Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Good Time: Grindhouse

Directed by Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino
Released April 6, 2007

"Grindhouse" as a whole is an amazingly entertaining and hilarious ride that is heavy on the gratuitous gore but equally heavy on the laughs. It is composed of Robert Rodriguez's film "Planet Terror," Quentin Tarantino's film "Death Proof," and a number of fake trailers, including one outrageously funny fake ad starring Rodriguez's go-to-star Danny Trejo for an action film called "Machete." The entire film experience clocks in at an unbelievable 3 hours and 11 minutes, but it is well worth the time.

"Planet Terror" is actually the better of the two, a dead-on parody of zombie movies with just enough Rodriguez (and Tarantino for that matter) thrown in. Bruce Willis and Tarantino himself make amusing cameos in the gloriously bloody tale of a band of survivors fighting to kill as many zombies as possible. Naveen Andrews and Freddy Rodriguez are notable in the film, but major credit should be given to two other actors. Marley Shelton does her very best as Dr. Dakota Block, on the run from her orginally psychotic and now possessed husband, and the casting of Michael Biehn ("The Terminator", "Aliens") as the sheriff is genius and a nice in-joke to cult science fiction fans.

"Death Proof" starts out very slow and is very much less exciting than Tarantino's other films. There is a LOT of talking, which is great and all, but the film fails to really go anywhere until one crucial scene where it gets fully launched. The film does not really pick up until its hilarious final ten minutes, but it is entertaining enough to sustain interest, to a point. Zoe Bell, a stuntwoman who has worked with Tarantino, makes her major acting debut playing herself and the film is very much a parody of Hollywood stunt life comparable to Rodriguez's take on zombie movies. Bell does an impressive job, and Kurt Russell is at times laugh-out-loud funny as a crazed stuntman.

Planet Terror: B+
Death Proof: B-
The "Grindhouse" Experience: B+

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i agree with pretty much everything abe said. planet terror was my fave it was just an entertaining adrenaline rush of a zombie movie while still able to make fun of itself without losing itself. quentin's had some good acting and great dialogue but was on the slow side especially after planet t. also with the amazingly hilarious trailers and the fact that you got two movies for the price of one. i might give the experience for me an A- but the movies on their own would prob get the grades Abe gave.