Death Proof

Year: 2007
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Written By: Quentin Tarantino

RYAN’S REVIEW

I really liked what Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez did with the Grindhouse Films.  I think it was a great idea.  Two exciting filmmakers collaborating to make something that isn’t seen anymore, the double feature.  Both films are deliberately filmed to mimic 1970s film quality; with a real gritty appearance and occasional jumps in the scenes that indicate the film was built poorly when put together for projection at the theater. Once upon a time I worked a side job in a movie theater, building movies and setting them up on a projector Tyler Durden style.  So I especially like the projection problems inserted into both films. Planet Terror is even missing an entire reel and segment of the film.

I’m afraid this is the lesser of the two films by comparison.  I will discuss Planet Terror when we get to it but I think it is superior in every way to this film. I think this movie feels more like a chick flick than anything else for a long time. I don’t even know what category to place it in and only tentatively place it in horror because that’s what I think it is supposed to be. We have only seen the first thirty minutes of the movie at this point and I am bored out of my mind! These girls have done nothing but talked and drank for a painfully long time now.  The best part so far is Rose McGowan, but only because I am a really big fan of hers.  She has a much better role in Planet Terror, naturally.  Sydney Poitier’s hair is worth mentioning, it’s exceptional. I had really strong feelings about Tarantino around the time this film came out and subsequently began using it as part of my argument that he was washed up and an overrated director. I feel differently now, Inglourious Basterds was such an incredible movie I have had to bite my tongue on the matter and eat some of my words.  40 minutes and still this movie is boring me to death, the Vanessa Ferlito lap dance doesn’t do it for me and that is literally the only thing that has happened so far.

I need to explain my position on Tarantino.  A good friend of mine and I argued over the guy relentlessly and to no end years ago, until the day I had to call him and admit that I was wrong.  Like many young movie fans I was a huge Tarantino fan growing up.  I idolized him because I too wanted to grow up and be a filmmaker.  Like Tarantino did when he was young, I too worked at a video rental store, and I occasionally wrote stories I hoped to one day make into movies.  I think Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are two of the greatest movies ever and they will be remembered forever.  I also liked Jackie Brown although it was not as well received. I am a big fan of the two movies Tarantino sold in order to make his first film, True Romance and Natural Born Killerseven though they are very similar stories. I considered Tarantino to be an exceptional and creative writer and for years looked forward to his next film. His last movie was in 1997 so I went all through high school and into college waiting for his next movie.  Which of course was Kill Bill: Volume 1 in 2003.  I was disappointed, and to this day can’t figure out what everybody liked so much about it. I wasn’t just disappointed, I hated it. I hated it so much I began to hate and despise Tarantino because of it. I waited six years, and in six years that was the best this creative and brilliant filmmaker could come up with? Kill Bill was just a plot thread from Pulp Fiction. When Vincent Vega (John Travolta) takes out Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) she tells him she once starred in a pilot called Fox Force Five about five women assassins. That is Kill Bill, and maybe I’m alone but I expected more from Tarantino. I held out my final decision on the film until Volume 2 came out but found that one to be even worse and with less action. I started to consider Tarantino the Marilyn Manson of filmmakers, because he just wanted to shock and awe people. What was the point of Uma Thurman’s character being used sexually while in a coma if he isn’t just out to shock and sicken us with depravity. It wasn’t relevant to the plot, it was just inserted in there just for the hell of it. It made me think of Tarantino as the child on the playground turning his eyelids inside out just to gross people out. I am all for depravity in movies when used appropriately and effectively but when it is pointless it doesn’t have the same effect. When Death Proof came out in 2007 it did not do much to change my impression because Rodriguez’s movie was so much better.  I had little hope for Inglourious Basterds, especially when I had found out it was a remake and because he had also taken several years to make this film as well.  I was wrong though, that movie was a masterpiece and I feel I must eventually revisit Kill Bill because of it.

I have tried really hard to look at this movie with a fresh eye and see if it could win me over this time but it hasn’t. I am bored out of my freaking mind! We have watched 82 minutes so far and I’d wager there was 5 minutes of action and about 70 minutes of relentless and pointless girl talk.  Albeit that 5 minutes of action isn’t bad, and Kurt Russell does a fairly decent job playing the creepy and demented Stuntman Mike. 90 minutes and these women still won’t shut up! I can’t in good conscience recommend this to film to anybody because it’s just so boring.  If you want to spend all night hearing a bunch of girls talk about nothing relevant to the plot by all means check this one out but otherwise just watch the trailer. Zoe Bell is really great in the end, I love how aggressively she attacks Kurt Russell with the metal pipe. The end is rather exciting actually, if I were you I would fast forward to the good parts and save yourself an hour and twenty minutes of your time.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I used to thoroughly enjoy this movie. I say “used to” because after watching it for the blog, I was really bored most of the time. I am about a 50/50 lover of Quentin Tarantino. Sometimes, I am really impressed with him and other times I am honestly disgusted or bored. I loved, loved Inglorious Bastards, but hated, hated all of the Kill Bill movies. Tarantino has such a distinct style. He is obsessed with dialog. He puts extra conversations into his movies wherever there is a possible space and this holds so true for this film. I guess what drives me insane the most about it in this film is that it is mostly between women, and what does Tarantino truly know about the conversations of women? He loves to go off onto tangents into other stories, like “The other night I had a date with this guy..” and then spends about 15 minutes about a story that has absolutely nothing to do with original story line. That drives me crazy. I can take a little bit, but Tarantino likes to pack it in there to the fullest.

My favorite parts of this movie are the Kurt Russell parts.The ending is the best part of the entire movie and if you are going to watch it, I wold recommend watching the end of the movie, nothing else matters.

NEXT MOVIE: Death to Smoochy (2002) 

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