Monday, April 09, 2007

Windin' and Grindin'

As some of you may know, I won just over one hundred movie tickets for winning an Academy Awards contest several weeks ago. I went to Adam Sandler's "Reign Over Me" (A-) last month, but no passes were allowed for that flick (generally, 3 of the 12 movies playing have restrictions on passes). I was glad to finally use one of them myself on Saturday afternoon. There was only one flick on that I really wanted to see, the double feature "Grindhouse". Since it is just over 3 hours long, there were only 3 showings on Saturday. I told my friend, Shanon, that I was gonna be at the 4:20 show. He said he might not make it for the first movie, but should be there for the second.

Outside the screening room was a notice that I chuckled at. It stated that the movie was made in the flavor of B-genre movies from the 70's and that the scruffs, scratches, and such on the screen during the film were actually normal (I can just see some guy going out to the lobby, "Uh, this movie's all messed up...") I sat in the middle of the 5th row. There weren't too many people there, mostly guys. After two regular trailers (one for "Pirates 3", one for "Die Hard 4"), came a faux trailer that was made by the guys behind "Grindhouse". It was entitled, "Machete" and was about a wronged Mexican out for revenge. Then came the first feature, "Planet Terror".

For plot details, click on the link in the first paragraph. During the movie, I pulled the armrests up and laid down on my right side watching it. About halfway through the film, there was a sex scene starting when all of a sudden, the picture looked like the projector had melted it and a card on the screen said, "Missing Reel". When the pic came back on, it was in the middle of an action sequence (probably 10 minutes of film time later). I had to chuckle. This kind of thing did happen from time to time in the 70's and early 80's when I watched movies as a kid. "Terror" really had the look of something that was made back then, except you know it wasn't since some of the characters in the film used cell phones. One other note: Fergie is in this movie and ends up being eaten by zombies.

I'm sure the deadheads found her to be Fergalicious :P Overall, I found "Terror" to be good, trashy fun. After that came a few more trailers for non-existent movies. My favorite was done by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever). It's called "Thanksgiving" and mimics the original trailer for "Halloween". As the 2nd movie was about to start, I headed to the bathroom (there was no way I was gonna make it through both features without going). It was then that I noticed Shanon sitting in the 2nd row. He followed me out and said he saw most of the last half of the first film and that he quite enjoyed it. He said that he didn't see me when he came in (remember, I was laying down at this point), so just took a seat up front. We sat together for the 2nd movie, "Death Proof" which was directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Kurt Russell.

The first half is pretty talky, but damn, it really got going in the 2nd half. Basically, it has the best car chase scene that I've probably ever seen, a extended sequence that goes on for at least 25 minutes. That alone was worth the price of admission for me (even though I didn't have to pay a dime to get in, anyway). "Proof" also has a "missing" reel. After the movie, Shanon said he enjoyed the experience and that really is it. It's not so much a movie as an experience. Shanon said he really looked forward to seeing the movie, "Thanksgiving" later this year (I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was a fake trailer). Here's how one of my favorite movie reviewers summed up "Grindhouse":

"There's no question that Grindhouse accomplishes what the directors set out to do - open up the exploitation movie experience to a new generation while steeping it in nostalgia for older viewers. There's nothing brilliant or groundbreaking about the film, but it is solidly, unabashedly entertaining. Grindhouse is the kind of movie where it's necessary to put aside pretensions and enjoy the product on its terms, with all the sexiness, violence, gore, and camp as part of the parcel. This is three-plus hours of gleeful-but-guilty escapism."


Mags said...

I don't know Tommy, I thought there was going to be some interesting commentary about how you laid down on the seats and then there was a sex scene...

the108 said...

I'm so glad to hear that these movies were worth it. I had started to worry that Tarantino and Rodriguez had just decided to be as weird as possible. I am thrilled to hear that there is a method to their madness :-)

There are so many movies I want to see right now..... Lord, I am behind.

~paige~ said...

the jury is out fo rme still. not sure if i want to go and see it or not

Fallen Star said...

You sold me on it though I didn't know it was that long. Guess I'd better get the family size double buttered popcorn and the Valdez tankard of coke. Thanks for the great review.

Thomas said...

Mags, the screen "burned" before the sex scene could really get going.

the108, don't worry. They'll all be on DVD before you know it, but for "Grindhouse", experiencing it theatrically was doubly rewarding.

Paige, don't sweat it.

Fallen, the best time to take a bathroom break (if you have to) is during the opening credits of the second feature (you don't want to miss any of the trailers between the two movies).