Greetings from beyond the land of stale peeps, ‘Redheads… I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter Sunday…I certainly did. As a Jew without an alibi, I thought it best to take part in one of the more fun activities of the holiday…no, not looking for Jesus…dying eggs. I got together with my good pals, Chris and Allyson, for a hard boiled afternoon of…crayons and bunny stickers…oh, we know how to party. After a couple test eggs, we decided to attempt egg likenesses of ourselves…they’re not eggsact, but they turned out about as well as could be eggspected…I’ll stop…
After all of this high octane eggcitement (sorry), we decided to wind things down with a trip to the Uptown Theater to see Grindhouse.
Before I get into my review of the film, I’d like to eggspress (sorry) my disappointment with the American movie-going public. C’mon people. I know it was Easter weekend, and maybe you were looking for some more family friendly fare, but this is ridiculous. Grindhouse came in 4th at the box office behind the oafish Will Ferrell figure skating dreck, a Disney flick, and the insipid sequel to Are We There Yet? Really? You’re being offered a unique movie experience that, for once, is giving you plenty of bang for your ten bucks, and you opt for that crap? I thought you were better than that. Allow me to fill you in on what you’re missing.
This movie, or should I say movies, kicked ass. A more entertaining 3 1/2 hours you’ll be hard pressed to find. It’s a big fat celluloid guilty pleasure. The first half of this double heaping of delicious depravity is Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror. It has every hallmark of a great splatterfest. Every good guy is a bad ass, every bad guy gets what’s coming to him, and every mutated zombie explodes like a bag of blood pudding when the bullets start flying. It doesn’t get bogged down in over explanation of the hellish goings on, but it gives you just enough so you can let your disbelief go and enjoy the ride. It’s also great to see Michael Biehn found work. Two dismembered thumbs up.
After that, you get a trio of trailers for movies that damn well better get made. Here’s one of ’em…
On to the second feature, Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. Where do I begin? This movie, about a sociopath who kills women with his car, has some great moments, and the payoff at the end is awesome, but Tarantino gives new meaning to the phrase “dialogue driven”. In the spirit of eggsploitation (sorry, really) movies, he takes things to a new level by exploiting the audience… Quentin, a car chase movie is about miles per hour, not words per minute. His group of young damsels do so much mindless yammering that you begin to root for their eventual automotive dismemberment. He also seems to have a strange obsession with his actresses’ feet…for the first 10 minutes, you’d think it was being directed by Dr. Scholls. Once the first batch of beauties is dispatched, we’re introduced to a new blah-blah sisterhood who also love the sound of Quentin’s voice and don’t have one thought that isn’t expressed out loud.
Death Proof, instead of being a love letter to the grindhouse movies that Tarantino grew up with, is actually just a love letter to Tarantino. The movie is chock full of references to his earlier work…mostly Kill Bill. The only thing missing was a Samuel L. Jackson cameo. If he’d just stop the ultra hip, self-referential ferris wheel for just a moment and get to the good stuff, this movie would’ve been a lot more fun. Kurt Russell, as the killer, Stuntman Mike, is the most compelling character in the flick. Like I mentioned before, the end is worth sitting through the lecture on how unhip you are. Two thumbs in your ears.
If you’re looking for laughter this weekend, might I suggest a trip up I-95 to check out the shows at the Baltimore Comedy Factory. I’ll be hosting the slate of shows with Pete Eibner and Nikki Payne. And be sure to check out the shows around town for the DC Comedy Fest. And go see Grindhouse, you won’t regret it.
To be continued…