1. Going The Distance (Warner Brothers, 3,030 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated R): As someone who has gone through a long distance relationship, I can tell you there is humor and interesting moments. My distance was a little shorter than the Chicago to Los Angeles trip this film’s characters have to span, but even in the trailer, I can see some mirror to my own life.
That being said, is there enough to build a movie around. Granted, in the romantic comedy genre, there is a desperation for something fresh and new that audiences could quite possibly give anything the benefit of the doubt. But the concept, or at least how the film seems to execute it, appears to be lacking in romance and comedy.
Drew Barrymore and Justin Long are charming actors, although I can do without their “real life relationship” being mentioned in every article about the film. Maybe they can make the material better than it appears.
2. Machete (Fox, 2,670 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated R): I love the fact that this film got made. I don’t know if the fake Machete trailer that appeared during the combined Grindhouse showings was my favorite, but it was high up there.
Apparently, it was popular with a lot of other people as well because they sewed a complete film around the edges of the trailer. Danny Trejo play an ex-Federale who might be in the U.S. illegally who decides to get vengeance on corrupt politicians who set him up.
The cast is fantastic. You have Trejo in the lead, which is a good thing. You have A-listers like Robert DeNiro and Jessica Alba with roles, you have reclamation projects such as Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal and Don Johnson, and you have true B-movie actors like Jeff Fahey. Not your typical Grindhouse cast, but exciting to watch.
Although, while I loved loved loved Grindhouse, audiences stayed away, scared by the “cinema verite” approach the directors took (missing reels, grainy footage, etc). It appears that those stylistic choices are gone here, and all we have it pure Mexploitation, but will moviegoers be wary?