A Mini-Movie Review of Grindhouse

Grindhouse has been doing poorly at the box office, but I figured that was because of the length. After all, we’re talking two one hour and a hour movies in one, + a short intermission, so the film clocks in at over 3 hours long.

Now me? I liked that idea. One sci-fi film by Robert Rodriguez and one horror film by Tarantino sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And the reviews? They were 81% positive over at Rotten Tomatoes and the excerpts from the negative reviews mostly carped about the violence, which doesn’t bother me very much, so I figured I’d be OK.

So, the first movie is, Planet Terror by Rodriguez, which is a zombie movie that features the woman with the machine gun/rocket launcher for a leg that you’ve probably caught in the previews. It was an OK movie and by OK, I mean about 2.5 out of 5 stars. In other words, it has some decent action, a few twists and turns, and it’s the sort of thing you might stop and watch if you were channel surfing, but probably not worth actually going to the movies to see.

PS: Oddly enough, Bruce Willis was in the movie, but he only had a bit part.

Then after spending an hour and a half watching that, there were some short, funny previews of non-existent movies that served as an intermission and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof cranked up. Death Proof starred Kurt Russell as a homicidal bad guy who liked to kill people in his car and it was excruciatingly, mind blowingly bad. In fact, it reminds me of Alexander in that respect because no one other than a big director like Tarantino could get studio execs to greenlight something this atrocious.

Out of this hour and a half long movie, about 45 minutes of that time featured 4 mildly annoying women chattering aimlessly about nothing in particular. Have you ever had a woman spend 10 minutes telling you every detail of what happened to her today and there’s not one single part of it that is interesting to you, but you have to pretend to care? Well, if you paid money to listen to 45 minutes of that, you know the agony that is Death Proof. In fact, if we want to get information out of terrorists at Gitmo, all we would need to do is take the pointless dialogue scenes out of Death Proof and put them on continuous loop in their cells and they’ll tell us anything, absolutely anything, to make it stop.

But, what about the action scenes, did they make up for it? No, they were pretty ho-hum. So, combine that with dialogue that was worse than in the third Matrix movie and you have a one star nightmare that is probably as bad as anything you’ve seen in the last decade.

PS #2: Tarantino, and for that matter Rodriguez also managed to come up with an incredibly annoying new “marketing technique.” They cut particularly interesting parts of the film out and declare that they’re on a “missing reel,” presumably so that you will then buy the DVD when it comes out to see what you missed. Not only was that irritating, it made the final product you saw on the screen even worse.

Overall rating: Thumbs way, way, down.

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