Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kingpin. Machete.

This series came out in 2003 and played on NBC.
Unfortunately, it was not picked up as a regular series; I think it would have been a good one. The only problems I had with it were pacing things mostly, items that they could have taken their time with had they had more than six episodes to develop everything.

It's like Traffic meets The Sopranos meets The Wire meets Breaking Bad. Jesse Pinkman even makes an appearance as a pot dealer! The characters were mostly stereotypical and overplayed (hello, Latin hot-heads. How on earth did they ever get anything accomplished with everyone losing their tempers every six minutes?) but I think caricatured people were what made this story what it was. Danny Trejo plays a Voo-doo guy; Sheryl Lee plays the boss's cocaine-addicted wife. And while I was excited to see good old Laura Palmer doing lines again, I have to make a tiny criticism of her general appearance (feminists, go ahead and roast me). She needed to be blonder. If Miguel was going to risk the disapproval of his entire family over this Gringo-American lawyer he was going to marry, she needed to be worth it, you know what I'm saying? Half the time she looked like she just rolled out of bed, and it was kind of a downer. Sheryl Lee is hot, why not show it? In the picture above, she looks great but they never costumed her that way in any of the episodes.

Yancie Arias plays Miguel, and has the perfect look for this sort of character. I found his dialogues and deliveries to be a little "banana in the tailpipe" (as Axel Foley once described), but I still liked him. The brother, Bobby Cannavale, was right on. The music was good, the opening credits were very good. Again, shame it wasn't picked up, this really could have been something.

Okay, Machete

And SPOILER, fair warning.

Really, this film was a lot like Planet Terror. I was in the theater, by myself, having a great time, giggling and gasping in equal numbers at everything that was going on. It did not become one of my very, very favorite films until Luz (Shé) came busting out of that ambulance, just busting right the hell out of the double doors. That scene alone fucking ROCKED me. She had just been shot in the eye a few scenes back, and because things move at a pretty decent clip in this film, I had almost forgotten about her because they were all in the middle of a battle. Obviously those who had seen photographs or previews knew that she would at some point make an appearance with an eye patch and a couple of SIG-sauers. I did not see any of this however; for all I knew she had bitten Don Johnson's proverbial bullet. She lived, she came back, and she was amazing.This scene goes among my top five favorites in any film, ever, at number one. 

Jeff Fahey as Michael Booth was almost as amazing. Pulling up to the street where Machete is doing the ally fight and rolling down the window in the Benz? Very suave. Shooting up that meth-house to pull his daughter (Lindsay Lohan) out? Pretty bad ass. I think he honestly did a bang-up job in this film, not just as a crazy old Lapidus but legitimately. 

And Cheech. I have to say that after my girl, Michelle, his scenes were probably the best. "Okay, okay, I absolve you of all your sins, now get the fuck out of here!" Seriously.

Danny Trejo, what can I say? When Matt and I first saw the trailer for Machete (on Grindhouse), we both looked at each other and said something like, "Holy Shit! When the hell is THAT coming out?" The whole thing just appealed to me, the character, the story, and every other outlandish thing that was happening and when I finally got to see it,  I wasn't disappointed. Danny Trejo was a great Machete and a great leading man, despite not being an average Hollywood actor, and certainly not being traditionally beautiful. There is something about him, though, and trust me, I've had the hots for plenty of guys who were not perfect tens, sometimes that something really resonates. 

Sequel, Robert? I'll be first in line.