Machete (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 23-Mar-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentary-Fan
Trivia
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 105:41
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ethan Maniquis
Robert Rodriguez
Studio
Distributor
Troublemaker Studios
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Danny Trejo
Robert De Niro
Jessica Alba
Steven Seagal
Michelle Rodriguez
Jeff Fahey
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $44.95 Music John Debney
Carl Thiel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
French DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Catalan
Hindi
Swedish
Danish
Finnish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Many Australian viewers missed the chance to see Grindhouse, Robert Rodriguez’s and Quentin Tarantino’s glorious homage to exploitation cinema, as it was originally intended because what was intended for release as two choppy drive-in grade exploitation flicks glued together with an intermission of fake trailers for other exploitation fare ended up releasing as two separate films without the marvellous fake trailers. Widely regarded as the best of those fake trailers was one for Machete, the tale of a Mexican federale run out of his own country and forced to work as a day labourer in Texas, where he is framed for an assassination attempt on a corrupt politician and ends up leading a revolt against anti-immigration gangs as he fights to clear his name. Despite the commercial failure of Grindhouse, sales and interest were evidently enough to green light a film based on the Machete trailer albeit through a different distributor and with less than half the budget of either one of the two films that comprise Grindhouse. The gambit certainly paid off as this feature made more at the US box office than Grindhouse and, beyond the bottom line, it is a great flick. Certainly superior to the bloated Tarantino half of Grindhouse, Deathproof, and more accessible than Rodriguez’s half, Planet Terror.

     Danny Trejo stars as the titular Machete, who flees Mexico after losing his family to the evil Torres (a deliciously hammy Steven Seagal). Staying under the radar in Texas he works under the watch of Luz (Michelle Rodriguez) and "the network", an underground collaboration of illegals helping other illegals survive in the USA, until a rich gringo (Jeff Fahey) with an unhealthy love for his own daughter (Lindsay Lohan as a suitably doped-out character) frames him for an assassination attempt on a senator (Robert De Niro) running for re-election on an anti-immigration platform. With the further aid of a smoking hot immigration agent (Jessica Alba) and his brother, a shotgun-toting priest (Cheech Marin), Machete fights for revenge and to make a stand for all immigrants against the senator and his secret anti-immigration gangs (led by a redneck Don Johnson). So the tagline goes They f***ed with the wrong Mexican.

     Firmly tongue in cheek for the duration, Machete works magnificently as an action film, a comedy and a loving homage to trash cinema. Props must go to the filmmakers for managing to fit each of the preposterous shots in the original Grindhouse trailer into the film. Quite impressively, rather than be tied down by the convention of the films it recreates, Machete manages to come up with quite original action sequences that manage to simultaneously exhilarate and garner laughs. It effectively pulls off a seemingly incongruous mash up of 70s and modern elements to create a truly unique and memorable action flick. If only Grindhouse had ditched the uneven-at-best Deathproof for something of this calibre.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio in 1080p.

     The video looks excellent. The film is presented with a deliberate aged look. A few authentic-looking artificial film artefacts are inserted towards the start to set the vibe. The colours are heavily yellowed and a thick filmic grain features throughout. Black levels are excellent. There is no sign of compression artefacts or undue film artefacts in the image.

     Optional subtitles for the hearing impaired are available. Based on the portion sampled they appear to be accurate and well timed.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The film features the choice of English or French DTS HDMA 5.1, Spanish or Catalan Dolby Digital 5.1 or English descriptive audio Dolby Digital 2.0. The audio is crystal clear and well mixed, though like the video the audio has a degree of stylisation about it. Some scenes are deliberately starkly mixed. Occasional analogue-sounding clicks and pops are inserted. The dialogue is clear and well placed in the mix. The audio sync appears to be as intended although that includes numerous deliberately obvious overdubs and brief sync slips.

     The film includes a funky soundtrack that suits its style well. The surrounds and subwoofer are used aggressively, particularly through the frequent action scenes. Action fans will not be disappointed.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Deleted Scenes (11:39)

     A series of 11 deleted scenes that alter a number of aspects to the film. Several feature an evil twin to Jessica Alba’s character and an additional assassin played by Rose McGowan (sure to raise questions among gossipers as to whether her removal had anything to do with the breakdown of her relationship with Robert Rodriguez around the time the film was being made).

Fan "Reaction" Commentary Track

     By and large a waste of time.

Movie IQ

     A rather bland internet-sourced trivia track.

BD Live

     Access to the Sony BD Live portal & ads pushed onto the main menu for other content on the portal.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A edition features two cuts of the theatrical trailer for the film in addition to the bonus content found on the Region B edition (although one of the deleted scenes on the Region B is only available via BD Live on the Region A edition), giving it a slight, but noteworthy given the film's roots, edge over the Region B edition.

Summary

     A magnificent homage to exploitation flicks that manages to be surprisingly original despite its inspiration, not to mention a fun action flick in its own right.

     The audio and video are top notch. The extras are modest.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Grindhouse... -
Fun film - James O
Some thoughts -