Skip

Don't mess with Texans.
December 9, 2010 4:28 PM   Subscribe

Robert Rodriguez's Machete ( Previously) started out as a joke, and went on to be a rather successful film. However, Texas Governor Rick Perry feels the movie doesn't portray Texas positively and has revoked the productions tax breaks. possibly at the cost of Texas's film industry.
posted by djduckie (79 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, that's a pretty shoddy way to treat THE best film of the year, and certainly reinforces the general impression that the population of Texas is in the habit of electing worthless idiots.

(Texan Mefites, you may now commence your boo-hoo-hoo)
posted by Artw at 4:33 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


i think we can all agree that rick perry doesn't reflect positively on texas. can we at least remove his hair product budget?
posted by nadawi at 4:33 PM on December 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


[Actually, scratch that, that's the second link. Looks like they pulled the original one.]
posted by JauntyFedora at 4:33 PM on December 9, 2010


Cuz when I think "film business," the very first place I think of is Texas.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:34 PM on December 9, 2010


Ten reasons why ‘Machete’ is actually good (regardless of what you may have heard) - Of course, if someone has told you Machette is not good they are probably kind of an idiot worth ignoring anyway.
posted by Artw at 4:35 PM on December 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


I didn't vote for the fucker.
posted by muddgirl at 4:37 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


(Texan Mefites, you may now commence your boo-hoo-hoo)

Reality has a well-known anti-Texas bias.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:37 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


So, when can we start trotting out the "Tax-and-Spend Republicans" catchphrase?
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:38 PM on December 9, 2010


Well, it doesn't portray Texas politicians in a good light. To be fair, neither do Texas politicians.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:39 PM on December 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


How did Rick Perry get involved in this story? The governor is not usually involved with Film Commission decisions.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:39 PM on December 9, 2010


population of Texas is in the habit of electing worthless idiots.

Hooray! I'm part of a state that has unanimous voting! All you pikers with your 60 or 70 percent "mandates". You know nothing of a true hivemind.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 4:40 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


possibly at the cost of Texas's film industry

We're not losing The English Patient-caliber productions, so it's hardly the world's loss. Still, I'm a bit surprised that Robert Rodriguez hasn't already moved his production facilities to Mexico, for the same reason that people film up in Vancouver.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:43 PM on December 9, 2010




Yeah clearly states should be in the business of subsidizing violent hate-films.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 4:50 PM on December 9, 2010


Yeah clearly states should only be in the business of subsidzing shiny happy white folk singing christian songs films.
posted by spicynuts at 4:57 PM on December 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


Yeah clearly states should be in the business of subsidizing films.
posted by ripley_ at 4:59 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Hate films? What the hell are you talking about?
posted by brundlefly at 5:00 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah clearly states should be in the business of subsidizing films.

The incentive for a [location] to offer breaks (or, ahem "subsidizing"), is to bring dollars and employment to their state and the surrounding local economy where the film is shot. It is a traditional practice in many states and, hell, countries, as movie producers are ever cost conscious and will move a foreign production at a whim of 2% or more.
posted by cavalier at 5:04 PM on December 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


The first link worked before. Not finding a suitable replacement. Sorry.
posted by djduckie at 5:07 PM on December 9, 2010


Machete hates... But Machete loves too.
posted by Artw at 5:08 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Machete isn't by any standard a good movie. But it's a very entertaining one, and I liked it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:11 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cuz when I think "film business," the very first place I think of is Texas.

Well, Rodriguez does most of his film-making there, as do a number of his friends, and his productions tend to be exceptional profitable compared to their costs, so it's safe to say that for some value of "film business" Texas has been exceptionally successful.

Penalizing him because they didn't like the message suggests that they have failed to understand that message.
posted by quin at 5:17 PM on December 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


Ten reasons why ‘Machete’ is actually good

This.

If you’ve gone to see a film called Machete and you didn’t like it then you shouldn’t have gone to see a film called Machete.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:18 PM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


You know, I think Machete is in fact a good movie, and not just a vastly entertaining one. Because the only way something can be that fucking awesome is if it's also kinda good, too.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:21 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Come to Louisiana for your filming needs. We don't care what you film.
posted by govtdrone at 5:21 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I suspect Troublemaker Studios has brought Texas a fair bit of money over the years.

And they've made The English Patient zero times, which I consider a plus.
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


It comes down to whether there were significant changes between the approved pre-production script, and the final movie. If not, it's after the fact bullshit politics.
posted by aerotive at 5:31 PM on December 9, 2010


The incentive for a [location] to offer breaks (or, ahem "subsidizing"), is to bring dollars and employment to their state and the surrounding local economy where the film is shot. It is a traditional practice in many states and, hell, countries, as movie producers are ever cost conscious and will move a foreign production at a whim of 2% or more.

I know, thanks for stating the obvious. I agree that individual locations have incentive to do so, I just think the end-result of lower taxes for one particular industry is a little gross.
posted by ripley_ at 5:31 PM on December 9, 2010


Well, you did rather seem to need the obvious stating.
posted by Artw at 5:33 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh for fuck's sake Rick. Fuck you and your stupid hair.
posted by kmz at 5:34 PM on December 9, 2010


You just fucked with the wrong Mexican movie.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:34 PM on December 9, 2010 [28 favorites]


I haven't seen it yet, but I just wanted to say that Danny Trejo does the voice of one of the companions in Fallout: New Vegas, and reveals a surprising gift for comic delivery.
posted by Ritchie at 5:36 PM on December 9, 2010


I watched Machete and Birth of a Nation back to back and I couldn't tell which was which! It was like the end of Animal Farm!

I'm still shaking
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:37 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


What govtdrone said. Hey, we have a really cool ramp behind our building that was already used in The Final Destination, I could use another week of eating the fancy food and schmoozing with the FX guys between takes. You do need a ramp for your picture, don't you? Sure you do.
posted by localroger at 5:46 PM on December 9, 2010



Machete isn't by any standard a good movie. But it's a very entertaining one, and I liked it.


Entertaining doesn't have anything to do with goodness?
posted by josher71 at 5:47 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Republicans being douches, film at 11.
posted by acb at 5:48 PM on December 9, 2010


Danny Trejo makes any movie better if he's in it.

"Do you know what I am?!"

"Ugly all day."
posted by bwg at 5:49 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know, thanks for stating the obvious

ripley_, it was not clear by your comment based on those above that you knew what was going on. Your attitude, however, is vehemently clear. Have a nice day.
posted by cavalier at 5:50 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


As someone who is tangentally involved in the Texas film industry, I'd like to rebut a few of the "lolTexasfilms" comments.

Firstly, yes the industry here is small. It's not as big as Hollywood but nothing is that big, except bollywood. There is however a real industry. A lot of commercials get filmed here (enough to keep several talent agencies doing very well for themselves), alot of desert scenes get filmed here, plus the city of Austin gets alot of screentime as "Anytown, USA" - you've seen it more than you know.

Yeah it's small, but it's real and it's provides jobs for more than a few Texans, many of them my friends.
posted by Avenger at 5:57 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Machete isn't by any standard a good movie. But it's a very entertaining one, and I liked it.

My first impulse was to ask "So what are movies for, then, if not entertainment--and what other metric might one use to judge them?" but I realized that the ground underneath that discussion has likely been trampled bare.

I'm curious what a good movie is to you, though. For me, it's usually about consistency, direction, and self-awareness; I consider Machete a good movie because it accomplishes what it sets out to do, and what it sets out to do is something I would enjoy watching happen. Same way with, say, Speed Racer (which got terrible reviews all over, yet my wife and I greatly enjoyed.) They went for a surreal visual narrative, and boy did they ever get there--and I enjoy surreal visual narratives!

Contrast that with, say, The Godfather--which is consistent and well made and considered One Of The Best Ever, but so morally and socially repugnant to me that I have no interest in watching any of it happen. I have no interest in emotional tragedies, and a distinct aversion to watching, say, the Titanic sinking with people locked in it.


Returning to topic, I can only assume Rick Perry realized that nobody would use a movie like Machete to make a decision about Texas as a whole. I think the subtext is that he identified politically with the antagonists, and was offended by the "betrayal" that represented to him. And the kind of person who takes things like movies personally (nevermind identifies most with the villains in Machete) isn't the kind of person I'd want to be Governor of any state...
posted by Phyltre at 5:57 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


"So what are movies for, then, if not entertainment--and what other metric might one use to judge them?"

Worthiness.
posted by Artw at 5:59 PM on December 9, 2010


They fucked with the wrong Mexican-American filmmaker.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:03 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


But it seems the issue here is whether Perry is just being an asshole, or if there really is a legitimate argument over changes in the movie which made the production ineligible for the subsidy. On the one hand, I find it difficult to think a movie called Machete, with the trailer put out well in advance, would offer any surprises to the tax censors in charge of making such judgments. On the other, politics goes with the territory when subsidies are concerned.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:06 PM on December 9, 2010


I wrote Governor Rick Perry a letter.

He didn't reply, but he was nice enough to send me an autographed photo. I was going to post the photo, but my lawyer said I couldn't, so I just posted the text on that back and linked to all the other people illegally posting his photo! Life was more fun before I had someone telling me no.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:12 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Rick Perry: Asshat, film at -- oh shit, can't afford to make it here. Nevermind
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:27 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Let me get this straight.

The tax breaks aren't decided upon employment of local talent, but on review of the final product?

Creepy. That is a system designed to censor.
posted by effugas at 6:28 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


This seems to be the week for republican governors making dumbass decisions that place a very sharp knife in a position very precariously close to their own noses.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:33 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


A lot of commercials get filmed here (enough to keep several talent agencies doing very well for themselves), alot of desert scenes get filmed here, plus the city of Austin gets alot of screentime as "Anytown, USA" - you've seen it more than you know.

Don't forget our three fake Alamos... plus the real one I guess.
posted by muddgirl at 6:34 PM on December 9, 2010


But it seems the issue here is whether Perry is just being an asshole, or if there really is a ....

No, Rick Perry is, in fact, an asshole. If you take an ass, a whole ass, and look for the hole in that ass, inside you will find asshole Rick Perry being an asshole in an asshole. He is the mayor of Assholetown, or more accurately, he is the Governor of Texas. Asshole is his middle name. Rick Asshole Perry. If a piece of shit gets Rick Perry on it, it says "oh hey, I came from an asshole like you."
posted by jefbla at 6:38 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is ridiculous. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face...
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:41 PM on December 9, 2010


PS-to all filmmakers, welcome to North Carolina. Wilmington, in particular, loves you guys.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:42 PM on December 9, 2010


Machete isn't by any standard a good movie.

That's true. Machete is a fucking GREAT movie!
posted by spilon at 6:48 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


it was not clear by your comment based on those above that you knew what was going on.

I apologize, I thought that the logic behind filmmaking tax breaks was common knowledge. I should have been more civil.
posted by ripley_ at 6:54 PM on December 9, 2010


In Austin alone the industry is pretty active in the mainstream. A lot of your favorite movies were probably filmed here. Before they got cancelled 2 TV shows were being filmed here and there is a third that I think is still active in Dallas.

I am going to be a P.A. for a film that starts production a week from now, and about 10 years ago I was frequently an extra.

So, not to sound too much like a Texas, but I'd thank you kindly to get your facts straight before making any sort of assumption about the film industry in Texas.

also, Fuck you, I'm from Texas.
posted by djduckie at 7:05 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


MACHETE DON'T TAX.
posted by Iosephus at 7:19 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Don't forget our three fake Alamos... plus the real one I guess.

I've been to the fake Alamo in Brackettville (which is much more fun than the real Alamo). Where are the two others?
posted by donajo at 7:19 PM on December 9, 2010


Considering that Governor Goodhair just ran and won on a platform of bringing more jobs to Texas, you think he wouldn't be quite so fast to piss them away. On the other hand, it's not like he has to run again for four years. And a lot of those jobs are here in the People's Republic of Austin, so they probably didn't vote for him anyway.

(What does the film commission have to do with the governor? Check the web site.)
posted by immlass at 7:34 PM on December 9, 2010


"Robocop 2" was filmed in downtown Houston. That is worth 200,000 Hollywood movies.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:42 PM on December 9, 2010


I'd get on the LOLTexas bandwagon, but I'm from Iowa and we've managed to fuck this one up so bad that some people are going to go to jail. <---- Me prognosticating. <---- Me using words I barely know.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:55 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


More for Michigan suckas! It was amusing to have Pierce Brosnan shut down Rackham for some random crap.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:21 PM on December 9, 2010


Considering that Governor Goodhair just ran and won on a platform of bringing more jobs to Texas, you think he wouldn't be quite so fast to piss them away.

That was not his platform. His platform was "Fuck you, I've got mine, but I'll kick some Mexicans a bit because it pleases you little people so much."

At least, as far as I could tell from his TV ads. Possibly there was some stuff about destroying the enviroment as fast as possible as well.
posted by emjaybee at 8:23 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I dunno, emjaybee, all the ads I saw while I was waiting for repairs at the car dealership the last week before the election were all JOBS JOBS JOBS OBAMA SUCKS JOBS JOBS JOBS. Plus a lot of hair and smirking, of course. The kicking brown people and pissing on the environment and not talking about the budget deficit was just a given at that point. Maybe you and I just saw different ad waves.
posted by immlass at 8:58 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen it yet, but I just wanted to say that Danny Trejo does the voice of one of the companions in Fallout: New Vegas, and reveals a surprising gift for comic delivery.

Not that surprising given From Dusk 'til Dawn and becoming one of the parts of Spy Kids.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:58 PM on December 9, 2010


I wasn't going to watch this particular movie, since I tend to watch few movies in the action genre... but now I'll have to rent it just to thumb my nose at yet another douchenozzle politician.
posted by inthe80s at 9:03 PM on December 9, 2010


and Enrique from King of the Hill.
posted by djduckie at 9:04 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Creepy. That is a system designed to censor.

Bingo. What's worse, of course, is ensuring that you first spend your money in Texas before you can be considered for a tax break, unlike other states that provide tax incentives up front, to lure prospective filmmakers to the state.

It's nice to know that we can ignore Texas for yet another reason.
posted by FormlessOne at 9:48 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah clearly states should be in the business of subsidizing violent hate-films.

I would be happy to have my tax dollars subsidise movies that promote contempt for racists.

Machete isn't by any standard a good movie.

Except by the standard of getting bums on seats to cheer on a profoundly political movie through wrapping it in sex and violence.

Which is a pretty good standard. One of the greatest challenges in art is getting people to pay attention to anything more profound that tits and fart jokes. And while wrapping things in tits and fart jokes to make that happen sounds easy, it seems to be beyond most artists. Which is why so much more "meaningful art" is unintentionally turgid, audience-repelling mounds which are good only for arousing critics who value the experience of liking something no-one outside a select circle-jerk even cares about.
posted by rodgerd at 11:32 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Still, I'm a bit surprised that Robert Rodriguez hasn't already moved his production facilities to Mexico, for the same reason that people film up in Vancouver.

Well, one reason might be that there isn't an intermittent but violent shooting war and hostage-taking epidemic going on in Vancouver. A lot of places in Mexico, not so safe right now, sadly.
posted by zoogleplex at 12:07 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Machete made me break my solemn vow to never watch a Stephen Segal movie... the fact that for one second I did not regret that decision makes it not a good movie nor a great movie but a movie of fucking sublime genius.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:31 AM on December 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


How'd y'all like him as your next President? 'Cause, y'know, he's considering running and all that!
posted by blucevalo at 4:48 AM on December 10, 2010


Good movie. Lots of surprising twists and action. A better than B b-movie.
posted by Catblack at 4:49 AM on December 10, 2010


For those curious about the numbers: Box Office Mojo data for Machete.

$10.5M production budget, $26M domestic, $12.4M foreign.

No idea how to convert these numbers to how much cash is at stake. Enough to fight for, apparently.
posted by effugas at 6:36 AM on December 10, 2010


How'd y'all like him as your next President? 'Cause, y'know, he's considering running and all that!

I would totally support Machete for President, and am glad to know he's considering protecting all of us.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:41 AM on December 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm a bit surprised that Robert Rodriguez hasn't already moved his production facilities to Mexico

He probably prefers to keep his head attached to his neck.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:42 AM on December 10, 2010


Well, having read through this thread I guess I'm going to have to rent Machete after all, even though Rodriguez is the master of Movies I Really Wanted To Enjoy But Didn't.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:48 AM on December 10, 2010


We will no longer be able to say that Perry never met a tax break he didn't like.
posted by box at 8:29 AM on December 10, 2010


Paris, Texas, Wim Wenders.
posted by tzelig at 8:53 AM on December 10, 2010


Come to Chicago, auteurs! We have had Batman, Ferris Bueller, and Elwood and Joliet Jake.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:52 AM on December 10, 2010


No one is reading this anymore, but I just had a guy come into my video store (I know! There are still a few left!) and inform us that we shouldn't be carrying this film because it is racist.

I assumed that he meant that it's all about how Mexican people like to cut up people with machetes and stuff, but after thinking about it I started to wonder if he meant that it was racist against white folks.

So I Googled "machete racist" and the first hit was Alex Jones. I guess that that's probably what the guy meant, that he heard from Alex that it was formenting race wars and stuff.

He left before we could have a discussion (he kind of hit and ran), so probably I'll never know what exactly he meant.

And then I searched MeFi for "Machete" to see what people here were saying, and ended up here. Hey, the thread's not closed yet! I am sharing!
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:42 PM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older Blues Maker   |   Black & White Food Porn in Colors Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post