Grind House

Started by MacGuffin, May 26, 2005, 12:11:11 AM

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grand theft sparrow

It makes sense if you think about it.  Outside of the theatre, they don't belong together.  They don't ever need to be put together.  As long as the trailers are on both, and there are no special features on one disc that pertain to the other film, there's no reason to put them together.

I still think they should do a limited run of pan-and-scan VHS or at least degrade the DVD transfer to used-and-abused VHS quality with a simulated tape edit where the missing reels are.


Quote from: MacGuffin on April 12, 2007, 11:01:37 AM
Straight from the horse's mouth regarding the DVDs:

This morning QT was on Los Angeles radio station, KROQ, and said, "The first go 'round, they will be released separately." His will have 30 minutes restored; RR's will have 20 minutes added.
i was listening... he's also gonna be at the beverly cinema in LA this eve watching movies.  i will NOT be there.


Quote from: MacGuffin on April 12, 2007, 11:01:37 AM
His will have 30 minutes restored;

If all 30 minutes are going into the first section, I'll buy it.  If any of those minutes are going into the second section, I'll boycott it.  If Tracie Thoms has even one more line than she did in the theatrical release, I'm kicking Tarantino square in the nuts.
My house, my rules, my coffee


Good idea so badly executed...

budget should have been incredibly less. Incredibly. It should have been WAY WAY WAY THE FUCK shorter. two 1 hour movies. That would've been perfect and totally feasible.



I enjoyed the female chat sessions in Death Proof.  It reminded me of Dazed and Confused -- driving around, getting stoned, and taking about nothing and everything.  It was the female flip-side of Reservoir Dogs.
Music is your best entertainment value.


Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez

Old chums Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez grind it out for MySpace in this exclusive Artist On Artist interview! Two of modern cinema's biggest heroes, the all-star pair recall their first meeting in 1992, detail the differences between their directing styles, muse on GRINDHOUSE's groovy origins, and reveal at last what was REALLY in the briefcase in PULP FICTION!
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


'Grindhouse' Falls Out of Top Ten -- Playing To 'Near Empty Theaters'
Source: Cinematical

Depending on which source you believe -- there's about a ten-thousand dollar difference -- Grindhouse is either holding onto the tenth spot for the weekend or it has slipped into eleventh place, behind Wild Hogs. With Friday estimates included, the film's total cume is $16.7 million; that gives it a second-weekend drop of 74%, which is just terrible any way you slice it. The per-screen average for the film is $494, which as Deadline Hollywood points out, means its "playing in near-empty theaters." If these numbers hold for Saturday, then more Americans will have turned out this weekend to see Redline, which is a movie I never gave a moment's thought to until I had to edit a review that someone did for this website yesterday, than Grindhouse, which arrived in theaters with major advertising campaign fully supported by the national media and all of the fanboy-support that the online community can muster. Wow.

I don't expect the failure of Grindhouse to have any effect on Robert Rodriguez's career, frankly. He is currently prepping Sin City 2, which is a film that will undoubtedly do big business and be well-received and erase memories of Grindhouse, but I wonder how the failure will affect Quentin Tarantino. Are the Weinsteins going to gamble on fronting his war movie, Inglorious Bastards, or are they going to gently push him towards a less expensive-sounding endeavor? Will they chalk this whole thing up to the bad taste of the American public and continue to support their signature star, much the way Warner Bros. supported Stanley Kubrick all those years? I certainly hope so.


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.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

The Red Vine

Holy shit! I knew the film wasn't doing well but damn.....
"No, really. Just do it. You have some kind of weird reasons that are okay.">


Who wrote that EW article, modage? It's really great, and pretty much sums up how I feel about Tarantino these days.


Quote from: Ghostboy on April 15, 2007, 01:05:08 PM
Who wrote that EW article, modage?

Mark Harris is a writer and former executive editor of EW.
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." - Andy Warhol

Skeleton FilmWorks

grand theft sparrow

Quote from: RedVines on April 15, 2007, 01:00:58 PM
Holy shit! I knew the film wasn't doing well but damn.....

This was completely expected.  People are under the mistaken impression that this is the new Gigli and it's not the case.  They wrongly equate box office take with the film's quality so this was bound to happen.

Gold Trumpet

I have a few ideas why Grind House failed. I'm not sad over it, but I do find it aggregious that in light of Grind House's failure, 300 is such a success. There is also no doubt that Grind House is the superior film to 300.

To compare Grind House to 300 is to compare professional filmmaking to pure incompatency. Tarantino still has some degree of talent with dialogue. 300 is a constant continuation of banal political propaganda. No character really has a true voice that goes outside of this. On top of that, Tarantino actually handles his story well with the filmmaking. Most other directors would have taken the car chase in Death Proof and overdone it. Tarantino keeps it simple and makes the chase that more effective. There is little challenge in filmmaking in 300. Even the simple scenes are overdone. And while I don't think much of Planet Terror, it at least has an enjoyability with some characters and scenarios. 300 is offensive in its macho attitude that tries to make violence both cartoonish and serious at the same time. The mesh just doesn't work and is ridiculous.

Not only do I believe this, but the critical community as well: on Rotten Tomatoes, Grind House stands at 81% while 300 is only at 61%. But the reason why Grind House fails I think comes in the above article by EW. In the press for Grind House, Tarantino and Rodrigeuz prided themselves so much on the faulty genres they were referencing that no one besides their fanbase cared. Nobody remembers or really cares about Grind House cinema. 300, on the other hand, was doing a reimagination of the historical epic which everyone knows and most love.

Plus the easy visuals and insane amount of media coverage didn't hurt matters either. 300 duped its audience that they were seeing something new and exhilarating, but it was superficial filmmaking. Years of overpraising visual achievements have convinced the general public and a few critics that 300 is art.


Death Proof began when Kurt Russell appeared in the bar and it ended when the second part began.  Grindhouse was boring. 


Chicks didn't dig it.
My house, my rules, my coffee


Quote from: polkablues on April 15, 2007, 08:03:06 PM
Chicks didn't dig it.
it's funny because my girlfriend AND all the chicks at my work who saw it all preferred 'Death Proof' to 'Planet Terror'.  but i guess all the other girls in the country preferred 'doing something else with their time' to 'Grindhouse'.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.