Tag Archives: Robert Rodriguez


Rugged mercenary Royce (Adrien Brody) inherits command of an elite team of human fighters — including dorky-but-dangerous Edwin (Topher Grace) and tough-but-beautiful Isabelle (Alice Braga) — as they are hunted by a race of ruthless alien trackers known as Predators. Director Nimród Antal’s sci-fi action explosion, which also stars Laurence Fishburne and an uzi-toting Danny Trejo, is a direct sequel to the 1987 blockbuster Predator. Directed by Nimród Antal (Vacancy).

Rating: 5 out of 10

This could have been a whole lot better, given the strength of the source material and cast, along with the fact that Robert Rodriguez (Machete) produced the film.

It wasn’t a total disaster. There were some interesting characters, which ended up being the film’s weakness. There were just too many of them. All of the characters had to be cookie-cutter stereotypes because that’s all you can develop when you have seven primary cast member in a 90 minute movie. You’ve got the ninja (who still calls themself a ninja?), a tough girl assassin, the anti-hero war vet, the surly Russian, and so on. They tried to throw in some new predator arch to the story. They use these crazy alien hunting dogs, which I liked, but they also tried to wedge in a back story about two types of predators that are warring. The only difference between them that we get to see is that one is taller than the other. Not very compelling stuff. I did like the concept of all these varied soldiers getting dropped off in the jungle and hunted by predators, though. It made for some good action.

This is not a very good movie, but it’s certainly the best Predator movie since the original, which was very good.


Hired to assassinate a politician, vigilante and ex-Federale Machete (Danny Trejo) nearly dies when a sniper shoots him during the job. Out for revenge, he’s joined by a reluctant old buddy (Cheech Marin) who’s become a pacifist priest. Written and co-directed by Robert Rodriguez, this homage to exploitation films based on his fake trailer in Grindhouse co-stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba and Steven Seagal.

Rating: 8 out of 10

No one else on the planet could have played Agent Machete other than Danny Trejo. He is the low-keyed, cool-as-ice bad ass with a scarred face and a body covered in tattoos. His delivery of this likable man who slashes bad guys in all kinds of disgustingly fun ways makes this movie successful.

This is an absurd action movie — as most are — but is done with a campy style, similar to “Grindhouse” where this movie spawned. It was a fake trailer that showed before the movie, also directed by Robert Rodriguez, and I was pumped to see it get its own feature-length film. Rodriguez is an intriguing director. He takes on action and horror films by and large but never loses his sense of humor. This movie is extraordinarily violent — there’s a scene where Machete cuts open a man’s stomach and uses his intestines like a rope to swing out a window — but it’s always with a tongue-in-cheek flair that made me laugh because it’s so impossible. It’s also a smart script with a fantastic cast — De Niro is in his element as the racist, Texas conservative hellbent on getting illegal aliens out, and Alba is sharp as a Latino immigration agent who is conflicted about busting her people. Michelle Rodriguez is her usual self as the tough and sexy leader of a network that helps immigrants get work and shelter. All of their worlds collide with a Mexican drug dealer played by Steven Seagal. The support roles were excellent. It was nice to see Don Johnson return in one of the most evil roles in the film and Cheech Marin’s character was a nice addition as Machete’s brother who is a priest.

Wrap a revenge action story and camp humor around a subtext of immigration and you’ve got a fun film that never loses its sense of self. It’s not for everyone, but if you liked “Grindhouse” and “Death Proof” or are a fan of 70s exploitation films, you’ll love this movie.

Sin City

Four tales of crime adapted from Frank Miller’s popular comics of the same name, this film, directed by Miller and Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) and Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds, Pulp Fiction), that focuses around a muscular brute looking for the person responsible for the death of his beloved Goldie, a man fed up with Sin City’s corrupt police department who takes the law into his own hands, a cop who risks his life to protect a girl from a deformed pedophile, and a hit man looking to make a little cash.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Anyone who has ever loved comic books has always waited for a film that conveyed the feeling you get while reading one.  Well, comic book lovers, your movie has come!

Sin City is a film that is so unbelievable visual, so unrelentingly interesting, and so fleshed out with interesting characters and multiple plot lines that, yes, I would call it a living and breathing comic book.  Rodriguez has hit one out of the park and created by far his best film to date and the performances he’s given by Mickey Rourke, Nick Stahl, Clive Owen, and Bruce Willis are stellar all around.

The thing I noticed while watching this movie was that once one story ended and another began, I kept thinking the last part couldn’t be topped and I was wrong.  Each part of the plot perfectly complements the other to create one large story in the vein of Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” or “Reservoir Dogs.”  I will give a word of warning to the squeamish:  This film contains ultra explicit violence that is almost unrelenting from start to finish.  If you can handle that and love comic books, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to miss out on this gem.