Entries tagged with “Robert Rodriguez”.


There are films based on graphic novels (comics books) heroes and action stories and the genre is flourishing making happy studios and fans of all ages. And there are the ‘Sin City’ films which are graphic novels on screens.  ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For‘ directed by (who also created the books that inspired them) and is only the second in this genre. I liked it. I will try to explain the reasons and the difference.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458481

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458481

 

The first thing to notice with ‘Sin City 2′ (as for the first one almost one decade earlier) is that it does not pretend to be anything else that it is. It is a comics story which is directly designed for the big screen rather than for the paper support of the graphic novels. The story (there are actually three almost independent story threads) is simple and relies mostly on action. No psychological or character development is to be expected from its heroes, they are from the first time they appear on screen until the moment they die or the end of the movie (what comes first) ‘The Drunken Righteous’, ‘The Dangerous Vamp’, ‘The Corrupt Senator’,'The Nice Face Gambler’, etc. The actors either wear masks () or they are their own masks (, , , , , ). Most of them create their own characters as graphical novel heroes. The only one who holds some mystery and hides – at least for some time – her real intentions is the character played by . All seem to enjoy themselves greatly to be in the film.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

All this concept is supported by a superb cinematographic solution which places the actors on sets that seem to be drawn in comics style and uses mostly black-and-white with touches of selected colors as in the mid 20th century comics books combined with the cinema masterpieces of ‘film noir’ from the same period. The execution is perfect, and the action scenes not only support the stories but also create moments of aesthetic wonder and fit perfectly in the atmosphere. The concept and the execution make of ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For‘ a rare combination of good entertainment and stylish cinema.

 

Action movies are one of my not so secret guilty pleasures and I do not even feel so guilty since directors in the genre get recognition not only from audiences but also from critics, and the genre is celebrated at Cannes and becomes vehicle in expressing universal emotions and making political statements as any other respected cinema genre. Then Machete has Robert De Niro on the generic, yes it’s Robert De Niro AND Steven Seagal, but then the getting together of Robert De Niro and Steven Seagal should not seem that odd nowadays.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0985694/

 

What is Machete about? Bad guys hire a retired Mexican cop to assassinate a Senator (despicable figure, by the way) in a border town in Texas, where illegal traffic or anything is the law in the absence of the rule of law. When he understands the plot literally in the last fraction of second and survives the tentative to assassinate the assassin, the former cop turns from a killing machine on the bad side into a killing machine on the good side. It is really hard to say where are in Machette directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez the borders between action film and parody, between the tentative to make a political statement and the need to pace the screening time with corpses. It would not have counted too much if some kind of balance would have been kept, but this is not the case here, and the result is that any minute of the film is filled with pure violence or physical comedy gags, and anything else seems to be left aside.

 

(video source OfficialMacheteMovie)

 

The really good achievements of the film seem to be the ballet of the violence which works perfectly in a few scenes and the acting of Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriguez who feel completely at ease in the extreme environment of the film. To say that De Niro is a miscast is an understatement, there may be reasons for him to act in this genre of films, but they escape me, excepting the obvious one, but if you are DeNiro you should be able to pick better. Overall Machete seems to be another victim of the bloody Southern border.