Our Feature Presentation

My favorite film of 2007 and one of the best times I’ve ever had in a theater (each of the three times I saw it during its release) is finally here on video in its proper three-hour version (three years later!) on the heels of a gorgeous Japanese edition. Sadly, this is only available on Blu-ray, but this will probably be the impetus for some of you to break down and get yourself one of these new-fangled systems. It’s ironic that GRINDHOUSE is arriving on a format that highlights detail and clarity since the best way to watch this French-press version of Quentin Tarantino’s Alamo Drafthouse Festivals is by rickety drive-in light or a VHS tape from 1985. Barring those, I’ll take this and a reel-load of nifty extras, including extended versions of all the awesome faux-trailers by Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright and Eli Roth. I’m stoked to have Robert Rodriguez’s brilliant MACHETE opening as well.

As for the double features, PLANET TERROR is a lot of bloody zombie fun and features a killer Josh Brolin perf not to mention Michael Biehn mixing it up with Jeff Fahey and Tom Savini. And a lot of hot Rose McGowan machine-gun action. DEATH PROOF is a nice tribute to Austin and features one of Kurt Russell’s best roles (if only there were more of him) and an amazing car chase courtesy of Zoe Bell. One can debate the film’s quality but not its dedication, and I take GRINDHOUSE as a whole beautiful package, a long night at the movies with lobby snacks for one low price. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not officially Friday until I hear the horn strains of Keith Mansfield’s “Funky Fanfare” over this supercool bumper…

13 Responses to “Our Feature Presentation”

  1. I’ve never been that crazy about Planet Terror, but I’ve concluded that the best way to see Grindhouse is just like this – in one big bite. I love Death Proof, but removed from the grindhouse trappings, it’s missing something.

    • christian Says:

      The films were never meant to be seen separate and tho the extended cuts add some choice bits, I think of these as part of one big pop trash tapestry.

  2. Blu-Ray? Bah, humbug. Too bad they didn’t come out with a regular DVD version.

  3. a lot of people here, especially girls, hate death proof for its macho subtext – never got that one, because it s all about girls taking back their power from a male centered society, but the press and the public were put off by the cliched aspect of this drama… big cars, macho guy, grr girls…. it was maybe too much 5th degree humor…. cliche inside cliche giving way to more cliche, all in order to move forward a cliche agenda for cliche critics…. good work quentin !

    • christian Says:

      Don’t quite understand that argument given Tarantino’s solid Grrl Power credentials. He’s more cruel to the menfolk in general, and Stuntman Mike’s crying whining breakdown is brilliant and another example of Russell’s fearlessness in presenting himself as a weak character.

  4. As much as I appreciated and enjoyed the extended versions of PLANET TERROR and DEATH PROOF, I really want this! It was a total blast watching the double-feature in the theater in ’07. It is a bit of sad timing with the recent passing of Sally Menke, too. Now, if only someone would release the often rumored and supposedly postponed, KILL BILL: THE WHOLE BLOODY AFFAIR. Thanks, christian.

    • christian Says:

      It is more poignant after Menke’s passing. And yes, where is KILL BILL etc — just noted for the first time on the blu-ray that when Mary Shelton makes a note on her pad in PLANET TERROR, you can see the memo to KILL BILL….

  5. Yeah, this new Blu-ray package may actually have me breaking down and finally getting a Blu-ray player. Wow, the specs on this sucker look mighty impressive. Not to mention, Michael Mann has taken YET another stab at THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS on Blu-ray… sold!

    I really loved PLANET TERROR and wasn’t so crazy about DEATH PROOF. I always felt that if the mandate was to ape/pay homage to vintage grindhouse movies then Rodriguez was much more successful in replicating that vibe than Tarantino who basically just made one of his films. RR just went for it with a balls-out zombie film that was a pure, unabashed love letter to the films of John Carpenter and George Romero.

  6. Christian, you and I have talked about this before I think, but I love to hear myself talk so what the hell.

    Overall, I agree that GRINDHOUSE is probably best as GRINDHOUSE, but I think each picture works on its own, and I think the best thing to come of any version is QT’s nearly 2 hr DEATH PROOF, which is one of those cuts that occasionally come down the pike that actually play shorter. (Tarantino cut the wrong stuff the first time out.) The longer version strengthens the sexual menace, and I think, makes the picture the more vivid horror essay that QT intended, which also makes the lapses into inanity more forgiveable. I wasn’t all that wild about DP at first, but it has grown into one of my favorite QTs, and I think its one of his most very personal.

    Blu-ray isn’t so much too newfangled for me, as too expensive, that liberal arts degree aint buying me much these days, this bad boy needs to go DVD.

    • christian Says:

      Watching it on a loop is the best way and it just has to be this way, tho I can easily watch the extended cuts, which do work better in DP. There’s something utterly watchable about it even when I’m not into all the scenes. I think McGowan plays off Russell very well and I like the giallo-esque aspects.
      But I get your drift about the luxury of blu-ray. It’s an amazing treat visually.

  7. (8)“These poor souls have been hanging on, in some cases by their bloody fingernails, making their payments and essentially pouring their money down a financial rathole. A little bit of relief for these people is more than due. The banksters and the unions and everyone else has gotten their piece of the bailout. These guys deserve thes.ir”The banksters … yesThe unions … yesPeople with mortgages (most) … yesEveryone else?!?!?!?! …. F noRenters?People on the fench looking to buy?NO NO NO

  8. En la segunda parte del artículo dices lo que pensaba responderte mientras leía la primera parte. Así que lo suscribo completamente, y se de lo que hablo que soy un Postdoc intentando quedarme en Suecia. España para las vacaciones, por muy triste que parezca… mucho tienen que cambiar las cosas para que acabe ahí de vuelta.

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