DVD of the Week – Death Proof (2007)
by RISHI AGRAWAL
First, let’s get something out of the way. Grindhouse was broken into two separate DVD releases. Tarantino’s half of the film, Death Proof, releases today while Rodriguez’s half of the film releases on October 16. So I will briefly lament that the film is not being released on one DVD, as we saw it in the theaters, and go on to praise Death Proof, the better part of Grindhouse.
We all know Tarantino’s strengths: substantial characters in memorable scenes and an uncanny ear for dialogue. But there is so much else that I loved about this movie. The most obvious accomplishment in the film is the impressive stunt sequence that comprises the latter part of the film. And when I say stunt sequence, I mean a car chase complete with Zoe Bell riding on the hood of one of the cars almost the entire way. The stunts are done without the benefits of computer effects or trick photography.
I could go on for a while about everything else that is good about the film: the way that the film serves as an homage and a criticism of 1970s films that glorified the automobile, the way the film plays with gender roles, the visual style that looked both old and new, the lunch scene that is done in one continuous take, how Kurt Russell knocks it out of the park as Stuntman Mike. While Planet Terror is a fun film that is worth seeing, Death Proof is part of Grindhouse that will truly stand the test of time.
Other new releases this week: Brooklyn Rules, The Condemned, The Flying Scotsman, Gracie, Lucky You, Severance, The Valet, We Are Marshall