Movie Review: Grindhouse
Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino teamed up not to make a movie, but to craft an homage to the movie experience of bygone days. Rodriguez has shown in the past that when he is making a film as a personal project (Sin City), he rocks, and that when he tries to make a Hollywood blockbuster (Once Upon A Time In Mexico), he doesn't. And Tarantino is Tarantino, he follows his own drummer.
Now, I doubt that Grindhouse will be getting many nods from the Academy, but that's not the audience it was made for. It's a movie for the common people with the memories or at least a sense of nostalgia to appreciate all of the little touches. Granted, Rodriguez does get a little carried away a couple of times with the well-worn reel of film in the projector gimmick, but the "missing reel" trick actually saves the audience time otherwise lost to exposition and extraneous character development.
Since Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" is a zombie-flick at its core, you really don't need to invest a lot of extra time developing future zombie-chow. Just like it's a movie you're not supposed to think too much about (if the machine gun is her leg, how does she pull the trigger?). But if you accept it for what it is, gory, messy and witty without being pretentious, you'll probably enjoy the flick.
Tarantino's "Death Proof", despite the much lower body count, is much more suspenseful, and even truncated by the missing reel, the characters are quickly developed and believeable (well one is far fetched, and Kurt Russell is obviously having a good time) so that you care about their fates.
The faux trailers are also very amusing. I was a little disappointed that there weren't more nuggets in the credits... there were just enough random pictures to make you think they could slip something in.
Grindhouse is bombing in theatrical release, which is a shame since I don't remember the last time I heard an audience enjoy themselves that much. What I think will be great will be when it comes out on DVD and fans can get together for a "Grindhouse Party". It would really rock on a large tv in a dark room, or in a home theater with a projector (hint, hint). Get some friends, some snakcs , some beer, and have a blast.
But you might want to skip the chunky salsa.
Overall: Four out of five go-go-dancing stunt-car-driving flying monkeys.