Blockbuster Season, which is generally the summertime, has begun in the movie industry. Actually it began very early this year, and I guarantee that I will be one tired person when by time it's all said and done. I have missed the opportunity to review a few films but will start my season with Grindhouse, which I watched before leaving on my trip to Tennessee.
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez collaborated on this one. It's billed as two full-length features with an intermission bridging them. The first is zombie-like film called "Planet Terror" and the second is "Death Proof."
Don't go to this film taking it seriously. The story lines are not meant to be Oscar winners; they are trashy, an homage to the 70s B movies. Yes, those ones that filled your screen on Saturday and Sunday afternoons on one of the only four channels your TV received before satellite and DVRs became the average Joe's basic channels. The actors are deadpan serious in the delivery of purposefully cheesy dialogue, the shots are blocked with novice grace, and the edits are grotesquely obvious. All to the effect of brilliance!
I loved this film. I think the true connoisseurs of Grindhouse will be my generation and perhaps, my parents' as well. If you are a child of the 70s and 80s, you are going to understand why this film is going to be a favorite of this year.
"Death Proof," I warn you, does drag a bit in the beginning. But it does remind you of every slow starting cheerleader-slashing film. Once it gets going, it doesn't stop until it's over. Funny, but it reminded me of the 70s horror flick "The Car," which revolves around a driverless car that terrorizes a town. Most people have enjoyed "Planet Terror" more but Kurt Russell does such a great job that I just can't ignore the fun that is Stuntman Mike.
You may want to go to the bathroom or get your refills during the "intermission" but don't. The trailers that tie the two movies together are just as worthy of any reviewer's write-up as the main features. And count the cameo appearances.
The few moments that made me cringe are tied in directly to seeing Tarantino on screen. I just can't watch that guy at all. Great filmmaker. Obviously talented and smart. But his Alfred Hitchcock moments onscreen? Eh. His monologues in every film he appears are supposed to be quick quips that deliver punchy little bits of dialogue that generate laughter and head nodding but to me they become long diatribes where I watch his eyes to try and figure out what the hell he's looking at while really trying to understand what the fuck he is saying. I want him to be the Wizard of Oz....put him behind the curtain and let the magic happen. He doesn't need to be revealed.
Grindhouse, it's a good one. Worthy of the shelf space you are going to give its DVD.