Saturday, April 14, 2007

Grindhouse review

This is a weird and wonderful film. Well two films really. And even though they're packaged together underthe very fun Grindhouse banner they really are very separate and as such would really get different ratings from me. Since it looks like the Weinsteins are breaking these two films up theatrically it also means you'll have a choice of which to see, but if you can get out there are catch them both as a double feature. As a package, it's well worth it.

Robert Rodriguez's film is first; Planet Terror. I absolutely LOVED this film. It was fun, and violent and sexy, and had zombies and action, and all sorts of sweet sweet gross out moments. This film kicked my ass, and left me wanting more. Schlock really never looked so good. The atmosphere is intense, and while the story of a chick with a gun for a leg fighting off a hoard of zombies with her ragtag band of heroes is so over the top cliched, it doesn't matter, because we get all those classic action beats we want, and still maintain a style that is uniquely modern and very cool. This is the perfect homage to a genre of films I love.

Tarantino's film Deathproof, while fun, ultimately fell pretty flat for me. Kurt Russell is mischievously wonderful as the villain who drives his car to the limit and beyond, and the women of the film do a solid job of conveying the action. But the film is FULL of 'Tarantino' dialogue, which while love it, was mostly out of place here. Also there were two almost totally separate stories in Deathproof, and I didn't feel like there was really any connection between the first and second acts. Maybe that comes down to a lack of motivation though. How any film with so much smart dialogue can skip out on any kind of real character development is beyond me. But, all that said, it still doesn't really ruin the fun of the film. It's just a bit boring sometimes, when a through line was perhaps all we needed. Still, there is some great action, and for a guy who isn't super into cars this film had some fantastic cars and really great stunt driving.

As a whole Grindhouse is a really fun time at the movies. I didn't even find the 3+ hour running time too bad. And the fake trailers they made to accompany the films are truly top notch. Hopefully people WILL get out and see this film, because I think once they do, they will enjoy themselves. And then maybe we'll can get some more great retro grindhouse pictures. Anyone else want to see Machete on the big screen?

So on their own Planet Terror would get a 4 1/2 out of 5 star rating, and Deathproof would get a 3 star rating from me. I think you should check em out and just enjoy the ride, on the whole I sure know I did.

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