CATEGORIES DVDs, Cinematical

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.

1. 'Grindhouse'
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!)