Friday, September 21, 2007

The Trim Bin #61

- Is anyone else deeply conflicted over the Death Proof DVD? I could never get enough Stuntman Mike, but I can't get over the cynicism of chopping them in half in advance of an inevitable double feature release (plus, no HD). Also, my initial enthusiasm about an extended cut faded when Alex Jackson referred to it as "worse than the Star Wars special editions." For those who have seen it, is this truth or hyperbole? Should I accept a compromised version of the best movie I've seen so far this year in a presentation that completely misses the point? Or is this a job for Netflix?

- We recently moved to a new, cozy hillside apartment, and we decided to switch from cable to satellite. The occasional static is well worth the variety of hi-def, OAR movie channels (also the show Weeds, which is contrived but still pretty hilarious). But the channel I've really developed an unhealthy addiction to is Monsters HD, which specializes in favorite and forgotten monster, slasher and classic horror movies in razor-sharp 1080i. If you're stuck with Time Warner or some other similarly faceless, clunky cable provider, know this: until you've seen Sleepaway Camp in HD, you just haven't lived.

- Speaking of monsters, the trailer for Frank Darabont's film version of Stephen King's short story The Mist is online, and I must say that it really surprised me. The casting looks pitch-perfect (particularly Marcia Gay Harden as the bible-thumping Mrs. Carmody) and the look of the film is surprisingly stark (especially coming from the director of The Green Mile). Plus, I love the use of Clint Mansell's score for The Fountain. After the surprisingly okay 1408, the prospect of the first good, genuinely creepy Stephen King adaptation in years is terrific. My irrational fear of Toby Jones aside, I can't wait for this one.

- Edward Copeland recently posted The Satyajit Ray Memorial Anything-But-Definitive List of Non-English Language Films, a survey designed to exclude The Shawshank Redemption and American History X. 174 film buffs submitted their choices, and the result is a fine and (despite the title) comprehensive selection of world cinema, complete with pretty pictures.

- Finally (courtesy of Nerve), just because it's Friday, here's the greatest thing you'll ever see:


John said...

Oh, wow, the kid in Sleepaway Camp who has the line "Eat shit and live" lived in my dorm at NYU. I met him once . . .

Dr. Criddle said...

If you want to see if a Grindhouse DVD is going to come out in the near future, you might avoid this one, but I'd still give it a rental. I was up in Boston this weekend for my pal Jules' birthday and I watched it with all his friends in his dorm. I'm surprised to say, I found myself enjoying the hell out of it.

What I realized was that the reason I had initially disliked Death Proof so much was that I was mentally unprepared to watch a dialogue-heavy, cerebral film after sitting through a splattery zombie picture. I wouldn't say, however, that the concept of Grindhouse was a "bad idea," though, because I think this may well have been exactly what Tarantino (probably not so much Rodriguez) had in mind - I'm sure there were plenty of times in the pre-VCR days when someone wouldn't be in the right mindframe to enjoy the second billing of a double feature, because it was the complete tonal opposite of the first film. If I saw a movie like Two Lane Blacktop or The Shining right after I'd seen an AIP creature feature or an Emanuelle skin flick, I probably wouldn't appreciate the second film. What I'm saying is, I don't think that Planet Terror and Death Proof complement each other, but I think that's exactly the point.

Aside from the fact that seeing it "fresh" greatly increased my enjoyment of it, I also thought the expanded cut improved the story enormously. Most of all, it expands a great deal the character of Stuntman Mike, and more balancing the personas of the John Wayne-impersonating cool guy in the bar and the despicable, cold-blooded and sexually impotent killer behind the wheel of his car. Not to spoil anything, but there are two new scenes that take place before each of the attacks on the two groups of women, and they each go a long way to making Stuntman Mike's eventual fate seem a lot more deserved. Overall, the movie just plays better.

Andrew Bemis said...

Interesting, Jack. I'll be sure to check out the new cut soon. I think that jarring effect you describe gives Grindhouse a wonderful tension, and I hope it's eventually restored as a double feature for that reason. But I'm all for more Stuntman Mike if, as you suggest, his other scenes enhance rather than dilute his strength as a villian.

viagra online said...

"Eat shit and live" is the most famous quote from that guy! it allways makes me laugh