When we last left Danny Trejo’s gun-slinging grindhouse assassin Machete, he had just finished dispatching a corrupt, racist border patrol officer and his team to defend the innocent people they preyed upon in a cartoonish, gory and thoroughly entertaining manner. Now, Robert Rodriguez’s character is ready to return in a new sequel, Machete Kills, and this time, he’s working for the U.S. government.
When we first stumble upon Machete in the all-new international trailer for the film, he is hanging from a rope. He’s cut loose to talk to the president (played by Carlos Estevez, a former CBS sitcom headliner opting not to use his stage name), enlisting him to track down and stop a mad arms dealer (Mel Gibson for some reason) from launching a destructive missile.
The movie looks like explodey-gory summer blockbuster fun, and if either of the two aforementioned names turn you off, the rest of the cast sounds far more redeeming: Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez return, and joining the fun are Sofía Vergara, the underrated Demián Bichir, previous Rodriguez collaborators Antonio Banderas and Alexa Vega (Spy Kids, y’all!), Amber Heard, special effects master Tom Savini, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, and the mighty Edward James Olmos. Rodriguez has assembled quire the ensemble. The film hits theatres this September; watch the trailer below.
Between Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring, 2013 is already shaping up to be a year of films about young women portrayed by popular actresses turning to a life of crime. But if neither the Skrillex-soundtracked haze of the former nor the based-on-a-true-story appeal of the latter tickle your fancy, there’s the more traditional life on the dark side story of Violet & Daisy, the long-germinating crime action-comedy-drama from Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire writer Geoffrey S. Fletcher. The film premiered back in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival to favorable reviews, and is now finally ready for the big time.
Violet & Daisy’s florally-named characters, played by Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel, most recently of Mad Men, are two teens who take on assassin jobs. When an enigmatic man named Michael (James Gandolfini) becomes their target, he seems like an easy mark, but as tends to happen in these kinds of movies, things aren’t always what they seem. And summer action movies may be a dime a dozen, but this one has quite a cast—in addition to Ronan, Bledel and Gandolfini, we have the fantastic Marianne Jean-Baptiste and, because he should be in everything, Danny Trejo. Watch the trailer below.
Little monsters and adherents to the Church of Cinematic Gore emitted many a 140-character squeal today after Lady Gaga and Robert Rodriguez both announced that the singer will make her acting debut in 2013’s Machete Kills, the sequel to the Grindhouse offshoot starring Danny Trejo as a bounty hunter shooting and hacking his way through a cabal of corrupt border militiamen. In the character poster released today, Gaga dons animal fur and a femme fatale look as "La Chameleón," a role in which Rodriguez said she "kicked SO MUCH ASS!" (emphasis his). The "femme fatale"/assassin role seems probable, but with a name like that, you can bet there will be a whole lot of elaborate costume changes. Oh, and of course the little monsters are already making their own fan versions of the image. Tumblr is going to be a very different place by tomorrow, mark my words.
The IMDb page for Machete Kills also has Cuba Gooding Jr. listed as a character called "La Camaleón," so perhaps they’re some sort of bizarre crime-fighting/causing duo? But Gaga is one of just a number of stars confirmed or reportedly attached to the sequel, which finds Machete tracking down a rogue arms dealer through Mexico to stop him from launching weapons into space. Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez return as Sartana and Luz, respectively, joined by Amber Heard as Miss San Antonio, Sofía Vergara, Demián Bichir, Edward James Olmos (!), Rodriguez’ Spy Kids star Alexa Vega and… Mel Gibson as Luther Voz, the villainous arms dealer in question. Also, Charlie Sheen is apparently playing the President, because if you’re going to have one high-profile human meme frequently associated with misogynist/anti-Semitic words and behaviors in a movie, you might as well go for broke andadd another, and make him the President. Oh well, there’s still Sofía Vergara. And Danny Trejo. And Gaga, kicking "SO MUCH ASS." It’s like a celeb-obsessed teenager’s Twitter feed put in a blender, except with more guns and a sweet soundtrack. We’ll see what happens.
Poor, wayward Rick Perry. When he entered the GOP presidential candidate field last summer after hitting the current Republican checkmarks of white, well-coiffed and sort of crazy, he probably figured it would be a quick yee-haw to the front of the party ticket. Instead, he forgot that in order to be president you have to actually seem presidential, which means remembering your stances on issues and not releasing homophobic ads whilst dressed like Ennis Del Mar. Citing low numbers, Perry dropped out of the race this morning and endorsed Newt Gingrich, saying "the eyes are the doors to the house and Mitt Romney’s soul is hard to get into." (????) That makes it perfect time to pile on the misery: less than an hour ago, The Hollywood Reporter released a story from their upcoming issue in which Perry is accused of defrauding the makers of Machete out of $2 million.
Rick Schwartz, a producer on the Danny Trejo vehicle about a murderous Mexican, offers up a tale of promises and deceit. Machete was filmed in Texas, and before shooting, Perry said that the production would get twenty cents back on every dollar they spent in in the Lone Star State. After the expenditures were tracked and filed and the film was released, Schwartz claims that Perry’s people reneged on their promise. "They felt the film ‘portrayed Texans in a negative fashion,’" he writes. "This heretofore unmentioned clause was a legal loophole for them not to pay us — something about protecting the gentle folks of Texas from slander. They could have called it what it is: good, old-fashioned censorship."
"It would be like Gov. Andrew Cuomo denying us a New York tax credit on Black Swan because he was concerned that all New Yorkers would be perceived as paranoid, bisexual ballerinas," he adds. Regardless of the money owed to him, Schwartz says it’s just a stupid decision altogether, as no studio will risk shooting in a state that could arbitrarily decide to back out of a financial agreement. Not when there’s 40-some other states just asking for the money and business. Perry hasn’t released a counterstatement, but I can guess what it’ll be: "Nuh-uh!"
In early 2010, 67-year-old Thomas Brunso became an Internet meme when he got into a brawl on an Oakland city bus while wearing a tee shirt that stated "I am a motherf%cker". Now, it has been made into a movie starring Grindhouse‘s Danny Trejo as the ass kicking old guy, Epic Beardman.
Bad Ass can be located on imdb and seems to be a real actual thing with Charles S. Dutton and Ron Perlman rounding out the cast. While the original video that inspired the film got more than one million views, it will be no surprise if this thing goes straight to DVD. It actually looks kind of great in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way.