Wednesday, September 22, 2010


As per usual with Robert Rodriguez, his trailer is better than the film itself. Don’t get me wrong…I had a lot of fun with his latest glop-fest, Machete – there is a ton to laugh and wince at and it’s clear that Rodriguez is reveling in the idea of making a Mexploitation film. But honestly – it’s crap…total garbage that’s slightly redeemed by a few witty lines, some crazy action, and the sight of character actor/bad-guy extraordinaire Danny Trejo in a lead role. Sadly, it's clear to me that Rodriguez isn't interested in ever making a real film; he’s all about genre riffs and nothing more. And that's fine. There’s a small market for this sort of cheap schlock so if not Rodriguez then who? But this is all he's got.

I wasn't a huge fan of Grind House overall, but I enjoyed Planet Terror more than Death Proof (still the one thing from QT I am not down with; maybe I need to see it again), and while I enjoyed Machete more than Planet Terror, I just keep waiting for Rodriguez to come alive as a real, honest to goodness filmmaker. Who knows what he "directed" in Machete considering the co-director credit he shares with that inflated assistant guy. But I will say this – it was fucking cool as hell to see Danny Trejo in a lead role...he's totally fucking awesome. His face alone speaks 1,000 words. Cheech Marin has a sweet cameo. You see some of Lindsay’s Lohans. Robert de Niro was a hoot and was clearly having a blast playing the racist senator. Jessica Alba (who is a terrible actress) and Michelle Rodriguez (who plays the same exact character in every single movie she appears in) were extremely hot. Steven Seagal's stuff is fairly funny (it dawned on me in the theater – other than his bit in Executive Decision, I've never seen Seagal on the big screen). But you know what the best part of the movie was for me? JEFF FAHEY. This guy fucking OWNED whenever he was on screen. When he goes into the house to rescue his daughter – highlight of the film.

The violence is extra gory and brutal and gloppy, but at the same time, aggressively silly. People have their head's blown off with shot-guns, limbs are sliced off in every direction, and sometimes, more than one person is decapitated in the same shot. Trust me...I've spoiled nothing. This is Taco Bell Cinema. And this is what it seems that Rodriguez wants to do for most of his career. He has this weird thing with making these types of movies and then doing the Spy Kids films -- it's almost like he's atoning for the atrocities he depicts in his splatter fests with a kiddie franchise. But if you ask me, I want something like Sin City again. Hell, I’d even settle for fuckin’ Desperado; that was an AWESOME movie to be OBSESSED with at the tender age of 15. Rodriguez needs to do something with more meat, more substance. And he needs to learn how to move his fucking camera! I swear to Christ -- every shot in Machete is done with a static camera set-up. Sin City had visual splendor. Machete is just animalistic. I guess it’s almost impossible, and sort of pointless, to review a work like Machete. It is what it is as they’d say. Wait a minute…I didn’t even discuss the plot…hahahahahaha!!!

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