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Added by johanlefourbe on 24 Aug 2015 09:07
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A Complete Review of Robert Rodriguez's work

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Cast : Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Jaime King, Juno Temple, Jamie Chung, Lady Gaga, Alexa PenaVega

What was it about?
Some of Sin City's most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.

My two cents:
Like everyone else, I was eagerly expecting this sequel and, after almost a decade, it was finally coming up so I was genuinely excited. However, when it was released, it turned out to be a flop and received some really poor reviews. Eventually, I have to admit that the critics were right as the whole thing was indeed just terribly disappointing. Eventually, except for ‘A Dame to Kill For’ which is one of the best stories in the comic-book series, all the other stories were just underwhelming. The most bewildering one was maybe the last one called ‘Nancy’s Last Dance’, not only was it barely entertaining but, above all, it gave some major continuity issues with the rest of the stories. To conclude, it is hard to believe that they took almost 10 years to deliver this, it looks like ‘Sin City’, it moves like ‘Sin City’, but it sure ain’t at the same level of this modern classic.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 423 Average listal rating (258 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.6


Cast : Danny Trejo, Mel Gibson, Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofía Vergara, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr.,
Vanessa Hudgens, Alexa PenaVega, Tom Savini, Jessica Alba

What was it about?
The U.S. government recruits Machete to battle his way through Mexico in order to take down an arms dealer who looks to launch a weapon into space.

My two cents:
I really had a hard time to get into this flick. I mean, to start up, even though I thought that the concept of the first installment was interesting, I can't say I was completely sold by the end-product and, with this sequel, it wasn't really better, I'm afraid. Sure, there were some moments that did work but most of it was just rather dull. Basically, it is pretty much like watching a bad movie and pretending that it is actually something better. A part from that, there was again a fun cast apparently having a blast doing all kind of crazy sh*t and trying really hard to convince you that this flick is actually really entertaining.

My rating: 05/10

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Cast : Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Alexa PenaVega, Danny Trejo, Ricky Gervais

What was it about?
A retired spy is called back into action, and to bond with her new step-children, she invites them along for the adventure to stop the evil Timekeeper from taking over the world.

My two cents:
I have to admit it, this movie was not really worse than the first trilogy but it was certainly not an improvement. I mean, how many jokes about baby poop can you fill in one single movie? Maybe even worse were those constant word puns involving time. Concerning Jessica Alba, after all these years, she still looks stunning but no matter how sexy her outfit is, I still have my doubts about her acting skills. The only redeeming quality I could think off was to see Alexa PenaVega, all grown up after all these years, and she made a fine transition from spy kid to spy well 'adult'. It's too bad because this concept always had some potential and the fact that all the installments made some money shows that the audience was interested.

My rating: 04/10

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People who added this item 1587 Average listal rating (1018 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6


Cast : Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan, Tom Savini

What was it about?
After being set-up and betrayed by the man who hired him to assassinate a Texas Senator, an ex-Federale launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss.

My two cents:
Like most of us, I really enjoyed the 'Machete' trailer displayed in 'Grindhouse', and from all the trailers, it was the only one which really seemed to have some potential as a full length feature. Eventually, I thought it was not bad at all. I mean, there were some completely absurd but also totally awesome action scenes and the whole thing was sometimes hilarious. Still, I can't say I was really convinced by the whole thing. I mean, it was fun, that's for sure, but there were unfortunately also plenty of dull moments. Furthermore, even though Danny Trejo has an incredible face and totally looked the part, the guy can't act for sh*t... It's all right for a 2 minutes trailer but playing the lead for almost 2 hours, that was just way out of his league. The funny thing is that, afterwards, I discovered that he was 66 years old when shooting this movie and will be almost 70 when the sequel will be released!

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 118 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 4.6 IMDB Rating 4.8


Cast : Kat Dennings, Leslie Mann, Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, James Spader

What was it about?
A young boy's discovery of a colorful, wish-granting rock causes chaos in the suburban town of Black Falls when jealous kids and scheming adults alike set out to get their hands on it.

My two cents:
Well, it wasn't really good, I'm afraid. Basically, when it was released, even though it wasn’t a massive flop, it was still barely noticed and the whole thing sure didn't get much love. In fact, it all started more than 10 years ago, with the surprise success of 'Spy Kids'. Suddenly, Rodriguez really started to believe that he was actually good in the family-friendly genre when, in fact, 'Spy Kids' was never really good to start with and the movies he made afterwards were increasingly disappointing. Eventually, this one might not even be his worse one ('Spy Kids 4' was just too abysmal) but it wasn’t really far behind. Indeed, the story was terribly generic and boring, the kids all delivered some really weak performances and I seriously had a hard time to care about the damned thing.

My rating: 05/10

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Cast : Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Michael Biehn, Bruce Willis, Naveen Andrews, Fergie, Tom Savini, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Trejo, Zoë Bell

What was it about?
After an experimental bio-weapon is released, turning thousands into zombie-like creatures, it's up to a rag-tag group of survivors to stop the infected and those behind its release.

My two cents:
Since 'Grindhouse' was a flop in North America, they decided to release the movies separately in the rest of the world which was a terrible mistake, in my opinion. Indeed, even though 'Planet Terror' was, by far, the best part in 'Grindhouse', I thought this full version was rather disappointing and completely unnecessary. Basically, it didn't add anything really interesting to the story and, in my opinion, there was barely no difference between the short version displayed in ‘Grindhouse’ and this longer version. On top of that, even though it was quite entertaining the first time around, I’m not sure if it really required a 2nd watch. Still, it remains was a fun ride, no doubt about it.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 1810 Average listal rating (1038 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6


Cast : Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Michael Biehn, Bruce Willis, Naveen Andrews, Fergie, Tom Savini, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Trejo, Zoë Bell

What was it about?
Two full length feature horror movies written by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez put together as a two film feature. Including fake movie trailers in between both movies.

My two cents:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this flick but it really seemed to be some kind of vanity project for Tarantino and Rodriguez. Seriously, except for them, was there seriously an audience asking for an homage to those 70's exploitation flicks? Anyway, it was a flop and the whole thing was never released theatrically except in North America. Eventually, I thought it was really cool. Indeed, the fake trailers were awesome and 'Planet Terror' was hilariously over-the-top so it seemed to be a winner until I watched 'Death Proof'... Indeed, up to that point I was seriously having fun but the segment directed by Tarantino was just completely disappointing. I mean, if you make a short movie for an anthology, don't split it into 2 stories, for crying out loud!!! Indeed, instead of one fully fledged story like in 'Planet Terror', you ended up with 2 half-baked tales. As usual with Tarantino, I enjoyed the directing, the whole thing was still rather entertaining but even though the dialogues were pretty cool as usual, they often felt really pointless. So, the whole thing was a bold and daring project and without Quentin Tarantino's misfire, it would have been really awesome.

My rating: 07/10 (for 'Grindhouse') / 08/10 (for the 'Planet Terror' segment)

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Cast : Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, David Arquette, Kristin Davis

What was it about?
A young boy is recruited by his imaginary friends Sharkboy and Lavagirl to help save their planet.

My two cents:
I honestly had no idea what this movie was about before watching it but since it was directed by Robert Rodriguez, I was quite eager to check it out. Apparently, according to IMDB, it is so far the worst movie directed by Rodriguez (followed really closely by ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D’) but, like I said before, I wasn’t aware of this fact before watching it and, as a matter of fact, I thought it was actually better than the Spy Kids franchise. Indeed, I thought the sequels were rather abysmal and even though the first installment was not bad, I still slightly preferred this flick. Indeed, I thought the concept was not bad, it was visually pretty cool and I thought it was quite entertaining. It was also rather fun to see that, at the time, Taylor Lautner was still just a small kid but I thought he was actually quite charismatic.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 6207 Average listal rating (4099 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8


Cast : Jessica Alba, Devon Aoki, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Benicio Del Toro, Carla Gugino, Josh Hartnett, Rutger Hauer, Jaime King, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Nick Stahl, Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood

What was it about?
A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption.

My two cents:
When this first installment came out, it had quite an impact and it became right away a cult-classic. At the time, I got pretty lucky as I managed to see it in the movie theater when it was released and I was seriously quite blown away by the damned thing. By now, I have seen all the movies directed by Robert Rodriguez and, in my opinion, it is easily his best movie and I would go as far as saying that it is definitely one of the the best comic book adaptations ever made. Visually, even 10 years after, it still looks pretty impressive and it is filled with some very dark characters brought to life by a solid cast, especially by Mickey Rourke who gave here one of his best performances. Since then, I have actually bought the original Sin City comic books, those are great as well and I can tell you that this movie was a very faithful adaptation, probably the most faithful adaptation of a comic-book that you will ever see. Basically, I just love this flick.

My rating: 09/10

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Cast : Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes, Danny Trejo, Enrique Iglesias, Willem Dafoe

What was it about?
Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.

My two cents:
Almost a decade after 'Desperado', Rodriguez decided to make another installment, completing already his second trilogy in 2003 (alongside the Spy Kids franchise). It was once again even more ambitious with many actors added to the cast. Eventually, pretty much like ‘Desperado’, I thought it was a fun movie but not much more than that, I’m afraid. The main issue, this time, is that there were so many characters that, as a result, you barely get to see Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, supposedly the leads here. Still, back in those days, Johnny Depp was not ruling (or ruining) the box-office yet and he definitely stole the show with a really wacky performance.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 797 Average listal rating (490 ratings) 4.2 IMDB Rating 4.2


Cast : Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa PenaVega, Ricardo Montalban, Sylvester Stallone, Salma Hayek, Emily Osment, Danny Trejo, Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub, Steve Buscemi, Bill Paxton, George Clooney, Elijah Wood, Selena Gomez

What was it about?
Carmen's caught in a virtual reality game designed by the Kids' new nemesis, the Toymaker (Stallone). It's up to Juni to save his sister, and ultimately the world.

My two cents:
Honestly, I was always had a hard time with this franchise. Indeed, even though the 1st installment was a surprise success at the box-office, I thought it was rather underwhelming even if the concept actually had some potential. Anyway, at the time, it seemed that Robert Rodriguez found his new cash-cow and kept making Spy Kids flicks until the audience really got fed up. As a result, this movie was a flop and Rodriguez finally decided to drop the whole thing (he did make another one in 2011 though but it turned out be even more pathetic). At least, 6 years before ‘Avatar’, Rodriguez already tried to revive the 3D gimmick but it seems that it was too early and the audience didn’t care for it at the time (the movie did look pretty ugly indeed). Even Sylvester Stallone playing multiple villains couldn’t save this flick.

My rating: 05/10

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Cast : Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa PenaVega, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, Emily Osment, Ricardo Montalban, Alan Cumming, Taylor Momsen, Bill Paxton, Tony Shalhoub

What was it about?
The Cortez siblings set out for a mysterious island, where they encounter a genetic scientist and a set of rival spy kids.

My two cents:
Since the first installment was such a success, of course, they had to come up with a sequel which was also fairly successful at the box-office. Personally, it gave me the same feeling as the previous installment and I didn’t care much for it but, I have to admit it, my kids really liked it a lot. At least, it was nice to see Steve Buscemi playing a mad scientist, even though his ‘creations’ looked really awful but, on the other hand, we shouldn’t blame Buscemi for the really poor CGI used in this flick (seriously, if you watch this movie nowadays, the whole thing looks even more pathetic if you compare it to the current CGI special effects).

My rating: 05/10

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People who added this item 1850 Average listal rating (1121 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 5.5


Cast : Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa PenaVega, Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub, Teri Hatcher, Robert Patrick, Danny Trejo, Richard Linklater

What was it about?
The children of secret-agent parents must save them from danger.

My two cents:
To be honest, I never really understood the appeal of this franchise back then when it was released. I mean, sure, the whole concept definitely had some potential but I thought it was actually rather poorly developed. On top of that, it really didn't grow old very well at all. To be honest, my children really liked this movie (and its sequels) a lot so I guess it was a success with its target audience but, in my opinion, I don’t think it is really enjoyable for grown-ups. Still, at least, I think we should give Robert Rodriguez some credit for going from some really R rated features to some family material like this one and still being quite successful in the process which is quite rare.

My rating: 05/10

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People who added this item 1269 Average listal rating (827 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.5


Cast : Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Josh Hartnett, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Robert Patrick, Usher Raymond, Jon Stewart, Elijah Wood, Danny Masterson

What was it about?
Students suspect that their teachers are aliens after bizarre occurrences.

My two cents:
I forgot about it but the screenplay for this movie was actually written by Kevin Williamson, the guy who also wrote 'Scream', one of the most influential movies released in the 90's. To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this flick and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. One thing really enjoyable about Robert Rodriguez is that, in contrary to his best buddy Quentin Tarantino, the guy is definitely not pretentious and it is really obvious in his movies, especially this one. Indeed, sure, it is nothing really amazing but it was never meant to be ground-breaking and I thought it was actually a fairly decent and entertaining horror-SF feature.

My rating: 06/10

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Cast : George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hayek, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, Kelly Preston, John Hawkes

What was it about?
Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in an establishment populated by vampires, with chaotic results.

My two cents:
It was the first script that Quentin Tarantino was paid to write, for the mere sum of $1,500 and it was one of the first projects involving him and Rodriguez (‘Desperado’ and ‘Four Rooms’ were both released earlier though). Like everything else written by Quentin Tarantino, it quickly became a cult classic. Honestly, even though it is a fun flick, to be honest, it is still nothing really amazing though. I mean, if you have never heard of this movie before then it is pretty neat because, half way through, you have this huge twist (that’s what happened to my sister actually if I really it correctly). Unfortunately, before watching this , I knew what was going to happen, so the surprise was rather ruined for me and I just didn’t care much for the second half of this story. In my opinion, it is pretty much a glorified B feature and, back then, Tarantino thought he could be also an actor (fortunately, he dropped the idea since then) but it was pretty obvious that the guy should stick to writing and directing.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 1045 Average listal rating (665 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.7


Cast : Tim Roth, Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek

What was it about?
Four interlocking tales that take place in a fading hotel on New Year's Eve.

My two cents:
I remember it quite well, even though it was a really obscure flick, I was still quite eager to check it out. above all because Tarantino was involved. The short directed by Rodriguez was watchable but, to be honest, none of the segments included here really impressed me and the whole thing rightfully remains some rather obscure addition in the filmography of all the people involved. The best thing here was Tim Roth who was really good as usual and it's really a shame that we don't hear much from him anymore.

My rating: 06/10 (this is my rating for Rodriguez's short but also for the whole movie itself)

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People who added this item 1799 Average listal rating (1184 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2


Cast : Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, Quentin Tarantino, Enrique Iglesias

What was it about?
A gunslinger is embroiled in a war with a local drug runner.

My two cents:
Even though Rodriguez definitely got noticed thanks to 'El Mariachi', it is actually really with this flick that he became really noticed by the mainstream audience. Indeed, even though the budget was still rather modest (approximately $7 million), it was still 1000 times the amount of money Rodriguez spent to make his previous directing effort. Anyway, even though it was nothing really original, it was still a very well made and entertaining action flick. On top of that, not only it introduced Robert Rodriguez, but it helped Antonio Banderas and the always lovely Salma Hayek to breakthrough in the USA so this movie was pretty much a very important milestone for all the players involved.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 842 Average listal rating (538 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9


What was it about?
A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.

My two cents:
Before judging this flick, you have to bear in mind the circumstances during which it was directed. Indeed, it was made on one shoe-string budget (allegedly 7000 dollars, although the post-production and promotion did cost 1 million dollars), Rodriguez considered this movie as pure practice and it was actually meant to be a straight-to-video feature. So, of course, it looks cheap, the acting was pretty weak and the plot was rather pedestrian. Still, I did like the damned thing though. Indeed, it is a fun movie and it is just really amazing to see how Rodriguez managed to shoot those action scenes, even though he didn’t have any money at all. Since then, Rodriguez has been pretty productive and even though not all his movies were great, he has been a master at making low cost features always generating a profit so I think he is actually some kind of role-model, especially in the current movie environment which is nowadays dominated by the massive expensive blockbusters.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 0


What was it about?
Two feuding siblings find their usual mischief augmented when psychic powers are suddenly thrown into the mix.

My two cents:
Basically, it is a small short starring only relatives of Robert Rodriguez and, even though it was nothing really amazing, it was still a decent watch. Eventually, what I liked the most was probably the animation during the beginning credits. Still, the movie was not bad and it was quite fun to see Robert Rodriguez playing around before starting to work on some full length features.

My rating: 06/10
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Since I have finally managed to watch all the movies directed by Robert Rodriguez, I was really eager to make one of those lists. To be honest, his track-record is not really amazing but he is still an interested director.

Enjoy!


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A Complete Review of various directors' work (53 lists)
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Published 6 years, 3 months ago 7 comments



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