By Jason Apuzzo. • The Hollywood Reporter is running a big article today on the controversy expected from Robert Rodriguez’s forthcoming Machete, which comes out next week. Essentially, the film is landing smack in the middle of the ongoing immigration debate (particularly, re: Arizona), and here are some of the delightful episodes we can apparently expect to see in Rodriguez’s film:
Among “Machete’s” more provocative elements are border vigilantes led by Don Johnson as a kind of avatar for Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio and fake political ads for an incumbent senator whose platform is built on his “hard line against wetbacks” and a description of them as “parasites.” That the two characters murder a pregnant Mexican woman to prevent her baby from being born in America and then shoot her distraught husband while uttering the line, “Welcome to America,” underlines the point.
What complicates this sort of thing, of course, is that Rodriguez’s films tend to be done in a tongue-in-cheek manner … but it’s difficult to understand how the murder of a pregnant Mexican woman and her husband – mixed with the genuinely cheap, gratuitous “Welcome to America” crack – is really all that conducive to an amusing storyline.
Or to put it another way: this isn’t very funny.
Rodriguez has made quite a nice career for himself in America. Does he ever reflect on that, at all? I’ve generally been a fan of his – even through the weird, 9/11-related anti-military subplot of Planet Terror - but I’m getting the sense he might be pushing the envelope a bit too far in this film. Why? Why does he feel the need to do this?
• In related news, Machete’s Jessica Alba says she’s going to try to start taking more family-friendly roles, now that she’s a mother. It’s getting a little late for that, frankly. The family-friend roles, that is – not the motherhood.
• On the family-friendly front, by the way, the LA Times has a nice little article today on Disney’s new ‘Tinker Bell’ movie series, which Pixar’s John Lasseter and a variety of other talented people are involved in … so check that out.
• One of the things I neglected to mention yesterday in my remarks on James Cameron is that he also gives away too much in his interviews. Even if I was interested in seeing in Avatar: Special Edition – which I’m not – it’s become quite plain that a much longer, fuller version of the film is headed to DVD and Blu-ray. This version of the film, which will include about 16 new minutes (instead of the 9 new minutes in the current version heading into theaters today), is apparently going to include a prologue featuring Sam Worthington’s character on a “polluted, dystopian Earth … shots of lead character Jake in a sports bar” with “polluted, crowded cityscapes.” The picture to the left, taken from this website, apparently gives you the flavor of what Earth looks like in these scenes. I believe the phrase here would be ‘Blade Runner-esque.’
Beyond all this, the new Avatar DVD is also going to have about 45 minutes of unfinished and/or deleted scenes, apparently – so there doesn’t really seem to be much reason to sit through the 3 hours this weekend, except for the fetishists and/or completists.
• AND IN TODAY’S MOST IMPORTANT NEWS … Katy Perry talks career vs. Christianity today over at Access Hollywood. Sorry, no pin-up today! I promise to make up for it next week …
And that’s what’s happening today in the wonderful world of Hollywood.
Posted on August 76th, 2010 at 2:37pm.