The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 105 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Steven Segal, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez & Ethan Maniquis
Music by: Chingon
Written by: Robert Rodriguez & Alvaro Rodriguez
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 4, 2011
"He was given an offer he couldn't refuse"
From director Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse, Sin City), and featuring an all-star cast including Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro and Jessica Alba, comes an action-packed, bare-knuckled fistful of carnage asada! Set up, double-crossed and left for dead, Machete (Trejo) is an ass-kicking ex-Federale who lays waste to anything that gets in his path. As he takes on hit men, vigilantes and a ruthless drug cartel, bullets fly, blades clash and the body count rises. Any way you slice it, vengeance has a new name--Machete.
Machete is an expansion of the fake trailer that was released together with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's 2007 Grindhouse series and continues in its B movie and exploitation film style. The story revolves around an illegal immigrant, Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo), a former Mexican Federale turned renegade after his family is murdered by a drug lord who leaves him for dead. He survives, slips into the U.S. and wanders around Texas for three years until he is approached by a man in a suit who takes him for just another illegal looking for a job. The man offers him a large sum of cash if he will kill a local (and corrupt) senator whose campaign mission statement is to send every illegal immigrant back to Mexico by any means necessary. After Machete refuses, the man's offer turns into compelled cooperation which leaves him no choice. What Machete doesn't know is that he has unwittingly become embroiled in a politically motivated scheme hatched by corrupt and greedy men on both sides of the border, one of whom is the man responsible for the death of his family. In order for Machete to extricate himself and exact revenge he will need the help of two beautiful women, lots of firepower and of course the weapon that made him infamous. Anyway you slice it (pun intended), vengeance has a new name.
At first I wasn't entirely sure what to make of Machete. After seeing glimpses of its trailer the cast looked to be an odd mix of actors inserted into a typical Robert Rodriguez shoot em up. Once I caught its drift Machete became a lot more fun. Like the other movies in the Grindhouse series Machete isn't a literal action film. It's a satiric play on the exploitive action films of yesteryear and features purposefully over the top action, tons of bloodletting, sexy ladies, and a lightly veiled wink and nod expose on border control. The convoluted plot overdrives the weak characters and the manic pace disrupts its flow but if kept in the proper perspective Machete is a gratuitously entertaining film. I will admit that seeing Danny Trejo snuggling up to hotties like Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elektra Avellan, definitely requires a vivid imagination. I have always enjoyed him as a supporting actor and think he pulled off this featured role pretty well. Old time tough guy Steven Segal would be better left in mothballs but I thought Jeff Fahey and Don Johnson were credible in an oafish sort of way. Last but not least, Robert De Niro. I don't know satire or not, seeing him in a role such as this makes my heart sink a little but he played the role to the hilt (of course). Machete is exactly what it is intended to be, nothing more, nothing less and THAT is where it succeeds.
The rating is for strong bloody violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Machete comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 Mbps.
This is a high bitrate and near reference quality high definition transfer that looks terrific. The opening segment utilizes the same stylized visuals used in the Grindhouse series which is intended to create an aging film effect by using a layering process to introduce the appearance of print damage that comes in the form of speckles, scratches running lines and obvious editing cuts. Fidelity is never in question as images are transparently rendered with exquisite detail and a near infinite sense of depth. Colors are pleasing, vivid and kept within the scope of the film's theme which means various shades of red, brown, green and black with splashes of bright secondary hues. Sepia toned colors have a succulent quality that reveals plenty of subtle delineation and blood is an appropriately dark shade of crimson. Facial features among the principal cast reveal excellent textural nuance while fleshtones appear a bit balmy and exhibit similar complexional characteristics. Blacks are inky, dynamic and stable. Contrast is bold and punchy without overdriving whites/grays and washing out detail. This is a pristine and dimensionally satisfying high definition video presentation that doesn't disappoint.
The high resolution DTS-HD MA soundtrack delivers smooth, sibilant free treble, tonally rich, crystalline dialogue, and diffused, room filling ambience. The front channels are seamlessly integrated with surrounds tightly infused which creates an immersive, stable soundstage. This mix creates an enriching sound field that comes alive during action based segments as the sounds of obliterated thugs, slashing metal, growling engines and flying bullets invigorate the listening area while being augmented by deep, low frequency energy and chest thumping impact. It made for a fun surround sound experience that mated perfectly with the tone of the film.
- Audience reaction track
- (HD) 10 deleted scenes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- (HD) Red Band Theatrical trailer
- BD-Live: Live Extras - Exclusive deleted scene McLaughlin in hospital
- Pocket BLU - with Wi-Fi download option (Apple products)
- Digital Copy
Machete is an expansion of the faux trailer that was released together with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's 2007 Grindhouse series. Like the other movies in the Grindhouse series Machete isn't a literal action film. It's a satiric play on the exploitive action films of yesteryear and features purposefully over the top action, tons of bloodletting, sexy ladies, and a lightly veiled wink and nod expose on border control. The plot is elementary and requires more imagination than your average shoot em up but if kept in the proper perspective Machete is a gratuitously entertaining film. Fox consistently delivers some of the best high definition presentations on new release Blu-ray titles and this is no exception. I found its pristine video and high quality lossless sound to be excellent. Fans will find the sparse bonus features to be a let down. I did try the Pocket BLU app and successfully downloaded the digital copy to my Apple iPad via Wi-Fi (it went smoothly and worked as advertised). If you appreciate this style of filmmaking Machete is worth the price of admission so feel free to give it a spin.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Samsung BD-C7900 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package