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Non-Review Review: Act of Valour

Act of Valour is an interesting little experiment that almost undermines its own central premise. Using real-life Navy SEALs to portray fictional Navy SEALs, one might imagine that the directors were opting for a naturalistic approach to the somewhat conventional action film. On paper, it seems like an attempt to construct a film drawing on the raw experiences of people who have lived through events similar to those depicted on screen, and to harness that personality in a way that connects with the audience more faithfully than an actor giving a performance could. Unfortunately, the movie winds up feeling horribly staged, with the cast given naturalistic dialogue that sound painfully rehearsed, a blaring soundtrack and an impersonal approach to the action sequences. While it might have the right stuff at its core, the surface of the movie is almost impenetrable.

Not quite a blast...

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Non-Review Review: Machete

I really liked Machete. It sounds strange from somebody who was relatively unimpressed with Robert Rodriguez’s contribution to Grindhouse, the lackluster b-movie throwback Planet Terror. I think that Machete works because it’s considerably more obvious in its humour, while still walking through a fairly conventional “exploitation” plot. Although the storyline and characters could easily have come from some dingy shot-on-video-camera b-movie, Rodriguez seems somewhat clearer in his parody here, as if he’s making an intentionally hilarious film, rather than merely trying to create the sense of an unintentionally hilarious film. I think it really works, because it’s everything a film like this should be: it’s gleefully silly, ridiculously violent, hilariously “relevent”, and presented in an insanely over-the-top manner.

Machete don't fold...

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