By Nathan M Rose

Jan 05, 2011 04:07 PM EST


Machete Blu-ray Review

Back in 2007 a movie called Grindhouse hit the theaters.  It was directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, and styled in such a way to bring back that nostalgia feeling of the exploitation drive-in classics from the 1970's.  In between the films, the filmmakers inserted fake trailers. Such was the case for a B-movie trailer, entitled Machete -- featuring Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, and Jeff Fahey.  For the motion picture, Rodriguez rounded out the cast with Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro, Don Johnson, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, and Linsay Lohan.
The origins of character Machete actually stem back to the early 1990's when Robert Rodriguez was writing Desperado (Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek), but it never felt like the right time to make a feature-length film.  After Grindhouse came out and the trailer gained so much popularity, Robert Rodriguez put the plan into place to make the feature film and use Danny Trejo.  Trejo had actually played the character four times previously in the Spy Kids films, and he has always been Rodriguez's choice for the role.
Machete centers around a former Mexican Federali turned renegade who is illegally in the United States.  Machete is recruited by Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey) to assassinate Senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro).  However, not all goes to plan as Machete starts doing what he does best -- Killing.
Filmed in the same B-Movie exploitation style as Grindhouse, Machete does not shy away from violence or nudity.  The film packs quite a body count when Machete is on the loose and might be a bit over the top for some film viewers.  While the story is a bit contrived ,the humor and action never stop in this highly- charged, fun action flick.
While the story and acting is made in such a way to portray a B-movie exploitation film, the cast of actors is most definitely not.  Danny Trejo gives his first leading man performance with the ease of a pro, while the supporting cast gives their all to the story as if it were the most important film they have ever made.
The Blu-ray/Digital Download combo pack is a mixed bag.  The picture itself encoded in the latest mpeg4 AVC codec is superb.  The colors are washed to perfectly match the "B-movie look and feel", and the sound vibrates your home entertainment room in the perfect DTS-HD  5.1 audio master.  However, this is where the Blu-ray copy starts going downhill.
If you are looking for a lot of extras that you are normally accustomed to seeing on a Robert Rodriguez  Blu-ray release, then you will be very disappointed.  Aside from an audience-reaction track -- approximately 10 minutes of deleted scenes -- focusing mostly on Sartana Rivera's (Jessica Alba) twin sister, and a digital download, there is nothing else to the disc.
All-in-all, Machete is a silly, action-packed good time, with some extraordinary acting and directing. However, if you are looking for a deep move, you will have to look somewhere else since "Machete don't do Oscars".

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 105 minutes
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox

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