Sunday, January 27, 2008

Grindhouse: Half Awesome, Half Teh Suckz.

I finally got the chance to check out the Grindhouse double feature from filmmakers Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez last night -- Tarantino's "Death Proof" and Rodriguez's "Planet Terror."

Unfortunately, I was checking out their individual DVD releases and not the official, theatrically released double feature. On the bright side, each film was released uncut, with about 20 minutes of footage replaced in "Death Proof" and about 10 minutes of footage returned to "Planet Terror."

I can't say either film was necessarily improved by the additional footage (having never seen the versions of these films without that footage) but I can say that "Planet Terror" was undeniably awesome, while "Death Proof" was...well, boring as shit.

Okay, the first half of it wasn't all bad, there were some psychotically gory death scenes. And the final car chase scene was definitely fun. But there's a point about halfway through the film where things just bog the fuck down, just when things were starting to pickup. And the problem is obvious. The film decides to spend just way too much time with a bunch of pointless Tarantino-esque dialogue. Worst of all, it isn't even terribly *good* Tarantino-esque dialogue. It sounds like some wannabe hack trying to sound like Tarantino and failing. Except it *is* Tarantino. So the failure is that much more painful.

In fact, while sitting through those scenes, I began to realize that out of a nearly two hour movie, there was maybe thirty minutes or so that was actually interesting. The rest of it was just...a bunch of people sitting around shooting the shit about crap we didn't care about.

Which is sort of old news, in the Tarantino department.

Then I realized something else: That there were eight hot, young chicks in this film, all dressed as exploitationally as possible (after all, these Grindhouse movies were an attempt to recreate the look and feel of bad exploitational cinema). And that, in all likelihood, Tarantino's entire creative impulse for this film was based on surrounding himself with women that he could try to hook up with.

Okay, so it sounds extreme, but I'm having a tough time thinking of any other reason for a movie with eight near-naked women and a script that was obviously slapped together during a single drunken afternoon. When Tarantino can't even effectively make a Tarantino-esque movie, you know he's just not trying. And probably into it for the poontang.

Also, I can't help but feel, watching him blather on about his film in the mini-documentaries on the second disc, that Tarantino is...well, a bit of a douche, actually.

A pompous, self-important, head-firmly-up-his-ass, douche.

It's sort of unfortunate that, for the most part, he's a pretty effective director. Outside of "Death Proof," of course.

On the flip side, "Planet Terror," is maybe the best movie ever made.

Srsly. See it. It is 17 different shades of awesome.

That is all.

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