"Dialogue Heavy" is perhaps about as close to as identifiable a two words for Death Proof (or any QT joint) as could be thought of. Or is that "Lady Power"? Because Tarantino provided a major opportunity for a lot of actresses to enforce their will with his words and before his camera. Beautiful, charismatic women who lay style and smack on QT's script. QT always fills his screen with something that wows and his camera can identify faces at their most compelling. I like the Vanishing Point homage, certainly. Kurt Russell, before his crybaby tantrum, as Stuntman Mike, rode that cool and enigmatic part like a Joe Namath fur coat.

I think as a film--or as a standalone QT product--Death Proof isn't perhaps all that lousy. It has a lot of young adult conversation. A bar and diner are two specific settings where two sets of women take part in banter involving their love lives among other things. It is kind of like if "Dinner with Andre" were jazzed up with babes with attitudes and sex appeal. Does myself have much in common with them? Nope. Not a lot of what they talk about necessarily rocks my world. Sure, Mike comes off all charismatic and fascinating, until he's revealed to be a joke once tough ladies undo his façade of macho posturing. He has a weapon: his stunt car. It does some serious damage. It robs young women of futures, undermining hopes and dreams.

As part of Grindhouse, I think QT might have picked the wrong kind of film as ladies gabbing for long stretches doesn't exactly cry aloud: badass. The film does give us a car chase with a hot stunt woman hanging for dear life on the hood of a speeding vehicle and surviving! It was exhilarating in the theater. I must say the constant talking was wearing out its welcome with me personally. Mainly because I guess I was expecting something else, particularly as it followed the crazed Planet Terror.


Comments

  1. It was a terrible flick and I'm actually glad I didn't see it the first time as part of its theatrical run--it would have been an unbearable let-down after PLANET TERROR and the rest. This was a time when QT had gone off the rails pretty badly, lost in directionless self-indulgence with no one to reign him in. His INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS sucked as well and for most of the same reasons (the Django picture was a big comeback for him). Besides just being flat-out dull, DEATH PROOF is the work of a filmmaker utterly lost in his own imagined cleverness who has no real idea what kind of movie he wants to make--the tone radically shifts at least five times. It has overstayed its welcome by 20 minutes in and despite being a relatively short picture it seems more like three hours.

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  2. Not my favorite QT film, either, but I liked some of it. I found scenes in Inglorious Basterds quite impressive, particularly with Laurent who I thought was really good and of course Waltz. I understand where you are coming from, though. Thanks for stopping by!

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