Sunday, April 29, 2007

Royale with cheese @ the Grindhouse

Planet Terror (2007, Director Robert Rodriguez): Rating 6/10

The trailers tantalize with the images of Rose McGowan and her machine gun leg. However, there is almost 80 minutes of film before the prized shot of Rose McGowan’s CGI leg acting as both a rocket-launcher and machine gun. Rodriguez has some fresh ideas here – machine gun leg, bio-chemical addicts, soldiers exposed to chemical radiations in the battle field of Afghanistan. Also, the missing reel was a funny element in the film, especially since it hid the legend of El Ray. But overall, this feature is more along the lines of disasters that Spy Kids 3-D and Once Upon a Time in Mexico were. Yawn. Was there no one else who could have been picked for this film other than Rose McGowan? She had an important role in this feature but she was the worst actor by far.

The Trailers

Almost all the trailers are funny and worth watching. All the directors seem to get the essence of the Grindhouse as trailers for their non-existent films are packed with gore and clichés.

Death Proof (2007, Director Quentin Tarantino): Rating 9/10

This is vintage Tarantino, which means plenty of clever and over-smart blah blah in the film. All the clever dialogues in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction seemed fresh. But after the extended mundane dialogue near the end of Kill Bill 2 I seemed to tire of the over-smartness. Yes, Mr. Tarantino you love movies. I get it! Yes you want to flaunt your love for old movies and get your characters to go on and on about some scenes from such films. Anyway, this feature is far more superior to the first one. The acting spotlight is stolen by kiwi stuntwoman Zoe Bell. In every scene, Zoe exudes energy and is constantly in character even when the camera is not directly on her. Tarantino also revisits a scene from the movie that made him famous -- Reservoir Dogs. The diner conversation with the 4 women and the camera angle was right out of the opening shots of that 1992 film which gave him fame.

Overall: The missing reel element in both films was a neat idea. However, the reel being on fire and faked film scratches feel like forced elements. I think if this film was to be improved then maybe Rodriguez’s effort should be reduced to a 20-25 min short film, all the fake trailers should be kept and Tarantino’s effort might need 5 minutes trimmed off it.

1 comment:

Heidi B said...

So what I am gathering is that this is more of a rental?