10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

Written by: on January 29th, 2012

Theatrical Release Date: Chile / USA, 2007
Director: Erensto Diaz Espinoza
Writer: Erensto Diaz Espinoza
Cast: Marko Zaror, María Elena Swett, Ariel Mateluna, Mauricio Pesutic, Iván Jara, Jack Arama, Gina Aguad, Eduardo Castro, Arturo Ruiz Tagle, Pablo Díaz, Francisco Castro, Juan Pablo Miranda

DVD Released: October 6th, 2009
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78.1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish, Dolby Digital Stereo Spanish
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98

Synopsis: The brutal murder of mom and dad cause one brother to be institutionalized and the other to become a comic book superhero. But what to wear?

Mirageman realistically postulates a vigilante who fancies himself a cross between Spiderman and Batman. He doesn’t have Spidey’s super powers or the caped crusader’s super scientific gadgets and unlimited funds. The film presents a humorous and introspective look at the ups and downs of Mirageman’s career, including his fickle standing with the public at large and the authorities. A major aspect is his relationship with a television info babe whose ambitions and scruples mirror those of Chuck Tatum from Ace In The Hole.

This may be the ultimate Marko Zaror role as it doesn’t require acting chops to play a Clark Kent type. All he has to do is be the ultimate martial arts expert, and he’s quite convincing in that capacity. He’s quite humorous as well but that’s due to the script’s situational humor rather than his performance. The script is engaging with many twists and turns and incorporates lots of little bits of business and a rather large heaping of social commentary amidst the righteous brawls with assorted criminals and lowlifes. The direction is fine and sometimes inspired, including some striking colored pencil sketches that are used to sparse but good effect as inserts, and are even animated at one point.

The action scenes are quite exciting and though undercranking and fast edits are utilized there is also a high degree of physicality involved. This method achieves a credibility that is largely absent from modern action features. Viewers should be advised that once the pedophilia ring aspect kicks in the film becomes violent and brutal with numerous casualties.

The DVD:

This being a low budget picture from Chile, the DVD presentation must be applauded. It’s in anamorphic widescreen with 2.0 and 5.1 Spanish soundtracks (ditto English dubs) and error-free English subtitles. A brief featurette reveals the effort and dedication afforded to creating the action sequences.

Anyone expecting a Hollywood blockbuster superhero film will be sorely disappointed. Genre aficionados that appreciate what can be achieved with skill, care, and a screw loose somewhere will greatly enjoy this epic tale of good guys, bad guys, and the media.

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