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Plot: Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans. Runtime: 114 mins Release Date: 31 May 2007
This is an absolutely brilliant film and a film that I could watch over and over. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino this film seems to have divided audiences like no other, it has been adored and despised in many quarters and there seems to be no middle ground for opinion. It is cited, by Tarantino himself, as being a remembrance to the B movies of the 60s and 70s through the guise of Grindhouse cinema. In order to fully appreciate what Tarantino has done then I would agree that you must be at least familiar on some level with the films of that genre and era and familiar with <more>
Grindhouse cinema and its workings. It is not an absolute necessity to be fully aware of this type of film-making but it helps if you want to completely appreciate this film. Grindhouse cinema was never revered in its day and many have questioned its reprisal. For an audience to require adequate knowledge of such a minnow in cinema history is regarded by many critics as asking too much and is adduced as being a major factor in its downfall. This is due to the belief that Tarantino has made a film for too niche a market, and as a consequence it should be of no surprise that it flopped at the box office. This is something that I whole heartedly disagree with because, to the contrary, I believe that Tarantino has made his most selfish film to date, he has made something that he wanted to... that no studio dictated... no executive planned and no audience asked for, this film is 100 percent his and it just so happens that not that many people like it, all great directors make films that fit into this category.A major critique of Death Proof has been that it contains a lot of dialogue, but I feel that this should be expected as it is a remembrance to Grindhouse cinema and these types of movies are notorious for the amount of talk they can contain and the amount of "build up" they might have and Tarantino himself is recognised as being a writer that emphasises the dialogue in his films. Modern cinema goers are likely to not have the patience for such an offering and thus dismiss its significance and become agitated at a lack of "action" and this is evident from some of the reviews on this website.The film is about two separate sets of voluptuous women who are stalked by a stuntman called Mike that uses his death proof cars to execute the women. The essence of the story at the heart of Death Proof is that it's impeccably nostalgic as it insinuates to the very essence of cult, it is a forged story because of its countless renditions and numerous re-tellings by the way of novels, films and tales. Being familiar with such a story allows for an ease in understanding and following of narrative a common attribute in cult films. The voluptuous women, or female characters, in the film are all so similar in appearance yet all so different in disposition, because the film is essentially split into two parts we witness the floundering of one set of female characters and the resurgence in dominance of another. The female empowerment in Death Proof is symbolic to a desire for masculinity which is so wonderfully conveyed by their attempt in "taming" the car I shouldn't need to mention what the car is symbolic of . It's often perceived that in these films masculinity must be achieved in order to succeed, which in itself is a direct reference to the inspired B movies of Russ Meyer.On a personal level I was happy to watch a film that accomplishes its stunt work without any CGI and re-live many of the films I dismissed too eagerly in my youth. Being a homage the film is littered with references, the most notable of which being the casting of Kurt Russell a deliberate nod to the master of cult and horror John Carpenter the shirt worn by Jack Burton, from Big Trouble In Little China, is visible on the wall in the bar , The Dodge Challenger driven by Stuntman Mike has the plate numbers OA5599, which correspond to the white Dodge Challenger from the heavily referenced film Vanishing Point. The film also contains lots of Tarantino-esquire moments, from the copious amount of foot shots to re-appearance of Sheriff Earl McGraw, and there are some moments of pure Tarantino ingenuity i.e. the four-shot death scene, the reversed hospital set, the lap dance, the shot of the car in the rain, Stuntman Mikes nod to the third person and the wonderfully constructed soundtrack. Upon seeing Death Proof I immediately watched it again as I felt it deserved it. Enjoy.
I don't understand why, but this is the film of the year for me (by Fizzwizz)
I can't figure this out, and I sincerely apologise if this is a useless review but Tarantino has done it again.I find it difficult to explain why this film hit the spot when so many others did not. Tarantino definitely has a handle on reality, and doesn't need to create artificial story lines and make believe monsters to thrill and intrigue his audience. This is a film that illustrates our everyday idiosyncrasies and shows us both the real, yet dark side of humanity, and shows us that real life is far more exciting and intriguing than fantasy.The dialogue between characters was funny, <more>
real, and interesting. Bringing together a variety of different characters eg cheerleader, successful celebrity, ghetto girlie etc , he illustrates the common traits of the human psychology that we all pretend don't exist. Most other films take us into unrealistic fantasy, Tarantino knows reality is far more exciting! Kurt Russell surpassed himself. He's been absent for too long, and his part in Death Proof leaves me wanting to see more from him. His acting was superb and I hope this film relights his career and we see more from him soon.I definitely saw touches of Pulp Fiction in this film, but in a subtly different way.Cinematography was awesome, and the use of weird and wonderful camera techniques made this film more than just interesting.When it comes to films I'm a tough critic, I'm disappointed far more than I'm surprised so giving a 10 out of 10 for me is very unusual.This is a clever, interesting, and unusual film that will appeal to serious lovers of movies. Tarantino is both a movie scholar and genius. I bow before you Quentin and hope desperately to see more like this.Many thanks ... Shaun
Don't listen to anything that may be bad about this movie. Ever since Tarantinos old classics Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill people think that every movie is like that. Kill Bill was a modernized Grindhouse-film. It contained everything that Quentin liked when he was a kid. Now he is making it just like the 70's. Death Proof is authentic, brutal, fun and artistic. Any film-lover will be amazed. If you don't like this, then you simply don't get the Tarantino-style. This is a Car movie, a horror movie, and a quite soft soft core-porn movie. Exactly what i need <more>
these days. We got To Fast to Furious, all nitrous and babes in bikinis. But that's it. Death Proof are real stunts and all real. So any other car movie i see today is boring, but when i see death proof, i feel it in my stomach.Death Proof: Clearly a 10 of 10
Probably the most misunderstood film of this decade (by ThreeSadTigers)
Given the vast majority of major criticisms levelled at this film, it would appear that a large percentage of the audience has completely missed the joke, or simply, didn't find it at all amusing. With Death Proof 2007 , Tarantino creates such a loving homage to a notoriously cult cinematic sub-culture that many people seem unaware of how to approach it or even how to appreciate the sheer fact that the film purposely goes out of its way to ape the style of late 60's and early 70's exploitation cinema in look, feel and content. The film isn't meant to be taken entirely <more>
seriously, but rather, is a parody and/or pastiche of the kind of films that the vast majority of mainstream audiences simply wouldn't want to see. I'm talking about films such as Two-Thousand Maniacs 1964 , Ride the Whirlwind 1965 , Manos: The Hands of Fate 1966 , Satan's Sadists 1968 , The Big Bird Cage 1971 , Boxcar Bertha 1972 , Fight for Your Life 1977 or Satan's Cheerleaders 1977 ; low-budget films made with often-non-professional actors, little in the way of conventional film logic, and highly controversial in terms of plot, theme and content.It also sets out to pastiche the "grindhouse" cinema phenomena, with the original idea of two films being shown as a double feature at drive-in movie theatres from state to state, with both films often being re-cut and re-edited, not by the filmmakers, but by the theatre owners themselves. This is evident in the amusing switch in title; with the film opening with the caption 'Quentin Tarantino's Thunderbolt', before awkwardly cutting to an obviously out of place title card with 'Death Proof' crudely emblazoned across the screen. This is also the explanation for the purposeful mistakes in continuity, the sloppy editing and the switch between colour and black and white, as well as the façade of severely deteriorating film stock. It's not sloppy film-making, but rather, a purposeful appropriation of sloppy film-making geared towards appealing to the kind of obsessive movie aficionado who gets the references and can appreciate the joke that Tarantino is attempting to pull.With this in mind, it seems hard to understand what people are complaining about. Do audiences actual expect this film to keep them enthralled and entertained when the vast majority of them would balk at experiencing many of the low-budget, semi-obscure films that influenced it? Hardly! The accusation here that "nothing happens" is fascicle. The fact that there is film running through the camera is proof enough that something is happening, with the hilariously bland dialog deconstructing the film in much the same way as the purposely amateurish composition, editing and sound all intended to fracture the cinematic language in the same way that Godard did; by reminding the audience that this is the film and the point of the film is to experience the sights and sounds that unfold before us. Added to this the colourful iconography, the music, the characters, the girls in tight t-shirts, the for once entirely justified performance from the man himself, all reminding us that this is a joyous, darkly comic romp in which the point is not "why?" but "why not?".The effect is reminiscent of Kill Bill 2003 , which at times felt superficial or perhaps even too knowing for its own good, but still demonstrated to us the filmmaker's great use of tone, texture, colour and movement, as well as turning many people on to a whole new world of cult Japanese cinema; from the works of highly individual filmmakers like Seijun Suzuki, Kinji Fukasaku and Takashi Miike, to cult performers like Sony Chiba. Death Proof attempts to do something similar with the likes of the American revisionist road movie, the B-cinema of Roger Corman and the femsploitation subgenre of films like The Big Bird Cage 1972 , Caged Heat 1975 , Day of the Woman 1978 and Ms. 45 1981 ; a coolly ironic series of films in which wronged women take bloody revenge in an often elaborate and over the top style, chiefly intended to give a feminist slant to the still rampant degradation and misogyny prevalent in the exploitation genre.Other reference points are more obvious as they're mentioned explicitly in the film; notably car chase cinema such as Vanishing Point 1971 , Two-Lane Blacktop 1971 , Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry 1974 , Gone in 60 Seconds 1974 and even Spielberg's Duel 1971 . Some have complained that the film fails on account of its lack of action and emphasis on dialog and technique, but this seems churlish when you think of the films being referenced; with Vanishing Point featuring a number of cryptic, desert-set sequences in which characters talk and talk and talk, while Two-Lane Blacktop punctuates its scenes of hard driving and drag-racing with much in the way of meandering small-talk. Then we have the fact that films like Reservoir Dogs - which takes place almost entirely within a single setting - and Jackie Brown - which places emphasis entirely on character - use dialog to not only create the characters but to also tell the story.Regardless of this, Death Proof is meant as a piece of entertainment. There's no real desire here for Tarantino to prove what kind of filmmaker he is because he's already done that with the number of great films that came before. Sure, it can be seen as self-indulgent, but surely those of us familiar with the style of film-making being referenced here will revel in this particular kind of extravagance, loving everything from the continually inane female banter to the awesome scenes of high speed carnage. If you're not a fan cult cinema or exploitation cinema or indeed a devotee of Tarantino's work then this film really isn't going to impress you. There's no shame in that. Some films are made for a niche audience, destined to be a cult in their own right. However, for those who get it, Death Proof has the potential to be a truly exhilarating, one-off piece of film-making.
The most entertaining movie this year!! (by sohrabi70)
I just watched this movie, and have to say I was stunned. This movie is pure art! Tarantino makes this Grindhouse movie, without overdoing it- but much rather making it so much more enjoyable to watch.The movie is about a Stuntman Mike and his special car-hunts:- The action sequences is magic, the dialogs is of course in usual Tarantino manner that means f... great!! , the editing is "bad" but in a really cool way!! . And of course, we have Tarantino in a special role in the movie as well- don't we all love when he does that? Don't watch the movie cause of the plot, but <more>
watch it for having really fun with a movie that blows your mind. Out of this world! Recommended.10/10
One of the most underrated films! (by Matt-Canalcon)
I honestly think Death Proof is one of the most underrated films at the time I'm writing this 2015 . A lot of people on this board seem to complain about the dialogue or the delivery of some of the actors. I personally think this movie has a lot of punch with a strong car chase sequence, very good actors, well-written script....and a perfect soundtrack!I really like how the first part of the movie is a classic slasher/horror movie and the second part is a great throwback to "car movies".Death Proof came out in 2007 and I remember watching this movie with my friend and having a <more>
really good time. I watched the movie another time a few years later and really enjoyed it to for other reasons, especially the classic car chase sequence. Now it's 2015, I've just watched Death Proof for a third time and it's still a blast to watch. The music is perfect, the movie is very funny, and I love the performance from Kurt Russell, Sydney Poitier Jungle Julia and all the other supporting characters.R.I.P. Sally Menke, I really love her work on this movie...not only for the great grindhouse "jump cuts" but also for one of my favorite scene halfway through the movie that I won't mention and the awesome 11-min well edited car chase.I gave the movie a strong 9/10 and I hope this movie will have a better reputation 5-10 years from now. Great work from Quentin Tarantino!
Tarantino's B-movie: a spectacular ride! (by MaxBorg89)
It all started as an homage to old exploitation cinema and double feature screenings. It was meant to be one of the most shamelessly entertaining films of the year. Sadly, after flopping in the US, Grindhouse has been chopped in two, with Quentin Tarantino's segment, Death Proof, being the first to be released on its own after competing at the Cannes Film Festival. It is not presented in its Grindhouse version, which included scratches, dirt, missing reels and other visual aging techniques; instead, we get the full cut, containing additional information regarding certain plot points and a <more>
few "juicy" bits that were left out first time around a hot lap dance being the best new scene . And while it certainly would be fun to see the entire double-bill in all its glory hopefully it will get a worldwide DVD release , I must say I really enjoyed QT's half as a separate picture.As this is intended to be Tarantino's answer to '60s and '70s B-movies, the plot of Death Proof is extremely simple: there is a psychopath, named Stuntman Mike Kurt Russell , who enjoys killing women with his car, a virtually indestructible vehicle "This car is 100% death proof. Only to get the benefit of it, honey, you REALLY need to be sitting in my seat!" . Whenever he arrives in a new town he selects a group of girls and sets his perverse plan into motion. And unless he runs into someone who is as crazy or drives as well as him, there is no way to stop him.Those expecting QT's usual stream of film references will be disappointed: apart from a hilarious restaurant scene that sort of spoofs the opening of Reservoir Dogs and a couple of nods to similarly themed horror flicks and, of course, the casting of Russell, which is a deliberate homage to John Carpenter , the director is not interested in exposing his absolute knowledge of this kind of cinema. This time, he delivers a straightforward genre movie, albeit with his trademark tough women at the center. The trailer promised a wildly fun B-movie, and that's exactly what Death Proof is: a movie like they don't make anymore, old-fashioned, irony-free and exciting as hell.However, this does not mean Tarantino has set his visual or verbal obsessions aside: the dialogue is as imaginative and surreal as it has always been, and there are enough shots of bare female feet to keep fans happy. Naturally, being this a QT flick, those feet belong to a quality cast: the only real star in the film apart from the villain, that is is Rosario Dawson, but she is part of a talented ensemble, which includes Vanessa Ferlito CSI: NY , Rose McGowan Scream and stunt-woman Zoe Bell who doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill . The mention of honor, though, goes to Russell, who finally has the opportunity to go all bad again, and boy, does he go bad: even when he is pretending to be a friendly chap who offers you a ride home, he exudes a sense of menace that doesn't leave until the end of the picture. Also worth praise are Michael Parks, reprising his role of foul-mouthed sheriff Earl McGraw of From Dusk till Dawn and Kill Bill fame and tying the two halves of the film together, and Tarantino himself, popping up as smug, ridiculously likable bartender Warren. The latter is particularly charming because, unlike other times From Dusk's Richie Gekko is a good example , QT does not try to prove he can act although he pulled off a remarkable job in Alias . He's just there for the sheer fun, like everyone else.Pure, unadulterated fun and excitement: that's the key to appreciating Death Proof. Do not expect a smart, unusual take on an overused genre, like the director has done in the past: this time around, he sticks to the rules, delivering a loud, silly, sexy, violent piece of Entertainment with a capital "e". It may not be the best film of 2007, but it sure as hell is one of the most purely enjoyable.
After the relative success of his homage to kung fu with his Kill Bill movies, Quentin Tarantino turned his sights to the 70s exploitation movies with Grindhouse: Death Proof. However, for us outside the US, we do not get the Grindhouse double bill with Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror and a host of easter egg styled trailers, but rather we get the longer cut of both movies. Many have said that Planet Terror proved to be superior to Death Proof, but without watching the other, I thought Tarantino's offering was pretty decent stuff.Perhaps his detractors loathed how he made references <more>
to and probably paid homage to his own movies and signature style. This spelt E-G-O, and doesn't go down well, with its plenty of foot fetish shots, reminiscent of foot massages, and if you pay attention enough, you'd spot and hear about the Big Kahuna burgers, familiar tunes over the ringtones, yellow and black striped colour schemes, the alpha female type chicks, and loads and loads of vulgarity laced dialogue just about everything under the sun, with characters mouthing off in cars or around a dining table. That about sums up stuff from Reservoir Dogs all the way to Kill Bill.But Death Proof is a different animal altogether. Being his own cinematographer, QT has full control over the shots that he makes, and injects plenty of sleaze into his story - buxomy, leggy girls in tight tees and perky butts peeking out of hot pants, flaunting their power of sexuality in alpha-female styled attitudes. It's actually two different segments in one movie, each being quite different from the other in terms of themes, and style.The first half introduced us to characters like Arlene Venessa Ferlito , Shanna Jordan Ladd , Jungle Julia Syndey Poitier and Pam Rose McGowan , who end up in a bar doing their own thing read: plenty of dialogue and flirting with the camera . We get introduced quite slowly to the psycho Stuntman Mike Kurt Russell, with Snake Plissken styled scar , who while on one hand befriends the girls, but on the other hand, we are just waiting for the action to begin. Being a stuntman, his car is "death proof", meaning it's rigged like stunt cars that provide protection for its driver, and nothing else. And if you're twiddling your thumbs for some action to take over, then be prepared to wait a bit.You see, despite what you think Death Proof might be, it's nothing about the action, not at least until the driver takes the wheel. And when QT lets it rip, out comes the blood and gore, exploitation style. Given the fake jump cuts, bad editing and scratchy film stock, it becomes near impossible to find out just which parts were censored for the local M18 version. It does seem to make sense still and flow well, but you can probably bet your last dollar that some bits were removed. On the other hand, we have stuff like the lap dance kept intact, which was omitted from the double bill Grindhouse. Win some and lose some.The second half of the movie is a different story altogether. For the most parts, the 70s style gets junked, maybe because it got tiring, or it's too tedious to replicate the cheesy special effects over to this story arc, where the hunter becomes the hunted. There's plenty of action, but could I say it's somewhat repetitive and lacks that oomph, until the final moments where you probably might go "that's awesomely cool". Other than that, it's more of the same, with more eye candy courtesy of Mary Elizabeth Winstead Sky High, Final Destination 3 , Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thorns and Zoe Bell, with plenty more QT styled dialogue of pop irrelevance.While stylistically the movie might want to try and resemble low budgeted 70s exploitation movie, Death Proof juxtaposes certain current day elements into itself, making it somewhat messy with gizmos like cell phones and portable music players. What put a smile on my face though besides the beautiful ladies of course , is Kurt Russell's two-faced Stuntman Mike performance. He can be nonchalant one minute, oozing indifference, and in the next, he can be so silently deranged you'd rather choose to leap from the vehicle, if you had a means to that is. Or he can be the classic road rage driver, before realizing he has bitten off more than he could chew. It's been some time having Russell on the big screen, and I thought he did fine, despite not being QT's first choice for the role.Ultimately, just one warning about the movie - expect plenty of dialogue, and I mean plenty, with characters talking about sexuality and about people who never appear on screen, and if you can't stand irrelevance, then steer clear. The action comes on in limited spurts, so if that's what you're after, then savour every moment when the gear shifts into overdrive. The loopy soundtrack too is a bonus, and adds some authentic exploitative flavour. QT did not manage to outdo himself, but still managed to capture the correct spirit in those films he wants to emulate. If Rodriguez's installment is as they say far superior than QT's , then I'd say bring on Planet Terror already!
Man, you gotta love that man's dialogue. It's complete unrelated to the issues of the film violence, car chases, dolled up girls and Stuntman Mike, tributes of numerous films from the 70's , but oh so good. I love the fact that you can just listen to it without watching the flick itself.Tarantino has a knack for satisfying his audience with films that make violence a form art, over exaggerates it to a point where it is no longer nasty, but humorous just look at Crazy 88 and the fight between Uma T. and Darryl H. , and takes it far beyond what is expected. Death Proof is yet <more>
another cry for post modernism in the hands of a true fan.Anyways, you gotta go see this one - his tribute includes bad camera, poor sound, awful editing and no plot what so ever. I was thrilled and laughing half the time....I am a child and he's Santa.JeppeG