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Go Machete America

I figured we had a long trip around the sun before we saw the return of the summer blockbuster, but this weekend’s releases might deserve some of that solar spotlight.  Movies that straddle the seasons need more luster of summer than funk of fall and a George Clooney spy movie might crank out the proper wattage.  Go big or go home.  That’s the way of The American (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“The American ends the summer not with a bang but an existential whimper.” Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

If The Expendables and Scott Pilgrim were the bang and this is the whimper, then endings are only based on when you stop listening.

“Anton Corbijn’s The American looks and feels like a movie made by a filmmaker who hasn’t been to the movies since the ’70s – and I mean that as the highest compliment.” Movieline Stephanie Zacharek

So the movie is less ‘new and original’ and more ‘like Grandma used to make?’

“If you’re willing to let go of your Hollywood-bred expectations for a movie of this type-spectacular action set pieces, constant pulse-pounding music, a killing every 15 minutes-The American is a great pleasure to watch, an astringent antidote to the loud, frantic action movies that have been clogging our veins all summer.” Slate Dana Stevens

Based on titles, you’d think the cinematic vein cloggers would be Dinner For Schmucks and Salt.

“You’ve heard of “Jason Bourne.” Here’s “Jason Boring.”” James Verniere Boston Herald

Would you prefer James Bondage?

“It’s like being given a connect-the-dots puzzle, only to find out it contains just four dots.” Luke Y. Thompson E! Online

I’m guessing it’s a square.

“The dread in the film is so quickly forgotten. What remains is an urge to fly to Italy, rent an apartment in a medieval city and invent your own adventure.” The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Liam Lacey

Does the vacation package include the untraceable gun and assassination plot or do those cost extra?  We should invent a story as long as we’re Going The Distance (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“To date, no motion picture has adequately captured the soaring highs and devastating lows associated with a long distance relationship, but Going the Distance comes as close as any movie has.” ReelViews James Berardinelli

I suppose every relationship poison needs a film antidote.

“From the corny ‘see what we did there?’ title to a plot that’s as predictable as a transatlantic flight-path, this is a truly join-the-dots romcom.” James Mottram Total Film

After seeing this, connecting-the-dots looks pretty cool.

“There’s just not quite enough to the movie: not enough jokes, not enough obstacles, not enough sex.” Dana StevensSlate

Does it have enough of anything?

“A relationship movie in which the f-bomb gets dropped about once a minute and the screen is dotted with bare derrieres (male).” Robert W. Butler Kansas City Star

“Going the Distance is a reminder of the sorry state of the rom-com, where gross scenes and easy-to-write trash talk have replaced smart dialogue.” Linda Barnard Toronto Star

Why do I have to choose between witty and shitty?  Fuck it.

“Likely to resonate with a generation of young people to whom “When Harry Met Sally’s” orgasm scene seems downright quaint.”  Boxoffice Magazine Pam Grady

If exploding heads and other action movie killsplosions seem quaint, perhaps you should venture across the border with one hand on a motorcycle throttle and the other holding a Machete (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“It was Rodriguez’s evident intention to make the most tasteless, weirdly cast, wildly irresponsible grindhouse movie of the year, and he’s succeeded.” Gary Thompson Philadelphia Daily News

Fantastic!  He’s succeeded at giving everyone something they didn’t know they wanted.

“In the end, Machete may not be all that original, but it is fresh – fresh as a steel blade to the gut.” Austin ChronicleMarjorie Baumgarten

And it’s original – original as describing a violent movie with a violent metaphor.

“If this kind of selfconscious cinema junk is to be enjoyed, it can only be enjoyed by morons.” Armond White New York Press

Morons, care to respond to Armond?

“Rodriguez emphasizes style over substance, but the sheer audacity of his vision – the energy, the inventiveness, the extremes to which he’s willing to take his gruesome sight gags – is his salvation.” Rossiter Drake San Francisco Examiner


“Rodriguez combines sharp satire and timely political commentary with a decidedly B-movie ethos.” Claudia Puig USA Today

King Sheep has an undecidedly B-movie ethos.


4 Responses

  1. Nice work, Pat.

    Going the American Machete Distance?

    yeah, it’s a tough one.


  2. I think it’s a rhombus.

  3. Machete looks awesome and The American has potential. I don’t think I’ve thought that about any movie this summer (well, maybe Inception). Where was I going with this? Dunno, but I loved your ironic use of “Fuck it.”

  4. I second Jason on the “Fuck it.” As for Machete, I think I got everything I want from that movie out of the red band trailer. But you let me know if it winds up being better than Grindhouse.

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