Spy Kids

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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This Week in Blu-ray

Back by popular demand, This Week in Blu-ray is here and ready to take on a big week of reviews in high definition. Sine we’ve been away for more than a few good releases, many of them have been included in this week’s entry. The highlights are many as we traverse through a world of major TV box set releases, great animated adventures, raunch comedy from the 70s and 80s, raunch comedy in the modern era, big action, big muscles, charming documentaries and at least one movie you should absolutely avoid at all costs. Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series Seeing as this column has been away for a few weeks and I’m going to be catching up with some of the best and brightest releases we missed, I’m calling for a temporary rule change and allowing myself two — count ‘em — two picks of the week. First, because it would be near impossible for me to choose between the two. And (b), because they fit so well together. The first of these two must-have television sets is Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off about a secret British agency led by a mysterious American named Jack Harkness who has one advantage over the hordes of aliens he comes into contact with: he can’t die. Led by this immortal man, a team of gifted, otherwise ordinary humans work to protect humanity from any threat, be it alien, supernatural or otherwise strange and interesting. Now, you may be thinking to yourself “I […]

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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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There are very few things that could get me to sit through an entire installment in the visually loud and obnoxious Spy Kids franchise. This is one of those things. Per Heat Vision, Jessica Alba may be starring in Spy Kids 4: All the Time In the World for writer/director Robert Rodriguez. It would be their third film together after Sin City and the upcoming Machete, and would almost certainly be the weakest of the three. Alba would star as a retired spy forced back into the game when a madman named The Timekeeper sets out to end the world by stopping time. Or something. Her character has a baby (like Alba in real life!) but is also sexy stepmother to two pre-teens (sadly not like real life). The film will reportedly be a reboot for the franchise as the “kids” from the past three films, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara, are now old enough to get married and accidentally kill themselves while masturbating. The previous films’ adult stars, including Carla Gugino and Antonio Banderas, may or may not return. Would you watch a Spy Kids movie with Jessica Alba in it? If not, what would it take?

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Robert Rodriguez is talking again.. And through several hundred lines of interview, we still can’t figure out what movies this guy is actually going to make.

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Ten Spies Who Stole Moves from James Bond

Ever since Ian Fleming began penning his James Bond series in 1953, spy adventures and espionage have been hot topics for cinema and television. From Xander Cage to Maxwell Smart, we’ve got the top 10 spies influenced by James Bond.

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Secret Agent Week

One of the coolest things about secret agent movies is the toys they have to do their jobs. The scary thing is that while some of these gadgets were figments of a writer’s imagination many years ago, some are becoming a reality.

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Secret Agent Week

As we look forward to Get Smart and cower from the Guru Pitka, FSR takes a look at some of our favorite secret agents in movies and television.

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