Saturday, April 7, 2007

Jason watches "Grindhouse"

With his soon-to-be-brother-in-law Jon (aka baceman007, aka The Minister of Common Sense) and a couple of his friends from the Apple Store training class.

It was pretty freakin' awesome. Can't wait for the DVD (hoping for the original and a "remastered" version of both films on DVD). Can't wait for sequels (pleeeeze! Any of the movies from the fake trailers would be awesome, but especially Eli Roth's "Thanksgiving").

Okay, you can read plenty about it elsewhere, so my random comments. General consensus is Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" is the better movie, and it's as hard to argue that as it is to argue with Rose McGowan's rifle leg. However, I believe Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" is more akin to the style/quality of true 70's grindhouse films (at least the ones I've seen). That it never sets up a motivation for Kurt Russel's Stuntman Mike is part of the sleazy charm. He's just a fun-lovin' scumbag.

By the way, this might just be Kurt Russel's best non-John Carpenter work yet. At least his most fun.

Oh, and as far as it recapturing 70's grindhouse style, it was mostly successful. In fact, it was so successful for most of it that cell phones and Osama Bin Laden references were weirdly out of place. It seemed a very deliberate choice, but still one I'd question. Oh yeah, and speaking of Bin Laden references, Bruce Willis was awesome.

I love the fact that they used Quentin Tarantino's likeness to actually make a rapist #1 action figure. They've been raffling these off at Sleazy Sundays, but I've yet to win one.

The missing reels effect (surprisingly) worked. In fact, in many ways it cut out some clutter in the movie. Still, I'm hoping the DVD release will "restore" them. As far as the actual effect, there's some controversy over the reality behind them. IMDb's trivia for the movie claimed that while frames would go missing, entire reels never disappeared. Other rumors have it that horny young projectionists would steal the sex scenes before sending the print over to the next theater. It seems to me that it would be too easy to get caught, and probably not worth it. Finally, I do remember an interview (although I forget where) with Herschell Gordon Lewis, the inventor of cinematic gore, where he claimed that one of his early films played for months at a theater before the manager called him and asked him where the final reel was. So in my estimation, it's probably a little more urban legend than fact. It's possible that it has happened, but probably wasn't widespread and there aren't any documented cases I know of. More to the point, who cares?

And finally, it was freakin' awesome to see Zoë Bell in a starring role. For those who've seen the documentary "Double Dare", you'd know she was Lucy Lawless's stunt double on "Xena", who then moved to America, befriended Jeannie Epper (Lynda Carter's double on "Wonder Woman", and still a working stuntwoman/stunt coordinator) and became Uma Thurman's double in "Kill Bill" (Jeannie Epper, by the way, has a cameo in "Kill Bill: Volume 2" as the preacher's wife). Anyway, "Double Dare" played at the SF International Film Festival a couple of year's back, and Zoë Bell was there (I sorta got to meet here. I got to be in a crowd of fans hanging around her for a few minutes after the movie). Anyway, my point is Zoë Bell is cool, I loved having her as a main character, playing herself! And having seen "Double Dare", I get little inside jokes like her nickname really is "The Cat" for her ability to fall without hurting herself.

Oh, and finally, "Death Proof" heavily referenced "Vanishing Point", which I've actually never seen but is Jon's favorite car chase movie. So it's on my Netflix queue now, but the more interesting thing is someone there had more movie geek experience than I do--no fair!

That is all.

1 comment:

Dadmaniac said...

Poor Jon. He goes to California and ends up in a "grindhouse." The title reminds me of that great old song about the Sausage Machine...If ya don't get the reference, you were never a boy scout. Duh!