El Mariachi

Bedhead 2

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. It’s a sad day for Robert Rodriguez. His latest movie, Machete Kills, is a dud at the box office with his lowest wide-release opening of all time. Yes, even lower than Shorts. But if the Machete sequel is neither good nor popular, that doesn’t mean we can’t spend this weekend enjoying Rodriguez’s other work. Specifically, let’s go back to the beginning and check out his first film. No, not El Mariachi. Before even that landmark low-budget breakout, he made an 8-minute short while a student at the University of Texas called Bedhead. Made in 1990 with an $800 budget and employing his siblings as the cast and other relatives as the crew, Rodriguez co-wrote the script with brother David (also the title character) and friend Bryant Delafosse. He was his own DP, shooting on 16mm with a wind-up camera (and no synch sound), and his own editor, cutting on video, maybe even using the double-VCR system he’d been working with as a kid. He also animated the opening credits sequence. While El Mariachi is better known for being his Hollywood calling card, Rodriguez actually sent around both that and Bedhead, which had the esteem of winning awards at a number of film festivals (Carolina Film Festival, Third Coast Film Festival, Marin County Film and Video Festival and The University of Missouri Fine Arts Competition). And the combo […]

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Every year, the National Film Registry announces 25 films that it will toss gently into its vault for safe keeping. This year, they’ve chosen a hell of a list, but (like every year), the movies saved act as a reminder that even in a digital world where it seems unfathomable that we’d lose art, we’re still losing art. The task of actively preserving films is an honorable, laudable one, and it’s in all of our best interests to see movies like these kept safe so that future generations (and those attending Butt-Numb-a-Thon 55) will be able to screen them as they were meant to be seen. So what 25 movies made the cut this year? Let’s explore:

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Since we all have a million dollars, our minds are almost always tuned to the day dream of what kind of movie we’d make with all that loose cash just lying around (since banks do nothing but lose things). Would it be a romantic horror film? Would it be a silent action film? Would we blow of all of it on lighting and forget the other elements of production design? Probably. Fortunately, we’ve all had a few filmmakers tread before us in using their million bucks with efficiency and artistry. In a world where Michael Bay needs 200 suitcases full of $1m, these directors made it happen with only one of those suitcases (or no suitcases at all), and they created a lasting legacy despite their lack of foldin’ money. If they can do it, why not us? Here are 8 great films made for under a million dollars that we can all learn from. (And if you enter our contest sponsored by Doritos, you might actually win that $1m you need for all those lights.)

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It’s nice to have Robert Rodriguez‘s good films on blu-ray. When it comes to his usually reliant adult fare films, they’re full of all the things that blu-ray was created for: action, gratuitous violence, and more gratuitous violence. That’s basically what his El Mariachi films are all about, and they’re the better films of his filmography. And while some still aren’t all too pleased with the results we got with Once Upon a Time in Mexico, be grateful you’ll get to see Johnny Depp chewing the scenery perfectly in HD. That’s his film. Considering Depp has had a fairly weak year (quality wise, not box-office wise), it’s nice revisiting a film during these dark times of him actually being fun. Anyway, here’s what we’re giving away today: – A two pack blu-ray set of El Mariachi and Desperado. – And Once Upon a Time in Mexico on blu-ray as well.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, movie slave monkey for UGO.com Matt Patches shows up to give us hell. After some witty banter, he and Cole discuss the finer points of racial tension, bring Jan de Bont to a gun fight, and take a look back on our entirely appropriate relationship with Robert Rodriguez. Plus, we find time to review Machete, The American, and Going the Distance.

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machete

If you want to see Danny Trejo cutting people into pieces for revenge, Sony might just have exactly what you’re looking for.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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