Machete (2010)

Machete (2010) — SECOND REVIEW [ON BLUE-RAY] Well I’ve already reviewed this film at length so, although I may repeat many points from the original review, I have decided to write his one as an itemized list of awesome things about this movie… [many of these are SPOILERS]
1. The mere fact that this movie exists.  Dare I hold out for Thanksgiving and Werewolf Women of the S.S.? [They’re already doing Hobo with a Shotgun]
2. This movie has four primary villains.  So basically this movie is Danny Trejo vs. the world.
3. Crazy hot women.  Shallow of me, I know, but it’s not like this movie strives for great depth.
4. Danny Trejo, after years of being the most badass part of a number of action movies, has one of his own now.
5. STEVEN SEGAL PLAYS A MEXICAN!
6. Machete jumps out a window and swings down to the next one using not a rope but a BAD GUY’S INTESTINE!
7. Michelle Rodriguez gets shot in the eyes and instead of dying (like she does in most movies), she just shows up later with an eye patch.
8. Jeff Fahey’s henchman dude is the guy who plays Eli on Boardwalk Empire.  Didn’t notice that first time out (largely because Boardwalk Empire hadn’t started yet).
9. Tom Savini’s hitman character Osiris Amanpour doesn’t die.  He just leaves at one point.  Booth: “He’s coming after us.”  Osiris: “No, he’s coming after YOU.”  After that Osiris never shows up again.
10. Bad guys who decide to quit their job instead of fighting Machete.
11. Danny Trejo, who looks like his face was run over by a truck, is implied to have nailed Lindsay Lohan, Alicia Rachel Marek, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jessica Alba.
12. Robert DeNiro appears to not be phoning it in for the first time in… well, a pretty long time at this point.
13. The Crazy Babysitter Twins from Planet Terror return as Crazy Nurse Twins named Mona and Lisa. [It’s actually kind of creepy how Rodriguez so willingly objectifies his own nieces in two separate movies now.]
14. Why is the kid from Spy Kids in this?  Why?
15. “Introducing” Don Johnson… hehe…
16. Jessica Alba sort of nudity.  Actually she was in her underwear (like in the TV ads) but they CGIed it to make her look naked, though you still don’t see the goods.
17. Lindsay Lohan appears naked in some scenes but then uses a body double in others (as evidences by the dissappearance of her freckles).  Inconsistencies like that would damage a more serious movie, but make this one work better.
18. Steven Segal has a henchwoman who over the course of the movie does pretty much nothing at all.  She shoots one woman in the beginning, then just holds a gun menacingly the rest of the movie.
19. Segal, after being impaled: “You know, I could still kill you very easily.  But I know that you’d just be in hell waiting for me.”
20. The kid who only communicates through drawings is Danny Trejo’s son.
21. Cheech Marin offerring Machete giant joints.
22. Cheech as a badass shotgun-toting priest!
23. Lohan becomes an avenging nun! [well actually since she woke up naked in a nunnery she probably just took the only available clothing but still]
24. Everything.  Just everything.
FIRST REVIEW [IN THEATERS] Yes.  Yes!  YES!  For Grindhouse Robert Rodriguez (and others) made fake trailers for schlocky exploitation flicks.  Making trailers for non-existent movies allowed them to fit all sorts of badass stuff they’d like to see into two and a half minutes without having to worry about the other 80-some minutes that make up a movie.  The big question going into this movie was “can that level of awesomeness be sustained over a much longer running time?”  Fuck yes it can.  Because Robert Rodriguez is insane in the best possible way.  He’s far from a perfect film-maker (just about every effort he’s made at family films has been cringe-worthy) but he knows a lot about doing badass things just for the sake of being badass.  So this movie stars the biggest badass of them all: Danny Trejo.  How we’ve made it this long without him headlining a movie is a mystery, but his moment is finally here.  He doesn’t say much but he looks like a mean motherfucker so when he does talk, you listen.  This movie has a bugfuck crazy cast including Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Segal (who got faaaaaaat), and Robert DeNiro in addition to previous Rodriguez collaborators Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, Tom Savini, Carlos Gallardo, and Electra & Elise Avellan.  Speaking of Segal (who really did get very fat), he plays a Mexican.  I’ll repeat that.  Steven Segal plays a Mexican, with an accent and everything.  This movie really nails just how bad of an actor he is, and why that is awesome.  Robert DeNiro is at his best in years going insanely over-the-top as a Texan State Senator.  Don Johnson (who is given an “introducing” prefix in the opening credits) plays every negative stereotype of the South rolled into one mean shitkicker.  Jeff Fahey, whose awesomeness is known to fans of Lost and early 90s movies, is the businessman who sets Machete up.  In case you’re keeping score that’s FOUR primary villains, not even counting assassins played by Shea Whigham and special gore effects legend Tom Savini. Speaking of gore: holy fuck.  The blood does flow.  Also surplus nudity, mostly by no-name actresses but also by Lohan (though the way her freckles mysteriously disappear in one scene, she might have used a body double for some of it) and Alba in a bathing suit, CGI’d to appear naked (or so I’ve read).  The movie ostensibly has social commentary about anti-immigration fervor but you can’t take it all that seriously.  If you are conservative and offended by this movie, I hate you.  Not because your views differ from mine (as do many of my friends) but that anyone could take the “message” of this film that seriously makes my brain hurt.  It’s like Red Dawn.  Instead of deriding it as a jingoistic anti-communist propaganda flick, most people just shout “go Wolverines!”  Don’t overthink it.  So now we have the full Machete film.  Later this year we’re getting Hobo With a Shotgun (which won the fake trailer contest and was shown with Grindhouse in select cities).  I hope this opens the gates for Edgar Wright’s Don’t, Rob Zombie’s Werewolf Women of the S.S., and especially Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving.  These are the types of movies that just make me indescribably happy and I want more.

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