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Machete and Tron Review Essay

In this film Robert Rodriguez decided to pay tribute to B-movies of the 70’s and 80’s (the unsteady zooms, the clumsy edits, the continuity errors between shots), this is very apparent in the genre of the movie, exploitation films include excessive violence, gore, nudity and way too many corny lines. Art Direction wise the film also follows a 70’s 80’s kind of vibe, the cast also reminds us of that era.

Costume design is amazing, all characters have a distinct very cartoony costume to them, the cheesiness doesn’t end here, the amount of weapons cannot be accounted for other than all the uzi’s minigun’s etc. etc. our main character can turn any household object, gardening tool or surgical instrument into a weapon of mass destruction! Special Effects are ABSURD (in the good way) what really stuck in my head is when our main Hero guts someone takes his intestines and jumps out a window using them as a rope!

The Blood spurts and body parts cut off or crushed aren’t few either. Sound Effects have their parts of cheese; the most memorable one to me was when Torrez (played by Steven Seagal) pulls out his Samurai Sword (the effect is actually from the 1974 movie Six Million Dollar Man). Machete is a film that embodies all of the facets a 1970s blaxploitation film would have, but with the Hispanic culture. This is Mexploitation, with a resonant grindhouse feeling, complete with film reel scratches and fake political ads.

But the violence and action in this is so extraordinary and unapologetically gruesome, with the extremity of it all not being taken seriously at all. The things they do in this film, guaranteed you haven’t seen most of them ever done before. Corkscrews, high-heels, weed-whackers, and, of course, machetes, are only a very small listing of all the tools and weapons used to dispatch characters in Machete. It’s over the top, absolutely ridiculous scenes that pop up every five minutes and make for a joyous film experience.

There are too many be-headings, blood-splattering gunshots, and limb removals to count…. Don’t even get me started on the stabbings. The end Battle climaxes the gore, blood, and absurdity of the film. I’m going to get more in some of the Characters; Danny Trejo, the star of Machete, has a face that’s so rough, craggy, and etched with hard living that it’s like a natural rock formation. With a tattooed torso as thick as a refrigerator, and long oily black hair that frames his simmering coal-fire eyes, Trejo, like Mickey Rourke, is a freakishly hypnotic camera subject.

Depending on which angle he’s shot from, he can look like the world’s toughest biker, a Native American shaman, or a very angry carp. As Machete (pronounced ”ma-chet-ay”), Trejo is so badass he’s funny. Yet the movie, codirected by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis, never treats him like a joke. When he slashes people with his machete, which he favors because he’s a true warrior (as opposed to the wimps who hide behind their guns), he’s an unholy ethnic avenger out of a ’70s walking-tall fantasy.

Robert De Niro plays the role of Senator John McLaughlin; the character is your typical jackass Texas cowboy senator. Sartana Rivera is you basic torn cop that is realizing that some laws shouldn’t be enforced because they are just laws, Jessica Alba fits well in this role. In a side note her Nude shower scene was a fake she was digitally stripped naked, it was a decision she and Robert Rodriguez made together, which would serve his vision for the film, as well as honor her personal convictions regarding nudity.

Torrez played by Steven Seagal , is a drug lord portrayed as if he thinks of himself as a Samurai, he even has his own Katana (the samurai Sword) Michelle Rodriguez plays the Role of Luz, at first she looks pretty normal but in the end scene she is reincarnated as the Mythical “SHE” leather pants, small top, eye patch and one hell of a Machine gun. Lindsay Lohan shines as April Booth, daughter of Michael Booth, she has 2 costumes in the hole film first one is, well, being Naked!!!! And the second is a full dressed Nun that surely comes with a Machine gun!

Cheech Marin plays as Padre Cortez, your favored pastor; he uses 2 shotguns to blow off people’s heads off. Tron: Legacy Put together the old Tron with reminiscent Skintight suits with neon like lines that glow, new tech machinery called Light Runners, and some new and improved Light cycles(new gen Bikes)created out of sticks, think about the film score and music and you realize that it should be done by Daft Punk, I guess Kosinski realized this early on because when he was asked why he ecided to have Daft Punk do the film score, he replied, “How could you not at least go to those guys? ”. The score is a mix of orchestral and electronic elements, this fits right on with the artistic feel of the movie. Daft Punk have created a sonic masterpiece worthy of the legacy of Tron. Their brilliant layering of ambient electronica with orchestral symphonics is every bit as avant garde in creating atmospheric digital soundscapes as Wendy Carlos’ score was for the original Tron. I only wish that they had incorporated some more of Wendy’s memorable themes.

You can kind of hear a few familiar notes that recalls Tron’s theme in “Adagio For Tron” but that’s pretty much the only hat tip to Wendy’s vintage score. Like the film itself, Daft Punk have taken the music of Tron to a whole new aesthetic level by incorporating their unique style of techno synthpop along with their influences of electronic film composers like Vangelis on “Arrival” to the ominous Carpenter-esque “C. L. U. ” and synthesizing them with traditional orchestral composers like Bernard Hermann and Max Steiner. “The Grid” is the only track with any words put to the music.

With Jeff Bridges providing a voiceover for the first half of the track, the song acts as an introduction for anyone who may have missed the first film. As “The Grid” fades out and “The Son Of Flynn” opens with an arpeggiated synthesizer, listeners get their first taste of Daft Punks blend between their own unique sound and classical music. Although the majority of the tracks on “Tron: Legacy” utilize an excellent balance between the two styles, some of the tracks sway one way or the other, drastically changing the mood of the piece.

Tracks like “The Game Has Changed” offer an almost exclusively classical instrumentation while transforming the percussion section into a series of powerful electronic hits, rattling the eardrums and taking focus off of the ominous strings hidden beneath. Although the London Philharmonic Orchestra provides all of the string arrangements, their true feature comes on “Adagio for Tron. ” Sounding a bit like Hans Zimmer’s “Hummel Gets the Rockets” from the soundtrack for “The Rock,” Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk use his track as a means of showing off their prowess with orchestration, complete with a simple, yet beautiful cello solo. As the mood darkens, the music dives deeper into the electronic realm while still maintaining at least some aspects of a symphonic orchestra. Tracks like “End of Line” pull entirely from the electronic realm except for a sustained string part which would typically get lost in a Daft Punk mix, but because of their extraordinary presence on the rest of the album, they remain surprisingly noticeable.

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