January 2011

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Directed by Carl Reiner. Starring Armand Assante, Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks, Dukes Of Hazzard 2), Kate Nelligan (Wolf, Cider House Rules), Sean Young (Blade Runner, Stripes, Dune, Ace Ventura:Pet Detective, Dr. Jekyll And Ms. Hyde), Christopher McDonald (Dukes Of Hazzard 2, Fanboys, Superhero Movie, Requiem For A Dream, SLC Punk!), and James Remar (Pineapple Express, The Girl Next Door, 48 Hrs).

Also, bit parts by Jane Lynch (who’s been in some things we’ve watched recently, such as Fifty Pills, Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story, the Area 57 failed pilot, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Lemony Snicket’s, and Role Models) and Kevin Michael Richardson (who has voiced a lot of cartoons we’ve watched recently, such as Batman:The Brave And The Bold, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Wolverine & The X-Men, The Batman, and The PJs).

QUIRKS: An early spoof movie. While it spoofs Double Indemnity, Cape Fear, 9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and other movies, it is for the most part NOT a montage of spoofed scenes, but it’s own movie. Just one that doesn’t take itself seriously. At all. It’s actually a quite ridiculous comedy/crime movie.

BAD STUFF: The jokes are NOT top notch. They go for the corny, easy, obvious joke whenever possible. It can be a bit painful at times.

CONCLUSION: Although the jokes were cornily painful at times, this was still a fun movie to watch just for ridiculousness’s sake. However, there are many spoof and comedy movies that are much funnier than this. Carl Reiner fortunately stopped directing movies soon after this.

RATINGS: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: Clint: 6/10. Carolyn: 7/10. Clint gave it a generic pass, while Carolyn found it better than that.

RECOMMENDATION: See this on a slow night when you want some easy comedy watching. Don’t expect anything brilliant.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Naked Gun (which is funnier).

MOVIE QUOTE: Prison Reporter: Mr. Ravine, how does it feel to have slept with a murderess?
Ned Ravine: It’s better than sleeping with a Ninja Turtle.

COINCIDENCES: (Role Models, Fatal Instinct) 2 movies within a day that had scenes of flirting innuendo involving hot dogs.
(Dukes Of Hazzard 2, Fatal Instinct) 2 movies within a week that had Sherilyn Fenn AND Christopher McDonald.

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Co-directed by Ethan Maniquis (his first directing credit). Written *AND* Directed by Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror, Sin City, Spy Kids, The Faculty, 1 segment of Four Rooms). Co-written by Alvaro Rodriguez.

Starring Danny Trejo (Predators, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Eyeborgs, Fanboys, Smiley Face, The Devil’s Rejects, Anchorman, Trojan War, Enrique on King Of The Hill, etc etc) as Machete. He finally has a LEAD role, after being a supporting or incidental character in hundreds of movies (they killed him way too early in Predators). Apparently the Machete character was also in Spy Kids 1-3. (Wow, I may finally have a reason to watch those movies??) Apparently this is actually the FIFTH movie with the Machete character in it.

The Senator is played by Robert Deniro (Brazil, Meet The Fockers, Wag The Dog, Stardust, etc etc). Yvette the INS (ICE) agent played by Jessica Alba (Dark Angel, Invisible Woman in the Fantastic Four movies, Sin City). Torrez is played by Steven Seagal (Cock Puncher in The Onion Movie, The Patriot) — the first time Seagal has played an outright villain. Luz is played by Michelle Rodriguez (Trudy in Avatar, Resident Evil 1, Lost). Jeff Fahey. Cheech Marin (i.e. Cheech & Chong Cheech). Don Johnson (Miami Vice). Lindsay Lohan (cast appropriately!).

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]Illegal immigrant murders U.S. citizens, escaps prosecution.

QUIRKS: Based on the fake trailer shown between the 2 halves of the Grindhouse double feature movie. And this movie is grindhouse in every sense of the word. Crazy gore, cheesy dialogue, ridiculous plots and situations. Everything that makes movies great escapism. This is to Mexican exploitation what Black Dynamite is to black exploitation. Lots of violence. Plenty of sex — Machete gets laid four times. (Three if you count a threesome as once.) MACHETE IS A BADASS. END OF STORY.

VISUALS: Modern production values with fake 1970’s-film-looking effects overdubbed to make it look old while actually being new. And while you get to see some Jessical Alba nudity, IT ISN’T REAL, it’s computer-generated. What a fucking prude. She’s the Milli Vanilli of the titty world.

SOUNDTRACK: Retro 1970s Mexican feel.


MORALS: There’s the law–and there’s what’s right.

POLITICS: Immigration politics looked at from interesting angles. Of course, this was written way before the unconstitutional Arizona law was passed. But that won’t stop people from thinking this is some liberal conspiracy commentary on the Arizona law. Hah!

GOOD STUFF: Great action. Ridiculous deaths. Ridiculous situations. A great feeling of closure. Epic fights and battles. Epic cars with guns on them. What’s not to like?

BAD STUFF: Some people will find this cheesy. Get over yourselves. This isn’t supposed to be a 100% serious movie. If every movie had to be serious, I’d kill myself.

CONCLUSION: Serious grindhouse action at its finest. We came in with high expectations and was still pleasantly surprised. Plus, it’s one of those movies that you THINK is over, and then it keeps going for awhile after that, and you’re all happy that it didn’t end prematurely.

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.4/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.5/5 stars–well played, Netflix).


SIMILAR MOVIES: Grindhouse:Planet Terror, to some extent.


Machete: Machete don’t text. — Apparently after Rodriguez thought of this movie and told Danny Trejo about it, Trejo kept calling him at random hours of the day trying to convince him to make this movie. Eventually, Rodriguez asked him to text him instead of keeping up with the voice-call harassment. Trejo simply responded: “Machete don’t text.” It’s hilarious that this was incorporated into the actual film!

Sartana: We didn’t cross the border. The border crossed us.

Padre Benito del Toro: I absolve you of all your sins. Now get the fuck out.

Sartana: Well, there’s the law and there’s what’s right. I’m gonna do what’s right.


Ian B’s review. “This isn’t a spoof, but Rodriguez knows how to push every scene just far enough over the top to make it funny without entering completely silly territory.”

Dr. Dark gives it his “highest recommendation”.



Outlaw Vern’s review, funny as always. “Even though he has these directors who love him like Rodriguez and Rob Zombie he’s still just getting these supporting roles or cameos and then for his day job he still has to fight some Eyeborgs or something.” He also reviewed the script before the movie came out.


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