Saturday, April 07, 2007

The obligatiry "Grindhouse" review

Let me start this by saying that for the first time ever, I'm glad that I have end stage renal failure. Because of this life threatning ailment, I was unable to go to the bathroom during the nearly three hour joyride called "Grindhouse". Not one did I move, nor did I want to. There were others who could stand the heat, so they got out of the kitchen and went to the loo, only to come back and miss something very cool. Poor weak bladders.

When you go to this movie, and this is important, remember these tips. Go to the bathroom. Take your business outside. Turn off your phone. Stock up on your goodies. Pace yourself on that drink. Bring friends. Once you sit down in the theater and you see the Dimention studios logo, everything goes from zero to sixty from there. That I promise you.

See, this is an experience that not many folks get to witness anymore, the double feature. Up until the early eightes, this was pure teen escapism. Nothing but testoterone, blood, guts, speed, wit, with just a touch of nudity. They weren't even B-list movies. They were make fast and on the cheap, but they knew to give you your money's worth when it was said and done. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino went to those same movies as kids and now are reliving it just for us.

By know, you've probably read all the reviews of "Grindhouse" and they all say the same thing, in a nutshell: that this is a great movie. I won't lie, I'm saying the same thing here. But there were some things in it that I have to point out to you, if you plan on seeing this. I'll do my best not to spoil it for you:

1: "Planet Terror" is not a zombie movie. I don't do zombie flicks. I'm so much of a pussy, I have never even seen "Night of The Living Dead". I mean, all the way back to the original film. I can't stand the thought of cannibalism. It's plain wrong. Having confessed that, there are infected people going around eating other people. Only these aren't zombies. They're just sick.

2: The characters and dialogue are straight out of every zombie ripoff of the eighties, with is what Rodriguez set out to spoof. A lot of lines are set up for sight gags. When a character asks what happens and is told "It's a no brainer", you know what's going to happen, but when you see the reason, it's also cringing. Both from the sight and the joke. The whole thing is cheesy, from the opening synth score to nearly the end of the flick. There are a few surprises though that sets this movie apart from every "living dead" movie since 1978.

3: The actors in "Planet Terror" do justice to their roles. Michael Bien and Jeff Fahey are great as bickering brothers. Marley Shelton is wonderful. But, It's Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowan as the main heroes who keep\n you hooked. Rodriguez's riviting El Rey is is a mystery. So mysterious in fact, that every character in the film finds out how mysterious he is and the audience doesn't. McGowan's Cherry Darling is a spitfire. She's a woman of many talents, though she thinks she has none. It turns out that a woamn with an M-16 for a leg can do a lot of things.

4: I want to see movies made from very fake trailer here. Everyone of them enjoyable. "White meat. Dark meat. All will be carved." Even Fu Manchu shows up.

5: On to "Death Proof". Quentin Tarantino has a great knack for words. As he's said in interviews, when he writes a script, it's almost as if he's writing a novel. I'd love to see him take on a crime novel one day. It would be filled with sharp dialogue that's whip smart. That's how this film is. Along with his other movies, the words are harder than the people who say them. However there\n were some folks in the audience who I could hear whisper, "this is boring". Far from it. Although it took a bit for the action to build up, it was set perfect. This is a slasher movie without the glare of a single knife. From the start of the film, when we see the long legs of Sydney Tamia Portier, God bless her, and we meet her friends, we find out more about these smart sexy women and begin to care. In the background, we see Kurt Russell's Stuntman Mike driving his way through. When Mike and the girls finally meet up, you can feel them creeped and intrigued at the same time. But thanks to the ads, we all know what Mike is all about and when we find out what happens to Sydney and her friends, we feel shocked and angry. That leads up to:

6. A new set of women show up on the scene. Stuntman Mike is ready for them. But these women are different from the others. This set is tougher and harder. The quartet goes up from girly-girl to Zena, literally. This time the dialogue from the women is slicker and meaner. This verifies the one thing I've always known, but could never prove to any man. That women talk as much crap as men do, they just won't admit it. It's obvious that Tarantino know how to write for women in this picture.

7. As for this set of women, Rosario Dawson is the heart as Abernathy. Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks cute/hot in her cheerleader outfit as Lee. But the two best of this quartet is Tracie Thoms and Zoe Bell. Thoms is a hoot as Kim and is the female version of Jules from "Pulp Fiction". In fact, if she were ever to meet up with the now wandering hitman, it would be a hell of a battle, verbal and gunwise. As for Zoe Bell, this is a character who just happens to be real. She's a stuntwoman QT used in the "Kill Bill" movies as Uma's stunt double and wrote this role just for her. She's a good actress and an even better stuntwoman. When she rides the hood of the white Dodge Charger to escape Stuntman Mike, you are on the edge of your seat praying to whomever that she doesn't fall off. She's the best part of this whole movie because she is the reality that holds it together. In all, this is the best woman's empowerment movie in a long time. This is the guy's version of how a chick flick should be.

What I'm saying here is this film everything you want in cheap thrills and doubles it up for you. With the ticket price of movies these days, a good double feature makes up for one dumb two hour idea. Both directors should be thanked big time from anyone who sees this for every gross out, every laugh, every skin crawling moment "Grindhouse" gives.There are the missing reels, scenes are moved around, there's a hair caught in the projector, but it all works out in the long run. This is a ride, but not a Disney ride. It's the one at the brokedown carnival with the busted seats and the guy running the machine has a\n mullet and a huge scar on his face. You know it's looks messed up, but just gotta ride for the fun of it."

That was my intelligent review of "Grindhouse." Now, if you'll indugle me, this is the straightforward version.

This movie is the shit. Get off your ass and go see this!

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