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Grindhouse Presents, Death Proof – Extended and Unrated

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 25-10-2010


A deranged stuntman stalks his victims from the safety of his killer car, but when he picks on the wrong group of badass babes, all bets are off in an adrenaline-pumping, high speed, white-knuckle automotive duel of epic proportions, where anything can happen.Amazon.com
Loud, fast, and proudly out of control, Grindhouse is a tribute to the low-budget exploitation movies that lurked at drive-ins and inner city theaters in the ’60s and early ’70s. Writers/dire… More >>

Grindhouse Presents, Death Proof – Extended and Unrated

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Just giving a heads, one of the things i wanted to know is if the fake movie trailers would be on the dvd, so once i found out on Movieweb I figured I’d pass it along, nor will they be on the Planet Terror dvd. I was looking forward to Eli Roth’s fake trailer for the horror film Thanksgiving.

I personally don’t mind that there not being released together and am looking forward to purchasing both movies, although obviously it would be nice to get both together.

Death Proof is one of the best of 2007 so far. It is another cool, original and stylish film from Quentin Tarantino. A cross between a slasher movie where a car is used in place of a knife and an action movie with a chase scene that would rival The French Connection.

Keep an eye on Vanessa Ferlito the actress that plays butterfly, watch for the lap dance scene. She has a real original look. Also Zoe Bell the stuntwoman in real life who worked on the Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies, who now is making her acting debut as what else, a bad blank stuntwoman, and she does her own stunts, she performs one, if not the best car chase scene I’ve seen in a movie.

Special features:

*) Never-before-seen footage including the “missing reel” (containing Vanessa Ferlito’s unseen lap-dance sequence) as well as a black-and-white segment in the film’s second act

*) Finding Quentin’s Gals featurette

*) The Guys of Death Proof featurette

*) Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike featurette

*) Introducing Zoe Bell featurette

*) Quentin’s Greatest Collaborator: Editor Sally Menke featurette

*) Trailer for Double Dare

*) International poster gallery
Rating: 4 / 5

First, a word about this childish boycott. “Grindhouse” gave us two brilliant genre films for the price of one in the theaters. It was a once in a lifetime experience for most of us and a chance to see the two most bada$* directors in Hollywood give us 3+ hours of hardcore horror/exploitation entertainment including the funniest faux-trailers you’re likely to ever see (or not see if you missed it). And it bombed. Big time. Why? Because lazy America said it’d wait for the DVD because both films together were too long and they lost the chance to support a truly brilliant idea and show that we are sick and tired of cardboard cutout PG-13 teen horror and bad remakes of beloved cult classics. They went to see “Disturbia” instead. “Grindhouse” was what true horror fans -hell, what all true film fanatics- have been dying for and shame on all of you who missed it. So the studio took a loss for taking a chance on this idea and as a result, they’ve split the two films up with extra scenes that were cut for time and are giving us these two films as we haven’t yet seen them, each in double-disc editions packed with extras. Awesome, right? Weeeeeellllll, now the same whiners who stiffed the films in the theaters are angry they missed out and want both films on one DVD (as if there’d even be room) for a discount price. Sorry, but it don’t work that way. The theatrical cut was packaged as just that, an experience for the theaters simulating the double-feature drive-in days of old. Even if that experience would translate to DVD, why would the company re-release it in the same form that already failed miserably? The bottom line is this: we now have another chance to show that THIS is what we as horror fans want to see and the only way to do that is to buy these great-looking DVDs. The notion that making the films bomb yet again on DVD is going to lead to some super-duper deluxe theatrical edition must have been conceived in the mind of a five year old on crack. If we don’t support these editions, these films will die and the studio will waste no more money on this failed project or any like it in the future. This is basic business sense. Support true horror and other genre films and boycott crappy remakes and bloated sequels *cough*Spiderman3*cough* instead. YOu know you’ll double-dip on those.

“Death Proof” was Quentin Tarantino’s half of the “Grindhouse” experience. It’s a film of stunning originality that switches gears between genres seamlessly and, in true Tarantino fashion, pays tribute to it’s influences all the way going so far as to name the films it strives to emulate. “Planet Terror”, Robert Rodriguez’s zombie-heavy gorefest that served as the other half of “Grindhouse”, captured the spirit of exploitation cinema by being over-the-top and silly, but “Death Proof” pays homage to it while building a more subtle, character-driven masterpiece. Kurt Russell plays an old stunt driver with a car built so that the driver can not be killed no matter how bad he crashes (death proof, see?). Well, the guy is a bit of a misogynistic bastard (and a wuss at that) and he gets his jollies by murdering young, beautiful women, possibly as a way of getting back at a world that doesn’t share his enthusiasm for -or even a vague awareness of- the carphilic genre films that make up his very existence. His weapon of choice? His stunt car, of course. They crash, he lives, they die. There is an amazing scene where a crash with a car full of girls is replayed over-and-over, each repeat focusing on a different girl and her particular gory demise. Unbelievable. The girls are all well fleshed-out as characters with lives and personalities of their own and you just don’t know who will live and die. You cheer when they live, you gasp (and then cheer at the way it was filmed) when they die; a win-win situation.

Rose McGownan is indeed the grindhouse queen as she co-stars in both films and steals the show in every scene she appears in. Real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell makes her acting debut and proves an impossibly endearing on-screen presence who shall henceforth be known as Spiderwoman to me after her incredible stuntwork here. Rosario Dawson charms as always and the rest of the cast is beyond solid as well.

The last twenty minutes of “Death Proof” are among the greatest of any film I’ve ever seen. Edge of your seat barely begins to describe the chase sequences and the finale had me literally applauding in the theater as I laughed myself silly. You will not see the ending coming unless you’ve see or heard about it already. The rest of the film is splattered with homages and references to classic drive-in fare, humorous and profane dialogue, horror cliches (horny + stoned + female = splat!), and more QT goodness.

This extended cut features the infamous “reel missing” scene featuring a very sexy lapdance and more of the film’s awesome music. There is also a black-and-white sequence where Russell and Dawson indulge in Tarantino’s creepy foot fetish and a hilarious convenience store scene which stars the almost undrinkable “Big Red” soda in damn near every shot. I laughed harder every time the camera focused on the offending soft drink. The special features are impressive; the highlight for me was watching goretastic horror director Eli Roth plead with Kurt Russell in-between takes where Roth’s character had to diss the horror legend.

Buy this film, buy “Planet Terror” (there is a $5 off coupon for it included here if that helps), and wave your copies at the moron down the street who’s boycotting because this is brilliant filmmaking and denying yourself this kind of entertainment over sour grapes is self-punishment.

“Hey Ladies….. THAT was fun!”
Rating: 5 / 5

Not that this film needs another review, but I suppose I’ll put in my two cents for s%*ts and giggles. But before I get into anything, I’d just like to point out that this movie solidly confirms what we’d all suspected since Pulp Fiction, and that is that Tarantino most certainly has a foot fetish. There are so many shots of feet in this film that you almost(almost) think that the project had started out as a foot fetish porn film that Tarantino might have wanted to do on the side. With all that aside, the general consensus on Death Proof is that it’s a colossal bore. There are quite a few defenders of the film as well, maybe even moreso than those who didn’t like it. Are people tiring of Tarantino’s style or did Tarantino’s style just not work this time around? I’m somewhere in the middle. I didn’t think this was the abysmal failure it’s made out to be, nor do I think it’s a very good Tarantino film. I also don’t think it’s all that great an homage to grindhouse cinema. Grindhouse films of the 70 were cheap, exploitative, sometimes shocking or groundbreaking, fun, trashy entertainment. Fast food kinda movies. Now in Death Proof Tarantino basically made a Tarantino film with a few grindhouse dashes here and there(the music from Dario Argento’s Bird With The Crystal Plumage plays while Kurt Russell is photographing his next potential victims like the killer in Argento’s film did. The scene is also shot in the same style. A nice touch). Fine. After all, it is his movie. By now everyone knows the major criticism of this movie is the constant dialogue and little action. Personally, I have no problem with movies that take their time getting to where they’re going. Many of the best directors do take their time. Tarantino himself has made this work for him before. After all, this is the guy who can take an 80 minute premise and stretch it out to absurd lengths, but manage to keep things interesting. In the case of Death Proof, it’s simply the story of a vehicular serial killer that finally tangles with the wrong carload of potential victims and has the tables turned on him. I expected alot of dialogue in this film. Tarantino himself can’t keep his mouth shut, so why should his characters? My problem didn’t come from the dialogue, my problem was that I didn’t like a single character in this movie. Tarantino seemed to find the most irritating and grating women on the planet and stuck them all here. The few males weren’t much better in their small roles(one of them being Tarantino’s new bosom buddy, Eli Roth). I certainly don’t get off on real life serial killers, but the great thing about the film world is that you can feel guiltless for rooting for the bad guy. Killers can be cool in the movies. I was rooting for Kurt Russell all the way in the hopes that he would put an end to these annoying women. Speaking of Russell, he’s clearly the best actor of the bunch and puts on a good performance. Personally I didn’t like his on a dime turn from macho killer to whining wuss. People also felt this didn’t fit as the second feature on a double bill. Well, I have no problem with that either coz old grindhouse double features would usually include two films quite different from one another. On the positive side, I really admire what Tarantino and Rodriguez were trying to accomplish with the Grindhouse project. It’s a great idea and a pity it wasn’t a success. I do feel that Death proof has it’s moments, and not just the fleeting violent ones either. With so many reviews already, I can’t add much more to the pile. All I can say is that I’m glad I saw it and I appreciate the effort even if I wasn’t totally thrilled with the results. In the end I can only suggest that if a person really wants the “grindhouse” experience, just rent a “grindhouse” movie. I’d suggest Death Race 2000 if you dig this kinda vehicle carnage.

Rating: 3 / 5

A lot of the reviews here seem to be people upset at the split on DVD. I’m gonna give my best at reviewing the movie and ignoring the split on DVD.

As stated before Death Proof is one half of Grindhouse, which was split upon the DVD release. It’s a throwback to 70s exploitation flicks. Death Proof has sparked a pretty big debate among viewers; some love it and hail as a masterpiece others find it slow and boring and a waste of time.

As a fan of exploitation cinema I personally wouldn’t put Death Proof with that genre of film. While Death Proof is paying homage to those styles of films it really doesn’t feel like one. About the only thing that makes it feel like a 70s exploitation flick is the look of the movie at least in the first half. The lines going through the picture the picture jumps. I really enjoyed that in the first half.

A lot of those movies do indeed look like that well before they are restored onto DVD so in that sense Tarantino really captures that vibe, but just not with the actual movie. As for the movie itself I thought it was excellent. I’ll admit thus far I have enjoyed everything Quentin Tarantino has done so I was quite pumped for Death Proof.

As good as a director Quentin is what really makes him stand-out is his dialogue. I think even the biggest of Quentin Tarantino fans will agree while he is a talented director; he’s a much better writer.

Death Proof is your typical Quentin Tarantino movie with the great writing he is known for among his fans. Though with that said I do believe there were some problems. I loved the first half of the movie; in my opinion it was some of Tarantino’s best writing of his career. Sure it’s no Pulp Fiction, but I found it well-written and damn entertaining.

The characters were well-written and again your typical Tarantino characters. But the 2nd half changes focus on the characters and that’s when things get a tad bit messy.

The biggest complaint with Death Proof was it was too slow and too much talking. I personally never once in the first half found it slow or boring. The writing was sharp and I found the tension building. We know something was gonna happen sooner or later and the anticipation of that I felt worked amazingly.

But the 2nd half is when I did start to find things slowing down and I didn’t feel that tension. Honestly, the 2nd half felt like somebody trying to be Quentin Tarantino. I never found Death Proof boring, but I have to admit I wasn’t into the 2nd half nearly as much as I was the first half.

The characters just in my opinion didn’t work as well and again I personally felt as if the 2nd half was written by someone trying to copy Tarantino. The 2nd half is by no means bad; it just doesn’t work quite as well and in some areas does drag a bit. It doesn’t take a way from the fun of the movie though.

The car chase scenes at the end were excellent and that is something we don’t see much of today in film. And when we do normally its CGI and even when it’s not CG when we do get it I don’t know I just find it doesn’t work.

Quentin Tarantino knows his stuff when it comes to film the guy is pretty much a walking encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to movies. So not much of a surprise the car chase scenes cam out as wonderful as they did; the scenes were suspenseful and action packed and very much made up for some of the slower spots in the 2nd half.

The cast was great here. The girls are all very sexy and excellent and Rose McGowan pretty much steals the show from them. But the real stand-out of the movie is Kurt Russell.I have always been a fan of Kurt Russell and this was his best role in years. He’s played a couple of Iconic characters and I think Stuntman Mike is another one to his list.

I would very much recommend this flick to fans of Tarantino; if you like his work thus far odds are you’ll really dig Death Proof. But for those who aren’t fans of QT I doubt this movie will change your opinion of him.

Death Proof is a well acted and made movie that has plenty of thrilling and very fun moments. While it doesn’t really capture the 70s exploitation vibe Death Proof is a must see.

Rating: 4 / 5

My feelings about this movie are mixed. There were looooooong stretches of pointless (and frankly boring) dialogue. When the girls are in the car or sitting around the table, for example. To me those scenes were weakest. The girls were really supposed to know each other. But a lot of times, they talked as if they were introducing themselves to each other. It just wasn’t very convincing so it tended to drag in those spots. There were bright spots though. Near the end it got exciting when the tables were turned. And I liked the stylishness of it.
Rating: 3 / 5

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