Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Yes, it snowed last night. Mid-April snow. We had a nice spring March, and everyone was ready for it to warm up, but then came the cold snap. The whole Chicagoland area is in some sort of shock, like weather-related Stockholm Syndrome.

The other day I saw "Grindhouse," which turned out to be a big box office flop and really, if you think about it, deserved that fate. Not because it was bad, per se, but if you model your movie after trashy lo-budget exploitation fare, what do you expect? The spin should have been that the movie was made to flop, if only to fulfill its grindhouse legacy.

In any case, the best things about it were the fake trailers. The second best thing was Quentin Tarantino's half of the film, a go-nowhere Po-Mo masterpiece of sorts that subverts its own entertainment value with non-stop pointless talking, which in a sense captures one overlooked quality of the grindhouse films Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez tried to pay tribute to: they're more often than not, despite all the sex and violence, boring as all get-out. That certainly holds for Tarantino's '70s car-chase fave "Vanishing Point," and it certainly holds for his "Death Proof," cool car chase and all. To be fair, he could have cut a good 20 minutes from his movie and not missed a beat, but when indulgence is the name of the game, any sort of narrative efficiency or creative compromise constitutes b-movie treason.


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