A double-bill of thrillers that recall both filmmakers' favorite exploitation films. "Grindhouse" (a downtown movie theater in disrepair since its glory days as a movie palace known for "grinding out" non-stop double-bill programs of B-movies) is presented as one full-length feature comprised of two individual films helmed separately by each director. "Death Proof," is a rip-roaring slasher flick where the killer pursues his victims with a car rather than a knife, while "Planet Terror" shows us a view of the world in the midst of a zombie outbreak. The films are joined together by clever faux trailers that recall the '50s exploitation drive-in classics. Written by
I won tickets to the world premiere of Grindhouse in LA this past week and it was the best 3 hours of my life in recent history. The stories of the two movies combined with the detail and inventiveness of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez brought together 3 hours of action packed fun. The two directors updated the sleazy grindhouse movie experience from the 70's and commercialized it so that we can all enjoy it. You won't find some greasy guy with his pants around his ankles sitting next to you, but you are probably going to be able to sit through all 3 hours of these movies.
I want to compliment the directors for having a unique cinematic vision (and the Weinsteins for funding that vision). I don't always agree with the choices made with either of the filmmakers, but I think they are two of the hardest working most innovative people in Hollywood today. I add this because most film studies students love to hate both of these people and in most conversations suggest that they would be able to do a much better job than either. I disagree.
Planet terror is a gross out flick that has appropriate amounts of gore and guts. If you like Rodriguez, then this movie fits in with all of his previous works. No real surprises here, but fun fun fun!
Tarantino surprised me. I liked the first movies from Tarantino because his movies were set in realities not far from our own. I doubt that it would happen in a weekend, but Pulp Fiction is a semi-believable good story in Los Angeles with unbelievable dialog. Same with Reservoir Dogs. (Jackie Brown is too believable and therefore, uninteresting) As he has progressed, his movies became fantasy, e.g., From Dusk til Dawn and Kill Bill 1 & 2 and WAY too over the top for a "Tarantino" flick.
Death Proof brings it all home! I don't want to spoil any of the movie, so just go see it! It's a simple plot with unbelievable suspense and decent dialog. I have never been so nervous in a film in as long as I can remember. Its no secret that the movie involves a car -- but Tarantino has taken a "classic" car scenario using a classic car and updated it for the new millennium. One only has suspend belief "just enough" for this mix of reality and fantasy to suck them in. It was Tarantino at his best.
Both movies were well executed, well scored, well written, and well played. The extra's and cameos are icing on the cake. No Oscars for either director, but that isn't why you went to see these movies in the first place, now is it?
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