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Posts Tagged ‘grindhouse’

Review: Machete

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

“If you’re gonna hire Machete to kill the bad guy, you better make damn sure the bad guy isn’t you!”

As uttered in the original fake trailer attached to Grindhouse in 2007, that line sums up the charm of Machete as both a fleeting concept and, now, a feature-length endeavor. Robert Rodriguez has expanded that two-minute dose of goofy Mexploitation thrills into a somewhat ungainly, but mostly fun 105 minutes.

Danny Trejo, second cousin to Rodriguez, returns as the former Federale-turned-freedom fighter, a super-stoic anti-hero with a knack for taking out the bad guys and lovin’ the ladies. In the former group falls Robert De Niro as a Texas senator hellbent on keeping immigrants out of this great land of his, Jeff Fahey as his shady right-hand man, Don Johnson as a proud minuteman and Steven Seagal as the drug lord who cost Machete his family. Among the latter ranks are Michelle Rodriguez as a Che-like leader of the downtrodden, Jessica Alba as the ICE agent on her tail and Lindsay Lohan as Fahey’s incest-inviting dope of a daughter. (And that’s not even to mention the supporting appearances by Shea Whigham, Tom Savini and Cheech Marin.)

As you can see, things are a little more crowded this time around, and Rodriguez is as much a sucker for inventing icons as he’s ever been. In fact, he gets so caught up in including gun-wielding babes donning eye patches and nun’s habits, hot twin nurses, shotgun-shooting priests and henchmen inexplicably wearing wrestling masks that he almost forgets that Machete ought to be the star of his own show. When he’s in the spotlight, Trejo milks his trademark gruff charm for all its worth, deadpanning about how “Machete don’t text” and doing things with gardening tools and human intestines that they weren’t necessarily designed for.

These over-the-top moments help liven things up amid all the politics and plot that one’s left wishing that there were a few more of them, if not a few less minutes in between what’s already there. (How this managed to bloat beyond ninety minutes, I’ll never know.) Rodriguez is credited co-writer and co-director here, sharing respective responsibility with cousin Álvaro Rodríguez and cohort Ethan Maniquis in addition to cranking out a fittingly flavorful score with his band, Chingon

Beyond making sure that every explosion has an adequately cheesy polish and luring all the right friends into town, though, his presence isn’t a deeply felt one. Cheap even beyond its intentions — safety cones meant to re-direct traffic can clearly be seen in shots, the trademark “grindhouse” scratches and dirt disappear once the title appears, and many shots are lifted directly from the fake trailer itself — it’s lacking in his Desperado-era flair. Hell, even Shorts looked like more of a movie than this does

But hey, no one’s asking for much and everyone’s in on the joke: Marin as pot smoker, De Niro as taxi driver, Seagal as Mexican and so on… except for maybe Alba. Whereas Michelle Rodriguez owns her empowered persona, Alba aims for earnest sincerity and reinforces her status as primo eye candy above all else. Lohan, on the other hand, gets to lampoon her public image a bit (with the help of a body double), while Seagal proves to be the best sport in the bunch by following suit. De Niro delivers hokey campaign speeches with ease, Fahey sweats like nobody around, and as the resident redneck, Johnson is merely nibbling on his scenery in comparison to his colleagues.

Like I said: it’s a little ungainly, a bit crowded, but pretty much what you’d expect for a real movie based on a fake trailer. In a summer that’s been all about low expectations, Machete feels like the right kind of goofy high note on which to end the season.

Original article by Will Goss September 2nd, 2010

© Copyright (c) Cinematical 2010

Grindhouse Getting Split?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Sydney Tamiia Poitier is Jungle Julia in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof.

Weinstein is considering splitting Grindhouse. Read on:

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse seemed like a “sure thing” for The Weinstein Co. The edgy flick has two great genre filmmakers who have cult followings, it’s gotten great media coverage, solid reviews, and the studio spent $30 million on marketing. But the exploitation flick-inspired double feature opened with just $12 million. Audiences just didn’t show up for it.

And now, TWC honcho Harvey Weinstein is pondering splitting the film in two, inserting addition footage, and re-releasing them individually — that’s straight from the horse’s mouth to That was already the plan for the European release, but we’ll see the same scenario play out in North America if Harv deems it doable.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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Quentin Tarantino Presents: Death Proof Live

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007


Those of you in and around the Hollywood area will get a chance to meet Quentin Tarantino and have the man, himself sign your copy of the Death Proof soundtrack. Read on:

There is no question that Grindhouse is the uber hyped movie event of Spring 2007.

And the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s portion of the film, Death Proof, is quickly shaping up to be the cinematic mix-tape of the season, as well.

Seeing the movie is one thing. Listening to the soundtrack another. But what about meeting the main man himself?

Yup, that’s right, QT will be descending upon the Virgin Megastore in beautiful Hollywood to sign copies of the soundtrack he put together.

If you hanker to meet the man and discuss his sonic fetish in full detail all you must to do is purchase the Death Proof OST at the Virgin Megastore on Sunset and you will receive a wristband that gets you a place in line to have your copy autographed.

Here’s the details:

Meet Quentin Tarantino Tuesday, April 10th at 7pm
Virgin Megastore Sunset
8000 Sunset Blvd (at Crescent Heights)
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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Wednesday, March 28th, 2007


Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriquez celebrates the low-budget, exploitation movies of the 1960’s and 70’s. Read on:

Grindhouse is the latest film by Quentin Tarantino, a celebration if not culmination of his lifetime love for B-, C- and Z-grade exploitation movies. Yet strangely enough, this is not his best work. A groundbreaking co-production with longtime creative partner Robert Rodriguez, the anthology aims to recall the low budget double-feature format pioneered in the 1960s and ’70s, but update its formulas with modern-day money and technical know-how. While this appears to have liberated Rodriguez, a director who has toiled for more than a decade in otherwise overdressed genre pictures, it curiously has exposed Tarantino’s filmmaking Achilles’ heel — namely, his inability to distinguish when that celebration of movie magic interferes with a well-told tale.

At the same time, there are so many amazing and innovative ideas in Tarantino’s pastiche-cum-homage that it’s hard to hold his section in too low regard, particularly given its wealth of breathtaking action sequences and one particularly powerful performance. So even if Rodriguez’ effort surpasses his headliner’s by an outright star or so (consider it a four-and-a-halfer to Tarantino’s three-and-a-half), this tribute to cinema’s exploitative dregs is some of the most dynamic and engaging filmmaking produced in years.

At three-plus hours, Grindhouse is comprised of two short films, Planet Terror and Death Proof, which are connected by a series of fake trailers shot by industry colleagues like Eli Roth (Hostel) and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead). Rodriguez’ Planet Terror is presented first, presumably because he is the lesser-known of the two directors, but his proves to be the better movie and more faithful interpretation of the grindhouse “ethos.” In the film, Freddy Rodriguez (Lady in the Water) plays Wray, a traveler with a shady past who becomes the unlikely savior for a band of survivors when the rest of humanity succumbs to a mysterious disease that turns them into zombies.

Predictably, there are several other characters acting out their own little melodramas against the backdrop of this larger event: William (Josh Brolin) and Dakota Block (Marley Shelton) are locked into a cycle of jealousy and revenge as their marriage slowly falls apart; Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan) tries to rebuild her life when she leaves her job as a go-go dancer, only to find her dreams of being a stand-up comic shattered when she loses her leg in a zombie attack; Sheriff Hague (Michael Biehn) must uncover the secrets of Wray’s background while uncovering the recipe for his brother J.T.’s (Jeff Fahey) tasty barbeque; and scientist Abby (Naveen Andrews) tries to find a cure for the zombie “infection,” while attempting to outrun a general hell-bent on controlling the disease for his own fiendish purposes.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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Grindhouse DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster – Style A

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007


Grindhouse DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster – Style A
Two 60-minute horror movies, “Planet Terror” (written/directed by Robert Rodriguez) which explores an alien world eerily familiar to ours; and “Death Proof” (written/directed by Quentin Tarantino), a rip-roaring slasher flick where the killer pursues his victims with a car rather than a knife.

Cast: Kurt Russell, Rose McGowan, Rosario Dawson, Jeff Fahey, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini; Directed by: Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof), Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror)

View the Grinhouse Trailer

In theaters: April 6th, 2007

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A Grindhouse Comes to L.A.

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Quentin Tarantino in Grindhouse

If you’re going to be in the Los Angeles area, from March 4-April 20th, you might want to check out the Los Angeles Grindhouse Festival 2007. Read on:

As Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s ode to exploitation Grindhouse gears up for an April 6th release, Tarantino himself will be celebrating the event with the New Beverly Cinema in Lost Angeles, where Quentin Tarantino Presents the Los Angeles Grindhouse Festival 2007 will take place from March 4th – April 30th, 2007.

The fest will “be a showcase for the risqué films exploiting sex, violence, and extreme subject matter from the 1970s that inspired Grindhouse,” with prints from Tarantino’s own library to be used — many of which haven’t been publicly screened or available on home video in decades.

“Grindhouse is a tribute to the movies I have loved for decades that have mostly been under-appreciated and forgotten,” states Tarantino. “I’m thrilled to have this chance to show the original works for a new generation to discover, and to give Los Angeles the rare opportunity to see these gems on the big screen.”

Theme nights during the festival will include the “Euro Sex Comedies Triple Feature,” the “Back-To-Back Kung Fu Superstar Angela Mao Double Feature,” the “All Blood Triple Feature,” and more.

Click on the link below for more details:

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View the trailer

In Theaters: April 6th, 2007

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