Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Lazy Eye Theater is hosting a blog-a-thon on John Carpenter. Right now. You can read articles on They Live and Prince of Darkness and articles on the career entire.
IFC has a good rundown of the various critical and box office takes revolving around Grindhouse but mostly bloggers seem to be sad or furious about the general public's lack of interest.
James Urbaniak has a great piece on the irrational and loathsome writing of the most evil film critic in the world: Michael Medved
film ick on Fincher vs. Savides during Zodiac.
Telegraph "big, beautiful, and stupid" on movies that think they're smarter than they really are. Don't be mad if you see a movie you love.
MNPP considers auterial treatments for Jurassic Park IV
The Hot Blog Poland thinks Hairspray is potentially a breakout smash. I'd be excited (given my neverending supply of Pfeiffer enthusiasm) but doesn't he think this about all the musicals he sees in advance?


Beau said...

I'm incredibly intrigued by all this 'Grindhouse' talk that's going on. For a film that only made 11 million dollars opening weekend, it's sure manifested into quite the conversation topic. "Did you like the film(s)? Did you think the final product was too long? Why the ambivalence of the modern-day movie goer, leading to its tepid opening? Did it succeed in evoking the style of the Grindhouse without outright spiraling into a sort of hokey satire?"

I will say this though: while I may not be as familiar with the genre as many of our fellow bloggers around these parts are, I do have to say that I felt 'Planet Terror' was more successful as a film than 'Death Proof'. 'Terror' had me rolling in the aisles with glee... raunchy, balls-out, good ol' fashioned entertainment. Trailers were excellent, (the 'Fu Manchu' bit was hysterical, and Roth's 'Thanksgiving' was spectacular), but 'Death Proof' is just about the damndest film I've seen all year. Car chase was exquisite, ingenious...
but the dialogue, just... Tarantino talks. That's his trademark, and I'm not shooting that down. But only when his conversations serve a point past establishing that Zoe Bell is indestructable. The rest of it was just ceaseless pontification without any of the trademark wit that comes with his films. I may be in the minority here, but it's how I feel.

And for some reason, I feel the strange desire to write a critical evaluation of Kurt Russell's 'Stuntman Mike'. One of the strangest elements of that entire picture.

J.D. said...

Uh, Nat... on your sidebar, the link to the 20:07 series link to IMDb and A History of... links to ModFab. Just thought to point this out!

Marius said...

Beau, here at the Film Experience, we encourage the type of strange desires you speak of. Please, feel free to write your heart out!

Glenn Dunks said...

Beau, while I haven't seen the film, it would most definitely appear that Quentin's film is the more "grindhouse" of the two. Grindhouse films typically have groups of gals sitting around talking about nothing and then being killed or whatever.

I can't imagine many actual grindhouse movies made for a few thousand dollars in the 70s had zombie invasions and explosions and missiles and chicks with machine guns for legs (as cool as they are)

To paraphrase Dave Poland (eep), Planet Terror is a grindhouse film made by a man who's only been told about them, whereas Death Proof is a grindhouse film made by someone who actually watched them and knows there's more to them than just print scratches and missing reels (QT puts in dialogue loops and mis-matched editing example, a staple of oldschool low budget films)

Jason Adams said...

I'm seeing the films again later this week so I'm holding off on actually reviewing them, but while I really enjoyed the hell outta Planet Terror - who'd have thunk that that MACHINE-GUN LEG!!! would be (marginally, mind you) less entertaining than the table leg??? - I think Quentin actually made a really, really fantastic creation with Death Proof.

Glenn, I know you feel about Jackie Brown the same way I do, so when you do see Grindhouse I'm hoping you'll see DP as that style of Quentin like I do; when the man steps back and is actually kinda reserved with his filmmaking (not that I don't love the heck outta his Kill Bill's too) he just knocks my socks off. There's such a relaxed, cool vibe to DP, esp. in contrast to Rodriguez's turned-up-to-11 half, that when the shit hits the fan it just really walloped me. And this structure he's built here... well, it's just really, really wonderful. To summarize: I dug the ever-loving shit out of Death Proof.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand why folks are angry at the public for staying away in droves from "Grindhouse". I always believed it was the responsibility of the movie and its creators to make something interesting enough to get 'butts in the seats'. If people in the open marketplace choose to spend their money on other entertainments, then that is the movie's fault, not theirs. It also doesn't help that, at 3+ hours, the film loses at least one showing a day, creating a 20% opportunity cost that also eats into the revenues (note that this did not appear to hurt the bottom line for "Titanic" or "Return of the King").

Having said that, the three hours flew by when I watched it. What a hoot!

Anonymous said...

I had a complete blast at 'Grindhouse'. I think it failed because unlike something like '300', the ultra-violence is very counter culture and in a way nostalgic that I think mass audiences don't seem to grasp. So many average people didn't even know what the grindhouse style was, sadly. Three hours is not too long by any means, especially when they fly by as with this film, and plus you get two stellar flicks for the price of one! I can't imagine the individual films being more successful if they are sold that way, and I thought part of the charm was seeing it as a double feature and seeing the contrast in the way the directors approached the material. 'Planet Terror' was just a great time, but I think 'Death Proof' was the more solid grindhouse effort in terms of sticking to the genre. That first car accident!! Just, wow...


oh, let's not start blaming the movies themselves for the publics bad taste. if we go down that route than it only naturally follows that we need to regard WILD HOGS as the cream of the crop. Because that movie convinced people to see it.


no, the general public is responsibility for the spiralling of quality year after year... because generally speaking (there are always exceptions) when Hollywood experiments or challenges the audience in any way (be it with subject matter or actual auteurial vision) the audience seems to stay away screaming "give me more dumb ass comedies with fag jokes or men in fat woman drag!"

at least that's the way it appears like in my cynical moments. Its depressing to realize that if i were an executive i would almost certainly be betting on people having bad taste rather than good taste and that's SO sad.

There are those who argue that the public has always had bad taste but I think it HAS to be more true now ... given how few eventual classics are actually blockbuster hits now (that at least used to be more common)

it's so strange to be talking about taste levels too though when Grindhouse is essentially in bad taste and loving it.

Grindhouse is not going to make my top ten or anything (and i didn't see it opening weekend primarily due to length --one of the theories cited about its poor first weekend--I was busy and i knew all told I was in for 4+ hours what with travel, trailers, etc...) but this type of experiment --this idea of having fun with the theatrical experience and giving people MORE for their money should theoretically be something that the consumer should realize is in their best interest, right?

Beau said...


And I'm STILL fucking stunned that 'Wild Hogs' has made 150 million dollars. Thought that was going to be a bomb and a half.


Glenn Dunks said...

The even sadder thing is I knew Wild Hogs would be a hit.

Nat hit on something though. So many people seem to complain these days that for the price of a movie, the pice of snacks and drinks and the price of car parking if need me, that it's not worth going to the movies. Well, here they got the chance to see two movies by two revered filmmakers that got great reviews and is seemingly made out of all the things audiences crave (violence and horror with a sprinkling of sex appeal) yet they don't come. And it's because there's too much? Ugh. What do these people want?

And the rumour that people are leaving the cinema after Planet Terror is sort of mindboggling. Don't people even remotely research what movie they're going to see?