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April 09, 2007 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-04-09

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8A -Monday, April 9, 2007

A R S

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

FILM REVIEW
Grindhouse
AtQthe State
III'£11.~ U l~Theater, Quality
RU 16 and Showcase

Jj rindhouse" is
exhausting. It's
not just a movie
- it's a three-hour test of
your fortitude as a filmgoers.
Can you persevere through
the intestine-spilling vio-
lence of Robert Rodriguez's
"Planet Terror" and the
head-scratching dialogue of
Quentin Tarantino's "Death
Proof?"
While the average audi-
ence member may not have
what it takes to go the dis-
tance, movie buffs, film crit-

ics and fan boys alike will
revel in the horror, suspense
and sheer badness of it all.
Billed as a double feature,
the term "Grindhouse" refers
to the old cineplexes that
back in the day would screen
two rather awful movies for
the price of one. Rodriguez
and Tarantino have infused
elements of these '70s era
films into their respective
pieces, including choppy
reel transfers, scratched film
and overexposed color. The
most show-stealing inclu-

sion, however, has to be the
creation of several trailers
for fake B-movies including
Eli "Hostel" Roth's cringe-
inducing "Thanksgiving" and
Edgar "Shaun of the Dead"
Wright's cautionary faux-
horror flick "Don't!"
So two films, two reviews.
There's much debate even
among ourselves about
which film is better, but we
agree that the experience of
"Grindhouse" as a whole is
incomparable.
PAUL TASSI

0l

A TONGUE-IN-CHEEK JOYRIDE OF TERROR

A ZOMBIE LANDSCAPE
By PAUL TASSI The zombies in tn
Daily Film Editor to be an amalgam of

By BLAKE GOBLE
DailyArts Writer
Quentin Tarantino is
probably the most annoy-
ing of all fan boys, but he
knows what he's doing. A
self-professed film geek
withapassionforcinema's
most bizarre, Tarantino is
unabashed in his desire to
bring what he loves to the
modern audience. "Death
.. Proof" remains contem-
porarily adroit while still
effusing its love for its
origins, and it ends up as
quite an ode to the excesses of
early 1970s shock cinema.
"Proof" is also a workout in
sharp absurdity, an homage to
testing the standards of taste in
theaters. You know how people
complain about poor editing,
noticeable reel changes, miss-
ing portions of a film and poor
focus when seeing a movie at a
third-run theater? Well, that's the
point here. "Proof" validates that
almost anything can be endear-
ing - when put into new con-
texts. When a much-discussed
lap dance scene cheekily ends up
as a "missing reel," the effect is as
refreshing as it is frustrating.
"Death Proof" is a yarn about,
a serial killer who goes by the
name of Stuntman Mike
(a badass Kurt Russell,
"Miracle"), a movie
stuntman with a need
to satiate his appe-
tite for destruction.
The product of a pre-
CGI time, Mike takes
pride in wrecking his
car and coming out

alright. But what excites him the
most is wrecking his car with a
pretty young lady unbelted in the
passenger seat. Mike's a serial
killer with an engine rather than
a gun.
Eight prototypically attractive
women serve, not surprisingly,
as Mike's targets. Rosario Daw-
son ("Clerks 2"), Vanessa Fer-
lito ("The Descent") and Tracie
Thomas ("Rent") are movie stunt-
woman and production assistants
with a day off and initially prance
around in standard exploitative
fashion before eventually shock-
ing audiences with their wit and
humanity. They're a legitimately
funny group of women, courtesy
of Tarantino's signature rat-a-
tat-tat dialogue, and, being stunt-
women, ballsy, too.
When Zoe Bell (Uma's "Kill
Bill" stunt double) gets strapped
to the hood of her car as she
faces off with Stuntman
Mike, something
pure happens
that seldom
can be said
of action in
movies
today:

the film becomes exhilarating.
It's nice to see someone taking
clenched fists to that CGI- engi-
neered energy.
Boasting an outstanding vin-
tage soundtrack by Joe Tex and
Jack Nitzsche, Tarantino proves
yet again that he is on the short
list of filmmakers who can put
together a playlist without look-
ing for arbitrary implications.
Films of this juicy nature are
now part of a shamelessly bygone
era. And in the capably preten-
tious hands of director Quentin
Tarantino, we are introduced
to a bizarre bit of contempo-
rary art that has earned (if not
really deserved) its apprecia-
tion. "Death Proof" transcends
silly fits of nostalgia to become a
course in appreciation. It all just
works to create a sensation of see-
ing something a little grittier and
true to form.

6
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I

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Uniting the Leaders and Best

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