Grindhouse (2007)

Reid, 14. April 2007, 20:57

Grindhouse (2007)
Dir. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino
3 hr. 15 min.

Not a great movie, but entertaining and different.

Normally, I would say Grace and Mitchell shouldn’t see this for reasons they can guess. Then again, they both saw Sin City, so I guess the question is should they see this, even with the type of preferences they have? I don’t think the films are so terrific that you need to see them, but I guess if you like the directors, you’d be interested in these films.

As for others, I think Penny has the best chance of liking this. I think Don and Joel may give it lower scores than mine. Kevin and Chris may have a simliar view to mine. I’m not sure, though.

You can read on to get a better idea. But as I feel with a lot of films, if you’re going to see this anyway, don’t read on, and try to know as little as possible. There are some elements that may be nice surprises.

The film is basically a tribute to double-feature of cheesy 70s drive-in action films with lots of blood, violence and big-breasted women. The film actually contains two films, one directed by each director. The films are these recreations of these post-modern recreations of this type of movie–a style I never really cared for. Oh, it reminded me of Russ Meyer, but better.

*** (spoilers)
My main problem was the length of both films. If they both had been an hour, I think the overall movie would have been better. There were some dead-spots in both that could have been eliminated, I think.

Maybe I should talk about the films separately.

There are couple of things that stand out with Death Proof Tarantino’s film.

The dialogue in several of the conversational scenes are without the Tarantino’s trademark witty cultural references. Because of that, I found the conversations pretty dull. However, there may be something I’m missing. There’s a parallel between the first set of female characters and the second. There could be something important in the dialogue that I missed. Right now, I feel like the first set of female characters are sort of like a “Janet Leigh” strategem Hitchcock employed in Psycho: you think the film is about them, but then they get killed off, and a new set of characters come in. For some reason, I liked that.
The car chase was noteworthy for the live action stunts. The scene made me realized how much is lost with cgi. The tension from a real sense of danger for the stuntperson was palpable. It really added a jolt of adrenaline to the scene. A car chase scene hasn’t made me feel that way in a long, long time. That scene may be the other reason the film gets a 7.
I like Kurt Russell generally. And initially, he’s his likeable self, but then turns into this creep. The creep persona just didn’t come off so well, but it was OK. I’m not sure who they could have got. But this could have been part of the Psycho strategem once again. Tarantino’s trying to get you to think that nice guy Russell is going to hook up with one of the girls. Then he turns into, well, a psycho. The film becomes a Thelma and Louise movie sans the dark ending (at least for the women). That’s the aspect that Grace and Penny would probably like.
Planet Terror

This probably my favorite Rodriguez “film.” (Well, this or El Mariachi.) As I mentioned earlier, it was a bit long. Here are some additional comments:

I like Josh Brolin, for some reason, as the creepo doctor. Just his look and his acting (the biting of the thermometer) made him interesting. Freddy Rodriquez was also an interesting casting choice. I don’t know if he fit the part exactly, but he was fine.
I wished the trailers hadn’t shown a lot of the “machine gun leg” scenes. Those were cool in an over-the-top way.

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