“ Genre: Crime & Thriller - Thriller / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Director: Quentin Tarantino / Actors: Michael Bacall, Rose McGowan ... / DVD released 18 September, 2007 at Weinstein Company / Features of the DVD: Closed-captioned, Colour, Widescreen, NTSC „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Death Proof is the second part of the Grindhouse collaboration between Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rogriguez. Originally envisaged as a double bill homage to the bad "exploitation" films of the 70s (complete with fake trailers) it was hacked into two separate films for its UK release. Death Proof is the Quentin Tarantino segment and, against expectations, the weaker segment.
Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is a psycho who stalks women in his specially modified death proof car. Having identified his victims, he drives them off the road, involving them in an accident from which he walks away (relatively) unscathed, whilst they just don't walk away.
After the cheesy promise of Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror segment, it's slightly disappointing that the Tarantino segment doesn't quite match the same standard. Having said that, there is still a lot to like about Death Proof. Fans of Tarantino in particular will get plenty out of it, as the director constantly references his own films, bringing in characters, sounds and products featured Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. If you know your Tarantino, it's fun keeping an eye (and ear) open for these. Some are obvious; others less so, but it's a great device to make you look at everything in camera shot!
As with Planet Terror, Tarantino has a lot of fun mimicking the low quality of Grindhouse movies. It's littered with awful camera shots, poor editing, blatant continuity errors, scratchy images and poor sound. Arguably, this is the one area where Tarantino surpasses Rodriguez since he uses these regularly and effectively, but without overdoing it.
There are plenty of times when Tarantino gets it right and when he does, you catch glimpses of the film Death Proof could (and should) have been. This is particularly true in the driving sequences. As Stuntman Mike picks off his first set of victims, you get a superbly staged set-piece and a wonderfully accurate tribute to those old exploitation movies (victims fly through the air, limbs are severed , bodies are crushed under collapsing metal). The death sequences are both slightly cheesy and terrifically staged.
Similarly, the car chases in the second part of the film are superb. There is a rawness and sense of reality to them that harps back to the good old days when (as Stuntman Mike himself observes) everything was done for real, without the (over)use of CGI. The stunts feel dangerous, edgy and realistic, perfectly capturing a sense of excitement and peril.
The trouble is, there just isn't enough of this sort of thing. Tarantino spends far too long setting things up, with an over-emphasis on dialogue and not enough on action. Of course, clever, whip-smart dialogue is Tarantino's trademark and there are plenty of examples of Tarantino's quirky observations on the world, all delivered in his own inimitable style. Yet, whilst that has proved successful in the past for establishing characters and situations, it works against Death Proof. This is supposed to be an action film and all the clever dialogue and elongated set-ups slow down the pace of the film. It goes against the spirit of Grindhouse, which is all about providing thrill after thrill after exploitative thrill.
Had Tarantino maintained the breakneck, breathless pace of the first car wreck and the superb action packed car chase towards the end, he would have had a real winner. As it is, Death Proof often feels slow and uneven.
This sense of an unevenness is increased by the fact that Death Proof is effectively split into two, but the second half is little more than a revised repetition of the first. The opening sequences sees Stuntman Mike stalking his first set of potential victims and killing them in a staged accident; the second part is really just the same thing with a different set of women. It's as though Tarantino only had one real idea for Death Proof, so simply plagiarised himself. Again, there's a degree to which this can be seen as a homage to the original Grindhouse genre, which regularly made films based on the slimmest of ideas. However, whilst you can appreciate this little in-joke on some levels, it wears a little thin in a 21st century film.
Tarantino also goes overboard in the lechery over his leading ladies. All the women in the film are dressed provocatively in low-cut tops, short shorts or belt skirts. Tarantino spends a lot of time pointing his camera in such a way that the main feature of the shot is the backside of one of the female cast. Now, on the one hand, you can argue that this is absolutely capturing the spirit of these exploitative movies. On the other hand, the voyeuristic camera angles make for uncomfortable viewing in the (hopefully) more enlightened 21st century.
If female flesh is your thing, then the film is certainly easy on the eye with Rose McGowan (also in Planet Terror), Rosario Dawson and Mary Elizabeth Winstead all cropping up in various male-fantasy inducing costumes. Thankfully, at least they also have the acting chops to back up their looks (although the appearance of Zoe Bell in the second half shows why she is a (superb) stunt woman, rather than a full-blown actress).
It's Kurt Russell who's having the most fun, though and he turns in a great performance as the mysterious Stuntman Mike. Once again, the star is riffing on some of his more famous roles from the 80s (particularly Snake Plissken) and shows he can still do both charming and menacing. Even though he probably has less screen time than many of his female co-stars, he's the best thing in Death Proof by a country mile.
When it comes to Grindhouse tributes though, I personally think that Rodriguez turns out the better film. Planet Terror was big, loud, dumb and stupid. Full of cheesy effects and even cheesier dialogue, it perfectly captured the awfulness of many Grindhouse films. Tarantino's segment has its moments, but the slower pace of Death Proof prevents it from completely fulfilling its potential.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Running time: approx 114 minutes
(c) Copyright SWSt 2012
Following the Grindhouse, double feature after "Planet Terror", was Quentin Tarantino's film "Death Proof". Already, I had sat all the way through the first movie and stayed to watch the "intermission". So without a piss break, I was preparing myself to sit and watch non-stop for another 2 hours or so (adding a total of about 3 hours). So, this better be worth the agony of getting cramps while sitting down... It wasn't worth it.
A movie of two stories. Each presenting the tale of a group of girls that encounter a stalking, murderous, psychopath named simply: Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell).
In Austin, Texas. We are introduced to a group of ladies - Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito), Shanna (Jordan Ladd), and DJ Jungle Julia (Sydney Tamiia Poitier). While the girls are celebrating Julia's birthday, they are being stalked by a mysterious man driving a customised 1971 Chevy Nova with a skull and lightning blots painted on the hood. Finally introducing himself as a charming fellow he chats with them and later that night kills them by driving head on into them at night.
Fourteen months later, the setting is now in Tennessee. We are introduced to a new group of girls - Lee, Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Kim (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Zoë Bell (Herself). All working in the film industry, in Hollywood. Once again, Stuntman Mike is following their trail ready to attack his next pray. However, he might be messing around with the wrong ladies.
The casting is a great selection of actress fitting their roles. How can you not like Kurt Russell in anything? Also, he does a good job of playing this character. A wolf disguised in sheep's clothing indeed. The girls are great, each presenting their own personalities. And, a special shout-out for Zoë Bell. Who in real life is a professional stuntman, and in this movie she plays herself (go figure). But, she actually did a great job acting as well.
It's major flaw is that there's too much of a heavy dose of dialogue. More so than in previous Tarantino films. There is a lot of rambling. It's torture enough, to listen to one woman talk for 2 hours, let alone eight (I apologise, ladies).
Let's face it. Tarantino's specialty is in his writing - specifically dialogue. However, I found it was kind of flat a lot of times. On the whole there are some interesting conversations, but without a proper balance of action beats it is a dreadful experience. You might as well just talk with your friends for a few hours (and it's free).For some people this could be an endurance test, others might appreciate the love letter to movie fanatics. I suppose I would take the latter.
With the exception of the final 20 minutes, it does bring the film up a couple of notches. With one of the best car fight scenes ever recorded on film. Made with 100% practical effects (no CGI added). Seeing Zoë Bell doing all of her own stunts, was nerve-racking to watch, as it was the real thing on screen. Having this woman clutching on the hood of the car while a maniac is bashing into them attempting to knock her over. However, it doesn't make up for the movie on the whole.
It's evident that Quentin's love for cinema shows in this piece. It's just that the "majority" of people don't have the same knowledge or interest in these types of films. It's a movie that's fitting to those homogenised, Grindhouse movies that I'm sure I've never heard of, or will never watch. This isn't your traditional blockbuster film. Quiet the opposite actually. This is very respectable to those lesser known movies. So, in saying that, I think Quentin made exactly the type of movie he wanted to make, and succeeded in his goal.
Now, my first experience probably left a sour taste in my mouth. But, nevertheless the overall feeling stays the same. If you just have it casually playing and tune in and out, it's a harmless film. It's just isn't the spectacle as it's previous feature. So, it felt even more weaker in comparison. I can understand that this isn't friendly to the average audience member. Tarantino enjoys all of these older films that don't appeal to many people in today society. It's just this one isn't as crowd pleasing. I feel like this is one of his weakest films. But he wasn't making it for us he was making it for himself (which I respect).
On it's own. It's alright. It's a not a great movie. But, this is definitely not a bad movie. So who would I recommend this too? Well, if you have not seen this yet, and you think of yourself as a connoisseur for cinema or you're a movie geek like Tarantino. This is a fine movie. But, to everyone else, this isn't necessary. And, you'll feel like you're wasting your time.
I wrote a review about Jackie Brown the other day, in which I said that iot was the weakest of Tarantino's directed films. But I also decided to buy this the other day as well. I watched it, and have to say that this is Tarantino's weakest, by quite some way. The plot itself is a simple one as always. It's about a psychopathic stuntman who has a dislike for women and goes out of his way to kill them. But Tarantino's script lacks its usual flair in terms of dialogue and pace, and though it has plenty of his usual violence, there never seems to be a reason for it. This is a film that could and should have been so much better than it is. However, it does have an interesting cast including Kurt Russell, stuntwoman Zoe Bell and an ensemble.
Three female friends called Arlene, Shanna and Julia all drive down a highway in Texas to a bar to celebrate Julia's birthday. They eventually come to a small bar where then meet the mysterious 'Stuntman Mike' (Kurt Russell). Little do they know that he has been carefully stalking them. He soon starts speaking to them, and even convinces Arlene to give a lap dance. Later, he gives another customer a ride home.
That's when the film turns nasty. It turns out that Stuntman Mike is a psychopath, and a sadist. In taking the customer for a drive, she has to sit in an unsafe seat and finds herself being thrown violently around until she dies. Stuntman Mike then returns to kill the other girls.
Later, he sees another group of women. Again, he decides to try and take them on. But this time, he's picked the wrong group, as one is a stunt woman and they are all willing to fight back, leading to a fast paced climax, even if it answers nothing.
This, for me, is a poor film from a writer/director who made Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs amongst others. Tarantino is famed for his multi-layered, multi-storyline films. But this doesn't even come close. At times, it misses action, it misses dialogue, it misses characterization and most of all it misses motivation.
First of all, the plot is thin. If you have one plot all the way through a film, then you have to flesh it out a bit more. There is nothing of the sort in this film. It's just one man chasing a bunch of woman, and that's it. We don't know about the women, we don't know about the man, and there is nothing else going on at all.
Secondly, there is a serious lack of sharp dialogue. Pulp Fiction and other Tarantino films have razor sharp dialogue on them. This misses all of that. The dialogue is thing and is so often very slow. It doesn't take the film anywhere, and doesn't explain anything.
Then there is the lack of characterization. There just isn't anything to the characters at all. You don't really care for the girls who are killed, because you just find them annoying. And you don't ever really understand Stuntman Mike, because there is never an explanation about who he is or what he wants.
And that leads me to the biggest problem with this film. The lack of motivation. This film just doesn't seem to have a point to it. There's a start, a middle, and an end. But there's no explanation. At all. It literally starts with some girls going to a bar, then getting killed. There is no explanation. Then Stuntman Mike goes on to to kill some other women, again without an explanation of any kind. And the ending is so abrupt that you're left wondering why you bothered watching it and what it's actually about.
However, in fairness to this film, it does have one redeeming feature. The action. There's not nearly enough of it, and this film does start out very slowly. But there is no doubt that when it comes along, the action is first rate and manages to lift this film out of the barrel, so to speak. The final third of this film is pure, real action as Stuntman Mike and the second group of woman, including famed stuntwoman Zoe Bell (playing herself) relentlessly pursue each other. The car chase is just exceptional in all fairness to Tarantino, and it's just a shame that the only part of this film that's any good is the car chase.
As for the acting, I guess the actors do their best with their characters. Kurt Russell makes for a good psychopath as Stuntman Mike, and though the character has nothing to him, Russell does manage to give him character with a subtle but manic performance. The rest of the cast is a mixture of average actors. There isn't really anyone who stands out, but then no one has the chance to.
So, to sum up, this is Tarantino's flop. Every director has one. This is his. The only thing that lifts it up is the fabulous action. But it's too scarce. If you're a fan of Tarantino, this will be a bit of a let down. But, if you can manage the first half of the film, the action in the second half makes up for it. Or you could see a better Tarantino movie, such as Inglorious, or Pulp Fiction.
Tarantino probably had a load of fun making this, and that's all this film is, a lot of fun. Car chases and girls. The old B-movie feel is pulled off pretty well in the opening scenes with the title changing from 'Quentin Tarantino's Thunderbolt' to 'Death Proof' and other deliberate jump-cuts. The film's feel can be best summed up in the final car chase with the psychopathic 'Stuntman Mike' being chased by the girls he was stalking, one of which is strapped to the front of the car. He meets his fate soon enough though with a deadly axe-kick to the face. Yay, violence.
Tarantino makes a cameo appearance himself in the film as barman Warren, but it's not a big part. There's also a random lap-dance scene; Tarantino is obviously trying to squeeze in as much violence and sexiness in to the movie as possible, and being the great director he is, he manages to pull it off.
The DVD is good value with extra features inlcuding artwork and the soundtrack.
The only downside is the lack of an original plot considering half of the movie is a car chase.
This film has to be watched with its partner Planet Terror, something that must be said from the start.
The plot revolves around a mysterious stunt car driver called 'Stuntman Mike' who drives around killing of ridiculously beautiful women in hideous car accidents. The name and situation fully represents the quirky nature of Grindhouseouse cinema.
This film does feel lost without the false adverts and partner film surrounding it. It comes across as a crazy mysoginistic mess that makes the viewer feel that Tarantino has just turned into an idiot. When combined with everything else that these films were supposed to be with it turns into one of the greatest film experiences you could have, which leads you to finding out more about the Grindhouse film movement. They introduce you to a plethora of films that would never have landed in your collection. Cinemas were completely wrong to separate these films: they ruined what could have been cinema's greatest experience of the decade.
The dialogue, as always is, wonderful Tarantino: Stuntman Mike's little black book is a thing of brilliance, but even with its partner it still feels slightly flat to the visual spectacle that goes before it.
Watch both and let your eyes explode.
Death Proof is part of Robert Rodriguez's and Quentin Tarantino's joint Grindhouse effort; so when purchasing Planet Terror I felt compelled to buy this one too.
The movie, like most grindhouse movies, is deliberately B; the ridiculous plot and over the top characters leave no doubt about that. Unfortunately, unlike Rodriquez's Planet Terror, Death Proof is often a little too 'B movie' for my liking. Don't get me wrong, Tarantino has gotten the look and feel spot on, and the plot is perfect for the genre, but it does feel as if there is something lacking in his latest instalment.
The movie is split into two parts; the first one builds up the character of the bad guy, in this case a sociopathic stuntman named 'Stuntman Mike'. My only problem with the first part of the movie is that it spends too much time character building in return for very little action; if this is meant to be a slasher movie at 200mph then Tarantino has failed to deliver.
All of a sudden we are taken to a completely different scenario with entirely new characters, who once again we spend a lot of time getting to know and understand. Stuntman Mike is present, but lurks in the background as a menace that only we can understand; it's a tad frustrating that he doesn't get more screen time. The sudden jump from characters we knew something about to new characters we don't care about made me uncertain about the direction Tarantino was going in, and not necessarily in a good way. These new girls are adequately acted, apart from Zoe from Xena fame; we come to understand why she's a stuntwoman and not an actress.
Thankfully the movie finale, an 18 minute car chase, is about action rather than acting, and we get a lot of that before a very abrupt ending.
Grindhouse receives a fitting tribute from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino through both Planet Terror and Deathproof. Made to be shown back to back in true grindhouse fashion, both films are full of blood, gore cheesy one liners, badly aged filmreels and blatant perversion something which made grindhouse movies so popular.
I saw these two back to back and found that both were thoroughly enjoyable. So much so that they now take pride of place in my DVD collection.
Kurt russel plays an ex-stuntman who has an eye for the ladies but not in the way you think. He likes to kill. And brutally. Armed with a near indestructible car he stalks a group of young women hoping they will become his next victims.
A stunning 18 minute car chase is the highlight of this film. There's no doubt that Tarantino is a great director and one of my favourite but I was a little disappointed with this film. However, it still remains one of my favorites.
Death Proof is a film that was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Quentin Tarantino, Elizabeth Avellan, Erica Steinberg and Robert Rodriguez produced it.
Initially released as a shorter version in cinemas as part of the 'Grindhouse' double-bill with Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror in 2007, this longer version was re-edited and released individually on DVD. Apparently, the DVD version has an extra 30 minutes of footage. I didn't get to see the cinema version but I think that leaving anything out of this could have been dangerous, especially the action scenes.
The film begins by introducing us to a group of friends; Jungle Julia (Sydney Tamiia Poitier), Shanna (Jordan Ladd), Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito) who are going drinking to celebrate a birthday. At the bar, Jungle Julia reveals that she announced on her radio show that a man could win a lapdance from her friend Arlene by buying her a drink, calling her Butterfly and reciting a poem. Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) fulfils this and gets his lapdance, despite Arlene's initial reluctance. Pam (Rose McGowan) is also drinking at the bar, we learn that she and Jungle Julia went to school together and didn't get on. Stuntman Mike offers Pam a lift home as she has been drinking and he is sober. During the course of the journey home, Stuntman Mike explains that his car is 'Death Proof'; it's a stunt car that has been reinforced to the point that even in a head on collision at high speed, the driver will survive. He then provides the most memorable piece of dialogue from the whole film, I'm really tempted to include it here but I think you need to see/hear it in the
From the moment we meet Stuntman Mike we suspect that he's up to no good, the next few minutes of the film confirms this. The action really kicks in from this point, the slow start of the film is quickly forgotten as the death toll rises. There is a car crash scene which is shown from various points of view, this is done very, very graphically. This leaves you in no doubt that the rest of the film is going to be gruesome. Kurt Russell was born for this part, he plays the menacing and clearly disturbed Mike as perfectly as you could imagine, killing off attractive young girls with his death proof car. I'm not really into cars but this one is pretty impressive, I have no idea what model it is or even which manufacturer made it but it is a thing of beauty.
The second half of the film introduces us to another group of girls; Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Kim (Tracie Thoms), Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Zoe Bell (playing herself). The girls are all in the film industry, in various roles, most notably though, is Zoe, who is a stuntwoman. I didn't realise until after I'd seen the film but Zoe Bell is an actual stuntwoman and has worked with Tarantino in the past (Kill Bill) and in a large number of other Hollywood productions. Zoe is visiting the US and while she is there she wants to test drive a white 1970 Dodge Challenger as it is the same car that is in cult-classic film Vanishing Point. She then convinces her friends to let her play 'Ships Mast', a game in which she sits on the bonnet of the car, holding on to belts fastened to the car doors while its being driven at high speed. Its at this point that Stuntman Mike shows up.
I was disappointed at how the film ended but there is an amazing car-chase scene which takes up at least five minutes and is very impressive. The camera work during this scene is fantastic, it honestly adds to the suspense and you get a real feel for how fast the cars are going. You never really know how things are going to finish, this is always a plus point for me, I hate being able to predict how a film is going to end.
The female cast in Death Proof do their job pretty well, they look attractive and play their parts well but Kurt Russell absolutely steals the show. His performance was excellent. Quentin Tarantino makes a small cameo appearance as a bar owner, but didn't really stand out much. I'm just a big fan of cameo appearances, no matter how insignificant they are.
I did like the grainy effect that was employed, it makes the film look dated and is an homage to the 70's exploitation films (where the 'Grindhouse' name actually comes from).
This is by no means a classic, Tarantino has done much better films, Reservoir Dogs for instance, but this is an enjoyable film, and one that shouldn't be taken too seriously.
This film also has an exceptional soundtrack, I would recommend that it is hunted down and purchased immediately.
This truly is a let down from Tarantino. I am a great fan of his work and his other films are all brilliant in my opinion but this one falls a long way short of the mark. There are several problems with this film, which I will go on to talk about. Firstly the plot in brief: the film concerns a psychopathic killer, who stalks and kills groups of girls using his 'deathproof' car. As explained in the film, a deathproof car is a car modified to withstand collisions etc. for stunts in films.
This leads into one problem with this film which is that actually the film only covers two of these groups of girls. This makes the film drag along at several points, and there is far too much emphasis on trying to build up a background of the girls. This attempt ultimately fails because I do not think any sympathy to any of the characters is achieved.
The next problem and the main one, is that the film feels very self-indulgent. This seems to be a trap that a lot of directors fall into having directed a few very good films. Tarantino tries to emulate this film as a film in a grindhouse by putting bits of it in black and white and making bits of the film stick at points briefly. This is frankly just annoying.
Finally, the actors he gets in are a far shout from the proven actors he normally works with- Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman et co.
Death Proof is a crime thriller released in year 2007. Film was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. This movie is released with Planet Terror, a film directed by Robert Rodriguez's, under the title Grindhouse.
Kurt Russell portrays Mike Mikke.
Zoe Bell plays a role of Zoë "The Cat" Bell.
Sydney Tamiia Poitier portrays Jungle Julia.
Rosario Dawson plays a role of Abernathy.
Mike is a stuntman and kills young girls with his car. Jungle Julia is an outstanding model and his target in Texas. She is meeting her old friends Shanna, Pam and Arlene. His next target is to kill another women group in Tennessee. This women group is working in motion picture. There are Kim, Lee and Abernathy in this group. Kim is stunt woman and Lee is actress. But this time things are different and things goes wrong with Mike. I don't want to spoil the ending. I think its enough to give you the feel of movie.
My Views and Perspective:
Storyline and Plot
The story is very ordinary and no need brains to watch. This is a story of psycho who randomly picks girls and enjoys killing with his perdurable car but at last he finds someone who driver him crazy. This is bit disappointing for Tarantino's fan because story is very straightforward. I think Tarantino can't write a good story on female (exception is kill bill-great story). Whether you see Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, all of his movies are based on male characters. In first half four women are sitting in bar and just talking. I really did not understand what they are talking about. Second half is also boring except action sequences. The story revolves around one man and some beautiful woman's. So this movie lacks in the plot and sometimes I felt boring in the middle of the movie.
Dialogs and Direction
The imaginative dialogs are trademark of the Tarantino's film and this movie lacks with such kind of dialogs. Dialogs are not entertaining and interesting. I am writing so much on dialogs because in most of the movie there is nothing except action and conversation but more part is filled with conversations. You see the first scene of Reservoir Dogs. All of them are discussing on one song of Madonna and conversation is bit long but dialogs are so good that you will not bore. Another example of his great dialogs is cheese speech of Pulp Fiction. But in this movie there is too much talk and dialogs are not relevant sometimes. There is couple of scenes in which Tarantino really shines like Hospital scene and deaths. Other action sequences are great as well like a scene in which stunt woman Zoë is featured on poke bonnet. Killing scenes are pretty good. The soundtracks are great and fits for the movie but what can one do if movie is not that good. I think you can heed soundtracks again and again, I bet this will make the atmosphere cool.
Characters and Performances
In the lead and quality cast we have Kurt Russell and Rosario Dawson but it does not mean that others are not talented and not performed well. As a stunt woman Zoë is great and Rose McGowan is also a part of this talented team. Zoë is not an actress; she is stunt woman in real life. So her acting is also disappointing. As always Tarantino played a small role in the movie and as Warren this is bit disappointing for me because I know he can act but it seems that he didn't put an effort as actor in this movie. Kurt Russell is good as stuntman and really contributes a lot to his underdeveloped character. Overall most of the characters are undeveloped and it is very hard to relate all those underdeveloped characters. It seems that all characters are created only to murder.
I had lot of expectations with this movie as movie is written and directed by my favorite Quentin Tarantino. It is expected that movie will have great humor, nice storyline with plenty of surprises, great direction and top of all freaky dialogs. I am a great fan of Tarantino and I have seen almost every movie created by him. I think this movie is worst movie of his carrier. There is actually a lack of humor and story, characters are undeveloped, dialogs are irrelevant and direction is not that good. On positive side acting by Kurt Russell is great and soundtracks are also good but only these things are not enough to make a movie worth watching. Most of the Tarantino's fans are disappointed with this movie. So watch this movie at your own risk. That's all I can give you. Thanks for reading.
Wow, a lot of these reviews are very harsh, personally I found this film pretty enjoyable. Now if you have read my review of Planet Terror, you'll know what style this film is in.
There's really no need to go into the story too much again, it's a simple plot, someone in a 'Death Proof' car kills a group of girls, then tries to kill another group. It has plenty of Tarentino's famous talking scenes, think the sort of dialogue in Pulp Fiction and that. It has a bit of a twist in it though, as the spoken parts are generally girls speaking. This starts off being pretty entertaining as it's well directed, and is of course crucial to the story. The problem I have with these parts is that they drag on far too much. I'm left thinking; well yeah we need to see the background of all of this, but is this much information really necessary?
The acting is good, especially the part of Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), he fits the roll perfectly. You even grow to sort of like him although he is clearly a bit of an oddball. I was genuinely shocked (even though I knew it was coming) when he first killed someone.
I think the real highlight of this film is one of the car crashes in it. We get to see it from 4 or 5 different angles, perhaps the best filmed car crash I've ever seen in fact, the film is worth it just for this. If you're a car chase fan, and like films such as Vanishing Point, you'll love the chase at the end. So in summary once this film gets going it really is a very good film, and very entertaining. It is a tad long winded however, certainly not Tarentino's best by a long way, but I doubt you'll be disappointed with watching it! Better than Planet Terror or not though? Hmm, difficult one, they're as different as they are the same, I'd go with Death Proof myself, as it's more my sort of film I think.
This was one of those films that I had no idea what to expect when I put it in the DVD player, having not heard an awful lot about it, and having no real idea what the general plot was I was completely open to what was about to come. All I did know however that it was a Tarrantino, now I find his movies pretty hit and miss but I knew I was probably in for a good action, bloodfest type thing.
What happened then was not what I expected, the film was based around four girls, who basically think that they are 'all that', so the film follows them round as they discuss boys and get stoned and drunk. The main part of the first half of this film is centred around a bar, enter Kurt Russell, you have previously seen him parked up in his car staring at the girls, and you just generally get the impression that bad things are going to happen.
Kurt (stunt man Mike) and the four girls spend their evening in the bar, each doing their own thing, Stunt man Mike spends his evening eating nachos at the bar, drinking non alcoholic drinks and making small conversation on the most part with the other customers, the four girls get increasingly drunk and stoned. They have very little interaction apart from when one of the girls ends up doing a lap dance for stunt man Mike.
Okay, that is all I'm going to say about the film plot, apart from, a bar has to close sometime and people have to go home.....
This film is so brutally strange, and I'm still not sure if I love it or hate it, because of this I am going to give it three stars purely out of indecision. Three quarters of the way through I was genuinely debating turning it off and then for the last 15 minutes or so the film really picks up and you watch the end sequences thinking 'wow'.
The action laced sparsely through the film is very good, it's back to the sort of no special effects type run, and the actresses that were used for the action scenes were actually stunt women, which in itself is quite strange, a stunt woman playing a stunt woman in a genuine acting role. The dialogue is good, however, parts of it do drag on and you are left wondering if the film is actually going anywhere. The level of acting is good, Kurt Russel who I haven't seen for a while is wonderful in this, I couldn't however tell you what any of the women actors abilities were like as my tongue was hanging out throughout. I'm joking. The stand out female actress out of the eight involved was Vanessa Ferlito who plays Arlene, not only is she truly stunning but you feel more for her than any other character and in times when the first half of the film is dying she still gets the focus.
I'm not going to draw this out much longer, the film doesn't have much of a plot, it isn't meant to have, it doesn't thrill throughout and yet some of my friends claim it is one of their favourite films, the only truly brilliant thing about the film was the soundtrack. I will however say that you should see it, the ending is quite predictable if you know your Tarrantino, but I was still sitting awed at the end.
So there you go, I'm not sure if I just slated it or gave it rave reviews, but that's just the type of film it is.
What has happened to Quentin Tarnatino? He exploded onto the scene with the astounding Reservoir Dogs and then had the audacity to trump it with Pulp Fiction, two five star movies in anyone's book. But then came Jacky Brown, nowhere near the hit of the previous two, the first real sign he had a weakness for new ideas, perhaps running out of things to pilfer and copy. The tedious Kill Bill double-header reminded me of the self indulgence of Guns and Roses and Use Your Illusion 1& 2", lazy sprawling behemoths and clear parodies of previous works, the artistes arrogantly knowing it would sell on name alone.
Death Proof, of course, is the other half of the Grindhouse double-feature Quentin made with his best mate Robert Rodriguez, Planet Terror the far superior offering of the two and well worth the rent. In fact as Tarantinos stock has fallen Rodriguez has risen, that, no coincidence for me, the student now the teacher, although no one dare tell Quentin there's a new B-Move king in town.
What Tarantino has essentially been given here is a free hand by his backers to make the world's first car chase only movie, rather limiting any room for narrative, one of the things he's rather good at and what this movie seriously needed, and like Stargate, the moment Kurt Russell turns up with his bad haircut and 'nuke', the film flies off in a different direction and it all goes to pot. The film further irritates because it's very anti-male as if Quentin is using it as a tool to get off with girls or something, this the biggest pile of feminist claptrap since the Female Eunuch.
Kurt Russell ... Stuntman Mike
Zoë Bell ... Herself (as Zoë Bell)
Rosario Dawson ... Abernathy
Vanessa Ferlito ... Arlene
Tracie Thoms ... Kim
Sydney Tamiia Poitier ... Jungle Julia (as Sydney Poitier)
Tracie Thoms ... Kim
Rose McGowan ... Pam
Jordan Ladd ... Shanna
Mary Elizabeth Winstead ... Lee
Quentin Tarantino ... Warren
Marcy Harriell ... Marcy
Eli Roth ... Dov
Omar Doom ... Nate
Michael Bacall ... Omar
Monica Staggs ... Lanna Frank
'The Girls' are a gang of chicks who hangout in the same local Austin bar every Friday night, scoring free drinks off gullible guys, joints and shooters casually passed around as the night resonates to the sound of the juke box.
Jungle Julia....Sydney Tamiia Poitier
The leader of the pack is ober chick 'Jungle Julia' (Sydney Tamiia Poitier), a local radio DJ and the gal that knows everyone in this part of Texas. But JJ and the girls world is about to be turned upside down, quite literally, when they run into 'Stuntman' Mike (Kurt Russell), also quite literally, an enigmatic and somewhat scary drifter who roars around in his 'supped up'1960s sports car, specifically strengthened with roll-bars to do stunts in, chasing girls like Jungle Julia's crew his obsession. But the girls like to race too and soon have his growing menace in their wing mirrors.
So flash forward 14 months as we meet another group of sexy gum chewing car loving girls, this time in rural Tennessee, more than a match for Stuntman Mikes seedy chat up this time around, Tomboy Kim (Tracie Thoms) the leader of this particular pack, also keen sports coupe fans.
-The Girls 2-
Zoë Bell ...as Zoë Bell
Mary Elizabeth Winstead ... Lee
After test driving a Ford Mustang, Kim and Zoë ( Zoë Bell) decide to do some seriously wild driving without the owners permission, the type of driving that seriously turns Stuntman Mike on, who just so happens to be passing through the county. But this time he may have met his match, the Midwest gals in no mood to be patronized, matching every move he has behind the wheel.
With a strong feminist bent to this male viewers are alienated early on, made clear early on by the director that the sexy girls in their Daisy Duke shorts are not available, the tiresome opening half-hour of surprisingly boring signature Tarantino dialogue on that ethos almost unbearable. The brilliant opening diner sequence to Reservoir Dogs feels along way away right now. Tarantino also insists on yet another atrocious cameo, his anvil head yapping looking like one of 'The Muppets', Gonzo coming to mind. At this point in the movie maybe Quentin realized that his writing wasn't what it used to be and so resorted to a tsunami of cool songs on the soundtrack, another one of his impressive abilities seemingly lacking again. After one too many close-ups of the jukebox to remind you how cool QT is at sound-tracking his movies, the girls asses earning an extra pervy zoom from Tarantinos camera as they drop quarters into the jukebox to play those tunes, its left to Kurt Russell's demonic performance to keep you interested, and to be fair this, perhaps, the only success story here. All the things that he does so well that made his name in the 90s, like that dialogue and music selection, are sadly absent here. That sizzling dialogue in symphony with the iconic music is what he is all about but the conductor is not in tune with his orchestra.
There's the usual barrel full of 'cool' in-joke references to other TV and movies, including Kurt Russell two episodes of The Virginian. Only Quentin knows or cares he's been in that mothballed 70s TV series but he wants to let you know he knows that astounding fact. Oh you're such a genius Quentin! Just as George Lucas jams too much on screen in his Star Wars movies because no one dare tell him not to, Tarantino cant help stuff his film with those little self-indulgent geeky references to his and other movies he loves, students jumping up in the cinema and shouting its the 'Kuhana Burger' from Pulp Fiction!!!! Do we really care if a Ford Mustang has 'Pussy Wagon' written on it referencing Kill Bill. Quentin is an incredibly irritating chap at the best of times and this becomes just too much. If you agree with me on that then don't watch the extras. I'm afraid Tarantino has lost the magic and I dread his next movie.
= = = = = Special Features = = = = =
-The Hot Rods-
Quentin yaps about the cars in the movie as we get to see all the fillings in his massive gob. 27 different classic cars were use don the film.
-Stunts on Wheels-
Quentin introduces us to his stunt team, including showbiz stunt legend 'Buddy Joe Hooker'.
-Introducing Zoë Bell-
Zoë was the stunt-double for Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill films, but here used as an actress first and then a stunt girl second. She sexy in the way plain-pretty girls are with great bodies and is one of the movies few refreshing aspects, doing all the stunts in the film as an actress a great if risky idea.
-Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike-
Pretty good casting by QT and Russell clearly revels in the cool casting, he himself a car nut from redneck stock.
-Finding Quentin's Gals-
There's always been a bit of the perv about Quentin and I suspect he enjoys casting the girls, at least ten crackers in this one. Rose McGowan doubles up from Planet Terror and cult Indy chick Rosario Dawson and teen comedy girl Mary Elizabeth Wanstead are the other 'names' on show.
- The uncut version of 'Baby its You', performed by 'Mew'-
Bit of fluffing up the disc here.
-The Guys of Death Proof-
More from Kurt Russell and cameos from Quentin's mates Eli Roth and Robert Rodriguez.
-Quentin's Greatest Collaborator: Editor Sally Menke
Quentin will take any excuse to waffle on about stuff on the extras so here's his editor.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Imdb.com scores it 7.3 out of 10.0 (27,515 votes)
RuN-TiMe 114 minutes
3 for £6 weekly deal at Blockbusters
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Released: 14th January, 2008 (DVD)
Kurt Russell (Stuntman Mike)
Zoe Bell (as herself)
Rosario Dawson (Abernathy)
Vanessa Ferlito (Arlene)
Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Jungle Julia)
Tracie Thoms (Kim)
Rose McGowan (Pam)
Jordan Ladd (Shanna)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Lee)
Stuntman Mike isn't your average run-of-the-mill stuntman. Having worked in obscure movies that no one seems to have heard of, he suffered an accident on the set of a movie and spends his time searching for his next victims. His preferred victims are beautiful young women with promising careers in the media - models, radio hosts, etc... Stuntman Mike likes to follow his victims, preferably women in groups of three or four, shadowing their every move, studying them, however, unlike your average serial killer, Mike likes to use his modified stunt car as a weapon. His murdering sprees are made to look like accidents, and although the police are on to him, nothing can ever be proven.
Whether or not Mike was actually a stuntman is anyones guess - after all, the modified car and his nickname could be a well-thought subterfuge. Either way, the minute he gets behind the wheel, he brings new meaning to the words 'road rage'.
'Death Proof' is the worst movie I have ever seen. It is long-winded, boring and a definite chore to watch. In fact, I would go so far as to say that watching it was the hardest thing I've ever done!
The first 100 minutes are focused on a young foursome of beautiful women who are out on the town, and painting it red (so to speak). Alcohol and drugs flow freely, there's music, laughter, and an unending 100 minutes of girlie-talk. Nothing happens - all the women do is talk... about boyfriends, sex, drugs, music, and gossip about other women. Seriously, that's all that happens... they talk and talk and talk... and talk.
Finally, after an extremely long-winded 100 minutes, Mike puts an end to the talk by staging one of his 'road' accidents - a scene that takes less than 10 minutes, and then - bang - a few months have gone by, and Mike is following another group of women.
Once again there is the incessant yacking, the inane and oh-so-boring girlie chatter that makes you want to put a gun to your head, and this goes on and on for another 30 or so minutes. Finally, Mike steps in, and sets the stage for another 'accident' - except that Mike hasn't counted on the fact that two of the women are movie stunt drivers who are, perhaps, crazier than he is. After his attempt to kill them fails, he becomes the hunted when the women go after him. All in all, the final 10 minutes of this movie are the most interesting.
This is a definite Tarantino flop, the most excruciatingly dull movie that has ever been made by any director/writer 'genius'. By the way, he appears in this movie as a bartender/owner, and joins the first group of women in a dialogue-fest of inane chatter.
I kid you not people, this movie possesses approx. 20 minutes of action - the rest is Tarantino's interpretation of what women like to talk about - and may I say, when it comes to women's conversations, Tarantino needs to take a 'Girlie-Talk 101' course. While he's there, may I suggest acting lessons too?
As for Kurt Russell, what can I say... his character was under-developed, shallow and boring. There is no mystery. Stuntman Mike constantly smiles, is your average nice-guy with a massive scar, likes reinforced stunt cars, speed, music and women. All in all, I'd say that he was pretty much playing himself. His attitude is pretty much 'all in good fun', and when he gets hurt he squeals like a little girl... or stuffed pig.
Pretty much filmed in the same manner as 'Planet Terror' (a much better movie directed and written by Rodriguez), with a grainy 70's - 80's feel to it, that is where the similarity ends. 'Death Proof' is Tarantino's brainchild, his creation... and it totally stinks.
There are absolutely no redeeming qualities to this movie, nothing that might make the spectator forgive Tarantino's rubbish script. The crew must have been bored to death working on this movie, especially the sound crew who had to listen to the girlie chatter.
This is one movie that should be torched and then flushed.
I presume you have seen my rating for this DVD, and you can tell I did not enjoy it. The trailer was better than the actual film to be quite honest. I really don't understand how someone could have liked this film it wasn't that good and I'd rather clean the whole house than watching this film ever again, I have to tell you that this is a film you should not even consider picking up in a shop, let alone buying it and even worse watching it, you must not do any of them as this film is the worst film in the world (well that what I think).
The film is directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Quentin has directed a few films; the most known ones would have to be Kill Bill Vol.1 & 2. I've always been meaning to watch them as they star Uma Thurman, though now I'm not sure whether to watch them or not, due to the fact that I now know who the director is. I'm quite afraid to pick Kill Bill up in the shops after finding out that Quentin is the director, as I'm not impressed by this film, and therefore I might as well think that his other directing films are going to be just as bad.
Stuntman Mike McKay is played by the famous: Kurt Russell. To be totally honest I think Kurt Russell is a brilliant actor and I couldn't imagine him becoming the superhero he played in Sky High. However this film really made him look like a really bad actor, rather than the actor he really is, which I think that he make a superb performance in many of the films I have seen him in!
Zoë Bell plays herself in this film, she is not that known however she has appeared in tons of films acting as a stunt double, that's why she was allowed to ride on the bonnet of the car in this film
There were a few other famous faces such as Mary Elizabeth Winstead who is famous for lots of roles such as Sky high, Die Hard 4.0 and Make it happen. I believe that this role really challenged her as she played a total different character than she's used to. Anyhow there are a few other actors/actresses you may have seen in other films but I want to prevent your boredom of reading this review.
This film is about a group of girls, and Stuntman Mike, but after seeing all about these girls' lives something bad happens to the girls, and then you are with another 4 girls' life and you just get soooooooo bored. I think the car maniac person in the family will hate this film apart from the Car chases, the horror person in the family will only like the gory bits, but to be honest you should watch this film as you shall fall asleep!
The DVD extras, I did not watch, but you already knew that, this film was so boring, we nearly stopped watching it half-way through but I forced my family to keep on watching it so I can write this review, anyhow the DVD extras are:
-Hot rods of Death Proof
-Stunts on Wheels: The Legendary Drivers of Death Proof
-Introducing Zoë Bell Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike
-Finding Quentin's Gals
-The uncut version of "Baby, It's you" Performed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead
-The Guys of Death Proof
-Quentin's greatest collaborator: Editor Sally Menke
-Double Dare Trailer
I really don't know how Maxim and Uncut rated it 4 stars, it doesn't even deserve 1 it should be half!
I totally DO NOT recommend this to anyone PLEASE DO NOT BUY IT! I'm warning you, you won't be impressed!