Finally saw Grindhouse last night. The short review: Planet Terror is amazing, Death Proof is boring. The fake trailers for Machete, Werewolf Women of the SS, Don’t, and Thanksgiving are also excellent.
There’s much discussion on the IMDb boards of the double feature being split up in theaters in coming weeks and for the DVD. The three hours and eleven minutes was a long haul, and there really wasn’t much connection between the two movies either, though purists will probably say that they form an artistic whole or something like that.
The discussions also reflect my relative disappointment with Death Proof, which was a very talky film where the dialogue didn’t seem to fit in with much of anything. Some people are defending this as part of what Grindhouse cinema was really like, but I say if you’re going to do a homage to something, do it in a good way, not as a reminder of how crappy something was. Anyway, Tarantino seems to be trying to recapture the snappy dialogue he had in Pulp Fiction (characters reference Kahuna Burger and a foot massage) and Reservoir Dogs (the scene around the restaurant table for breakfast reminded me of the Reservoir Dogs opening scene), but the magic really wasn’t there.Maybe I was too hyped up on adrenaline from Planet Terror to appreciate Death Proof by the time it rolled around as the second movie. Planet Terror was not only full of zombie heads exploding, but it was also among the funniest movies I have seen in a while, if you enjoy very dark humor. If they do indeed split things up, go to Planet Terror, and try to catch the trailers too, which were a riot.