Friday, April 06, 2007


Just got back from seeing Grindhouse. Bottom line up front: Effing fantastic.

I went to the 4:10 p.m. showing hoping the crowds would be light. It was a good time to go, the theater was less than half-full.

The movie started late. Unfortunately, our local celluloid-slingers are a bunch of high school and college kids who are there for what they want to be an easy buck. So, they didn't clean the theater quickly and we had to wait for it to start. Then we sat in the theater a good 10 minutes past normal start time for the previews to even begin.

As the previews (well, commercials mostly) were rolling, something funny happened. We were into our third or fourth preview -- Hostel 2. The film started to flicker. Then we see "Quentin Tarantino Presents" before they show the title of the new Hostel flick. The the film burns and breaks. Everyone in the theater begins to wonder if this is planned or not. A minute or so passes then I and a couple of other people get up to go tell the theater crew. The movie finally gets going and throughout the film there are all these film quirks -- intentionally done -- but we spend the entire 3 hours and 10 minutes wondering if each one is planned or not. It actually added some fun to the movie.

Anyway ... we get going and the movie opens with a fake preview then goes into Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror -- a semi-zombie movie that features a machine-gun-legged Rose McGowan (that I'm sure you've seen in the previews). I'm not going to go into plot. You've seen the previews; you know what they're about. I will say this, if you are tempted to take someone with you who cannot normally get into R movies by themselves, think twice. Both films feature Kill Bill and Sin City levels of graphic violence and language and a lot of nudity besides. If you're cool with that, then cool.

What I do want to talk a little bit about is why these movies, this movie, this ... experience is so damn cool. Basically, if you're a fan of Tarantino and Rodriguez movies, you know you're going to be a fan. If you're a fan of quirky sci-fi and action movies, you'll like them also. If you don't like either, you're probably not going to like this movie. If you're hesitant watching the trailers, this flick's probably not for you.

Another thing that's great is that it brings Tarantino and Rodriguez together again. When Tarantino makes his own movies of his own accord, he can be a bit too self-indulgent. Without that extra hand of Rodriguez, his dialog can get lengthy, his imagery too goofy. And Rodriguez, without some influence of someone like Tarantino, can get either childishly kitchy or oppressively somber. But together they balance well. Two great films -- Four Rooms and From Dusk 'Til Dawn -- prove how good they can be together. Add Grindhouse to that list of wonderful collaborations.

Hood ridin' on a '70 Dodge Challenger. Sheri Moon as a Nazi werewolf. Bruce Willis as a mutant zombie. Robert Rodriquez killing off his own kid.

Man, it's a good time.

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