Tarantino Grinds One Out

Kurt Russell in Death Proof (2007)

Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) rides around luring hot babes in to his supercharged, 'death proof' Chevy to unwittingly go on the last ride of their lives. Having headed to Tennessee Mike lays his eyes on Abernathy, Kim and ZoŽ (Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, and ZoŽ Bell) but soon discovers he has picked the wrong threesome as they can give as good as they get.

As a movie reviewer it would be fair to say I have been involved in some heated discussions surrounding my opinion, although when I say heated discussions I mean I have been on the end of some verbal abuse from movie fans who refuse to accept any other opinion than their own. One of the most amusing was when I stated in passing that I felt "Death Proof" was over rated and was another movie where some of those singing the movie's praises were doing so because it is a Tarantino movie and they wanted to come across as being cool rather than actually getting it. Well I got the hair drier treatment from someone who wouldn't have it and thought it was the greatest movie ever made.

Now let me put my perspective in to some sort of context as "Death Proof" is Tarantino doing a contemporary take on the Grindhouse movies of the 70s, paying homage to them with everything including the look, the scratches in the image, the jagged editing, the close up camera work and all the trashiness which went on in these movies but with some modern elements tossed in to make it contemporary Grindhouse. And I appreciate that Tarantino has cleverly recreated the past and mixed it into the present but it did nothing for me as one I am not overly bothered by the technical aspects of recreating the look of old footage and as a Brit born at the start of the 70s I never experienced Grindhouse back when it happened.

This leads me to an interesting point. Is "Death Proof" a piece of movie entertainment or Tarantino playing homage to Grindhouse for those who like him grew up on it? I actually believe it is the second and unless you experienced Grindhouse the first time around the movie doesn't fully work.

What this all boils down to is that "Death Proof" whilst watchable is not the great movie for me as it seems to be for everyone else although I do question whether many of those claiming it great are doing so to be cool and not fully understanding what the movie is.

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