Author Topic: Grind House  (Read 81736 times)

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polkablues

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #240 on: April 15, 2007, 10:38:39 PM »
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Every girl I know, judging solely on the commercials, said it looked (direct quote) "stupid".  And nothing I could say would dissuade them of that.
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JG

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #241 on: April 15, 2007, 10:57:40 PM »
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Every girl I know, judging solely on the commercials, said it looked (direct quote) "stupid".  And nothing I could say would dissuade them of that.

This is true.  I had this very conversation with a lady friend minutes ago.  I think a lot of people missed the joke.  Tarantino included. 

Pubrick

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #242 on: April 16, 2007, 07:16:14 AM »
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Mark Harris is a writer and former executive editor of EW just wrote the best article i've read all year.
fixed.

Pap Fiction
If director Quentin Tarantino wants to reconnect with a wide audience, he might consider putting away childish things and tackling new material worthy of his gifts
Source: EW

There's going to be a lot written about the financial failure of Grindhouse, Quentin Tarantino's latest epic canonization of garbage from his own adolescence. There are lessons in any big flop, and the lesson of Grindhouse may not be much more complicated than ''Don't make a three-hour homage to something that wasn't very good the first time and expect everyone to come running.'' When the only purpose of making a movie is to flaunt your immense skill at replicating something dumb, you're probably limiting your audience to connoisseurs of the ironic (not a huge demographic) and fanboys (who didn't show up — turns out they like their bloody comic-book violence mainlined, 300-style, without any winking). Treat your audience as if both you and they are cooler than the film you're cranking out — as Snakes on a Plane did last summer, and as Grindhouse does — and your movie's doomed.

I enjoyed parts of Grindhouse, although three hours is a long time to watch two directors draw air-quotes around bad moviemaking. (And it's not as if plain old bad movies are irony-free: If there's some major distinction between Bruce Willis' smug squint in the trailer for Live Free or Die Hard that played just before Grindhouse and Bruce Willis' smug squint in Rodriguez's ''Planet Terror,'' I missed it.) Quentin Tarantino is a pretty good writer and a monstrously gifted director, and I'd rather his movies were hits, because why root against talent? But I can't pretend to be disappointed that Grindhouse is stiffing, because creatively it's a dead end that he's been traveling toward for a dozen years.

Tarantino and I are the same age — we were both born in 1963 — so I'm speaking middle-aged guy to middle-aged guy when I say that it's time to put away childish things. Manic jags of hyperbole about vintage crap start to wear thin once you're only a couple of Presidential elections away from your AARP years. Guys who love movies — no matter what their age — tend to overrate the films they loved between the ages of, say, 13 and 20, when they were — how to put this politely? — easy to stimulate. Tarantino, who loves movies more than anything else, grabbed on to the bargain-basement genres of the early 1970s — the stuff he wasn't quite old enough to see when it opened — and he's never let go.

In 1994, his enthusiasm yielded Pulp Fiction, which felt entirely new — intricately structured but playful, wild in its violence yet able to accommodate a witty line or gesture without seeming to pause, perfectly acted, always surprising, and (despite its title) never simply a gloss on old material. Since then, though, Tarantino seems to have started believing that his own worst qualities are what distinguish him. He's abandoned what was great about Pulp Fiction (control, impeccable pacing, utter originality, knowing when the characters should stop talking) and decided that what people really want from him is chatty, protracted dialogue scenes, elaborately arch pop-culture references, and ass-kicking action — in other words, easy imitations of his own biggest success. With Jackie Brown, he had good source material — there's rarely any fat in an Elmore Leonard novel — but he let the flights of verbosity and the characters' knuckle-cracking become extravagantly drawn out; some scenes almost felt as if they contained their own rehearsals, and what should have been a lean take on early-'70s crime dramas inflated to 154 minutes. With Kill Bill, we got four hours and seven minutes of bended-knee worship of martial-arts movies, blaxploitation, spaghetti westerns, and Japanese comic books. Some brilliant action; nonstop visual style; real wit (especially in Vol. 1) — and a whole lot of wheel-spinning as we toured through Quentin's Referential Kitsch Arcade (Naughty nurses! Sonny Chiba! Kung Fu!)

And now, Grindhouse: 192 minutes (a length for which Tarantino must share blame as a self-indulgent producer if not as a director) of smirky tribute to grade-B early-70s sci-fi-horror and car-chase movies, specifically to their mediocrity — the rancid prints, the clumsy camerawork, the artificial-butter smell of the plotting. (Didn't he and Robert Rodriguez do this already in From Dusk Till Dawn, which was basically Grindhouse without the extra 90 minutes?) Tarantino's half of the film, Death Proof, might go down more smoothly if every aspect of it weren't fetishized, from head to (literally and repeatedly) toes. Tarantino doesn't let anything simply unfold anymore. Kurt Russell, a relaxed and resourceful actor, can't just be allowed to act — he's an icon, dammit, and you can feel all the tedious jawing about Escape from New York behind the way he's used and framed and ogled by the camera. The Soldier Blue poster in the background, the wry Robert Urich and Lee Majors name-checks, even the long, long raunchy-girl-talk conversations are just a series of attitudinizing postures — lots of ''Nigga, please!'' (way too much, in fact) and the like, as if women have nothing better to do all day than compete in a never-ending coolness contest.

Is Grindhouse itself just part of that contest? And why devote so much energy to proving your superiority to such inferior material? Tarantino clearly gets high on trashy film rediscoveries. The thing is, when you're high, your definition of genius slackens as your riffs get louder, wilder, and less supportable. Grindhouse is one of those riffs. At one point, Tarantino has a character announce that the 1971 car-chase thriller Vanishing Point is ''one of the greatest American movies ever made.'' It's not; it's just a really good car-chase thriller. I hope Tarantino can still tell the difference. For ten years, he's been the hipster in the back of the video store, using his flashlight-under-the-chin grin to beckon us away from ''Drama'' and ''Action/Adventure'' and toward his favorite section — the one labeled ''Clearance.'' Now that he's 44, it's fair to ask if this obsession is becoming a curse — if he ever plans to make a movie that's not about other (mostly mediocre) movies. His fixation on 1970s subgenres has now lasted longer than the 1970s themselves. It would be a shame if he decides to spend his directorial career obsessively polishing one plastic-turd genre after another.

Tarantino is one of the few working directors who could make a great movie in almost any genre (or better still, invent a new one). Right now, what's holding him back is either bad taste or lack of ambition. He seems to be having a lot of fun in his semi-permanent retreat to the comfort zone of nostalgia for the stuff that got him off when he was a teenager. But I hope he takes a breath before he leaps into his next project — which I'm hoping isn't a trilogy inspired by Burt Reynolds' Gator movies. I'd rather see him shoot higher and miss than hit a target that's barely worth aiming at. He's way too talented to settle for being the best bad filmmaker of all time.

i especially love this part:

Quote from: Mark Harris
Tarantino clearly gets high on trashy film rediscoveries. The thing is, when you're high, your definition of genius slackens as your riffs get louder, wilder, and less supportable.

man, tarantino needs an intervention led by this guy.
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MacGuffin

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #243 on: April 17, 2007, 02:07:52 PM »
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Grindhouse split update
Source: JoBlo.com
 
We received some reports over the weekend and yesterday from some readers saying their local theaters were running the GRINDHOUSE films separately or running them together with an intermission instead of the fake trailers. Curious, we did our best Carl Monday impression and did some investigative reporting. Was this the case of some rogue theater owners splitting GRINDHOUSE on their own? Had The Weinstein Co. officially re-released GRINDHOUSE as two separate films - "Planet Terror" and "Death Proof." After some digging and talking and e-mailing and harassing, we were able to find out the truth. It seems in the wake of the opening weekend disaster, the Weinsteins, as they widely admitted to, considered splitting the films. Being the Weinsteins, they did what they do best: they tested. Last weekend they tested various concepts of improving GRINDHOUSE business in select theaters including two of the various methods above. None of the methods seemed to have any positive effect on box-office receipts and word I got from inside the Weinstein Co. last night was that the plan to split GRINDHOUSE in two and re-release was very likely kiboshed. So that could be it for the GRINDHOUSE experiment folks. Just left to die a slow death and develop a cult following on home video, not unlike....well grindhouse movies.
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pete

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #244 on: April 18, 2007, 03:16:40 AM »
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I wanted to see it because it looked fun, but I was also ready to boo it if it got too clever, but you know what, QT and RR never got too clever.  to read criticisms of them is a bit like reading PR about Spike Lee: they always end up criticizing the backlashes associated with the filmmakers' personas and PR, but rarely the film themselves.
I'd never seen an exploitation film quite like QT's.  I dunno how it was anymore derivative or any genre film that's ever been made.  it thrilled, it entertained.  the initial crash was as visceral as any crash that's ever been filmmed, as was the whole climax.  I don't think QT was "coasting" when he shot this: he worked hard to make his characters as likable as he saw fit, then he put them in precarious situations.  when they die you hate the villain, and when they live you root for them.  rooting, loving, and hating, that's as hard as any challenge that comes with storytelling.
I think the problem is, in QT's mind, expoitation films aren't stupid films, and they're just as valid as anything else he'd seen.  his name dropping and his appropriation methods might be annoying, but his films are still very engaging, enthralling, and entertaining films.  I have never counted on him to take me to places herzog and doyle can take me, but I was never just passively staring at the screen either.
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tpfkabi

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #245 on: April 19, 2007, 10:32:35 PM »
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Grind House leaves all 4 theaters around me tonight....2 weeks.

I found out today was the last chance, so I went to a matinee and it was too late to get someone to go with me........I was the only one in the theater. That is a very creepy feeling, combined with the fact that it was in theater 14 in a 14 screen theater in the back corner, and the recent VT thing, I just couldn't sit there and watch that type of film all by myself. It was one of those theaters where someone could walk right up behind you and you'd have no idea until it was too late. I just couldn't deal with it.

That being said, the Machete trailer was very funny. I've never thought Rose McGowan was super attractive - maybe to do with her goth dress tendancy and previous Marilyn Manson attachment - but dang, the go go dancing...
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last days of gerry the elephant

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #246 on: April 22, 2007, 01:48:10 AM »
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I don't get what all the fuss is about. They made a movie (they being Robert & Quentin) based on cheesy 70's cult classics... and now people are surprised why it tanked? Whether it's ideal or not, that's the reality of that particular genre. Is it not? I don't know why anybody expected any different, especially that stupid Weinsteins company. It will be cherished and always remembered by the true fan boys and I don't know why that's a bad thing at all. If they would now just release the goddamn movies in one ultimate DVD package right off the bat, I think that would just please everyone and anyone who will ever want to own/rent Grind House.

The Red Vine

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #247 on: April 22, 2007, 04:23:33 PM »
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I don't get what all the fuss is about. They made a movie (they being Robert & Quentin) based on cheesy 70's cult classics... and now people are surprised why it tanked? Whether it's ideal or not, that's the reality of that particular genre. Is it not?

The box office success of Kill Bill 1 & 2 probably fueled their expectations. But "Grindhouse" went a step further into genre, thus turning some people off. The failure was due to the film's length, and people not understanding the concept/filmmaking.

Many people would rather go see the mainstream "Wild Hogs" than a movie with "wiggly little lines across the screen".
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tpfkabi

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #248 on: April 22, 2007, 04:57:48 PM »
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The box office success of Kill Bill 1 & 2 probably fueled their expectations. But "Grindhouse" went a step further into genre, thus turning some people off. The failure was due to the film's length, and people not understanding the concept/filmmaking.

This was my thought, too. But even lesser known horror films have been topping the box office lately.

Anyone think it has anything to do with it opening on Easter weekend? I wonder if any horror type film has faired well on that weekend.

What really surprised is how much they dropped their faith in one week. Leading up to opening weekend I saw ads for the film almost non-stop. Then the following week after making the no. 4 spot (not terrible) I saw zero ads. For some reason they threw all of their (easter) eggs in the basket that first week.
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pete

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #249 on: April 23, 2007, 01:12:02 AM »
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I think the concept actually turned people off.  if they just advertised two funny and thrilling films, then people would've been more inclined than going to a "grindhouse."  Secondly, has any short-film compilations actually done better than grindhouse at the boxoffice?
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©brad

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #250 on: April 24, 2007, 08:58:51 AM »
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I think the concept actually turned people off.  if they just advertised two funny and thrilling films, then people would've been more inclined than going to a "grindhouse."

i doubt that.


polkablues

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #251 on: April 24, 2007, 05:20:36 PM »
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I think the concept actually turned people off.  if they just advertised two funny and thrilling films, then people would've been more inclined than going to a "grindhouse."

i doubt that.


What if the two films were Wild Hogs and Disturbia?
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Ravi

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #252 on: April 24, 2007, 06:03:20 PM »
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Maybe a late summer release would have been better.  I don't know why they released it on Easter weekend.

MacGuffin

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #253 on: April 24, 2007, 08:28:35 PM »
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I don't know why they released it on Easter weekend.

Spring break.
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Ravi

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Re: Grind House
« Reply #254 on: April 26, 2007, 12:12:51 AM »
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Forgot about spring break.  But I think a late summer or even an October release (like with Kill Bill vol 1) would have been better.

 

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