Saturday, April 07, 2007


(Don't worry, no spoilers.)

This thing is just pretty much awesome. I mean, it doesn't entertain every single minute, but what it does it does great (and if you see it, you might get why it doesn't have to entertain every minute -- that's part of the point at times).

Out of the two, I preferred Rodriguez's Planet Terror, but that's not to say Death Proof disappointed. It was just, surprisingly, different in aim from Terror.

Both use shock and gore to discomfort the audience, so if you're weak of stomach or squeamish, I wouldn't recommend it to you. But Tarantino goes a bit further and alienates the audience with extended dialogue, and seems to try to get people bored at times. I'm pretty surprised that it's doing so well at Rotten Tomatoes, but I think Tarantino is a critical darling at this point, even if he just screws with audiences just for fun.

Terror was basically what I expected, but Proof surprised me for the most part. Some of the best stand alone moments, though, were most definitely from the fake trailers run before and between the two parts. Very very very very funny. VERY. I can't emphasize that enough.

During the movies (even Rodriguez's), keep a lookout for a couple of mainstays -- camera shots from a car trunk POV, foot shots, Red Apple cigarettes. There are also a couple new trends to notice, and a few surprises that are too good to give away.

Just go see it, man. It really is two full-length movies for the price of one, but it won't last you much longer than a Lord of the Rings, and it has ten times the violence, cursing, and humor of one of those, too.


  1. I dunno if Tarantino likes to screw with audiences for fun as much as he likes to pay tribute to 70's exploitation flicks. And let's be honest, if you're gonna do that, then you have to expect some less-than-perfect moments.

    Anyway, I'm really diggin' to see this one.

  2. (spoilers)

    Ok, now that I've seen it I can discuss it proper.

    I much preferred "Death Proof". "Planet Terror" was ok - mostly it was just gross. But hey, it was right along the lines of a bad 70's zombie movie. And the actors were pretty great - well, Rose McGowan was cool once she lost the ditzy act.

    Whatever review I read was really upset about the kid in the car, especially because it was R.R.'s son. I hardly found that disturbing. Tarantino's cameo was funny, but like a lot of things in "Planet Terror", you could really see the obvious edits in the CGI stuff. (I know it was supposed to be obvious, but still...) The "missing reel" gag was dumb, but I imagine this happened a lot with older movies in actual theaters.

    Meanwhile, "Death Proof" had the exact look and feel of a 70's movie. Whatever Tarantino did to get that film quality, it was dead-on. This impressed me much more than just having 70's-ish dialogue and plot ideas. The dialogue was stupid in parts, but that's Tarantino, all the way back to "Reservoir Dogs", he's had that smarmy, nerdy dialogue thing he does. And that's it.

    Kurt Russell as the washed-up pervert stuntman was great. (The little bit about the book he does in a John Wayne voice is weird and...weird.) So was Zoe Bell, who come to find out is actually a stuntwoman (hence "Zoe Bell as herself") and I remember thinking that she looked a lot like Uma Thurman (who she doubled for in "Kill Bill"). Also, the story about Darryl Hannah's stand-in is made especially hilarious by this fact.

    (it's the second post, I think)

    (I kept wondering where Sidney Poitier was going to turn up. I never thought it would be his daughter, named Sydney.)

    Also, real stunts in "Death Proof". Real cars, driving real fast. Cool, cool stuff.

    Trailers - brilliant. Nicholas Cage as Fu Manchu - hilarious. (Makes me want to watch some Fu Manchu movies.)

    I think the stated goal - to make a good double feature - worked out. If you watch the video interview on myspace, most of it's dumb but they do mention that they wanted to make a good double feature, like you would go see at a drive-in in the 70's.

    Anyway, here's an interview that might shed some more light on what they were doing.

    Robert Rodriguez: We're doing a full-length Machete movie; it'll come out the same time as the Grindhouse DVD.

  3. P.S. - Lebanon is right around here. I know they didn't actually shoot here, but still. It's real.

  4. P.P.S. - as usual, wikipedia comes through with some interesting stuff:

  5. P.P.P.S - Forgot to mention that the soundtrack to "Death Proof" was biggity b'awesome. Tarantino might flaunt his tastes in music like he flaunts the other stuff in his movies, but to have that girl walk up and put "Jeepster" by T.Rex on was just a perfect moment in the film, and Julia walking out to text her dude, getting lost in classical piano crap, and then hitting right back on T.Rex when she comes back in was great.

    Also, "El Wray" doesn't mean anything as far as I know, but "El rey" means "king" in Spanish. I think.