Yesterday I knocked out eight or so quick hits of movies I enjoyed in 2019. I should have mentioned in that first post that I’m talking about movies I watched in that year, not necesarily movies that came out in said year. If that were the case, I probably wouldn’t have much to write about as someone who mainly gets their entertainment from Netflix (digital AND disc, like an O.G.), Amazon Video, the library and Hulu! Let’s get back to it!
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.
After this week we probably won’t hear too much more about Machete Kills because the film debuts this Friday. Before we can start lining up for our tickets, though, director Robert Rodriguez and company have a number of new trailers, clips and posters for us to check out.
Above you’ve got a nice little Sofia Vergara-specific mini-trailer, while below you’ll find an incredibly NSFW clip of her talking to her loyal army of prostitutes.
Michelle Rodriguez and Lady Gaga also got in on the short trailer action:
And finally, here’s Robert Rodriguez and the cast talking about the network of actors he’s amassed throughout his career.
If you’re still not interested in Machete Kills, which opens this Friday, you’re pretty much a lost cause.
Of course, just as soon as we posted about the most recent clips from Machete Kills yesterday we did some more looking around and found even more clips and some brand new images. But, since we don’t want to overload you with Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo craziness, we figured saving some specialness for the weekend would make sense. Above you can see Amber Heard playing Q to Machete’s James Bond as she sets him up with an arsenal of weapons. Meanwhile, below, check out 10 new images from the film featuring Trejo, Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega, Sofia Vergara and more, many of which look like shots from scenes we’ve already seen in various forms.
Machete Kills opens October 11th.
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.
In case you missed it, here’s the first thrilling image of Aaron Paul in Scott Waugh’s adaptation of the Need For Speed video game franchise. [via Entertainment Weekly]
Today’s Amazon Gold Box Deal can get you Rocky: The Undisputed Collection on Blu-ray for $20, a great markdown from the usual $70 price tag. If anyone wants to donate one to the Explosions Are Rad crew, just leave a comment below.
Bold And The Beautiful and The International star Luca Calvani will play the bad guy in Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.CL.E., facing off against Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in the 60s-based spy adaptation. [via Deadline]
Got an extra $579.99 (plus shipping)? Are you also a Terminator fan? Then you might want to pick up the Sideshow Life-Size T-800 bust from Terminator 2. It comes with light-up eyes and a spot in the head so you can futz with the CPU.
Jerry Bruckheimer might return to produce the recently announced Beverly Hills Cop 4. He held the same position on the first two films, but had nothing to do with 3 or the TV pilot. Turns out he’s also working on Bad Boys 3! [via Variety]
And, finally, this came to our attention after we already did the Trailer Time post, but you should definitely check out this Mad Max-esque chase from Machete Kills that turns into a rather unique shoot out thanks to Sofia Vergara’s…equipment. [via Collider]
As obvious fans of explosions and over-the-top movie violence we here at Explosions Are Rad are anxiously awaiting the October 11th release of Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, the sequel to the 2010 Danny Trejo-starring flick that originally saw life as a fake trailer in Grindhouse. To whet our appetite, Rodriguez released the above batch of images via IndieWire featuring Lady Gaga and Charlie Sheen in international posters, the same basic image of Sheen as the President and then images of Amber Heard in front of all kinds of guns and Michelle Rodriguez working with the director.
But that’s not all! Dig this new TV spot for the film you crazy cats:
That bit where he launches the guy back at a helicopter and it explodes makes us giggle like children every time we see it!
The biggest release of the week by far is Louis Letterier’s Now You See Me, the magic-themed heist flick starring Morgan Freeman, Common, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Michael Caine, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco.
How is it possible that a movie featuring Dwayne Johnson, Liam Hemsworth and Emma Roberts didn’t get a wide theatrical release as was the case with Empire State? Maybe it’s because, cool as the movie looks, Johnson just doesn’t fit in with the 70s period piece aesthetic of the film.
TV-wise, Person of Interest: Season Two, Revolution: The Complete First Season, Spartacus: War of the Damned – The Complete Third Season, Da Vinci’s Demons: The Complete First Season and Sinbad: Season One are all available now.
WB has a 20th Anniversary The Fugitive Blu-ray to check out, but there aren’t any special features listed.
We haven’t seen Mulan: Rise of a Warrior, but seeing this movie for sale on Amazon lead us to the above trailer and now it’s definitely on our to-watch list.
Hey, Jean-Claude Van Damme fans both Hard Target and Sudden Death now have fancy new Blu-ray versions. Note that both of these are all regions import discs that come with zero special features, so they might not actually be very fancy.
You guys like multi-packs? We here at Explosions Are Rad LOVE them. As you might expect we’re all over 4 Film Favorites: The Matrix Collection (BD) [Blu-ray] (basically the same thing as the DVD version that’s been out for a while) and the Dusk Till Dawn Blu-Ray/DVD Combo pack which features the three movies as well as Full Tilt Boogie, a documentary shot during filming of Robert Rodriguez’s initial film.
We’re also interested in multipacks with less well known films like Echo Bridge’s 8-Film Fast Action [Blu-ray] which includes People I Know, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Malevolent, Albino Alligator, David Cronenberg’s Existenz, B. Monkey, Dolph Lundgren’s Men Of War and Sean Bean’s Bravo Two Zero.
Finally, if you just can’t get enough Sharknado on Syfy, you can now buy your own copy for repeated watching.
The Grandmaster might have opened on only seven screens last weekend, but it still earned a per-screen average better than any other release. The Ip Man biopic starring Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi opens much wider to around 600 screen this weekend and will hopefully continue making a good deal of cash. [via THR]
There’s been a movie in the works for a while now without a title referred to as “the female Expendables.” As you can probably figure out, it features an all-star group of women kicking ass and blowing things up (presumably). The movie’s already got Gina Carano and Katee Sackhoff on board and now includes Step Up 3D and You’re Next star Sharni Vinson. [via Collider]
Word on the street is that Sony’s making a TV series based on Robert Rodriguez’s excellent El Mariachi trilogy. Great news, right? Well, not so great when you find out they’re not involving Rodriguez in the process and won’t even return his phone calls on the subject. Ouch. [via Deadline]
If you like Johnny Depp being all wacky and Jack Sparrow-y then you’ll be interested to learn that the fifth Pirates movie now has an official title: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. [via This Is Infamous]
In my post about the exceptionally disappointing Death Proof, I talked about how excited I was about Grindhouse, the combined efforts of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez to recreate the feeling of going to a 70s drive-in complete with double bill and even trailers for movies that didn’t–at the time–exist. What I forgot to mention was how inundated we were with Grindhouse stuff at the time for Wizard. I was working in the research department at the time, which meant it was my job to find images to go along with features and news stories. As you might expect, there was a good deal of Grindhouse coverage leading up to the movies, but not a lot of images released. While watching Planet Terror again last night I kept having these weird flashes when particular scenes came on. At first I thought I was just remembering the movie from the first time I watched it a few years ago, but then I realized that they were the stills we kept running over and over in the mag.
Anyway, I was flipping through my DVDs last night to see if there was anything I wanted to watch more than the intended night’s flick X2 and stopped as soon as I saw Planet Terror. I had completely forgotten that I had picked the movie up on one of my many trips through the sale racks of my nearby Blockbuster before it closed down. Bonus! Aside from the freeze frames I mentioned above, I didn’t remember much of the movie other than it had zombie-esque people attacking a girl with a gun leg and a guy who owns a barbecue joint.
Unlike Death Proof, I had a delightful time watching Planet Terror. I think the difference between those two movies is that Rodriguez had a much better understanding of what makes the kinds of movies he was paying homage to work than Tarantino did, which is strange because Quentin has made a whole career based on taking a genre and updating it while also making callbacks to other movies. As far as I’m concerned, Rodriguez completely nailed the zombie outbreak story. He dealt with elements we’ve seen since Night Of The Living Dead but also turned a lot of them on their ears (what happens to Dakota’s son, what happens to Naveen Andrew, etc.). He did a great job of presenting the characters and getting me interested in them–even if it is because of the very B-movie idea that they’re just cool looking so I want to know what happens to them–before getting into the zombie goodness.
And once we do get into the zombie goodness, it’s SOOO good. It looks like some of the blood might have been added with CGI, but for the most part it looks so real and good and gross and bloody that those little bits of computer generated saturation didn’t bother me. The gore is fantastic and something that I’ve missed a lot from most of the modern horror movies I’ve seen lately (maybe I’m just watching the wrong ones, but I felt like I hadn’t seen this kind of big budget feel in a gore-filled horror flick in a while). I also really loved the ending which didn’t just leave our heroes wondering what was happening with the rest of the world, but showing a bit of it. There was something very 70s feeling about it, which was the whole point.
While watching the movie, I came to the realization that Robert Rodriguez might be the most consistent of the directors I like. Quentin really faltered with Death Proof, but I also tried to watch Jackie Brown in the past year or two and was bored to tears. I like the rest of his movies, but those are two pretty big strikes. Meanwhile, Kevin Smith seems to have gone down in quality over the past few years, especially with Cop Out. However, I’m excited about Red State, so he’s in a little better shape in my book. Then you’ve got Rodriguez who has never disappointed me. I’ve watched El Mariachi, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Sin City, Planet Terror and Machete and have never once been less than impressed. I’m actually excited about delving into his kid friendly flicks like the Spy Kids movies, Shorts and Shark Boy & Lava Girl because I bet they have as much fun with the tropes of those genres as he does with the ones he’s played with in his more grown up flicks.