22 March 2007 | gravity3
Not What You Want to Watch...Trust Me!
If you like action or crime drama, you probably saw something on MACHINE, maybe the cover, and thought 'hey this could be cool. So what if it's direct-to-video, it's probably just the usual indie budget issues.'
That's what I thought too. I was SO wrong.
This is from the school of post-RESERVOIR DOGS filmmakers that believe all you need for a modern crime drama are some cool looking people shooting other people down with cool looking guns, all the while maintaining their cool. Now I'm not a big fan of RESERVOIR DOGS, but Tarantino at least had clever dialog, good blocking, gritty lighting, some nice camera moves, Harvey Keitel, and most of all, a story to tell - he knew guys looking cool and shooting off guns doesn't make a movie. So yeah, Michael Madsen was in DOGS; now he's been in this one, a real dog.
It is difficult for me to describe a film this bad. My viewing experience of MACHINE was something like this: 'Wow, that's the worst camera-work I've ever seen...ever... it's really grainy, like that digital grain Michael Mann got for COLLATERAL with all those cool night scenes with Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise...except those guys aren't in this one, and this just looks BAD. Oh, there's Neil McDonough, wow he's great as ever...wait, is that all we get of him?' You get the idea.
The really astonishing thing was that Madsen and McDonough STILL knocked out good performances (the only reason there's a star in my rating) - a credit to their professionalism. But when they're not on screen (and that's most of the time), then it's just a painful exercise in what not to do when making your own movie. Your uncle probably frames up a better shot with his little hand-held at family get-togethers, than what these guys did here. This DVD is not what you want to watch; it's what you use when you run out of coasters for your drinks.