Prelude to Machete Kills... In Space!
Machete Kills Blu-ray Review
If you enjoyed Machete then you'll likely find that Machete Kills is only bigger, bolder and badder. Or is that gooder?Gleefully self-aware, Rodriguez’s sequel to the enjoyable throwback Mexploitation film-that-was-based-on-a-fake-trailer, is another over-the-top romp, this time across the border and back, with Trejo’s haggard Machete going increasingly Bond as he speedboats, parachutes and rockets his way around, facing off against unstoppable henchmen and face-changing assassins, whilst picking up numerous underdressed female companions along the way, as he tries to stop Mel Gibson’s wondrously deranged Drax-inspired megalomaniac, who is determined to cleanse the planet with bombs and move to the stars. Phew.Not everybody will love Machete Kills. Admittedly, it does have some pacing issues, and a more streamlined approach would have better suited the material. And, indeed, I’m sure some will switch off just seconds into the initial preview trailer for Machete Kills Again... In Space, but those people really shouldn’t have come here in the first place. If you’re not game for the weird, wacky, silly, spectacular places that this series is going to go then this franchise was never for you in the first place. But if you’re up for it, then this is the sometimes insanely fun, sometimes slightly drawn-out stepping-stone towards Machete – surrounded by armies zapping each other with ray-guns – fighting Rodriguez’s own version of Darth Vader. In space. With Lightsaber machetes. Now that, I can’t wait for.
Machete Kills Blu-ray Picture QualityMachete Kills hits UK Region B-locked Blu-ray complete with a stand-up 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation which marries up to the US counterpart, promoting the film’s intentionally gritty visuals with near-perfect representation. Of course, whilst the film follows suit with its faux-exploitation look, it is nowhere near as dirty as the first run, which makes it much easier to assess the visual prowess of the presentation.
Detail is impressive throughout, with skin tones, pores, hair, blemishes and everything else you could possibly think of, coming through sharply on the close-ups; clothing weaves and background textures adding further layers to the piece, and the digital cinematography maintaining this crystal clarity with almost no signs of any digital defects: no edge enhancement, no excess DNR application, and no significant banding or blocking.
The colour scheme has been slanted with high, hot contrast, sun-drenched yellows and oranges, or rich, deep browns; it’s a broad palette of vivid tones; strong reds, vibrant greens, and deep blues; with black levels also rich, although perhaps faltering marginally during some of the darkest scenes, where crush can be seen.
Machete Kills looks excellent – often outright pristine – just about as far as you could get away from its faux-mexploitation trailer origins, or from Desperado for that matter.
Machete Kills Blu-ray Sound QualityThe accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a similarly impressive affair, brimming with outrageous action setpieces that certainly don’t hold back on the aural front; and centred on a suitably Mex-inflected score that plucks, twangs and thrums its way throughout the affair. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout, largely dominating the fronts and centre channels where appropriate, keeping its head above the deluge of furious effects and music.
It’s the myriad shootouts, with bullets whizzing out everywhere; helicopter blades whipping and whirring around; blades slices and body blows; not to gunning engines, explosions and laser blasts. It doesn’t get much more excessive than the arsenal Machete Kills has to offer, which will light up your living room. With plenty of surround and rear usage, bold LFE input and more than enough wallop to suit the craziness of the whole piece, this remains a fittingly engaging accompaniment.
Machete Kills Blu-ray ExtrasDropping the 20 minutes of Deleted Scenes and the 20 minute Making-Of that the US release got, instead the UK counterpart sports a 30-second spat from Sheen, a 2-minute discussion on Rodriguez’s casting pool, and then about 38 minutes of Interview snippets with all the main cast members, and Rodriquez again. It’s frustrating that we didn’t get the same material as on the US disc, but, at least this release isn’t bare-bones.
Is Machete Kills Blu-ray Worth BuyingNot everybody will like Machete Kills. I’m sure some will switch off just seconds into the initial preview trailer for Machete Kills Again... In Space, but those people really shouldn’t have come here in the first place. It's bigger, badder and bolder than the first film, adding a huge Bondian influence to its now aggrandised budget. The cast list has exploded, which, along with the editing, sometimes threatens to grind this grindhouse offering to a halt, but a few inspired ideas keep the fun factor fully fuelled, and the promise of the next Mex-Space-Sploitation offering from Rodriguez and Trejo is more than enough to forgive any misgivings.
On Region B-locked UK Blu-ray we get excellent video and audio, but an odd set of Extras that misses all of what the US has to offer.
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