Review – Machete

★★★★☆

Machete cover

People are probably going to beat me up for this review, but I don’t care. I watched this movie again recently because I wanted to have it rather fresh in my mind before watching the sequel. I have a soft spot for spaghetti westerns and some of their modern versions. This movie got 4 stars because it was loyal to the genre and it featured incredibly powerful women. I dinged it because it was a bit heavy on the blood spatter and the era of the slasher splatter movie is over.

While I’m handing out dings I need to ding IMDB.com for not listing Devon Aoki. She was in the movie several times, and the first was by the pool with Steven Seagal. To say she was rocking that leopard bikini is an understatement of biblical proportions. Sad she only got to kill one person. She is rather graceful with a blade in both “Sin City” and one of the Kill Bill movies. Once again, IMDB does not give her credit for her sword fight there and I swear that was her in a sword fight with Uma.

Either Steven Seagal lost a ton of weight for this movie or this photo is after he spent a month binging at Krispy Cream. That’s not a beer gut, that’s a keg!

It’s nice to see Danny Trejo getting some good movie roles these days. Make no mistake, well done spaghetti westerns develop large cult followings and this one was well done. Mr. Trejo carries the role well. It was really cool to see Cheech Marin in a big budget movie as well. That scene where he offers Mr. Trejo a humidor and asks “Columbian?” Only to hear back “Mexican” then present a humidor full of massive joints was just hilarious. Nice nod to the Cheech and Chong days.

What a trip to see Robert De Niro play a bad guy that gets killed. An even bigger trip was to see Don Johnson in a movie. I personally haven’t seen him in anything since Miami Vice went off to never ending re-runs. Now that it is not the 1980s, would anyone still wear the outfits he wore on Miami Vice?

Not really a shock to see Lindsay Lohan getting naked in a movie. What was the real shocker, perhaps because I’m thick headed, was to see she was still keeping a pretty hard body. I mean, after that era of hard partying news in the tabloids I really expected she would let herself go. That would be sad to see. Kind of like when Sharon Stone kept dragging out and teasing about a sequel for Basic Instinct. In 1992 she could cause traffic accidents all over town simply by stepping outside. In 2006 producers and movie goers paid her to put her clothes back on.

Go ahead, call me a pig, I don’t care. We all have to realize there are a very limited number of years where anyone of us getting naked will be appealing to any other person. Yes, people can eat right and work out relentlessly to extend those years, and for some they appear to extend indefinitely. I mean Nina Hartley is still working in porn and from what I hear still a big draw. A feat made more unbelievable when one tallies up the number of porn stars from the 1970s and 1980s who died of AIDS.

Hey, we guys don’t complain (too much) when you swoon because The Rock takes off his shirt or you make us sit through one of the “Magic Mike” movies for the hundredth time. We understand and you need to as well. Movies are visual. If all we wanted was a great story we would read a book. Why do you think I dinged Steven Seagal so hard about the keg he was toting around? He made his movie career being this hard bodied bad-ass which I and most other males could never be, then he porked out.

This brings us to Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba. Rather than be offended by their sensuality, these two women own it. They also must spend an amazing amount of time in a gym. When Michelle steps out of the back of the ambulance in those low rider black leather pants, a tummy like that cannot be a camera trick. Jessica Alba had some decent moves in the movie as well. Was I the only one who noticed she had to do that in heels?

With her part in the Fast & Furious franchise, Michelle Rodriguez has pretty much cemented her girl-next-door warmth and ease. She can be one of the guys, kicking butt all over, a mother to the world or control every guy in the room simply by putting on heels and a dress.

I haven’t seen enough of Jessica Alba’s work get a feel for what type of personal/professional/character image she is trying to present. Her role in Fantastic Four seemed to be very seemed to be one driven by warmth, compassion and conviction. She looks so young it is incredibly difficult to believe she has been in the business since 1994. It will be interesting to see what type of role she gravitates towards now that she has appeared in modern spaghetti westerns.

For guys, this is a phenom movie which seems to age well. I am truly looking forward to the sequel.

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