Friday Fisticuffs Blu-Review: Machete Kills (2013)

machete kills I get a lot of random PR emails. I’m not sure how I got on some of the lists and a lot of them wind up in the ol’ trash bin, but every now and then I get one I’m really excited about. Once such PR email asked if I’d be interested in a review copy of Machete Kills. Hell yes, of course I was! Life got a bit in the way so this review is going up later than I intended, but I really wanted to add my voice to the choirs praising Robert Rodriguez’s latest film.

I didn’t remember much about the first film and thought about going back and re-watching that one again, but a quick read of my own review helped fill in the blanks. This time around, everyone’s favorite former Federale Machete gets sent on a mission by the president (Charlie Sheen) to find out what bad guy Demian Bichir is up to. As it turns out, he’s about to launch a rocket and has hooked a dead man’s switch up to his own heart. Things don’t go so well for him, but his heart goes on Celine Dion-style.

Eventually we find out that Luther Voz (Mel Gibson) is the real bad guy who also has space-based plans. Guys, there’s a lot going on in this movie. Machete runs afoul of a face-changing killer called The Chameleon played by Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gaga and Antonia Banderas. Actors like Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Spy Kids star Alexa Vega and Tom Savini return for the fun alongside Rodriguez newcomers Amber Heard, Sofia Vergara and even Vanessa Hudgens.

This film was an over-the-top smorgasbord of awesomeness that oozes with Rodriguez’s style and charm. Every time I watch one of his movies, I can feel how much he enjoys making these things. I can relate to his desire to make a variety of different kinds of art and envy the way he’s figured out how to bring those visions to fruition. He also has the uncanny ability to bring in a variety of famous actors who in this case don’t distract from the story because the whole thing is already ramped up to 11 to begin with.

I haven’t had a chance to go through the deleted and extended scenes at all but the Making Machete Kills featurette on the Blu-ray was pretty great. If you’re not familiar with how Rodriguez makes movies, this will give you a really good idea. If you are familiar, it’s a fun addition to what you already know with this specific cast.

Every time I finish one of Rodriguez’s movies I feel creatively charged and have a renewed respect for and love of movies. This guy is really doing it the way he wants to and I respect that. Plus, he makes super fun movies of which Machete Kills is a great example.

Friday Night Fights: Riggs Vs. Mr. Joshua (1987)

*Friday Night Fights presents crazy fight and battle scenes from movies with little-to-no context. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll probably want to skip the clip. *

It might be hard to remember now, but there was once a time where we didn’t want to see Mel Gibson get his ass handed to him. In fact, when Lethal Weapon came out back in 1987 he was a bonafide hero. The film, written by Shane Black and directed by Richard Donner is still an action classic, thanks in no small part to this knock-down, drag-out fight. In the rain. With Busey. It’s just fantastic.

You’ve already been warned, but this IS the end of the movie, so if you’ve somehow never seen Lethal Weapon, this is SPOILER-tastic. Seriously though, how have you never seen Lethal Weapon?

 

Machete Kills Unloads Two Clips Into Your Eyeholes

Man Max Crossover? We’ve spilled a good deal of digital ink on the subject of Machete Kills here at Explosions Are Rad and we’re not done yet. Even after posting all kinds of trailers, teasers, clips, posters and images, we’re alway up for checking out a few more. First up we’ve got the new Red Band (read: NSFW) trailer from the Robert Rodriguez film:

After that, feast your eyes on the lady-filled new clip featuring Alexa Vega, Sofia Vergara and a small army of other weapon wielding women:

Machete Kills opens October 11th.

The Expendables 3 Official Synopsis Goes Old & New School

expendables 2 stallon crews stathamWanna know what’s really up with The Expendables 3? Check out the official press release from LionsGate and Millennium Films:

LIONSGATE AND MILLENNIUM FILMS COMMENCE

PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY ON ‘THE EXPENDABLES 3

Lionsgate Will Distribute Action Thriller on August 15, 2014 in North America and the UK

SANTA MONICA, CA (August 19, 2013) – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Millennium Films will begin principal photography today on THE EXPENDABLES 3, the third installment of THE EXPENDABLES action-thriller franchise, with production shooting on location in Bulgaria and at Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia.

THE EXPENDABLES 3 will feature Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to their roles in the first two films with Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford joining the all-star cast along with Kellan Lutz, MMA star Ronda Rousey, welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell.

Patrick Hughes (RED HILL) will direct the film, with veteran Dan Bradley (The BOURNE franchise; MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, QUANTUM OF SOLACE) directing the second unit.  THE EXPENDABLES 3 is written by Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt, who previously teamed on OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, and Sylvester Stallone. Avi Lerner, Kevin King-Templeton, Danny Lerner and Les Weldon are producing THE EXPENDABLES 3.  Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson and John Thompson are executive producing. Lionsgate will release THE EXPENDABLES 3 in North America and the UK on August 15, 2014.

In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

The production will be overseen by Lionsgate’s Jason Constantine and Eda Kowan.

The first two installments of THE EXPENDABLES have grossed nearly $600 million in combined global box office.

It’s cool to finally have a story for the second sequel in the franchise. Note that a few names have been left out of the release like Jackie Chan, Nic Cage, Milla Jovovich and Mickey Rourke. It’s possible those roles just couldn’t be worked out or that they’re being held in reserve for a later announcement.

[via Collider]

The Expendables 3 Enlists Antonio Banderas & Mel Gibson

After months and months of speculation about The Expendables 3 casting, we’re finally getting some more concrete names attached to the action star jamboree that’s supposed to shoot this fall.  Earlier this week we wrote about Expendables creator Sylvester Stallone heading to Twitter to announce that Harrison Ford would be replacing Bruce Willis in the third installment, a decision that apparently had to do with Willis wanting an extra million to film for four days.

Stallone has been radio silent on Twitter since supposedly calling Willis greedy and lazy, but his people did talk to TheWrap, confirming one long-rumored player and announcing another. The site reported that Mel Gibson has officially signed on to play opposite Stallone and also noted that Antonio Banderas — Sly’s Assassins co-star and one of Robert Rodriguez’s go-to guys — will be joining in on the festivities.

The core Expendables team of Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture are expected to return as is Arnold Schwarzenegger who has appeared in both films. Mickey Rourke’s Tool is also rumored to come back after not appearing in the second film. Jackie Chan, Milla Jovovich, Wesley Snipes and Steven Seagal have all been talked about as have real life fighters Ronda Rousey and Victor Ortiz. Co-written by Stallone and directed by Red Hill‘s Patrick Houghes, Expendables 3 is schedule to hit theaters on August 15, 2014.

Trejo Answers President Sheen’s Call In Machete Kills Trailer

“The enemy might have a missile, but we have Machete.” That line from the most recent Machete Kills trailer perfectly encapsulates this franchise. It’s cool, it’s bombastic and it’s a little silly.

What started as a fake Grindhouse trailer has turned into a pair of movies with a third in the works. Director Robert Rodriguez reunited with regular collaborator Danny Trejo and also brought in an impressive cast of characters including Michelle Rodriguez, Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga, Amber Heard, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jessica Alba and a legion of others.

The plot, if it matters, finds the President (Sheen) asking Machete (Trejo) to stop the bad guy (Gibson) from blowing up Washington, D.C. with a missile. Said bag guy has his own army of “super soldiers” standing between him and our hero. Carnage will certainly ensue.

Machete Kills opens October 11th.

Awesome Aussies: Mad Max (1979) & Mad Max 2 (1981)

After watching Not Quite Hollywood, I came to the depressing realization that I’ve never actually seen the original Mad Max. Looking to correct that immediately, I added it to the top of my queue and got to watching it last week. Man, this movie is out of control. Tarantino mentioned in NQH that these are the kinds of movies that really suck you in because you know that these are real people doing real stunts. I don’t remember if he was talking about Mad Max specifically, but you really get the sense that everything you’re seeing is really happening because you know at least some of it is really happening. That out of control car crash? Is that one of the ones that almost got someone killed? Did that arm really get run over? Holy shit!!! It’s the same feeling I get when I watch Thai movies like The Protector and Ong-Bak or older Jackie Chan movies (you know, ones where he’s not playing the schtick for the kiddies).

Anyway, the parts where Max isn’t on screen can be a bit dull. The idea behind the movie is that we’re in Australia after some kind of global apocalypse. Max, played of course by Mel Gibson, is a cop who takes out a crazy car bandit who goes by the name of Nightrider. This makes Nightrider’s former gang pretty peeved and they go after Max and his friends. From there you get a lot of car crashes and killings. Unfortunately, Max gets sent over the edge with some pretty terrible stuff happening that kind of informs not only his character in the rest of the series but also his character in the Lethal Weapon series. Anyway, the poster is rad, right? So’s the movie. Give it a watch either for the first time or because it’s been awhile.

Unlike Mad Max, I know I’ve seen Mad Max 2, or as it’s called in the States Road Warrior, once at a Manly Movie Night and maybe one other time, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember more than the very basic premise of Max going after a gang of car marauders, this time even crazier with weirder cars lead by a guy named Humungus sporting a Jason Voorhees hockey mask. There’s more to it, taking into account the fact that Max is actually helping a group of people who are running an oil rig from Humungus and his crew, a little kid with a super-sharp boomerang and one of the best dog actors I’ve ever seen. Seriously, dog’s got skillz.

Anyway, there’s something about Mad Max 2 that takes it away from the original. It’s a lot bigger and weirder with more larger than life villains with cooler cars, but it feels less real thanks to a lot of those. You still get Gibson being cold, hard and generally badass but he spends less time in his pimp ride and more hanging out with a dude who built his own helicopter on a mountain and in a compound.

Director George Miller, who also directed the original and oddly enough Happy Feet and Babe: Pig In The City (weird right?), seemed to pick up on some cool elements from the original without bringing over the actual coolest moments and making this a completely balls to the wall nutzo crazy fest. Instead, we still get our somewhat boring down moments just like in the first one. Don’t be mistaken, there is a truly ass kicking car chase at the end of the movie that makes it worth while and so far, this is the best Mad Max sequel (I HAAAAATE Thunderdome). Heck that movie seemed to take the one cool kid with the boomerang and turn him into an entire clan of weirdo dummy children that I wanted to punch in the face individually but can’t because, you know, it’s a movie. Ah well, it’s still a fun ride (no pun intended) and worth the price of admission (a Netflix rental). I’ve got a super trashy Drive In 50-pack along with a much smaller kung fu DVD pack coming in the mail which will surely be far more disappointing. Especially Black Hooker.