Category Archives: robert rodriguez

Hobo with a Shotgun

Hobo with a Shotgun ~ Yeah, so I finally saw this. The number of times this film has been recommended to me by friends whose opinions I respect, and even those I don’t, is countless. Many of those friends have even nagged me with occasional “Did you see it yet?” inquiries.

The title revealing subject matter and the way sometimes I was recommended or asked about the flick has made me wonder about the sincerity of these friends. Ya know how someone will take a bite of something terrible, and then, not wanting to be the only one who is suffering, will offer you a taste? Yeah, that’s the vibe I have gotten in the past from Hobo with a Shotgun.

Right off the top, I have to give props to the director Jason Eisener and the cinematographer Karim Hussain. The color of this flick is insanely vibrant, no doubt a thematic choice to cash in on the 1970s action exploitation vibe that drives the picture. Even the movie poster reflects that homage, sans the Technicolor of course.

Based on the originally fake trailer from Rodriquez and Tarantino’s Grindhouse, the movie delivers its particular brand of hyperviolence almost from the start. Rutger Hauer is the hobo in question, and runs afoul of The Drake, the warlord who rules Hope Town. yeah, that’s the name, or in light of events and graffiti, it’s now called Scum Town.

Hauer is good here, playing apathetic at first and more than a little crazy, much better than his recent turn in “True Blood” as a subtly and hilariously similar character type. Actually had Sookie’s gramps been more like the hobo, it might have saved this season. When a shotgun eventually makes it into the hobo’s hands, he decides to become a crazed force for good, battling the bad guys and inspiring the frightened townspeople.

Trust me, this hyperviolent tale of good vs. evil set in a hellish Technicolor suburban wasteland sounds much better than it actually is but its misshapen heart is in the right place. Hauer watches and reacts for the most part, but for the rest of the cast it’s an over the top acting massacre that would make Lloyd Kaufman of Troma positively jealous.

Speaking of which, if you love Troma Films, you will love Hobo with a Shotgun. On the other hand, if you don’t, this movie is not for you. And neither is it for the squeamish. Either way, the color is fabulous. And maybe Robert Downey Jr. can fight The Plague in Iron Man 4

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Predators

Wow. We should’ve seen Inception.

Boys night out, and the decision was made to see a flick that we couldn’t go see with our significant others. Something those of us who are married know, and those of you who are not yet will find out, is that after the rings are on, you can only go to movies that you both agree on – or, in other words, movies she wants to see.

This might sound sexist, and it might sound harsh, but let me tell you, after tonight, sometimes the woman is always right. Her decision not to see Predators was dead on. I should let The Bride review the movies from now on…

The choice was this, Inception or M. Night’s Last Airbender. I pushed for Predators because it was produced by Robert Rodriguez and I liked what I had heard about it. Apparently I had heard wrong. My two buds unanimously decided that I don’t get to pick movies any more after the flick ended.

What bugs me is this could have been good, Rodriguez produced after all. I guess it just goes to show you that even a good premise, some cool special effects and an excellent cinematic mind producing still can’t put it all together. All the twists of the plot are predictable from the start, the acting is bare at most, the gore and violence is gratuitous, and worst of all – it doesn’t even have an ending. It’s like they just said, cut it here, it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t.

And how the heck can you have night on a planet where the sun doesn’t move? Next time, if there is a next time, and I get to choose – it’s Inception. And it better be good.

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Quickies 1-5-2010

The Proposal ~ Sweet and cute, but predictable romantic comedy about two folks who hate each other and upon being forced to spend time with each other fall in love. It’s fun though. I like both Ryan Reynolds and especially Sandra Bullock a lot so that might have a lot to do with it. Malin Ackerman, Silk Spectre from Watchmen, has a small role and is quite good, but is ultimately wasted. She can do better. I liked this, it was fun and harmless, just like a date movie should be.

Super Capers ~ Wanna see a movie about superheroes by folks who not only have no respect for the genre but also don’t know anything about it either? This one’s for you. Not only was I insulted, but it wasn’t funny either, not even for eight year olds. And Adam West should be ashamed of himself.

The Tale of Despereaux ~ I’ve tried multiple times to watch this one and each time it puts me to sleep. I think that says all I need to say about this one.

30,000 Leagues Under the Sea ~ What sounds like it might be fun, an updating of Captain Nemo, is just painful to watch. Lorenzo Llamas sleepwalks through this miserable pit of non-acting and bad writing as if it’s a prison sentence. And it is, just not for him, for us. This is truly one of the worst movies I have ever seen, but great if you’re looking for something to bore you to sleep.

Shorts ~ Writer/director Robert Rodriguez gives us this tale of a wishing rock, an evil corporation and neighborhood kids that never ceases to amuse. I really enjoyed this multi-layered story told in the time-tumbled fashion of Pulp Fiction with all the fun of Spy Kids. My only complaint – I saw it on DVD and found the lack of a “Ten Minute Film School” segment disappointing. Otherwise, this is highly recommended for kids of all ages.

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Ricardo Montalban 1920-2009


Continuing today as a bad day for genre actors and characters, actor Ricardo Montalban died this morning at the age of 88.

Mostly remembered for his roles as the villainous Khan in the Star Trek franchise or the mysterious Mr. Rourke on “Fantasy Island,” Mr. Montalban had a long history in the cinema and on television.

From Mexican film to MGM musicals to the Broadway stage to selling cars with “fine Corinthian leather” to playing the baddie in the 1974 Cathy Lee Crosby Wonder Woman telemovie, Montalban was always a consummate actor and a true gentleman.

In 1970 he founded Nostros, an organization designed to help actors of Hispanic origin attain their goals.

Ricardo Montalban was one of our finest actors and he will be missed.