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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Exploitation > Grindhouse > Drama > Comedy > Camp > Bikers > Murder > Mystery > Racism > Machete (2010/Fox Blu-ray)

Machete (2010/Fox Blu-ray)

 

Picture: B     Sound: A-     Extras: B-     Film: B-

 

 

I had high hopes for Machete as I was expecting the all out insanity that was teased in the original (at the time) fake Planet Terror/Death Proof trailers.  Robert Rodriguez’s venture back into the Grindhouse genre left me with mixed feelings.  The film retains its somewhat B-Movie feel, but seemingly struggles between trying to have a sensible storyline and concurrently being outright ridiculous.

 

The plot behind Machete has Danny Trejo starring as Machete, an ex-Federale whose family was murdered by an insane drug lord (Steven Segal) and is later hired to assassinate a murderous, bigot Texas Senator (played by Robert De Niro).  The senator is running on the platform of “Mexican Infestation” and how it is ruining America; being so invested in his platform the senator is out there killing Mexicans at the border himself.  The senator’s advisor Booth (played by Jeff Fahey) hired Machete to assassinate the senator, but it was a double cross to pin the senator’s near death on a Mexican; in turn boosting his rating and votes.  The movie sets off in an odd series of loosely connected events with the likes of Jessica Alba (as an Immigration Officer), Lindsay Lohan (as a cracked out youngster), Cheech Marin (as Machete’s gun slinging brother/priest) and many more showing up to pull the story along.

 

The problem with Machete is that the film is major stretch.  The cast is there with the likes of Trejo, Marin, and Lohan being wonderful.  The money, action, and violence are all there, but somehow the film falls short of what it could/should be.  Rodriguez seemed to have trouble bridging the gap between what he promised in his fake, teaser trailer and what appeared on film.  The violent, sexual, and outrageous moments are extraordinary (mostly trailer stuff), but the in between is weak and drags.  I think the film was fun overall, but with so many stars and complete freedom to be ridiculous Rodriguez could have given audiences more.

 

The technical features on this Blu-ray are a mishmash of what’s what with the picture being highly stylized and the sound being stunningly good.  The picture is presented in a 1080p 1.85 X 1 AVC-encoded image that bounces between good and distracting as Rodriguez used a variety of techniques to give the film that Grindhouse look.  The beginning of the film is the worst as a ton of hair, grit, grime, dust, digital lines and more were artificially placed on the film in post-production to give it that Grindhouse/B-movie effect, but it is down right distracting.  As the intro comes to a close and after the opening credits roll the movie snaps back to “normal,” but continues to have its gritty moments.  The detail is wonderful and not hampered by the grime.  The colors are vibrant, yet at the same time over saturation runs rampant to the point of distracting as well.  I understand the emphasis on the Texas/Mexican backdrop, but Rodriguez may have overdone it this time.  The sound is extraordinary in its 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio as it stresses the barrage of action that fills the film.  The bass is solid and booming, the directionality is spot on, and dialogue is crisp, clean and prioritized.  There are moments I had to turn down the volume as the speakers were suddenly and needlessly booming, make this track below perfect, but good nevertheless.

 

The extras are less than what we usually get from Robert Rodriguez, so I expect a double dip on this one.  Outside of an included digital copy, the weak extras are as follows:

 

Deleted Scenes

          They do not add nor detract from the film

 

Trailers

 

Audience Reaction Track

A worthless “noisy” extra that merely adds screams and cheers from an audience; which in the end seems like a sad excuse for an extra and an even sadder excuse for not putting a commentary track.

 

Machete is a popcorn film that is worth a watch (especially with a crowd of friends), but beyond that I can’t say it is worth owning.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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