I'm coming back to Cinematical after a bit of a hiatus, so I thought I'd start with something that's been on my mind. This morning Armond White's review of Machete -- in typical Armond White style -- claimed that anyone who enjoyed it was a moron. I like Armond's reviews, and that comment is more aimed at a reader response than at analyzing the movie, but he still misses the point. Machete isn't a movie meant to be absorbed by the mind, even though it does deliver a righteous message on the immigration issue. Rather, Machete is a purely physical experience, and it's a good one at that; it's currently on my shortlist of the best films I've seen so far this year.
What do I mean by physical experience? Let's start with perhaps the most basic appeal of the movies: they're like dreams. Humans have been dreaming in moving pictures and sounds for thousands of years, but moving pictures have only existed in reality for a little over one hundred years. No poetry, painting, opera, theater or anything else can remotely come as close to the mystery of dreams as cinema can. Dreams are personal; we get emotional and physical responses. They show us our greatest fears and our greatest desires. Sometimes they're just so weird we have no idea what they're about.