Having missed it at the Cinema (it wasn't on for long and Real Life prevailed) we finally saw Tarantino's "Death Proof" today. We were denied the opportunity for the full 'Grind House' experience, as we live in the UK, and Death Proof and Planet Terror were separated for their UK release. This isn't a film for high concepts and big plots, if you want that, go elsewhere. However, it is an action film of the first order, with its roots strongly in the 70s 'B-movie' cinema. It has car chases of the first order - the car chase at the end of the film is simply awesome, as Tarantino points out in the DVD extras, the chase is in two segments - the chased and the chasing.
Zoë Bell, the stuntwoman used in Kill Bill as well as in Xena, Warrior Princess, is given a starring role in the second half of the film - and she truly is great (we loved her first moments on film after the bonnet sequence). Of course, she does all her own stunts - and is truly kick-ass in this movie.
Directors could do a lot worse than asking if they could use a Kiwi the next time they need an action-based woman in their films!
The climax of the film with Mike, Zoë, Kim and Abbie is superb. Tarantino is quoted as saying that Tracie Thoms (Kim) is 'the female Samuel L. Jackson', for how well she deliverss Tarantino's lines.
Kurt Russell is visibly revelling in his role as Stuntman Mike - there is a nice little look to camera shortly before he drives off from the bar which is superb.
True, Grindhouse (and its parts, Planet Terror and Death Proof) didn't do well at the cinema. This doesn't mean that you can't have a great time with them - if you remember some 70s cinema, so much the better.
Simply put. We loved it - it'll take time to see where it comes in the Tarantino pecking order - but I suspect it'll be placed quite highly (which changes with my mood - Jackie Brown usually sits in the number one slot, just for the Pam Grier Goodness, but in my current mood Pulp Fiction has moved up to number 1, leapfrogging Kill Bill Vol 1. and Jackie Brown)