Sunday, April 22, 2007

Grindhouse (2007)

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Grindhouse can be viewed in two ways; Planet Terror and Death Proof individually, or, as it should be, as a complete double feature with segments before and in between the movies. As a double feature Grindhouse runs right around three hours, but unlike grueling three-hour epics, it is split into two films with plenty to keep you entertained during and in between the films. True film fanatics can't ask for a better pairing of modern writers/directors than Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Regardless of your opinion of the two individually, they are two of the few directors in Hollywood with the balls to make groundbreaking movies each time out. And with Grindhouse, they have done it again. The viewer is entirely transported into the 1970s where double feature B-grade horror movies were showing at drive-ins every weekend. From the first frame, the sounds and pictures are 100% genuine retro-exploitation, and it is clear that meticulous attention was paid to every detail. The scripts are sure to provide countless lines that will be quoted for years to come, along with action scenes that will be talked about for days. To get the real taste of Grindhouse, you have to watch the not funny, but hilarious fake trailers that come before and in between the movies. Directed in part by Rodriguez, Tarantino, and Hostel director Eli Roth, each preview is so funny that you will be wishing one of the directors next work actually somehow turns out to be Machete, Don't, Werewolf Women of the S.S., or Thanksgiving. There is a distinction between being different just for the sake of difference, and bringing something new to the table. Grindhouse is genius in giving its viewers a no-holds barred, over-the-top, thrilling trip in the way-back machine. The films can be discussed at-length both as independent works and as a whole, but few people will watch Grindhouse without having a good time. It won't, and shouldn't, win an Oscar, but it will not be soon forgotten.

Good For: a summer night, a date, with friends, horror-movie fans, fans of the directors, adventurous people

Bad For: tight asses, people against film violence, people who like romantic comedies, squeamish people

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