Saturday, April 07, 2007

Quentin Tarantino Can Go To Hell

Last night, I caught a late show of Grindhouse. Grindhouse is Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez' homage to "grindhouse" cinema, the late 1960s and 1970s b-movies that were shot on a shoestring, featured crazy and often nonsensical plots, gratuitous violence, sex and gore, and are just plain fun. There were fake trailers for more grindhouse-style films (most of which were awesome), and the movie itself is a back-to-back feature. The first segment is "Planet Terror," directed by Rodriguez, and the second was "Death Proof" by Tarantino.

"Planet Terror" was the most fun I've had at the movies in a long, long time.

"Death Proof" pretty much cemented my belief that Pulp Fiction was a fluke, and Tarantino is a talentless hack.

Rodriguez "got" the idea. His movie was an homage to the genre, well-paced stupid fun that makes you laugh out loud at the sheer hilariousness of what's happening. Tarantino's movie was 45 minutes of insipid Tarantino-style dialog, followed by 5 minutes of action, followed by 30 minutes of even worse insipid dialog, followed by (I admit) a fucking incredible car chase. But the payoff wasn't worth the time I put in to get there.

And, I'm now ready to admit to myself I feel the same way about Kill Bill: the ending fucking sucked compared to the rest of the movie. A four-hour buildup to a shitty five-minute fight that was over before it started? Screw you, Tarantino.

Also, while I'm at it: Kevin Smith can't edit a film to save his life. Worst. Pacing. Ever.

UPDATE: Liz sent me an article where critic Mark Harris agrees with me, but does it far more eloquently than I did above. Money quote:

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.

This basically sums it up for me. Such things were acceptable when I was in my teens. I'm 28 now, and I want something different. And judging by Gridhouse's piss-poor box office take, so do the majority of people who are in their teens right now.


Omnicommie said...

See, to me, the build up was worth it. Although I agree, Rodriguez did "get it" a bit more.

Also, Tarantino was in this movie way too much.

Vidguy said...

I'm with Omni...even though I preferred Planet Terror, I did think the buildup in Death Proof was worth it. I mean, did you see that ONE CONTINUOUS shot during the cafe dialogue? I think it was 10 or 15 mins long!! Classic IMHO!

But yeah, Tarantino should give up acting, or be more Hitchcock-ian in his cameos.

Kurt Russel was friggin awesome though. Crying at the end was priceless! :)