800 Bullets ★★½ 800 Balas 2002
Director Iglesia pays tribute to the films of Sergio Leone in this Spanish dramatic comedy. Fourteen-year-old Carlos (Castro) runs away from his uptight widowed mother, Laura (Maura), in search of his paternal grandfather. He finds his grandfather Julian (Gracia) living in Almeria, a region in Spain that doubled for the American West in countless spaghetti westerns. Julian, a former stuntman, is now an alcoholic employee of a theme park cobbled together from the abandoned sets of old cowboy movies. Julian and his fellow stuntmen welcome Carlos into their band of Lost Boys, that is, until Laura shows up, threatening to close the party down. Iglesia has great fun orchestrating complex comedic set pieces, but has trouble balancing the dramatic tone in the last act. 123m/C DVD . Sancho Gracia, Carmen Maura, Eusebio Poncela, Terele Pavez, Angel de Andres Lopez, Luis Castro; D: Alex de la Iglesia; C: Flavio Martinez Labiano; M: Roque Banos.