Robert Rodriguez

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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15 Great Filmmakers to Follow on Twitter

Film fans on Twitter have known for a few weeks now that Steven Soderbergh has what he calls “sort of a shadow name” where he’s “posted a few things” on the social networking site; over the past 24 hours, that feed got a lot busier, as Soderbergh (under the unverified handle @bitchuation) started tweeting a novella. Semi-anonymous or not (and even if confining his tweets to novellas and absurd observations), Soderbergh joins a growing body of terrific filmmakers using the medium for film conversation, self-promotion, and peeks behind the curtain. Flavorwire rounded up some favorites back in 2010, but three years is an eternity in Twitter time, so here are a few more recommendations to add to your “following” list. … Read More

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The Best Books by Great Filmmakers

Movie fans, rejoice: The Friedkin Connection, the new memoir by French Connection and Exorcist director William Friedkin, hits bookstore shelves today, and it’s terrific. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise when a great filmmaker writes a great book; good movies are all about storytelling, and some of our favorite filmmakers have proven equally adept at telling stories on the page as on celluloid. Some stick to their primary area of expertise, with tomes on the craft and life of the filmmaker; others take the opportunity to widen their scope a bit, with fascinating results. After the jump, we’ll share some of our favorite volumes by great moviemakers. … Read More

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A Beginner’s Guide to Spaghetti Westerns

Next week marks the DVD and Blu-ray debut of Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning tribute to his favorite of all cinematic subgenres, the Spaghetti Western. Ah yes, you might nod, unafraid to ask the follow-up question: And what, exactly, is a Spaghetti Western? The short answer — if you’re willing to allow the use of the term, which some of those who made these films take as a slam — is an Italian-made western made roughly between 1964-1973 (there were about 500 of them, give or take a few). But if you’d care to sound a little more informed than that at your next film-geek gathering (shut up, we occasionally gather), or if you’d like to use Django as a jumping-off point for a deeper exploration of these popular works, we offer another of our helpful Beginner’s Guides, this one giving you a brief overview of the practitioners and practices of the Spaghetti Western. … Read More

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