on 1 January 2015
Quentin Tarantino’s half of the faux-exploitation Grindhouse pairing, is quintessential Tarantino – this time it’s Kurt Russell who is chosen as the largely-forgotten movie star reinvigorated by the mercurial director; Russell’s creepy ‘Stuntman Mike’ cruises around in his specially re-enforced Dodge Charger looking for unsuspecting ladies to charm, whilst a gaggle of feisty females swap spunky one-liners in true QT style. When the two strands connect there are fireworks aplenty, as well as numerous nods to the music and films held dear by Tarantino, and the now-obligatory cameo from the director himself.
The movie has two halves featuring two groups of garrulous girls – these are connected by Russell’s increasingly unhinged loner, but otherwise are distinct sides of the same coin, with two strong women and a third less-confident one, who is teased and manipulated by her friends, before an encounter with Stuntman Mike changes leads to violence and death. Rosario Dawson stands out as the sassy Abernathy, while Russell is perfectly cast as the charming but deadly ‘is he or isn’t he ‘stunt driver; the remainder of the cast are fairly forgettable, but the thrills and spills are pure adrenaline, and the dialogue as snappy as ever. If you’re a Tarantino fan you’ll love it; if not – it’s still a thoroughly entertaining and stylish 90 minutes.
on 1 July 2012
Bought this largely based on the fact QT was involved and I have to say it was a bit of a disapointment, Some nice retro effects, some car chases and the odd line of good dialogue were no where near enough to carry me through the movie. I only kept watching as I couldn't believe it wouldn't get better soon. Overall just about worth watching for the pretty girls and to see Kurt Russell asking for his lap dance.
on 9 June 2015
This is probably the most unrecognizable Tarantino film which it was co produced with long-time friend Robert Rodriguez and he would co-produce with Rodriguez for Planet Terror. The cast is completely forgettable apart from Kurt Russell maybe both films Planet Terror and Death Proofwre attempts in making grindhouse films which are pretty dead now so both were rather useless although Planet terror was funny.
on 17 July 2012
Kurt Russell is Stuntman Mike, a guy with an eye for the ladies and a penchant for vehicular homicide. In fact, there's nothing that Stuntman Mike enjoys more than using his 'deathproof' car to wreak a little havoc and take a few lives.
The girls are sexy, the music is great and the stunts are fantastic.
About 45 minutes in everything ramps up for the most gratuitous and amazing crash sequence in the whole film and it is certainly impressive, not to mention voyeuristic with its multiple camera shots showing each victims demise in bloody detail.
The first half of the movie contains the most gratuitous death scene but the second half is the one with the most memorable stunts, particularly the one involving real life stunt woman Zoe Bell on the bonnet of a white Dodge Challenger. It's one of those rare moments that you get in a film where you are just watching in a stunned silence completely focused on what is enfolding on the screen. There is also a really well done motorcycle stunt in the second half that is almost a throwaway moment, which passes by so quickly that it's almost a case of blink and you'll miss it and yet it is a fantastic looking stunt.
Tarantino displays his flair for long scenes in which the characters just talk about nothing in particular and often nothing that's relevant to the plot in a style that isn't always realistic but works so well cinematically that somehow you just can't help but listen and become engrossed in what is being said.
Anyone familiar with the movies partner film Planet Terror will recognise a few characters from the hospital scene, and Tarantino/Rodrigez regular Michael Parks once again reprises his role as Sherriff Earl McGraw.
Stylistically the two halves of the film are different, with the second half being the cleaner image of the two. Almost making it appear like a different movie.
You could argue that a lot of time and money has gone into making a film that is homage to a genre of movies that were made quickly and cheaply. You could also argue that the scratchy film stock and jumps in editing are more artistic than a result of the low budget nature of grind house movies. The thing is, despite its flaws, this is still a really good and entertaining film. Anyone who is a fan of the old `car chase' movies from the 70's will get a kick out of this.
I'm a fan of the movies and style that Deathproof is referencing, so I guess my opinion is a little coloured by that fact but I would recommend this to anyone that hasn't seen it before and then recommend that once it's over, go out and watch the films that are mentioned in this movie.
Annoyingly the single disc edition still has `disc 1' printed on it, somehow mocking you for having bought that version. As the two are(at the time of writing) identically priced and as expected the single disc edition is minimal on the extras, then the two disc version is the one to go for.
the main defense for this movie seems to be that Tarrantino made it bad on purpose or as a joke to ape bad movies of the 70s, but that does not change the fact it is bad. the dialogue is mind numbing, and its painful to even survive the movie to the car crashes, the only single thing of note. Tarrantino is still trading on his good will from the pulp fiction era, this could have been great if most of the movie containing moronic dialogue by wooden actors was binned, nice cars, gory crashes, bad direction and acting pretty much sums it up
on 23 May 2016
I had expected a lot more from this movie. It's mostly a two-parter, half the film is setting the scene with Kurt Russell as the bad guy against one group of girls, the rest is the resolution against another group.
The highlight of the movie is the Dodge Challenger, in white, from Vanishing Point. Sadly it gets trashed and not in a good way and the whole reasoning behind it seems very loose.
This film is extremely violent in places, but not in a logical way and the gore is simply excessive. I'd expected a great car chase movie, and instead I got some ultra violent trash that I really didn't enjoy. Even the car chase scenes were disappointing,
the latest film from director quentin tarantino, who made pulp fiction and reservoir dogs. in a homage to cheap exploitation movies of the 70's, this is a film that is shot in the style of those with a similar kind of plot, involving a psychopath stalking groups of women. he meets his match in the second half of the film when he comes across a group of ladies who are able to fight back.
Also in a homage to those movies, the film is scratchy and out of focus at times and has jump cuts and other images in the middle of the print.
For a movie buff there's a lot to like here, as it recreates the above mentioned style so well. kurt russell turns in an excellent performance in the role of stuntman mike, the psychopath, and the second half of the film is enlived considerably by zoe bell, new zealand stunt lady playing herself. which is no easy feat, as you can't just read the lines, you have to get your personality into them as well. which she manages, coming over as a very engaging individual.
the film culminates in a spectacular car chase scene which benefits from being done for real with stuntwork rather than cgi.
The crucial flaw of the movie, though, is it's length. it's far too long at 109 minutes. there's very long scenes of dialogue early on and you really feel that it would have benefited from many of these being cut or trimmed down. It was originally released in a shorter version as part of one three hour movie called grindhouse, but this version of the film was recut and extended to be released on it's own. european audiences never got to see grindhouse. I wish that we had.
The dvd is quite an impressive package, coming in a good sturdy box with two discs. the first contains the movie, the option to watch it with english language subtitles, direct access to the scenes where all the various music tracks begin, regular direct scene access, the international trailer for the film, and a documentary about the cars used for it. all classic makes.
also at the very start of the disc pre the menu are three trailers, the first being for planet terror, the other half of grindhouse. I didn't get to that at the cinema and I look forward to the dvd, because it looks fun.
On disc two:
the legendary stunt drivers of death proof
kurt russell as stuntman mike
finding quentin's gals [casting the ladies of the film]
the guys of death proof [the above with the men]
a look at the editor of quentin tarantino's films
a profile of the above mentioned zoe bell.
a trailer for double dare, a documentary about stunt ladies featuring zoe bell.
the uk trailer for death proof
a poster gallery
and the uncut version of one of the cast singing. a scene that was cut for timing in the movie. she's pretty good.
A good dvd package, for an okay movie
on 15 April 2008
I'm a big Tarantino fan and this film had all the ingredients for a classic Tarantino flick, a psychotic loner who hunts bars for victims, his 'death proof' car, feisty girls who give as good as they get, on paper this should be another action-packed winner. But what we get is endlessly mundane dialogue between the main female characters, imagine having to listen to a bunch of girls on a train talking incessantly about not very much for the whole journey to work, well this film turns such conversations into a central part of its plotline.
I know Tarantino is renowned for his prolonged and usually very witty dialogue, and at first all the talking is quite amusing, but after about half hour of nothing but talking without even a hint that anything is going to happen, you start to wonder if you're watching the right film. So it's a blessed relief when the all too brief Kurt Russell, on top form as always, finally makes an appearance. His character is hilariously sinister and insane, and his grand entrance finally gives the film a kick up the backside. But unfortunately Russell isn't on screen for very long and by this time the film has become pretty directionless and all over the place. The film eventually descends into a comical ending that is more farcical then funny.
This is half of the Grindhouse double bill, so it you want a film that actually lives up to its billing then checkout the far superior Planet Terror.
on 24 September 2007
If you're reading this you probably know that Deathproof was originally released as part of Grindhouse, which pays homage to some of the less well made cultish films of yesteryear. Deathproof was made and cut into a much shorter version, to be released with the other feature "Planet Terror" as part of one film eancapsulating the "Grindhouse experience". This however is substantially longer, and was filmed and written as a full length feature. This means that the film isn't longer because they put all the crap they cut out back in, more that the Grindhouse version had to cut lots of things out.
Now if you complain about this film having too much dialogue, then you can't have seen many Tarantino films before. His films are all about the dialogue! Tarantino dialogue doesn't appeal to everyone, even I cringe on occasion, but his dialogue and storytelling style is largely about people being cool rather than being entirely beleivable. It's all about colourfull characters, in unusual situations.
Now the film isn't perfect and i'm not going to stick up for it's flaws. Clearly the action scenes are what makes this film memorable, particularly as the Kiwi actress Zoe Bell (playing a character called Zoe who is a Kiwi) actually did those stunts for real, no harnesses etc.
Just because there isn't action all the way through doesn't matter. You wouldn't say jaws was a bad film just because the shark wasn't there the whole time. When stuntman Mike appears, things happen.
This film is great, but I admit not Tarantinos best. However, I really enjoyed it. Turn your mind off, watch the girls in skimpy clothes deliver dry witty diaglogue, then squirm in your seat as the inevitable happens and cheer at the end.
on 9 July 2010
There are 2 main problems with this movie. First, the extended dialogue, which I'm guessing is meant to be "insightful" in to how women really speak, feels more like trying to eat lunch at the office while all around you the girls are talking freely about their vaginal prolapses and third nippel discharges.
Secondly the plot. The actual story (minus 90% of the dialogue) of the first half was fine and succeeded in creating sympathy for the blonde girl passenger who was the only person I felt sorry for, other than the audience. The other female victims were all too narcissistic to care about. The bad guy was well played and the film gets an extra star for him. The action sequences were great but there was too much filler in between them and like my review title suggests you could fast forward to the death scenes without missing anything.
Around the mid-point I guessed the obvious and weak ending.
A more imaginative finish would have been to have a flash-back where the female victims from the first half did something awful to Stuntman Mike's son (or another person he cared about) hence giving him a REASON to kill them and perhaps changing your perspective of them and him. That would have made more sense than having him being overpowered in his own car, which according to the movie title shouldn't have happened.