Tag Archives: Machete

Table For Two: The Racialicious Review of Machete

By Arturo R. García and Thea Lim

Arturo: I’ll be the first to admit it: it’s easier to talk about Machete than it is to review it. On one level, this is a “critic-proof” movie, because it was ostensibly made by Robert Rodríguez as a no-brainer successor to Planet Terror, with Danny Trejo taking his archetypal (and stereotypical?) Tough Guy character into leading-man status. And, as a guy who whooped it up along with everybody else when the original faux trailer screened after Planet Terror in theatres, I really wanted to like this flick.

But I didn’t, and was having a hard time talking about it. Enter my illustrious colleague Thea.

Thea: I was all ready to waltz around the digital Racialicious office singing the praises of Machete, when it was brought to my attention that Arturo gave the film two really big thumbs down. So I suggested we have a pop culture critics’ FACEOFF!!! Or rather, ahem, a friendly chat.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Thea: So, I thought Machete was a lot of fun.

Arturo: I thought it was a dull rehash of Planet Terror and Once Upon A Time In Mexico.

Thea: I have seen a bunch of Robert Rodriguez’s movies, but I don’t think I’m as learned in his oeuvre as you.

Arturo: R. Rodriguez seemingly couldn’t decide whether he wanted to go full-on over-the-top or craft an “epic.”

Thea: How do you think that your disappointment with the overall quality of the film connects to the race/gender stuff in the film? I was interested in the question that you posed — let me just directly quote you: “If you put a progressive message in an “intentionally bad” film, do you reduce it to a punchline?” Continue reading

Machete and Memes: Race and Articulations of Rage on the Internet

by Latoya Peterson

Some interesting intersections between pop culture, visual culture, and race surfaced in the last week.

The first was a tip sent directing me to Ain’t It Cool News which brought me to the first Mexploitation film “Machete“- by none other than Robert Rodriguez:

Machete, one of the joke trailers featured in Grindhouse is actually becoming a full movie – and the cast of Machete decided to send “a special message to Arizona” post SB 1070. Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, and Danny Trejo all recorded some new scenes directly speaking to the tension over immigration. While most of the embeddable trailers have been removed due to copyright claims, Ain’t It Cool News still has a video, so go check it out.

My favorite scene so far was Jessica Alba’s Malcolm X moment (“We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us!”) but it all looks full of win.

Reader Kristi sent in a disturbing restaurant promotion, originally called out by Jezebel:

me luv u

A California sushi restaurant has been offering free edamame — as long as you’re willing to say “Me love you long time” to the waitstaff. And apparently the idea worked so wonderfully that it’s spreading!

The Huntington Beach branch of chain RA Sushi seems to have launched the promotion in early April, according to a Facebook post. The company’s Facebook wall also included the lovely image above. Of course, saying “Me love you long time” (a line originally uttered by a Vietnamese prostitute in Full Metal Jacket) requires patrons to a) copy a racist caricature, b) copy a racist caricature of a person from Vietnam, a country not necessarily known for its sushi, and c) totally humiliate themselves.

I was just going to put this Blacklava tee up as a response:

But then, while hanging over at Resist Racism, spoken word duo Yellow Rage attacks both the action and the underlying issues with perpetuating these types of phrases: