biggest pieces of shit antagonists in a blockbuster film. Real fucking assholes. A guy who murders a man's wife, steals his child, raises her as his own and burns his house down paired with a guy who murder's a man's brother, laughs about it and stores his head in a jar as a prize/intimidation. Really gives the audience something to root for.

It also represents what should be quintessential character arcs for protagonists. Blockbusters these days are too afraid to render their protagonists as unlikeable at any point in the story. The Mask of Zorro makes both Hopkins and Banderas' characters out to be dickheads for a good chunk of the first act or so. They don't like each other at all. One is a harsh and overbearing teacher who resents passing the torch. The other is a lazy drunk who's completely abandoned any hope of justice or rehabilitation. It makes their coming together all the more satisfying. The moment Banderas does become the true Zorro we picture in our heads all the more rewarding.

It's hard-working storytelling to make the audience have the easiest time in the world consuming it.
 

Futaleufu

Member
Jan 12, 2018
1,787
Its a good, entertaining movie. Look out for the fat stunt double who does all the horse tricks.
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,672
One of the best adventure films of the 90s. Only thing that’s matched it since then has been Curse of the Black Pearl.
It's funny that both Zorro and CotBP have the same writers. Zorro almost feels like a first draft once you find that out. I like 'em both but I agree that Pirates is the better film.
 

jett

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,424
I really enjoy Patrick's passion and enthusiasm.

The Mask of Zorro is damn fine entertainment.

But he forgot to mention the 90's TV show. >:|
 
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Khanimus

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
17,935
Greater Vancouver
One thing Patrick touches on is that... the movie absolutely has some racial baggage. Lead roles intended to be Hispanic are played by white non-Hispanic actors, besides Banderas.

That said, last year Antonio Banderas did an interview where someone asked him about Puss In Boots, and he makes a comment about being a visible minority in Hollywood, in an environment where only white people could be heroic.
You also voiced Puss in Boots, and you voiced the Nasonex bee. Is there another animal that you have not voiced yet that you would like to?

No. But what is interesting about that is, actually, I came to this country without knowing the language. So the fact that they call me to do a character just for the use of my voice, not my image, was fantastic, and I love that character for many different reasons. Number one, because I like to do comedy, and I think in comedy is when you find a contrast and decide just to make a big voice for a very little cat. I thought it was very successful, but the thing is that when I got to America, at the beginning, they said to me on the set of The Mambo Kings, "Oh, you're going to stay in America, get ready to play the villain."


Really?

Yeah. "The villains here are black and Hispanics. Those are the villains." And then like three, four, five years later, I got a mask and a hat and my horse. I was a hero in a movie, and the bad guy was blond, he got blue eyes, and he spoke perfect English. And I thought, Hmmm, that's interesting.

But with Puss in Boots, the interesting thing is that the movie is for kids. And the kids are listening to a hero who has an accent, and the bad guy—Billy Bob Thorton specifically—[talks in] perfect English. It's very interesting because it made things change. You send messages that go to the back of your brain—and in this case the back of kids’ brains—for diversity and understanding, that there are no good people and bad people depending on their race or their religion or their social status. So that's why the character was, for me, a little more serious than others.
 

Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,762
UK
One thing Patrick touches on is that... the movie absolutely has some racial baggage. Lead roles intended to be Hispanic are played by white non-Hispanic actors, besides Banderas.

That said, last year Antonio Banderas did an interview where someone asked him about Puss In Boots, and he makes a comment about being a visible minority in Hollywood, in an environment where only white people could be heroic.
You also voiced Puss in Boots, and you voiced the Nasonex bee. Is there another animal that you have not voiced yet that you would like to?

No. But what is interesting about that is, actually, I came to this country without knowing the language. So the fact that they call me to do a character just for the use of my voice, not my image, was fantastic, and I love that character for many different reasons. Number one, because I like to do comedy, and I think in comedy is when you find a contrast and decide just to make a big voice for a very little cat. I thought it was very successful, but the thing is that when I got to America, at the beginning, they said to me on the set of The Mambo Kings, "Oh, you're going to stay in America, get ready to play the villain."


Really?

Yeah. "The villains here are black and Hispanics. Those are the villains." And then like three, four, five years later, I got a mask and a hat and my horse. I was a hero in a movie, and the bad guy was blond, he got blue eyes, and he spoke perfect English. And I thought, Hmmm, that's interesting.

But with Puss in Boots, the interesting thing is that the movie is for kids. And the kids are listening to a hero who has an accent, and the bad guy—Billy Bob Thorton specifically—[talks in] perfect English. It's very interesting because it made things change. You send messages that go to the back of your brain—and in this case the back of kids’ brains—for diversity and understanding, that there are no good people and bad people depending on their race or their religion or their social status. So that's why the character was, for me, a little more serious than others.
Thanks for finding that quote. Representation matters.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,030
David Sims wrote a really good article on Antonio Banderas and how he's under appreciated by the public at large (and Hollywood) and how he's subverted expectations throughout his career with the parts he takes.

 
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SnatcherHunter

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
7,165
One of my favorite OSTs ever. I must have listened to it a million times , and then some more. As mentioned, the choreography and cinematography was on another level. I showed it to my daughter about 2 months ago, and she even got chills watching it.
 
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Khanimus

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
17,935
Greater Vancouver
Robin Hood -> Zorro -> Batman

Funnily enough, there is a Robin Hood movie from 2018 that upon viewing you can't help but think it was a script for a Batman movie with the names changed.
Or a Green Arrow movie.

You just know the pitch was like "Okay. So we don't own the rights to any major superheroes... But, Robin Hood was like... sort of a superhero!"
 
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SneakyBadger

Member
Oct 26, 2017
669
They have a great blog about screenwriting (Wordplay, I think) that has lots of great insight.
Thanks for reminding me. There was a great story on there about one of the writers becoming enamored with a random Caribbean locale on a vacation, and then serendipitously returning to the same place while filming Pirates a decade later. I read it years ago and always meant to dig further into the blog.
 

RestEerie

Member
Aug 20, 2018
9,417
when i first watched this movie back then as a teen, i thought Catherine Zeta Jones is the most gorgeous woman alive.
 

Yossarian

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,459
I do love this movie.

And Scorpion King.

Autocorrect made that ‘Kong’ and now I want to watch Scorpion Kong.
 

ZackieChan

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
5,966
Thanks for reminding me. There was a great story on there about one of the writers becoming enamored with a random Caribbean locale on a vacation, and then serendipitously returning to the same place while filming Pirates a decade later. I read it years ago and always meant to dig further into the blog.
Their article on Indiana Jones being so great because he consistently "fails heroically" was one I enjoyed a lot way back in the 90s when I read it. God I'm old.
 

Cheerilee

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,174
It's probably worth pointing out that the swordfighting in this movie was choreographed by Bob Anderson, a legendary Hollywood swordmaster who worked with Errol Flynn in the 1950's (when Disney's Zorro was on TV), and was responsible for the epic swordfights in the Star Wars original trilogy, The Princess Bride, Highlander, and Lord of the Rings (among many others).
 

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,723
One thing Patrick touches on is that... the movie absolutely has some racial baggage. Lead roles intended to be Hispanic are played by white non-Hispanic actors, besides Banderas.

That said, last year Antonio Banderas did an interview where someone asked him about Puss In Boots, and he makes a comment about being a visible minority in Hollywood, in an environment where only white people could be heroic.
I think having the villains be explicitly racist and classist - something that is actually part of the original Zorro stories, given the emphasis on the need to be kind towards native peoples because they've already seen enough shit - has honestly helped the film age better. Not only does it add a surprising degree of nuance when you come to it for the first time as an adult - Rafael playing on such hatreds as a populist crowd pleaser while himself being the embodiment of all those issues - but in this day and age it is really nice to see a Confederate asshole get what's coming to him. The film gets the oft-forgotten fact that, no, well-written villains do not need to be sympathetic - just comprehensible and distinct. You've got an aspiring dictator and his hired gun with a sick hobby; don't need more than that
 

kIdMuScLe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
818
Man my wife just saw this movie the other day and she asked me why none of the actors is Mexican and why does Catherine doesn’t understand Spanish when her character was supposedly raised in Spain