Machete [Blu-Ray] Robert Rodriguez

Machete [Blu-Ray] Robert Rodriguez
Can amazing trailers be stretched into great films? Well, no, just as great films can't be stretched into great trilogies (see: The Matrix). But it can be entertaining to witness the attempt. One of the faux-trailers for Rodriguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse vanity project, Machete's brief run-time easily surpassed Rodriguez's full-length offering, Planet Terror, in terms of entertainment, even with Bruce Willis's cameo and Rose McGowan's machinegun leg. So, it came as no surprise that with Sin City 2 still in limbo, and before delivering another Spy Kids iteration (because the bills must be paid), Rodriguez fleshed out his "cutting edge" idea (a vehicle he's claimed to have had for years to push star Danny Trejo). After all, as Machete's subtext not so bluntly illustrates, Rodriguez is for the people. But, if you've seen the trailer (a Mexican day labourer/Federales is hired to kill a U.S. senator, he's betrayed, left for dead and out for blood), well, you've seen the best parts of the film. Knowing he's already given the audience the high spots, Rodriquez elongates the premise with a convoluted revolutionary sub-plot, stunt-casts Don Johnson, Robert DeNiro, Lindsay Lohan and Steven Seagall, sexes it up with Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez, throws in some unfocused commentary on Mexican/U.S. relations and tensions, then drenches it all in buckets of blood and gore. Trejo is awesome as Mexican Terminator Machete, and Seagall is so far gone, and so far out of shape (wait, round is a shape, right?) one can't help but be entertained. Unquestionably, it's a fun-ride, and that's quite literally all it was ever intended as, but the problem is Rodriguez is so incredibly talented, despite inevitably faltering somewhere in each of his films, and capable of so much more, even when stomping in the grindhouse playground, that Machete feels somehow off, unfocused and rushed. Rodriguez is renowned for packing his homevideo releases full of unique featurettes (cooking and film schools) and having something to say about everything, and a willingness to comment on any part of the process. That's why it's surprising that Machete is pretty bare bones, in terms of extras, featuring no commentary or Rodriguez featurettes, just some deleted scenes (Jessica Alba's character had a twin sister?) and an audience reaction track from the film's premier. Most likely, this will be addressed with a better release down the road. Rodriquez remains a prodigious talent, but Machete, as entertaining as it is, doesn't cut clean enough. (Fox)