Machete

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Ethan Maniquis

Synopsis: The highly skilled Federale Machete is hired by some unsavory types to assassinate a senator. But just as he’s about to take the shot, he notices someone aiming at him and realizes he’s been set up. He barely survives the sniper’s bullet, and is soon out for revenge on his former employers, with the reluctant assistance of his old friend Cheech Marin, who has become a priest and taken a vow of nonviolence. If you hire him to take out the bad guys, make sure the bad guys aren’t you!

Release Date: September 3, 2010

Danny Trejo Sherrybaby

Our official review of Machete Kills is pretty negative. Rightfully so, it’s a major disappointment following the purposefully cheesy yet still politically relevant first film. This time it’s all just silly, kind of like an Austin Powers movie for the Latino audience instead of 13-year-old boys — though the 13-year-old boys may still be the best audience for this. I want to recommend it solely for Demian Bichir, though, because he is a pleasure to watch every second he’s on screen. Maybe it’s just how great he is relative to the rest of the cast and movie, but I’d give him another Oscar nomination for this. If you think that’s ridiculous, you haven’t seen the movie (because that is ridiculous). If you don’t see Machete Kills, no big deal, even if you won’t know what’s going on when Machete Kills Again… In Space arrives. This week’s gateway recommendations have nothing related to any spoilers in the movie. Most are just better films starring parts of the sequel’s ensemble. I also almost thought about including Star Wars, not because I think any of you haven’t seen it but because I think you’d want to clean yourself in the form of a re-watch after seeing all the bad references here. Seriously, even if we’d never had 35 years of parodies, copycats, fan films and other works derived from and informed by Star Wars, the allusions here would still feel stale. The following ten selections are worth checking out whether you bother with Machete […]

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django vs machete

This week I got to wondering which, if any, original characters from 2012 could not only continue in sequels but lead a franchise that’ll be around in 25 years (see this Die Hard-inspired discussion at Movies.com). The only one that popped into mind and has been stuck there for days is Django Freeman (Jamie Foxx), the protagonist of Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained. I proposed that he return at least once more in the 1880s, a decade of mass lynchings and reversal of civil rights achievements. But he could really be fun to watch at any point in history, including the present. That’s why I’d like to offer this week’s pitch to Tarantino and his friend Robert Rodriguez: figure out a means of time travel that will pit Django against Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) — who has his first sequel, Machete Kills, out this year — for a movie titled, simply, Django vs. Machete. As with most hero versus hero plots, this one again would see two popular characters meet, battle, then team up for a greater fight against a common enemy. Who or what that obviously racist villain is isn’t up to me. I’m not the screenwriter here, just the idea man. Anyway, it doesn’t even matter. Just like the explanation of the time travel won’t matter. The movie is called Django vs. Machete, and that’s the draw and therein lies the action the audience will want to see. If there’s room for deep historical and social commentary, all the […]

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Marko Zaror in Machete Kills

The cast for Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills has been swelling to epic proportions with everyone from Mel Gibson to Lady Gaga taking a shot at the baddest Mexican on the planet, but its adding one Chilean martial arts star to its roster. Mandrill star and Fantastic Fest favorite Marko Zaror has been announced as playing Zaror in the Machete follow-up. The character will serve as a henchman to Gibson’s role as main baddie and will likely come with the benefit of punching and kicking Danny Trejo. A lot. Says Rodriguez about the casting choice: “I’ve been a big fan of Marko’s for years, and I even created this role specifically for him. He is an incredible martial artist with physics defying speed and agility, and he has a great movie star presence. I’m sure we’ll be working together again soon.” Zaror was equally excited about joining the Machete Kills team, saying, “to get a chance to work with Robert Rodriguez was a dream of mine since I saw El Mariachi.  He has made some of the coolest characters ever.  I am honored to have had the experience to work with him and his exceptional team.”

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At least the wolf didn’t have to live through a surely insane photo shoot? In perhaps today’s weirdest and most completely unexpected announcement, Lady Gaga has apparently joined the cast of Robert Rodriquez‘s upcoming Machete Kills. The director announced both Gaga’s casting and her completion of work via a tweet this morning that read, “I just finished working with @LadyGaga on @MacheteKills, she kicked SO MUCH ASS! Holy Smokes. Blown away!” I, too, am totally blown away. Perhaps because no one would believe even Rodriguez himself when it comes to such totally bizarre news, he also included a character poster for Gaga in her role as “La Chameleon,” which you can check out after the break. Chameleon or not, this looks like a pretty standard look for a woman who once showed up to an awards show in a giant egg.

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It’s about time to bathe ourselves in the neo-noir negative spaces and violent slaughter dew-spattering whims of a madman. Robert Rodriguez swears up and down that sequels to Sin City and Machete are on the production docket this spring and summer. Now, like a baseball bat pointed to the bleachers, he’s putting his posters where his mouth is. Over at The Playlist, they’ve somehow got their hands on promo posters for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Machete Kills. That’s a lot of killing. Both posters are nothing to spit at, but they bring a touch of style to the proceedings. Surprisingly, there are zero boobs on them, but Frank Miller’s name does appear as a director for Sin City 2. Check them out for yourself:

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It’s official. In a stunning turn of events that almost certainly mean it’s Opposite Day, Robert Rodriguez will make a movie he promised he’d make. Jokes aside, Deadline Michoacan is reporting that Rodriguez has secured the financing for Machete Kills, the sequel to the absurdly ballsy action flick starring Danny Trejo. Talks are under way to bring Trejo back on in the hopes of an April production start, and Rodriguez is pointing to the bleachers, claiming a bigger, badder movie. As proof, the second film in a planned trilogy will feature Machete as a hired gun for the government, heading into Mexico to take on a drug cartel and a vicious bad guy who plans to build a space weapon. Yes, it’s getting even deeper into spoof territory with an Austin Powers twist. This character sure has come a long way since Spy Kids, right?

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline. Synopsis: After Warren inherits a nice slice of wilderness, he and a few friends head out on a camping trip to check it out. Unfortunately for Warren and his friends, there are a couple of residents who already call the land home – and a few of them are ready to kill to keep it. Also, they kill for fun.

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Comic-Con regular Robert Rodriguez had an intimate Hall H presentation Thursday evening to talk about his newest venture, Quick Draw Productions. If you’re familiar with Hall H, you’re probably questioning my use of the word “intimate” as it’s a big venue, generally stuffed to the bathrooms with people and big events. Not so, this night, as Robert Rodriguez appeared on stage himself to start slowly unveiling three partnerships, but nothing was that ground shattering. If the ground had shattered, few people would have fallen in, as the voluminous Hall was only about a quarter full for the casual, talky presentation. Before launching into the what and the when of his new production company, Rodriguez ran down the list of things he’s always asked about – namely Machete, Sin City, and Spy Kids 4. To find out what he said about this, and his future in animation, keep readin’ on.

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The moment that Ricky Gervais secretly waits for every year is upon us. The nominations for the 31st Golden Raspberry Awards are in. The Razzies is a different kind of awards show, not one that heaps false praise on people that it doesn’t respect, but one that dishonors the worst work of the year. No, their nominees for Worst Picture aren’t quite as bad as the Golden Globe nominees for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical, but it’s still generally considered an insult to earn Razzie recognition, and God forbid you actually win. Looking over this year’s nominees has left me in a confused emotional state. The only film I’ve seen that on here is The Expendables. Does that make me a bad film fan or a smart consumer?  Can one truly appreciate the good if he hasn’t waded through most of the bad? In 2011, I solemnly vow to see more bad movies.

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Hey, you. Yes, you. No, not that person behind you who seems curiously intent on strangling you with a stand of fishing line. You. I’m guessing you are here because you want to know what’s going on in the world of movies? And chances are you’ve had about enough of the “Film School Rejects attitude” seen in other, more wordy editorials. I’m here to rescue you and give you only the news that you crave as we both stare up at the moon together. And just as you realize that the guy behind you was, in fact, killing you this whole time, you are also going to realize something else: I’m delivering the news with attitude, as well. What can I say, it’s late…

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This Week in Blu-ray

Welcome to the first edition of This Week in Blu-ray for 2011. Want to know what my New Year’s Resolution was? 52 consecutive Tuesdays with Blu-ray advising for my adoring fans. Needless to say, we’re off to a good start. That is if we consider timing and completion to be the pinnacle of success with this column. This week’s releases won’t exactly blow you away, as we’ve got some very middling movies to talk about (I’m looking at you, Dinner for Schmucks, Catfish and Machete). However, there are some winners in one back-breaking horror film and a back-catalog release that will likely cause a backdraft of fireballs aimed right at your pocketbook. Does anyone else see a theme here? And why does my back hurt all of the sudden? Quick, you read the column while I go stretch.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome to 2011! The doldrums of last week have been left far behind, and the powers that be have returned from the break to release a torrent of titles onto DVD and Blu-ray. There’s nothing truly great out this week, but there are at least two titles entertaining enough to buy. There are also a couple surprising ones to avoid, but as usual the bulk of this week’s new titles fit comfortably in the nether region between the two extremes. Which of course means they should be added to your Netflix queue… Titles out this week include Robert Rodriguez’ ridiculous action romp (Machete),  Joe Maggio’s foodie abduction thriller (Bitter Feast), the other social media movie of the year (Catfish), a mediocre remake of a very funny French film (Dinner For Schmucks), and more!

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The most iconic shot of Machete was Danny Trejo bursting forth from the flames of an explosion on a sick motorcycle that every sane human being wants to buy right now. It was in the original (fake) trailer, and made no sense in the best way possible. Now, Danny Trejo may be hopping on his chopper again for a low budget biker movie called Tarantula about the head honcho of a bike gang going after a woman who left the gang and revenge for his brother’s death. These are all great things. The woman in question might be played by Spartacus: Breasts and Blood star Erin Cummings. Both actors are in talks.

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The Reject Report

It wasn’t a stunning weekend for the motion picture box office. Not only was it the lowest, cumulative weekend for the top ten films, it was the lowest box office take for a top ten in over two years. However, despite this low number, the blame can’t really fall on the shoulders of the individual films in the market. Rather, the deciding factor on how poorly the overall box office did this weekend was in the fact that only one film got a wide release. In a day and age where we are seeing as many as five or six films hitting thousands of screens on any given weekend, you’re sure to have the lowest weekend of the year when you are only given one.

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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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The Reject Report

Some times, a Mexi-can’t. That’s what we’re seeing this Labor Day weekend as the strength of George Clooney and the marketing Focus Features pulled for The American were able to sweep Machete under the proverbial rug. It wasn’t a slaughtering, more like the quiet winning out most people who went to see The American this weekend were subjected to.

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Culture Warrior

Considering the history of early September releases, this was an unusually eventful weekend for movies. The champion of the box-office was a slow-paced, meditative art film disguised as a spy thriller, and its major competition was a grindhouse tribute based on a movie trailer and starring a longtime character actor. On the surface, it seems that Anton Corbijn’s The American and Robert Rodriguez’s Machete couldn’t be any different, but upon closer inspection it becomes clear that these are two stylistically disparate explorations of virtually the same theme; that is, both The American and Machete are about crises in national and cultural identity that occur when one enters another country and becomes an “other” within their culture.

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The Week That Was

With this week, Summer 2010 has officially gone. We are into September and here in Austin at Reject HQ, the temperature is back down into the 90s and we’re looking forward to seeing all of our genre-loving friends at the end of the month for Fantastic Fest. As you’ll begin to notice, we will soon become very preoccupied with what’s happening in the war room over at the Alamo Drafthouse, where the final slate for Fantastic Fest 2010 seems to be coming together quickly. But for now, there are still films in theaters and news from around the globe that have caught our interest. That interest was quickly turned into articles filled with biting commentary. Those articles are assembled here, in a weekly column we like to call The Week That Was…

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The temptation to refer to Robert Rodriguez’ new film as Brown Dynamite is strong but for two things. One, while Machete fits a similar mold as Scott Sanders’ hilarious riff on blaxploitation films it just isn’t as consistently good as Black Dynamite. For another, the term “brown dynamite” conjures up some unpleasant imagery especially in the context of spicy Mexican food. But enough about intestinal explosions (for now at least)… let’s talk about this tastelessly absurd, cartoonishly violent, and often ridiculously fun movie!

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr jumps feet first into the world of exploitation pictures. He rips off his shirt to show his prison tats when he sees Machete and then becomes a weapons expert to go head-to-head with George Clooney in The American. Finally, he cringes and rolls his eyes at yet another crappy real-life couple love story with Going the Distance. It’s sad when the highlight of his moviegoing weekend is a Lindsay Lohan nip slip.

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