Robert Rodriguez

Films You Didn’t Know Had Two Directors

This weekend marks the long-awaited release of part two in the Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller Sin City saga, A Dame to Kill For. A bold creative team like Rodriguez and Miller must unify their vision into one cohesive voice in order for their films to be successful. Perhaps this is why siblings or spouses dominate filmmaker duos — they’re used to making compromises. Miller described his process with Rodriguez in an interview with film critic Simon Abrams:

I’ve always preferred my heroes to be grandiose, and think that Robert and I always saw eye-to-eye in that sense. I tended to stay hands-off and let Robert do what he wanted since the process of making movies was so foreign to me. We also didn’t have that many conversations about the characterizations because I trusted him with the material. I grew up with three brothers, and now I have a fourth.

The Coens and Wachowskis have been discussed to death when it comes to filmmaker collaborations. We explored ten other movies you might not realize were made by two directors. … Read More

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‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ and the Woes of the Long-Delayed Sequel

When the first Sin City movie was released, George W. Bush had just begun his second term. Pope John Paul II died during its opening weekend; Hunter S. Thompson had taken his own life about six weeks earlier. People were talking about Terri Schiavo. Doctor Who had just returned to television after a 16-year absence, and Dan Rather and Peter Jennings had just anchored their final evening newscasts. The #1 single in the country was 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop.” Hitch, Million Dollar Baby, and Miss Congeniality 2 were still in theaters. Sin City opened against the Queen Latifah vehicle Beauty Shop, but neither film’s trailer was unveiled on YouTube, which would not launch until three weeks after their release date. In other words, the first Sin City came out a long, long time ago, and while the duration between that film and its sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For doesn’t fully explain the new film’s flaws, it’s quite instructive when examining the reactions to them. … Read More

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El Rey’s Soccer Thriller ‘Matador’ Tries to Define a New Network

Matador is El Rey’s second original program — the Robert Rodriguez-created network was only launched this past December — and it’s a nice fit for this strange new channel. El Rey’s only other offering is From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, which features characters from the film, and while it was a fun watch, it was still standard Rodriguez fare. Matador, in comparison, seems wholly original. The pilot episode, “Quid Go Pro,” is far from perfect, but it’s promising attempt by a network that’s still finding its voice. … Read More

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12 Trailers That Give Away the Whole Movie

The new remake of Carrie came out Friday, and as we discussed last week, the genuine mystery of its need to exist is multiplied by its spoiler-iffic trailer — which basically reveals the entire film, beat by beat, up to and including its blood-soaked finale. That said, it’s far from the first movie to be marketed with a trailer that gives away the entire game; here are a few of the most notorious examples (and consider yourself warned, spoiler-wise). … Read More

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The All-Time Greatest Grindhouse Films

We have genre-loving filmmakers Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez to thank for bringing grindhouse cinema to the mainstream. Their collaborative double feature, Grindhouse, has since spawned two full-length films based on the fake trailers in the movie: Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun (and Eli Roth is still entertaining a Thanksgiving movie). This weekend, Rodriguez’s sequel to his Mexploitation action flick, Machete Kills — starring Danny Trejo as an ex-Federale, this time fighting crime for the U.S. government — opens in theaters. We’ve selected some of the greatest grindhouse features to get you in the mood for machine gun bras and eccentric billionaire terrorists (played by… Mel Gibson). Travel back in time to sleazy 42nd Street for a 15-film bill of grindhouse’s greatest. … Read More

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The 50 Best Directorial Debuts in Movie History

The Toronto Film Festival, which came to a close recently, wasn’t just the starter pistol for We’re-Not-Saying-It-Yet Season; the long-term value of the festival may well be its place as a launching pad for first-time filmmakers. Twenty-eight films screened in its “Discovery” section, and while we won’t know for some time how many soon-to-be-immortal filmmakers were among its ranks, it’s a good excuse to peruse the history of film and pluck out the debut feature efforts of great directors who knocked us out from their first… Read More

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The 25 Essential American Indie Films, 1988-2013

As summer movie season grinds on, one dumbed-down big-budget summer bomb following the next, it’s tempting to give up on cinema altogether (at least until fall — and the “prestige pictures” — arrive). But there are options. Go see an indie! Watch something new and good! Or better yet, catch up on some indie movie history. In the spirit of our year-by-year suggestions for must-read books and must-own albums, we’ve assembled a rundown of the essential American independent films from the past 25 years — by no means a definitive list, but a starting… Read More

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Johnny Depp’s Most Over-the-Top Performances, Ranked From Best to Worst

Johnny Depp is an actor of skill and versatility, but when you break it down, most of his performances fall into one of two categories: Naturalistic Johnny and Over-The-Top Depp. In the former category, you have such quiet, finely tuned, nuanced turns as Donnie Brasco, Finding Neverland, Public Enemies, Blow, and Dead Man. And in the latter, you have the barnburners, the swing-for-the-fences stuff — wild performances that occasionally pay off, but often result in overworked indulgence. We’ll all find out Wednesday which camp The Lone Ranger falls into, but in the meantime, his most out-there work is ranked for you, from best to worst, after the jump. … Read More

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