Machete (2010) – Rodriguez Part 1

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Robert Rodriguez is a pretty cool cat (in my book at least). Most known by the people my age for directing films like the Spy Kids series, and better known by the more mature aged for films like Sin City (2005), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and the Grindhouse films done in collaboration with Quentin Tarantino (a good friend of Rodriguez’).

In 2010, Rodriguez released Machete, starring Danny Trejo as the titular character, alongside Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Steven Seagal!!! WTF!!! He’s alive! Moving on.

This film was an expanded project, originally a trailer featured in the Grindhouse film that Rodriguez and Tarantino released together.

The films opens with two cops chasing down baddies in Mexico; Machete being one of them, losing his partner in the ensuing car crash, a big fight ensues between Machete and the cartel men. Where Machete kills them all with a machete (who would have guessed that).

Then upon his capture his family is killed in front of him due to the Mexican mob (lead by Segal) being unable to buy his loyalty. Impending death awaits Machete, left to die in a burning building, but he somehow escapes…

So far, Machete is looking like taking on the role of a testosterone-filled anti-hero, whose lust for Vengeance against the Mexican drug cartels fills him with hate.

Though I knew how this film was destined to go down, I decided to continue on….

Several years later, Machete is an illegal living in the US and is offered millions of dollars to carry out a hit on a Senator. He takes the job, but is then framed for the Senator’s own demonic purposes. As he fights to prove his innocence and to bring down the corrupt-minded Senator, his past comes back to haunt him…. Yaadadada. So you get the idea.

In terms of the film’s story, it’s nothing new to me. Though the idea of the government controlling the flow of illegal immigrants across the border for cheap labour is a notion that I hadn’t ever thought of before. So kudos to the writers for that.

A rough and tough man who gets all the girls rings lots of bells.

Rodriguez has fun with the movie though, and I like that.

Some of the kills that Machete enjoys are brutally hilarious – including Trejo using a man’s intestine’s to abseil out of a hospital and stabbing a man through a door peephole – as well as some of the most corny lines in the most passionate of deliveries, like “God has Mercy, I don’t” spoken by a priest! Hahah

It almost seems like Rodriguez is taking the piss on purpose; which seems a better theory due to how Tarantino-esque the film seemed,

especially during the fights. The blood and gore shed during Machete’s fights gives off a real Tarantino feel. And the back-and-forth dialogue reminds me a little too much of early scenes of Pulp Fiction, and granted many films utilize that, it just kept me thinking of Pulp all the same.

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What does bother me was Rodriguez’ choice of making every woman in the film want Machete in the sack. What the fuck? Sure enough, maybe one or two girls loving him and his bravery, but six is too much! Jesus!

The plot line is incredibly Ludacris and predictable; the fight scenes are pretty epic though! Something Rodriguez has always done well in his films is take something over-done and old and put new twists onto it to keep us guessing. I thought for that, Rodriguez is still a champ in my book. This is a great movie for a Friday night in, you’re not expecting much but still get more than you bargained for.

QUESTION! What’s your opinion of Rodriguez? Do you think he’s on par with Tarantino? Or is he a little more like an Aldi-version of the Pulp Fiction director?? I’m keen to hear some answers.

If you liked this review, I’ll be posting my opinion of the sequel Machete Kills (2013) soon!

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A Horenco Guide ofFilms To See

Buried (2010). buried

An effort directed by Rodrigo Cortez, whom I haven’t seen any of his other films, I had big expectations for this film, mainly because many people I’d talked to had said it was brilliant. An intensely brilliant film, centered around civilian contractor in Afghanistan Paul Conroy (played by Ryan Reynolds) who finds himself trapped in a coffin with only a lighter, a cellphone and a hipflask in his possession.

Reynolds does a brilliant job in carrying the film – being the only actor in the film – while the voice work by supporting characters help develop the story; why he is in the coffin, how the authorities are to help.

Definitely one for the books!

Don Jon (2013) donjon

A montage of “beautiful” women and beautiful women related stuff greeted my eyes in what was accompanied by a heartfelt monologue about Porn during the opening minutes of Don Jon; so already I can tell you its definitely unique!

A Joseph Gordon-Levitt directed movie that centers around the protagonist’s (played by Levitt) addiction to porn, his emotional instability and his lessons learnt through these issues.

Levitt does a great job – his comfort is obvious, probably due to him having written the film along with his directorial debut – and I love it. The titular character struggles to find himself and the person he wants to be as new relationships influence his decisions.

Supporting roles from Scarlett Johansson (who I will admit is extremely attractive in general) as well as Tony Danza (as Don’s passive aggressive father) help to round out the Rom-Com Drama feel that Don Jon emanates.

Warm Bodies (2013) warmbodies

A Horror-Comedy about a zombie named R who – after seeing a beautiful girl restarts his heart – begins to change from zombie to human. Kick-starting the beginning of the end of the Zombie Apocalypse, but not without some resistance from the Boneys (zombie’s too far gone for healing that have been reduced to skeletons) and the remaining humans.

The film gathered critical acclaim for conveying human emotions and thoughts through a Zombie character; something that hasn’t been done in many films. As well as having R explain his feelings on being a Zombie in an honest way, being unhappy and regretful that he must kill humans to stay alive.

Its funny, witty and makes you feel-good, something that more Zombie movies should have a crack at!

Funny People (2009) funny people

Starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, – with supporting roles from Jonah Hill and Leslie Mann (who looks a lot like the girl who is married to Ben Stiller but upon further observation and research it turned out she wasn’t, soz) – Funny People follows the life of George Simmons, whose life as an extremely successful actor and comedian had been subsidizing his estrangement from his ex-wife and family. This changes when he is diagnosed with a severe form of leukemia and given experimental treatment with an 8% success rate, he decides to make amends for the many things he regrets and mend some torn relationships along the way.

Rogen plays an upcoming comedian who upon meeting Simmons is hired to travel with him and help write material for stand-up routines; and while their relationship begins as merely professional, slowly Simmons’ guard lowers and they become great friends.

The story is kinda cliché, BUT the plot has some unexpected changes which surprised me due to my “severe plot predicting nature”.

Journey 2 : The Mysterious Island (2012) journey

EVEN THOUGH I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR THE ROCK AND JOSH HUTCHERSON – AND MAYBE KIDS WOULD ENJOY THIS- BUT I DON’T LIKE IT. ONLY WATCH THIS IF THERE’S NOTHING ELSE ON AS IT’S A GOOD POPCORN MOVIE THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU THINK.

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A Horenco Guide ofFilms To See

Buried (2010). buried

An effort directed by Rodrigo Cortez, whom I haven’t seen any of his other films, I had big expectations for this film, mainly because many people I’d talked to had said it was brilliant. An intensely brilliant film, centered around civilian contractor in Afghanistan Paul Conroy (played by Ryan Reynolds) who finds himself trapped in a coffin with only a lighter, a cellphone and a hipflask in his possession.

Reynolds does a brilliant job in carrying the film – being the only actor in the film – while the voice work by supporting characters help develop the story; why he is in the coffin, how the authorities are to help.

Definitely one for the books!

 

Don Jon (2013) donjon

A montage of “beautiful” women and beautiful women related stuff greeted my eyes in what was accompanied by a heartfelt monologue about Porn during the opening minutes of Don Jon; so already I can tell you its definitely unique!

A Joseph Gordon-Levitt directed movie that centers around the protagonist’s (played by Levitt) addiction to porn, his emotional instability and his lessons learnt through these issues.

 

Levitt does a great job – his comfort is obvious, probably due to him having written the film along with his directorial debut – and I love it. The titular character struggles to find himself and the person he wants to be as new relationships influence his decisions.

Supporting roles from Scarlett Johansson (who I will admit is extremely attractive in general) as well as Tony Danza (as Don’s passive aggressive father) help to round out the Rom-Com Drama feel that Don Jon emanates.

 

Warm Bodies (2013) warmbodies

 

A Horror-Comedy about a zombie named R who – after seeing a beautiful girl restarts his heart – begins to change from zombie to human. Kick-starting the beginning of the end of the Zombie Apocalypse, but not without some resistance from the Boneys (zombie’s too far gone for healing that have been reduced to skeletons) and the remaining humans.

 

The film gathered critical acclaim for conveying human emotions and thoughts through a Zombie character; something that hasn’t been done in many films. As well as having R explain his feelings on being a Zombie in an honest way, being unhappy and regretful that he must kill humans to stay alive.

Its funny, witty and makes you feel-good, something that more Zombie movies should have a crack at!

 

Funny People (2009) funny people

Starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, – with supporting roles from Jonah Hill and Leslie Mann (who looks a lot like the girl who is married to Ben Stiller but upon further observation and research it turned out she wasn’t, soz) – Funny People follows the life of George Simmons, whose life as an extremely successful actor and comedian had been subsidizing his estrangement from his ex-wife and family. This changes when he is diagnosed with a severe form of leukemia and given experimental treatment with an 8% success rate, he decides to make amends for the many things he regrets and mend some torn relationships along the way.

Rogen plays an upcoming comedian who upon meeting Simmons is hired to travel with him and help write material for stand-up routines; and while their relationship begins as merely professional, slowly Simmons’ guard lowers and they become great friends.

The story is kinda cliché, BUT the plot has some unexpected changes which surprised me due to my “severe plot predicting nature”.

 

Journey 2 : The Mysterious Island (2012) journey

EVEN THOUGH I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR THE ROCK AND JOSH HUTCHERSON – AND MAYBE KIDS WOULD ENJOY THIS- BUT I DON’T LIKE IT. ONLY WATCH THIS IF THERE’S NOTHING ELSE ON AS IT’S A GOOD POPCORN MOVIE THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU THINK.

 

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SnowPiercer

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In a world where an Ice Age wiped out almost all of the human race, only the ones who got on the Snowpiercer (a train which constantly travels around the globe) have survived. 

The train is separated by those who bought their way on – who continue to live in resort-like conditions due to their wealth, while the rest live in poverty, fed protein blocks for sustenance with no choice but to continue on. 

After planning a new revolt against the authorities; Curties Everret (Chris Evans) strives to make it to the front end of the train to begin a new reign of equality to all passengers…..

This movie is a crackaaa! Evans is brilliant in this beautifully concocted tale, based on the French graphic novel Le transperceneige (whatever that means in French, probe something about a train). While supporting roles from Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton among others make for great watching. 

 

The thing I love most about Snowpiercer is this idea of not trying to upset the balance of the train, of everyone having their place and not fighting it. When Curtis strives to change that balance; the ensuing preverbal “all going to shit” term has never been better suited to a film. 

Check it out. Quick.

So yeah

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Dawn of The Planet Of the Apes (Cant upload pics right now !!)

 

In 2011, Rise of The Planet of The Apes was released, starring James Franco and Any Serkis. It followed the upbringing of Caesar (Andy Serkis), an ape of high intelligence whose mother was being tested upon by Will Rodman (Franco) and his biotechnology company Gen-Sys.

After leading an uprising of apes, Caesar and company escape to a National Park where they are left alone.

Cue Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Set years after the first film, a catastrophic virus has plagued the human race, leaving only few survivors (who possessed a gene in their DNA which renders them immune).

Hundreds upon hundreds of apes, gorillas and other monkeys now live in the forest first discovered by Caesar, and since then they have created an entire city for their own. They have their owns laws, and all young chimps are taught their laws and history.

Caesar ponders whether or not humans have been entirely wiped out by the virus (that chimps were immune to).

After a group of humans are met in the forest, led by Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Caesar learns of their wish to repair a dam’s hydroelectric capacities in order to provide power to the city in which a small colony of survivors live.

There is much protest on either side, the human leader Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) giving Malcolm three days to negotiate a solution with Caesar before starting a war. While Koba – an ape who was tortured and experimented on by humans before the uprising – argues with Caesar on choosing to trust Malcolm and his group.

I won’t spoil anything for you, but I will say that it’s a great movie with a great story behind it. Performances by Jason Clarke (UP the AUSSIES!) and Andy Serkis (Caesar) are brilliant.

The bonds that are built between Malcolm’s group and the apes was a touching add-on to a film which for a while helped me forget about how it will end.

Supporting roles from Gary Oldman from Every Movie Ever Made (1958- ) and Keri Russel best known for The Americans (2013-present) add to the star-studded cast that many were unsure would deliver in the film. But I’m happy to say that they answered these critics with a good old fashioned kick in the teeth.

Films great, really happy with it.

So yeah.

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Your Hate Makes me Stronger : A Message to Todd

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Recently a photo of footballer Todd Carney went viral, its a picture that shows the guy in a bad light; and no denying that the photo is a serious fuck up, I hope you read this and understand that more than just footy fanatics are backing you.

Here goes; 

Todd, my name’s Damo, I’m 17 yrs old, and I’ve followed your career’s ups and downs since I you first joined the NRL. 

You had the huge tatts and the bad boy looks that made my parents write you off as a loser; and I agreed with them. At First. 

Later on, I heard news about a new low, and thought that you were done, over. But you went sober, cold out of having alcohol and you made a comeback. and you were firing man! You were guns blazing and kicking ass. I was cheering you on from Newcastle and ignoring all the negativity my mum would shout to you. 

I first decided to back you because of an advertisement in a Men’s Fitness mag. the words “Your hate makes me stronger” alongside a picture of you. This ad was out a few years back and maybe has lost meaning to you, but I choose to use it as inspiration in my own life. Not just to ignore the nay-sayers, but to be able to get back up again and again and show people what you’re made of. 

I don’t know why that photo happened; and I don’t know what went through your head when you were doing it. 

But I’ll be standing here, not alongside you, but with you to back up who you are. And what your influence has had on me since I first read the advertisement in the back of that mag. 

Stay Strong buddy; and I hope somehow you can comeback. 

Damo 

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WHATS NEXT!?!?!? OOOOh aaaah ooooh aaah

I was incredibly interested in seeing what films were up and coming in the next few months; I only had a chance to look at a few; but two in particular caught my all-seeing eye…. heres the names; a poster, and 

1. The Equalizer 

Synopsis = A man who faked his own death; in order to leave his job as a Black Ops Commander and live a quiet life is forced to rescue a young girl (who I’m assuming is a prostitue (from the trailer) ) and finds himself up against a mob of Russian Gangsters. 

Though it sounds a little tedious and popcorn movie-ish; I am definitely going to catch this movie. Its Directed by Antoine Fuqua, (The man behind Training Day and Olympus Has Fallen) so I’m betting its going to be a pretty sick film !!

Here’s the trailer if you’re keen:

I was incredibly interested in seeing what films were up and coming in the next few months; I only had a chance to look at a few; but two in particular caught my all-seeing eye…. heres the names; a poster, and a link to the trailer if you’re keen as a bean in a sewing machine who has recently lost its spleen but is still quite keen. … . yeah. 

1. The Equalizer Image

Synopsis = A man who faked his own death; in order to leave his job as a Black Ops Commander and live a quiet life is forced to rescue a young girl (who I’m assuming is a prostitue (from the trailer) ) and finds himself up against a mob of Russian Gangsters. 

Though it sounds a little tedious and popcorn movie-ish; I am definitely going to catch this movie. It stars Denzel Washington (who is the biggest bad-ass mofo in the history of bad-ass mofos.) and Its Directed by Antoine Fuqua, (The man behind Training Day and Olympus Has Fallen) so I’m betting its going to be a pretty sick film !!

Here’s the trailer if you’re keen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfoDg8y_LF0

 

2. Snowpiercer Image

No.2 on my must watch list doesn’t have a specific release date for Oz at the present moment in time; but I’m sure as hell going to watch it. Starring Chris Evans (Who i prefer to remember as being Captain America as opposed to The Human Torch. Even though its pretty sick that he’s portrayed two different superheroes for which he has earnt ultimate respect in my book. ) This movie looks sick. 

Synopsis = After an experiment goes terribly wrong, causing an ice age on Earth and killing nearly all its inhabitants; the Snowpiercer (a massive train running on a perpetual motion engine) carries the only humans alive on the planet. After a class system separating the elite from the poor, rebellions continue to be started by the poor inhabitants of the vehicle. 

From the trailer; I guess the movie is about one of those rebellions.. It looks awesome, and what makes me more happy is that it doesn’t seem to include a love interest for Chris Evans, which makes me happy as a love interest always shits everything… so yeah. 

Its also a mix language film, where 80% of it is English spoken, which makes me more interested in case I can pick up some cool sounding foreign words 🙂

Its http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pek2kRn-gV8

 

So yeah. 

 

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