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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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Does Machete Matter?

I imagine that Robert Rodriguez was bracing himself for controversy over his new film Machete. Given the uproar that the use of foul language in Kick-Ass caused, I think it’s safe to say that Rodriguez’s retro “mexploitation” film was just asking for trouble when it came out. I anticipated a lot of politically correct discussions about the film’s premise, and potentially some discussions of negative stereotypes it might evoke. However, I certainly could not have suspected that it would provoke some sort of “race war”.

Knife to see you...

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What Does Box Office Failure Even Mean these Days?

It’s already happening. We’re already calling Kick-Ass a failure. Even though it managed to narrowly slide into first place at the US Box Office over the weekend, there are tonnes of pundits ready to dogpile on top of it and describe it as the most epic kind of failure. It seems to be a cyclical experience every time that a big geek film emerges, that has experienced a large amount of pre-release hype on the old interweb: Snakes on a Plane, Watchmen and Grindhouse among others. So how come Hollywood keeps pandering to a niche that never seems to show up?

Did Kick-Ass get its ass kicked? Should we call it Ass-Kick?

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