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C.J. Hollywood's ALMOST-NON-SPOILER review of Grindhouse

Hey folks, Harry here... I personally expect reviews to be all over the place for GRINDHOUSE - the genre that Tarantino and Rodriguez are playing with - well, it's something that many filmgoers haven't really experienced - and most film critics that are writing today, have intentionally avoided. GRINDHOUSE is going to be a film that kicks the ass of those whose asses it'll kick. Like C.J. Hollywood here... he ate it up with all the condiments. I see it next Wednesday... how appropriate is that?

I attended a critics screening of Grindhouse last night at the Mann's 6 in Hollywood. As I waited in line Quentin Tarantino and Kurt Russell came out of a previous screening. I was jazzed. Cut to the chase: is Grindhouse the movie we're all hoping for? Oh my God! To some degree I expected not to love Planet Terror and Death Proof as stand-alones. I suspected that the directors might dumb these flicks down a bit compared to their normal fare, much like the second-half of From Dusk 'til Dawn. That is NOT the case here ladies and gents. We get Tarantino and Rodriguez in top form. Let's break it on down in these brief reviews... OPENING: We get the entire Grindhouse-theater experience. I saw the film in perfect digital projection and all the logos look like shit. Excellent. GRINDHOUSE scrolls by in font so big it gave me goosebumps. The fun begins. PLANET TERROR: Complete with all the film-projected imperfections you saw in the trailer (ie hairs and dirt on the print throughout) Mr. Rodriguez establishes the rules of the Grindhouse universe quickly; the writing is sharp with nods to the horror/action/grindhouse genre, the action is well done, the dialogue is just cheesy enough but all the acting is solid and the characters are extremely likable -- with the exception of Quentin Tarantino himself who is too much of a distraction even in the anything-goes universe of Planet Terror. Fortunately he only has three or four scenes. The plot involves a green toxic/virus/gas that transforms those exposed into bulbous brain-eating zombies. The make-up is great. Blood splatter is often pink water, which is all just part of the f- MISSING REEL. The pacing of Planet Terror is relentless as it should be, with character development in all the right places. There is a scene invloving a young boy that was brutal -- one that made me stop smiling for a few minutes, sit up, and ask myself "was that funny? Am I sad?" Planet Terror gets away with things I haven't seen in a chain theater before. The film wraps up nicely with a far-out ending that makes you smile. And then... TRAILERS! Not gonna spoil anything here. Some great stuff. THANKSGIVING! DEATH PROOF: After the fun-filled thrill ride that was Planet Terror I was anxious to see what QT had in store for us. Unlike the previous flick, things start off pretty slow here. Some intentional continuity errors and poor editing are good for laughs, but the trademark wordy Tarantino dialogue takes you out of the Grindhouse for a bit. Not that this is a bad thing -- just not what I expected. After ANOTHER Tarantino cameo that falls pretty flat (the dude is awkward on camera, am I wrong!?) things get going as Kurt Russell sets his sights on victum #1. You will hate Kurt Russell. I had another moment of "is this funny -- because I feel sad right now." Maybe I'm just a pussy. Anyway -- the first set of characters are 'dealt with' in a fantastic action sequence replayed from many angles... and then it's on to the next set of cast members. At some point the artificial grindhouse-film look disappears from the flick (it stayed throughout PT.) Lots more wordy dialogue that makes you feel for the characters in a very real way -- and then the set up for the final stretch of the Grinhouse. ORGASM. MULTIPLE MALE ORGASM. And that's pretty much all I'm gonna say. When Death Proof ends you will be smiling ear to ear, then you will call everyone you know and tell them to see GRINDHOUSE immediately. Very nice final frame! After the credits I caught nearly the entire cast in the lobby, as well as Robert Rodriguez who has lost like 60 pounds (has he been Peter Jackson thin for long!?) I loved both Planet Terror and Death Proof. One more than the other? I think Death Proof is closer to being a real film, but Planet Terror is more geeky fun. Both are tremendously entertaining if you can get past the unfunny Tarantino cameos and the VERY wordy dialogue in Death Proof. They compliment each other well and are different enough to hold our interest. I CAN'T GET THESE FILMS OUT OF MY HEAD. -C.J. Hollywood My YouTube Page
Readers Talkback
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  • March 23, 2007, 11:52 p.m. CST


    by heywoodfloyd2001


  • March 23, 2007, 11:53 p.m. CST


    by heywoodfloyd2001

    Good god!

  • March 23, 2007, 11:53 p.m. CST


    by Hyphin first?

  • March 23, 2007, 11:54 p.m. CST

    MY first first!

    by heywoodfloyd2001

    I despise people who write first, but really how often do you get the chance to do it?

  • March 23, 2007, 11:54 p.m. CST


    by Hyphin

    ..yah got me. Hows it going? gonna see this?

  • March 23, 2007, 11:56 p.m. CST


    by heywoodfloyd2001

    Yes, I am going to see this. I've been going to the Grindhouse Film Festival they've been showing at the New Beverly in Los Angeles, they are showing b films from the 70's that are from Quentin Tarantino's personal collection. I love this genre of movies. And I am glad they are trying to keep its spirit alive.

  • March 24, 2007, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Planet Terror

    by Maximillian Roivas

    Death Proof sounds pretty sweet, but I got a feeling Planet Terror will be more my style. Zombies, Tom Savini and Rose McGowan with machine gun leg all in the same fuckin movie!? Proof that there is a God, no?

  • March 24, 2007, 12:17 a.m. CST

    A deliberately 'dirty' print I can live with...

    by Sledge Hammer

    ...but I still think deliberate bad editing and rough splices and a deliberate missing reel are the stupidest fucking ideas ever. Have to see if the film can convince me otherwise when I see it I guess...

  • March 24, 2007, 12:21 a.m. CST

    This movie looks horrid...

    by JunoFallon

    I wish Tarantino would get back to making movies that weren't so ridiculous. That goes double for the first volume of Kill Bill. I hated it.

  • March 24, 2007, 12:21 a.m. CST

    grindhouse of pancakes

    by dobbsy

    concept and marketing triumph over filmmaking again. no heart, a little fun in the rr and almost none in the qt. as formulaic and calculated as bruckheimer, grazer, howard, rupert murdoch and michael eisner at an all hallows eve satanic hollywood studio business strategy session. qt ain't back, but harvey weinstein's crackerjack marketing troops are. have fun...

  • March 24, 2007, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Mr. Brown

    by C_wizard

    I like his cameos. Jimmie Dimmick and that whole D.N.S. thing? Funny shit. Mr. Brown and Madonna's Big Dick? That was cool. Quit yer bitchin.

  • March 24, 2007, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Sledge Hammer

    by MaxTheSilent

    Don't worry. It's already been revealed that the DVD will contain a 'newly discovered, re-mastered print', which is code for a complete, non-messed up version of each film.

  • March 24, 2007, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Mr. Brown sounds too much like Mr. Shit!

    by C_wizard

    good times, good times

  • March 24, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST


    by sleepyvillain

    I mean, really.

  • March 24, 2007, 1:13 a.m. CST

    "Dr. Tongue's Grindhouse Of 3-D Stewardresses."

    by Uncapie

    I'd buy that for a dollar!

  • March 24, 2007, 2:55 a.m. CST


    by Boba Fat

    A great typo. Can't wait for this and thanks for the spoiler lite review. As for Tarantino acting. When he's bossing Harvey Keitel and Samuel Jackson around in Pulp Fiction has to take the award for least convincing screen hardman

  • March 24, 2007, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Don't Fuckin "Jimmy" Me, Jules, okayyyy

    by LHombreSiniestro

    I personally have grown warm to Tarantino's screen appearances, and I think he did a good job in "From Dusk Till Dawn". But, I know I'm going to hear a buttload of groans in the theater when he shows up on screen....not from me though. I wonder why he never showed up in any of the Spy Kids movies. Or did HE? I dunno, i never saw all of the last 2.

  • March 24, 2007, 3:41 a.m. CST


    by Boba Fat

    but he was playing a geeky guy who thinks he's hard in From Dusk Till Dawn. Seems like a better fit.

  • March 24, 2007, 4:25 a.m. CST

    going to rule my world

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    oh yes

  • March 24, 2007, 4:45 a.m. CST


    by Redfive!

    Im more excited about the Trailers than anything,but I cant wait for these 2 Mother F*ckers!!!

  • March 24, 2007, 5:24 a.m. CST

    It's good to have at least one First

    by Vicenzo

    Now you can die peacefully.

  • March 24, 2007, 6:21 a.m. CST

    The reviewer asks..

    by SuckLeTrou

    "Am I a pussy?" Obviously the answer is yes. A real man should never experience any emotions. Ever. Especially not during a movie, because movies are so clearly designed to elicit no emotional response whatsoever. A real man should be able to sit through Sophie's Choice and Terms of Endearment while stabbing his hand with a fork, laughing hysterically the entire time. If he can't do that, he is nothing but a giant gaping yeast-infected pussy, waiting to be fucked (by other men.) If a man experiences a great tragedy such as, let's say, his only child being run over and killed in the street by a drunk-driver, he is allowed a brief display of emotion, but this can be no more evident to the outside world than a slight tightening of the jaw, before he silently grabs his shotgun and extracts cold, robotic revenge. Any larger display of emotion clearly indicates that he is nothing but a huge quivering prolapsed vagina, waiting anxiously to receive every cock in the known universe.

  • March 24, 2007, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Uh, I'm gonna hate the "film imperfections".

    by CTU Mole

    That's going to get distracting and obnoxious real quick.

  • March 24, 2007, 7:33 a.m. CST

    HELP US HARRY!!!!!

    by Sepulchrave

    CAMPAIGN to get Grindhouse released as ONE MOVIE outside the USA: they're apparently mulling a double-release a la Kill Bill. STOP THEM! I will absolutely refuse to see this if they split it. I will fucking download it, seed it, burn it and throw it around the streets; they won't see a goddamn penny if they do this.

  • March 24, 2007, 7:35 a.m. CST

    That said, downloading is wrong and evil

    by Sepulchrave

    and I will take fifteen people to see this twice if they have a single release.

  • March 24, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Tarantino Cameo's

    by Norm3

    He's such a wanna be actor! I hate seeing him in everything he does. Tarantino leave it to the real actors!

  • March 24, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST


    by Boba Fat

    it's going to be a double release in the UK

  • March 24, 2007, 9:06 a.m. CST

    When was Robert Rodriguez Fat?

    by Jugdish

    Am I missing something?

  • March 24, 2007, 9:19 a.m. CST


    by Phimseto

    Can anyone who has seen the film give me a final listing of the trailers and who they are by?

  • March 24, 2007, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Is QT still fat? Santa Clause IV fat? RR just eats

    by kinghenryVIII

    the queso I think. Anyway, enough of the pants line. Can't wait to see this but holla out to the one who said the "imperfections" will get old .... not too keen on the missing reel either. I'm paying for 2 movies dammit!As for QT cameo .... hopefully it's quick and painless - an actor he is not, though, "Oak is nice" rolled out fine. Hopefully is just a conversation and no heavy yelling shit .... flip the cue card!

  • March 24, 2007, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Why no Hills Have Eyes 2 reviews??

    by AngelinasOilBoy

    I know it's supposed to suck, but is the site boycotting it?

  • March 24, 2007, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I think he's getting Rodriguez and Del Toro mixed up.

    by Kraken

    You know pal, there is more than one talented Mexican filmmaker in the world. Did you watch the Oscars this year?

  • March 24, 2007, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Deathproof sounds good.

    by OscarH

    Was the gritty film look intetional, and will there be a sequel?

  • March 24, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Robert Rodriguez Weight Loss 5000

    by Cj Hollywood

    Robert was chubby, not fat. But now he's Hollywood male-model thin. And the added film imperfections never distracted me from Planet Terror. And sadly, Tarantino cameos as the tough guy in Planet Terror -- I agree that he would play a better geek. In Death Proof his cameo is better, not great.

  • March 24, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Film imperfections....

    by Quake II

    remind me of my childhood. Even in major theaters I remember seeing movies weeks after th release date starting to get fucked up from constant screenings and poor equiptment/operators. Even the Holy Grail of 70's films, Star Wars looked like shit after being shown 7 times a day for 8 months.

  • March 24, 2007, 12:48 p.m. CST

    "many filmgoers haven't really experienced"

    by UMAGA

    Oh really? You're telling me that people haven't seen Resident Evil or The Hills Have Eyes? It's the same genre. Stop pretending it's something amazing and original because of the spaz and the Mexican't directing it. I hope it bombs.

  • March 24, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST

    UMAGA, you dope

    by readyoufool

    He's talking about the grindhouse aspect of "Grindhouse". The fact that it's all shitty looking and exploitative. The type of movie that wasn't generally shown at your local AMC or Regal. i hope YOU bomb you bombastic Bomb of a bomblet! hah!

  • March 24, 2007, 2:10 p.m. CST

    And that's a good thing, why?

    by CTU Mole

    So maybe Tarantino got his first handjob in a Grindhouse with shitty sound and a scratched up picture. How does his nostalgia endear me to the idea of watching an intentionally scratched up print of a movie? And since Rodriguez records on HD, he's going to have to use an app to recreate scratched film. How lame is that? <p>These guys' obsession with recreating all of the shittiness of low budget 1970's movies is getting old. They've been doing it for 11 years. </p><p>What? Rose McGowan with a what for a leg? I'm there.</p>

  • March 24, 2007, 2:16 p.m. CST

    he's awkward on film?

    by Jewish_Batman

    Nice review, and I am totally geeking out for this. But I am surprised and shocked if Quentin's appearences are the only flaw. I don't think he is awkward on film, and if he is I am sure he still pulls it off. It is easy to quickly judge a director's acting appearences... the man is a such a film-making god that I don't even care about being critical of his cameos. Who thinks his cameo in Pulp Fiction is awkward? I didn't. Very nice review indeed though. I didnt know though he even had cameo's in both... very interesting stuff. I love Quentin and R.R. Who isn't going to have fun seeing this ass-kicker?

  • March 24, 2007, 2:29 p.m. CST

    How many complaints are movie theaters going to get

    by CTU Mole

    about the picture quality? The managers will probably be asked about it so many times that someone's going to go postal.

  • March 24, 2007, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Tarantino on camera

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    always unfortunate, always a detraction. Seriously, it holds me back from being a bigger fan of the man's writing and directing. <p> That said, this sounds like fucking FUN. I think that once sentence from the review, "and then the fun begins" really sums up what I'm hoping for.

  • March 24, 2007, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Rodriguez's weight

    by Boromir187

    I have never seen Robert Rodriguez in a chubby or fat form over the years throughout various interviews. He's always been at a perfectly thin and normal weight, with only slight variations. And this is coming from someone who just re-watched all of his films, including the special features, recently. I can never recall him ever looking chubby or overweight.

  • March 24, 2007, 4:20 p.m. CST

    CTU Mole..

    by Boromir187

    I'm sure all theaters will be getting a ton of complaints from regular filmgoers who don't know any better in terms of it being part of the gag. When I was still working in a theater, I had people come out and complain about the House of Blue Leaves scene in Kill Bill Vol. 1 switching to black & white for part of it, thinking it was a projector problem. The same thing happened with Hulk when the comic book split frames would show up from time to time. I kept hearing "but I can't pay attention to more than one part" from a handful of people from time to time. I'm glad I'm not working there anymore with this film on the way, because complaints from those who don't know the point behind the film are going to go through the roof. That and the bitchy general manager is going to think that a projectionist messed up the film when he pops in to do his weekly checkup. I have a few friends that still work there, so I'll have to get the scoop on the impending chaos from them. Should be funny as hell!

  • March 24, 2007, 4:23 p.m. CST


    by bouncing1

    do you honestly think that a film from the directors that brought you: sin city- desperado -el mariachi -pulp fiction- reservoir dogs- kill bill- would drop a one day bomb on the us theater going public??? grow up. by the way, as a poetic warrior you need training as your post was a rambling nonsensical hodge podge of bullshit lacking definition and purpose. there is your verbal sparring for the day you fuckin mental midget. enjoy the hills have eyes 2.

  • March 24, 2007, 4:50 p.m. CST

    I like Rodriguez in theory

    by QuinnTheEskimo

    But I've yet to be impressed by any of his films. Sin City did nothing for me at all.<p>QT's the man though.

  • March 24, 2007, 5:38 p.m. CST

    RE: Rodriguez's weight

    by Cj Hollywood

    Didn't mean to make a big deal about it, but I can safely say that he is thinner now than I have ever seen him in any interview or behind-the-scenes feature.

  • March 24, 2007, 6:42 p.m. CST


    by mr. brownstone

    funniest thing written in a talkback in loooooong time. hilarious man!

  • March 24, 2007, 6:49 p.m. CST

    If Rodriguez loses 60 pounds...

    by Jugdish

    We'd be looking at Christian Bale ala the Machinist or Adrian Brody from Pianist.

  • March 24, 2007, 6:52 p.m. CST


    by mr. brownstone

    can. not. act. anyone who thinks he does must be blind and deaf. or their senses are muted from having their faces pushed so far up his ass.

  • March 24, 2007, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Last night's screening....

    by Kevin

    This review is actually accurate. Saw it last night and sitting behind me, about 2 rows back, was AICN's Moriarty with Patton Oswalt. Fun flick. Agree that Death Proof could definitely be a stand alone flick. Zoe Bell and the car chase that ensues in the last 15 mins. of the flick has to be hands down one of the best car chases in recent memory. As far as the trailers go, Roth's Thanksgiving and Edgar Wright's Don't were fucking hysterical. If the plan for the next installment is to expand the trailers into full length flicks, those should be the chosen ones. Have to admit Zombie's trailer had a fun feel to it as well. Great to see Nicolas Cage be in a role where his craziness is very welcome and not distracting. As far as Kurt Russell goes, he is 6 degrees asshole with a healthy dose of whining pussy. This part completely suits him and whenever he shows up Death Proof picks up steam. Another great character for a very undervalued actor. Whether one is better than the other depends on your taste and your affinity of the respectable genres both directors pay homage to. Rodriguez's Planet Terror read well on the page and played even better on the screen. Death Proof was an odd read but the final filmed product is worthy of being included along Tarantino's other works. Although he needed to trim the fat on some of the dialogue heavy scenes. Those expecting the second coming, won't get it. But those who are expecting a balls to the wall fun fucking time, the films deliver that in spades.

  • March 24, 2007, 8:01 p.m. CST

    I liked Tarantino's Jimmy...

    by PurityOfEssence

    He is by no means an actor though.

  • March 24, 2007, 10:48 p.m. CST

    heywoodfloyd2001, you are first in my book...

    by Bronx Cheer

    the Book of Arse Biscuits, that is.

  • March 24, 2007, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Old review

    by BobbyQuickdraw

    His review of the Death Proof part seems to be pretty much in line with that script review from a long time ago - wordy dialog that, at least in the beginning, is pretty weak. I'm still way on board for this movie though.

  • March 25, 2007, 4:12 a.m. CST

    This will suck hard.

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Yes it will.

  • March 25, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST


    by bouncing1

    wow. impressive, an idiot and a racist? what a catch your mom has living in her attic. she must be very proud.

  • March 25, 2007, 11:26 a.m. CST

    can't believe all the stuff we have to look foward this

    by lavatory love machine

    grindhouse. spiderman, harry potter, pirates, simpsons movie, die hard, etc one question: is bruce willis on grindhouse? if so, on the films or the trailers?

  • March 25, 2007, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the HHE2 review

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    sounds like unwatchable garbage.