Today marks the arrival of 'Machete' in your local video store, and like most of Robert Rodriguez's films ... it's pretty damn crazy. Graphic violence, sexy women, tongue-in-cheek satire, broad wackiness, and a powerfully eclectic cast are what you'll generally find in the man's films, and with that in mind...
5. 'Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams'
The Movie: There was still a lot of charm left in the franchise when Part 2 of the family-friendly adventure series made its appearance. Some (like me) like it better than Part 1.
The DVD: The sequel has one thing the original does not: a DVD overflowing with extra features: the director offers his typically engaging "film school" stuff, but there's also some bonus goodies for the kids to enjoy.
4. 'El Mariachi' / 'Desperado'
The Movies: A fascinating double feature in that it shows what Rodriguez can do with very little ... and it also shows what he can do with a decent budget. Throw in the overzealous but entertaining 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico' and you have one stylishly bizarre trilogy:
The DVD: Just out this week is the aforementioned double feature on Blu-ray, and it seems that the new release retains all the commentary / featurette goodness from the earlier DVDs -- which makes that Blu-ray a must-own for any R.R. fan.
3. 'From Dusk Till Dawn'
The Movie: Half kidnapping thriller, half wall-to-wall horror mayhem, and full of folks like Clooney, Keitel, and Hayek having lots of good pulpy fun.
The DVD: Tons of the usual goodies, but the feature-length 'Full Tilt Boogie' documentary still stands as one stellar behind-the-scenes piece.
2. 'Sin City'
The Movie: The director's most accomplished feature to date, and a fantastic combination of the director's trademark bravado and Frank Miller's "graphic noir" artistry. Plus it's dark, twisted, and fun.
The DVD: The 'Sin City' mega-set is a high-end piece of home video entertainment indeed: the theatrical cut has multiple commentaries with the filmmaker and Frank Miller; the "unrated, recut & extended" version is almost too much Sin City to handle ... and then there's another huge parcel of supplements. Also available on Blu-ray.
The Movie: Rodriguez tosses Carpenter, Romero, and a bunch of other flavors into an open blender, presses mega-spin, and sits back while the gore soaks the walls. Lots of fun.
The DVD: If you thought the stand-alone 'Planet Terror' DVD was stocked with extra treats (and it was), then wait till you sift through the full-length 'Grindhouse' set, which offers the mega-marathon double feature, all the old supplements, and a bunch of great new ones. Also available on Blu-ray.
(Also check out the 'Predators' DVD, Rodriguez-ites!)