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April 10th, 2007


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11:14 am - Three Movies. One Body Count.
What's the latest movie everyone's talking about? That would be Grindhouse! upanashad, cadhla, and I saw it Friday night, and it was generally MADE OF AWESOME.

For the n00bs in the audience, Grindhouse is a unique theatre experience constructed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino to replicate the old "grindhouse" flicks of the '70s. I use the term "experience" because it is truly that: you get a fake trailer at the beginning, followed by a full-length movie (Planet Terror, by Rodriguez), followed by more fake trailers and fake ads for local establishments, concluding with another full-length movie (Death Proof, by Tarantino). The film has been digitally altered to look like it's been scratched up and warped at times, and there are even missing reels, just like back in the old days. Some actors/characters show up in both movies, and even one of the fake establishments makes a small cameo on a drink cup. It's really unlike anything you've probably seen in a movie theatre for a long while, and for that reason alone, I recommend you go, if you're able to sit for three hours. The fake trailers are just as good as the movies themselves.

The main reason I recommend Grindhouse, however, is Planet Terror, which I LOVED. It's a ridiculous, balls-out (literally) zombie movie, and it's the most fun horror movie I've seen in a long time (it's better than Snakes on a Plane!). Personally, I was very impressed by how good of a movie it was, despite the B-movie qualities. It was well constructed and never boring. There's a diverse cast of characters, and, surprisingly, I ended up caring about them, which I can partly attribute to the cast, who give it their all. They don't act like they're in a cheesy, schlocky zombie apocalypse. They act like they're real small-town folk fighting for their goddamn lives. I also liked the script, which was full of repeated lines/phrases and callbacks; I'm a sucker for that shit, generally. Plus, Rodriguez composes this great main title theme that's only, like, seven notes, but it becomes this awesome leitmotif that appears throughout the film in various forms.

The movie is, of course, extremely violent and gory, with zombie heads exploding and limbs flying, and people's innards being eaten, and pus-filled boils, and all that good stuff, but it's really goddamn fun if you can take it. At one point, I turned to Seanan and said, "We are now in a Resident Evil game," and she shook my hand in glee. Besides, Rose McGowan ends up with a machine gun for a leg, and how is that not the coolest thing ever? (Of note: I didn't really care for Rose McGowan before, and I didn't even think she was hot. After seeing Planet Terror, I now love Rose McGowan and think she's totally hot. Go figure.)

Be prepared for Death Proof, however, which starts out slooooooow. You may appreciate it more if you know you have to wait for the good stuff, and it does eventually deliver the good stuff, but it's a very different movie from Planet Terror, and it's not exactly as fun because the content is more realistic and disturbing. But it sure was cool to see Tracie Thoms from Wonderfalls (and the unrecognizable Sydney Poitier, Ms. Dent from Veronica Mars) on the big screen. Generally, though, I agree with eirefaerie's review. I was not a huge fan of Death Proof, but other people I know preferred it to Planet Terror, so who knows where you'll fall?

Poll #963774 Grindhouse Deathmatch!

Which half of Grindhouse did you prefer?

Planet Terror
13(26.5%)
Death Proof
8(16.3%)
I loved them both equally!
3(6.1%)
I didn't LOVE either one.
0(0.0%)
I'm never going to see this movie, but I like taking polls.
25(51.0%)


The next day, for a change of pace, cadhla, aiglet, danea, ellric, and I saw The Namesake, which had far fewer grisly deaths. Of main characters, at least. The scene where Kali comes down and eviscerates everyone standing around Kal Penn kind of came out of nowhere, though.

I know that a lot of you have often had trouble understanding my life, as an Indian. How I relate to my family, how marriage works, how I uphold my cultural traditions, all that business. Go see The Namesake now, and I promise you will have a better understanding about things, because many scenes in the movie hit way too close to home. The characters are Bengali, not Gujarati, and it's not a perfect mapping, but it's a lovely movie, honestly. I read reviews that criticized it for trying to put in too much of the book (which I haven't read) and meandering too much, but I didn't mind it at all because it really worked for me, the way we sort of followed these characters' lives for years, getting glimpses into the major events, seeing the relationships change. It's full of small, perfect touches that make me tear up just thinking about them.

Saturday night, I watched Final Destination 3, which I thought appropriate since it starred Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who was also in Death Proof. It wasn't as good as the first two, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected, which surprised me, given that I am all for Rube Goldbergian death schemes. It was interesting that the characters felt more fleshed out in Planet Terror, which wasn't even trying to be good. Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint what makes things work and not work, but I guess it's seeing when they don't work that makes you respect the talent behind the times it does.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Electrafixion - Who's Been Sleeping in My Head?

(33 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:harper47
Date:April 10th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
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Interesting review. Actually, Grindhouse is getting pretty good reviews, though I think QT's movie is rating higher with the critics. I'll probably rent it at one point. After all I sat through Kill Bill and the eyeball scene and The Descent so I can probably handle anything.

I thought Final Destination 3 was pretty lame myself.

I was never a fan of Rose on Charmed so it's interesting to hear you do an about face about her.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 10th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
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I think QT's movie is rating higher with the critics.
Yeah, that's what I've seen too. I mean, I think critics like Tarantino more in general, so they eat up that dialogue, despite the fact that it's all irrelevant and pointless and doesn't make you care about the characters. And I'm usually a Tarantino fan myself.

I thought Final Destination 3 was pretty lame myself.
Oh, good, so it's not just me.

I was never a fan of Rose on Charmed so it's interesting to hear you do an about face about her.
Yeah, I doubt Charmed did her any favors, but she's really, really good in Planet Terror.
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From:amy37
Date:April 10th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
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Be prepared for Death Proof, however, which starts out slooooooow. You may appreciate it more if you know you have to wait for the good stuff, and it does eventually deliver the good stuff

SO much this. I thought Planet Terror was nearly perfect in what it was trying to do and what it actually delivered, but Death Proof (while the payoff was made of awesome) was too much straight Tarantino and not enough Tarantino paying homage to the genre. (Although, his movie, his choice, of course. I still think overall it wasn't nearly as good as it could have been, either way.)

I also don't know enough about most of the old movies themselves to know if the "bitches get killed, awesome chicks just get played with" thing is a specific trope, but it seemed to me that Stuntman Mike was *not* out to kill Tracie Thoms's crew -- he had too many chances to do more damage, and didn't take them. I don't know whether he originally intended to, but after overhearing them in the diner, I believe he actually respected them in his perverted, dangerous way.

Of course, his comeuppance was priceless, because hello, he was a complete wuss in the end. Loved that.

Which trailer did you like best? I'm almost leaning towards Don't, because it was so absurd and surreal and so absolutely true to the overblown tone of most trailers.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 10th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
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I thought Planet Terror was nearly perfect in what it was trying to do and what it actually delivered
Yes! Exactly!

it seemed to me that Stuntman Mike was *not* out to kill Tracie Thoms's crew -- he had too many chances to do more damage, and didn't take them.
Yeah, he said himself he was just "playing" with them. But that's the thing: WHY? The movie never really gave us any true insight into his motivations, which is a major failure. It would have been better had his character made more sense.

he was a complete wuss in the end. Loved that.
I was just baffled by that, myself. He's a stuntman. And he's crying like a little bitch over a bullet in the shoulder?

I'm almost leaning towards Don't, because it was so absurd and surreal and so absolutely true to the overblown tone of most trailers.
Oh, God, I was doing that narration over and over. I loved that one. Thanksgiving was also really funny, and I also enjoyed Machete. The werewolf one was all right until Nicolas Cage raised it to another level.
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From:soundingsea
Date:April 10th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
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I dislike gore and horror, so I will completely ignore the Grindhouse talk to say that yes, I definitely plan to see The Namesake!

Also, randomly, a Gujarati "chaat" cafe opened near my place in Minneapolis, and there are some really cute girls working behind the counter who are probably Sunil-compatible! Except for the whole "live and work at family business in Minneapolis" thing, of course.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 10th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
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They can move!
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From:shpyum
Date:April 10th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
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I haven't seen either movie (although I want to see both) I just wanted to say that your "thoughtful" mood pic looks more like Sokka plotting to get into trouble than Sokka pensive. Although.. .I'm not sure Sokka has ever been pensive, and I DO love a good Sokka plan, so I'm not complaining, just commenting. ; )
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From:glasseseater
Date:April 10th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
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thank you for making a poll option for me!

I would definitely like to see the namesake; i heard good things. Unfortunately I just used up my one movie for the semester so I won't be able to see another movie in theaters until the summer.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 10th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
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It's the most popular poll option! I am sad.

What was your one movie? Pan's Labyrinth?
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From:vaspider
Date:April 10th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the warning. The previews I've seen don't make explicit the presence of zombies. I can't handle zombies. :(
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 10th, 2007 07:36 pm (UTC)
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Oh no! What sort of Seanan friend ARE you?!
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From:gymble
Date:April 10th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
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Now I want to see The Namesake. I still don't want to see Grindhouse.
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From:maka2000
Date:April 10th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
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I made a post about Grindhouse too! And yes, I loved "Death Proof" more. I'd see it again right now if I could. I thought Kurt Russell was AMAZING in it.

I don't really have any desire to see The Namesake, even though I love Kal Penn. Hmm, maybe I'll rent it someday. I'm glad it moved you so though.

Here's where I admit I don't like any of those Final Destination movies.
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From:dachelle
Date:April 10th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm really interested in seeing The Namesake.

I'm not much of a fan of either Tarantino or Rodriguez, so Grindhouse doesn't appeal much to me. Also, until I read eirefaerie's review, I had no idea "grindhouse" was a genre. I don't think I've seen any of the films they'd be referencing.
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From:electricmonk
Date:April 10th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, there were parts in The Namesake that made me think of you. Good to know I wasn't wrong to do so. I liked it, too, except for some minor chronological complaints and annoyance at the "stereotypically dorky girl turns stereotypically hot" plot device. I loved the parents. And I want to go to an Indian wedding.
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From:jeeperstseepers
Date:April 11th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
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OMG, the Kali scene in [i]The Namesake[/i] was CRAZY!

I really did love the movie, and I'm glad you've seen it now so that I can ask you in what ways you felt it it was or was not like your life. Because obviously I thought of you while watching and thinking about it after, but I also thought to myself that Gogol and his sister may have it easier than you do. Do you think your mother would be so accepting if you or one of your siblings married a non-Indian the way Gogol's little sister did or remain so quiet while you dated a white chick the way Gogol did?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:April 11th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
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Yeeeeeeeah, no. I don't think so, not from what I can see.
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From:ethanvahlere
Date:April 11th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
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I also made a post about Grindhouse. Sorry, I preferred QT's film. It helped that not too long ago, I saw a lot of the stuff he was referencing. Also, I don't like zombie movies in general (except for the original Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, and Shaun of the Dead).

Glad you liked The Namesake. That and Zodiac are the best movies I've seen this year so far.
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From:upanashad
Date:April 11th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
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Wow, a lot of people are never planning on seeing Grindhouse. Silly.

I recommend you go, if you're able to sit for three hours.

Three and a HALF hours. It was very long.

The fake trailers are just as good as the movies themselves.

Goddammit! I'll never go to the bathroom during fake trailers again.

The movie is, of course, extremely violent and gory, with zombie heads exploding and limbs flying, and people's innards being eaten, and pus-filled boils, and all that good stuff, but it's really goddamn fun if you can take it.

I don't even like horror movies, and I loved it.

I really want to see the Namesake, ever since my neighbour saw it and loved it.

Oh, and you have a standing invitation to watch Entourage here if you don't end up getting HBO. Especially now that I know it's on early.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 11th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC)
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Wow, a lot of people are never planning on seeing Grindhouse. Silly.
I know! It is sad.

Oh, and you have a standing invitation to watch Entourage here if you don't end up getting HBO. Especially now that I know it's on early.
Oooh. That might be fun. If I am not lazy.
[User Picture]
From:kygirlupnorth
Date:April 11th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)

Namesake

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Partha and I saw Namesake last thursday, and it was awesome. I cried probably four separate times. Partha really liked it too and thought it captured a lot of truths about how they grew up. Although, he seemed to disagree with some of their translations for the subtitles (i didn't catch it as they didn't much say any of the 30 Bengali words I know). I came away from it with a better understanding of how Partha and his brother were raised, as well as a better understanding of what life has been like for his parents. I'll try to remember that the next time his mother is trying her best to make us both crazy. I couldn't help feeling like Gogol got what was coming to him at the end, since he ditched the blonde chick, but that's probably just me. I didn't like the other girl at all. Although, I'll admit Jacinda Barrett's character didn't handle things so well, especially in a time of grief, but I found it hard to blame her too much, since Gogol seemed to have hid what his family life was like. I mean how long had they been dating, and she didn't know calling his parents by their first names when meeting them was bad, or just how traditional they were (she seemed shocked). At least I knew what I was up against when I first met his parents, although, very little that I wear (and I dress conservatively) does his mother deem appropriate. But all in all, I thought it was superb
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:April 11th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Namesake

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Yeah, I agree you with about Gogol and his white Caucasian she-devil...although I would likely have been the same way.
[User Picture]
From:homegoddess
Date:April 13th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
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I thought about you and what you've written about your life when I saw "The Namesake." I haven't read the book, but I loved the film. It also made me think about how so many different immigrant groups have handled moving to the States and the clash between generations and cultures. I think specifically of the Jewish community, but I can only think of it in the abstract, not first hand. All of my grandparents were either born in the U.S. or Windsor, or came here as young children. It's too far removed from me, but I imagine it was pretty much like "Fiddler on the Roof." Although, I don't think the Russians just told them to leave, I think they pretty much had to escape.

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