Thursday, November 28, 2013

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa review

Just because this movie is about a grandpa, doesn't mean you should take your's. I take it grandma and grandpa wouldn't find this movie so...tasteful.
Going into Bad Grandpa, I did not expect high brow and subtle comedy that you'd find in a good Sofia Coppola movie. What I expected was a lot of hidden camera gags and fart jokes and stuff of that nature. What I got was a lot of hidden camera gags and fart jokes and stuff of that nature. You get what you pay for. Although in this case that's not all that bad. Surprisingly, this film actually has a plot. A pretty flimsy plot at that, but it does have one. Irving Zisman's (Johnny Knoxville) wife dies. His grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoll), needs to be driven down to North Carolina to his burn out father. As it turns out, Irving has to do it. Lots of pranks, drunkenness, and genital jokes ensue. Jackass' Bad Grandpa would've worked a lot better as a TV show, as Jackass originally was. The whole movie is filled with some pretty crazy scenes, and a few hilariously dirty jokes, but the whole story and emotional aspect of it feels a bit forced and more than a few of the jokes don't carry. But when the jokes do carry, they really carry. At certain points in the film I was doubled over with laughter. One scene in particular made me crack up so hard my ribs hurt afterward. Bad Grandpa is the kind of movie you see on a lazy Saturday afternoon to kill some time. It's funny and enjoyable, and it's a general good time. Yet, it's not much more than an entertaining time waster. It's slightly better than some of the other Jackass films, but it's still nothing special. In the end, it's just Johnny Knoxville doing embarrassing things to unsuspecting civilians. It's not that that's a bad thing, it's really just nothing new. We've seen that in the other Jackass films and in stuff like Punk'd. Despite all that, I still had a good time at Bad Grandpa. Sure it's great to have some quirky indie films like Frances Ha or a harsh and emotional drama like 12 Years a Slave (both of which are terrific, by the way), but we still need movies like Bad Grandpa to keep things light and make sure we still can laugh a little. Most critics it seem like to seem like stiff and proper film scholars who don't have time for peasant trash like Jackass' Bad Grandpa. The truth is, we all need a little Bad Grandpa to tickle our funny bones every once in a while. I didn't think every joke was great and I felt certain elements of the movie were unnecessary, but Bad Grandpa isn't bad at all. So in conclusion, I say this movie is not a comedy classic, but an enjoyable little film that certainly helps the time pass. Yeah it doesn't have the story of The Big Lebowski or the poignant characters and dialog of Shaun of the Dead but not all comedies have to. I'd see Bad Grandpa, but I'd keep an open mind and really try and just enjoy it. If you do that, it's a pretty fun movie to watch. I give Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa 3.5 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing! Remember (even though I put this in every review), you can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at           

#tbt The American review

Happy Throwback Thursday!
I remember back when The American came out, it was marketed as a gripping action thriller. The American, while it is about assassins and some very thriller-esque elements, is not at all a pulse pounding action flick that it was marketed as in the trailers. It's about an assassin and gun craftsman (George Clooney) who is on vacation in Italy, when he is given a new assignment. He goes only by the name of Jack. It suits him well. Jack is a solitary man with features that seem to be made of stone. He is quiet and emanates an aura of cold intensity, like that of a samurai. He has a dangerous past, and the way things seem to be going, his future will be just as dangerous. Jack doesn't want the danger anymore. He falls in love with a beautiful young prostitute named Clara and wants to spend his life with her. His boss has other plans. I've heard many people complain about the very slow pacing of The American. I have no problem with it. For if the movie had been a fast paced actioner of the same tier as say, The Bourne movies, it would've been a completely different film with much less meaning. It wouldn't really have fit. The movie has the same pace like that of a slow burning time bomb. The film's pace is almost reflective of the main character. Slow yet intense, and seemingly cut-and-dry yet more complex after a second glance. I also think the movie's title is very fitting. Clooney's character is just that American to everyone. To many in the film, he's known simply as The American. There's nothing special about him, he's just doing his job. But on second glance, he's more than that. The character of Jack reminded me very much of Ryan Gosling's character in Drive. The same stoic features and intense persona, both hopelessly in love, yet bound for a short and violent life. The American is superior to Drive though, because it manages to bring you deeper into this character. The American is different than any assassin or spy film I've ever seen. It focuses much more on the character's inner struggles than on bad guys with guns. It relies more on it's beautiful use of Italian scenery than fast car chases. Not that there's anything wrong with a good car chase every once in a while.At one point, Clooney is sitting in a Italian cafe. Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in The West is playing on the television in the cafe. I think you could make a comparison to Charles' Bronson's harmonica playing gunslinger. A quiet and subdued anti-hero who does what needs to be done, and no more. Some will not like The American for it's slow pace and sometimes unexplained plot. Although the climax is worth it and when you see how it all comes together, it's quite satisfying. The American is not a perfect film by any means. I'm not even sure if I'd want to watch it again. But I am glad I watched it once, and I urge you to do the same. Happy Viewing and Happy Thanksgiving guys. 
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review

This movie ain't too bad despite the fact that the whole series is a ripoff of an awesome Japanese movie. Battle Royale came first people!
A soldier and it's fellow comrades stalk through a steamy foreign jungle. Bugs buzz around them, biting them. Their weapons are drawn. They just want to stay alive. This is war. What I am describing is the new Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire. At the same time, I'm also describing the Vietnam War. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), is the heroine of the Hunger Games films. She was the victor of the last games and is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. She goes hunting and lives with her family, trying to make things normal. But she is plagued to flashbacks and dreams and horrific images that all remind her of the awful experience that was the last Hunger Games. People applaud her and shower her with the attention that celebrities of today all get. She wants no part of it. It all seems so fake compared to her actual reality. All the excessive and ridiculousness of the Capitol (the central city of the dystopian world) seems unnecessary and almost cruel. She goes cross country on a Victory Tour. It's supposed to be a fun affair. But it is all a masquerade. She had become a Mockingjay to the people, a symbol of hope for the rebellion against the totalitarian government. Again, she really wants no part of this. To make matters worse she's shipped off to the Hunger Games again as part of President Snow's (Donald Sutherland) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) plan to destroy the image of Katniss as a beacon of hope for the downtrodden peoples. Yeah, things aren't looking to bright for Katniss Everdeen. So before I was making a comparison between Catching Fire and the Vietnam War. You see, I think these movies are pretty great and want to be serious deep films. Yet, they get caught up in pleasing the (mostly) teenage female audience and have to put in these cheesy forced "love" subplots. There's nothing wrong with a little romance here and there, but this movie doesn't need it. It's really about a girls struggle to stay sane in the face of war, similar to movies like Platoon and Apocalypse Now. It isn't really about the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. That stuff is in there for more for the entertainment and appeal of the Twilight audience. Honestly, this movie would be a lot better if it didn't shoehorn in stupid subplots like that. Besides those few issues, Catching Fire is an intense and fairly entertaining entree into the Hunger Games series. I think it's a decent entree into the dystopian sci-fi genre itself. Director Francis Lawrence certainly knows how to handle that stuff after his 2007 film, I Am Legend. Jennifer Lawrence (no relation to the director) gives a very nice performance here. She is already has an  Oscar and another nomination to go along with it. Lawrence does the whole wounded veteran thing as nicely as one can do the wounded veteran thing. I can't say the same for the rest of the cast. Woody Harrelson and Josh Hutcherson both do their roles fine, nothing special though, but Liam Hemsworth plays his character as if it were a block of wood with hair. Unlike his much more talented brother, Chris, Liam Hemsworth has yet to show he has any acting ability at all. Jena Malone (who I last saw in Donnie Darko, where's she been?) does a nice job as the very angry Joanna Mason. One of the best parts of the film in my opinion, was the effects and set pieces. There's one particular sweeping shot of the very realistic rain forest that was reminiscent of movies like Blood Diamond. It's really pretty cool how damn far we've come special effects wise. A lot of people have been saying how Catching Fire can't be that good because it's the middle of the series. Wrong, I say! Catching Fire is actually a lot better in my opinion than the first flick. And I actually really liked the first. This one is actually trying to be a deeper, more psychological movie. It doesn't always succeed, but it's quite good when it does. Despite it's pratfalls, I'd say it's a nicely done film. Looks like Catching Fire didn't burn out! (wink, wink). I give The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 3.6 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing everyone. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at  

#tbt Cloud Atlas review: A Revisitation

Even after my second viewing, this movie is still more confusing than a Rubik's cube wrapped in a puzzle box.
I saw Cloud Atlas about a year ago and felt very underwhelmed. I thought it too syrupy and strange to really like. I thought it was alright, but it didn't have a lasting effect on me. The mixed reviews convinced me not too go back for a second viewing. I soon forgot about the film. Yet, after a while I started to see some adamant defenses of the movie, the late Roger Ebert even gave it 4/4 stars. I figured I might as well give it another shot. I am quite glad I gave it another shot. Cloud Atlas is the most wonderfully confusing, yet fulfilling, movies I've seen in a while. For some reason the second time it really clicked. Maybe it's because I payed more attention, or maybe I just wasn't in the proper mood the first time. Point is, I really did benefit from a second viewing. Which is why I'm writing this review now, to give you my fresh opinion. Usually I give a plot synopsis in my reviews. I won't give one here, it'd just be too lengthy and confusing. What I will tell you is the movie is a series of six stories intertwined into a movie. The stories are definitely connected somehow, possibly through some external force or maybe reincarnation, but I'm not completely sure. Cloud Atlas is a movie where you have to pay very close attention. Look away for a minute and you'll miss some very big, and sometimes small, information. On my first viewing I thought I completely understood the film. I couldn't have been more wrong. On my second viewing I realized I had dismissed and just missed so many important and integral parts of the movie. I now know a third viewing would do me good, but I honestly don't think I'll ever truly understand this. Then again, that's sort of the beauty of Cloud Atlas. It's this crazy dream with so many crevices containing extra plot points and little cameos and things. I feel I could get something new each and every time. The story isn't the only good part of the film. There are some truly terrific performances here. Every actor plays a multitude of characters so there's a lot of room for experimentation and talent. Tom Hanks plays some of the better characters. Particularly a lying greedy doctor in 1849 and a heroic native on a post apocalyptic island among other characters. Jim Sturgess and Ben Whishaw are also both quite good. The real star here is the effects and camerawork. There are some really astounding shots here. The future segment in Neo Seoul is one of the more beautiful things I've seen in film since Life of Pi. I just don't understand why a movie so intricate and awesome as this got a total of zero Oscar nominations last year. Cloud Atlas is a dreamscape mixed with mythology and a little bit of epic thrown in there. It's extraordinary. It's not all perfect though. The movie is about three hours long. Most of it is really exciting and thought provoking, but it does drag at times and I feel like at least a good fifteen minutes could have been cut out. Although it wasn't a bad idea to have three directors to do this, I feel like the Wachowski siblings were perfectly capable of doing it all themselves. Nothing against Tom Tykwer, but it's obvious whose the more talented directors here. Of course The Matrix was great (I'm actually a fan of all three as strange as that sounds), but a lot of people lost hop in the Wachowski's after Speed Racer. Cloud Atlas shows not only that they know what they're doing, but that they cans still make an awesomely complex tale that transcends time and reality. Even knowing that I'll probably never really understand this film, I can take comfort in the fact that it's well done and just very interestingly cool in it's own way. If you've seen the movie, regardless your opinion, I urge you to see it again. I'll probably see it at least two more times before I can really be done with it. I feel like Cloud Atlas is slowly working its way into my list favorite movies. Strange, philosophical, and just overall awesome; I'd recommend it. As always, Happy Viewing and Happy Throwback Thursday! Also, sorry that I'm not putting this up on a Thursday. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

#tbt A Fistful of Dollars review

This is the western that all other westerns wish they were.
I absolutely love westerns. Some people think they're cliche and outdated. Personally, I think they're great. It seems westerns are going out of style, unfortunately. Yet there have been a few modern triumphs. For example; Django Unchained, 3:10 to Yuma, or The Coen Brother's True Grit remake. Back in the 50's and 60's, the Old West was in style. The days of John Wayne and the six shooter. One notable western star of the time was Clint Eastwood. Before he became the rambling old person he is now, he was in many films of the genre from The Outlaw Josey Wales to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is part of Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy (aka, The Man with No Name Trilogy). Starting with A Fistful of Dollars, arguably the best in the series. This movie is a classic western. Filled with shootouts, big dusty landscapes, and lots of Old Western weaponry. The plot is quite simple, yet it works so well. An unnamed drifter arrives in a small Mexican town and finds two rival families at war. He uses his incredible gun slinging skills and his wits to put the two families against each other, while also helping a mother get back to her family. There is a preconceived notion many people have that old movies are boring and not worth watching. I will admit, some older movies take on a slightly slower pace then would be desired. Yet, there are many old movies that are just as exciting as new ones. A Fistful of Dollars is one of those. It's an enjoyable and fun film that doesn't sacrifice content and quality for more action. I can honestly say this goes up with some of my favorite westerns of all time like Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid and Django Unchained. One major component to the film is it's incredible score from Ennio Morricone. Morricone did the musical scores for most of Sergio Leone's films. His awesome score for A Fistful of Dollars adds more to the film than most soundtracks usually do. I think only Jurassic Park has ever had a score so powerful and important to it's movie. Movies like Dollars paved the way for more modern "neo westerns' like No Country for Old Men, 2 Guns, and practically every Robert Rodriguez movie. Without great westerns like this, the movie industry itself would be completely different. It's something you could call revolutionary. A landmark in filmmaking. It also boasts one of he most memorable performances Eastwood has ever given. To some (not me), A Fistful of Dollars seems very outdated and cliche today. I think it is not. A Fistful of Dollars is one of the movies that were so well done, that it was copied off of and used as example. This is THE western. I think it's a real shame there aren't more westerns out there today. It's a great genre. And A Fistful of Dollars is a great film. Happy Viewing and Happy Throwback Thursday. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at

Monday, November 11, 2013

Salinger review

What a phony.
J.D. Salinger is one of the most famous American writers of all time. He wrote on of the most famous American novels of all time, The Catcher in the Rye. This documentary is all about him. Yet, it seems to completely miss the point of J.D. Salinger as a man. Salinger was a man who hated all the spotlights and falseness of Hollywood. This movie forgets that and makes J.D. Salinger out to be some heroic writing god. He wasn't all that. Salinger said himself that he's just a fiction writer. Yeah he wrote a fantastic book that really personified the feelings some people had but he was just a great writer. At first glance the film seems like it might be trying to make the point that he was just a man, but it quickly goes off the rails and makes him seem like some sort of Jesus figure. J.D. Salinger would've hated this movie. I think Holden Caulfield would've hated this too. It's just as phony and cheesy as all the things Catcher in the Rye was against. Every damn frame of the film is followed by swells of classical music, the end of the movie felt so saccharine and syrupy that I almost puked. The film doesn't even explain most of the man's life. His childhood is barely even mentioned, it just dwells on how messed up the guy got from WWII. They have all these celebrities lined up talking about how damn great Salinger and his works are when really the famous people are just there to catch your eye and distract you. Also, why the hell did Shane Salerno direct this out of anyone in the movie world? The guys written such astounding classics as Savages and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. I was being sarcastic as you probably know but I didn't want to cause any confusion. Savages had the worst ending I've seen in any movie in a while, and AvP is just crap. And this is the guy we're trusting to handle our J.D. Salinger documentary. The whole thing just feels shoddy and fake. A lot of the interviews are shot with unnecessary and obvious green screen that takes away from everything some of the people are saying. The synopsis was saying that the documentary was absorbing. That couldn't be further from the truth. Salinger is boring, misguided, and overall pretty dull. The whole thing seems as if some overexcited high schooler made this for his school project, except had a much larger budget. At many points during the film I had a strong urge to just walk away from it or take out my phone. I actually found myself getting angry at the movie. As I said before, it's so stupid and phony. It's nothing like it should have been. Maybe if this had been made as a biopic with lots of talent attached, like The Aviator, it would've been better. This sorry excuse for a documentary disgraces the Salinger name. I know that sounds like a bit much, but this movie really bugged the hell out of me. It didn't inspire me or make me feel anything. Except for contempt. The only thing this film made me want to do was write an angry letter to Shane Salerno and reread Catcher in the Rye to try and forget this phony movie. Some people may like the documentary, I am not one of them. At the end of Salinger there's a long credits sequence which is basically a "subtle" commercial for some of Salinger's works that will be published soon. I get that these books are going to be famous and groundbreaking but please don't put a dumb message at the end of this dumb movie hitting you over the head with the notion that maybe you should read the books. J.D. Salinger would not approve. I saw a trailer for this movie a few weeks ago. It's already on Netflix. No wonder. This crappy doc should have never been released in the first place. I loved Catcher in the Rye. It's probably in my Top Five favorite books. This movie takes all the greatness of Salinger and his writings and does what never should have been done. Hollywood-ized it. I'll say it once and I'll say it again. This film is phony. I give Salinger 1.5 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing (just not of this). You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!      

Thursday, November 7, 2013

#tbt Fargo review

Any movie in which a character gets fed to a wood chipper is bound to be worth a watch.
Fargo is about a regular guy named Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy). Jerry has money problems. So he does what any reasonable person would do, have his wife kidnapped for ransom money by two crooks (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare). Just a regular thing anyone would do. Except the cut-and-dry plan turns sour and Jerry get's thrown into a whole murderous mess he never wanted to be in. It doesn't help that Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), a pregnant police officer, is very persistent on solving the case. Yeah, it's not looking too good for Mr. Lundegaard. So, as you may or may not know, I love Joel and Ethan Coen (aka The Coen Brothers). One of my favorite movies of all time is The Big Lebowski. I loved True Grit and A Serious Man. Raising Arizona and Burn After Reading were hilarious too. And I of course am looking forward to their newest film, Inside Llewyn Davis. Fargo is no exception. I loved it. It's not their best film (The Big Lebowski obviously takes that spot), but it comes close. The Coen's have a knack for making some dark situations very comedic. Like when they scatter the ashes in The Big Lebowski, or pretty much everything that happens in A Serious Man. Fargo is what you'd call a black comedy. It takes uncomfortable and sometimes very grisly situations and makes them bitingly funny. At one point Frances McDormand's character sees a bloody dead corpse and seems repulsed, but she simply regards it as "morning sickness". I found myself laughing at a lot of the nice dark humor here. It's really no wonder The Coen Bros. won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for this! The cast here certainly helps deliver some of the hilarity here. William H. Macy is pretty good here as the troubled family man caught up in the mess. He, like most of the cast, nails the Minnesota accent. Peter Stormare and Steve Buscemi also give some nice performances as the idiotic criminals. Yet, all of their great performances seem like nothing compared to Frances McDormand's hilarious (and Oscar winning) cop. She does the best job in the entire film and gives some of the most memorable lines. Really what Fargo does so well is take some strange (and very cold) slice of the country, and present this great crime comedy that's done so well on so many levels. Even if you don't love the film, you cna at least appreciate how it's an example of damn good filmmaking. I feel like I definitely got something out of it. Fargo is the kind of movie I'd want to watch again. Just to get a fuller sense of the story and pick up all of the meaning. It's also just an enjoyable film that I'd enjoy viewing again. It's bloody, strange, dark, but overall, it is good! The tagline for Fargo is that "a lot can happen in the middle of nowhere". A lot did. And that's what makes this movie good. At times while watching it I questioned whether it was going to be good at all. By the end, al those doubts had been put to rest. I really liked Fargo. Happy Throwback Thursday and Happy Viewing guys! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Counselor review

Cormac McCarthy is one messed-up dude. Seriously.
I first saw the trailer for The Counselor at screening a few months ago. It seemed like the perfect film. A seemingly exciting thriller about drugs, girls, guns, and intrigue. With a terrific cast of such greats as Brad Pitt, Micheal Fassbender, and Javier Bardem. Written by Cormac McCarthy! Writer of No Country for Old Men (the book)! And best of all, directed by Ridley Scott. THE Ridley Scott. Director of Blade Runner and Gladiator. I honestly thought this was going to be one of the better films of the year. Then, when I saw some of the early reviews for The Counselor coming out. I was kind of bummed. The reviews were increasingly negative. With all the talent involved, how could this possibly be bad? Well for one, I don't think it is really bad. It's not overwhelmingly good, but it has some nice things about it and I think it's been generally misunderstood. First off, the plot. A successful lawyer known only as The Counselor (Micheal Fassbender), seems to have it all. An attractive wife, Laura (Penelope Cruz). Money. Nice cars. But things start to go south for him when he gets involved with a drug deal that goes very, very bad. So, I went in to The Counselor with generally low expectations because of what I'd seen in reviews. Yet, my love for Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy brought me to the theater to see the film. I was scared that the movie would be a black hole in movie history. An abundance of talent that collapsed under its own weight. Luckily for me, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe it was because I thought it was going to be so bad, but I kind of liked The Counselor. The reason I believe it seems to be almost universally hated is because everyone had such high expectations for it. Sure, Ridley Scott could have done better, but he's not always great. I think this was better than Black Hawk Down. Cormac McCarthy I think did a damn good job with the screenplay. I know a lot of people think differently, but it wasn't bad. His dialogue is very symbolic and poetic. It seems strange coming out of actual people. I think it would be better suited to a novel, but it kind of works here. The reason is because the world that Cormac created isn't a normal world. People talk differently. People act differently. Rules that apply in our world don't apply in his world. The world of The Counselor is this gritty and strange reality where everyone has a secret and no one can be trusted. It's truly pretty interested. Then again, I'm not saying The Counselor is so great. But I am saying it's very underrated. What I think people were expecting is a fast-paced bulletfest comparable to a more violent James Bond flick. What they got was a much more slower paced and dialogue driven thriller. I liked The Counselor more than I expected to. The performances were decent. Micheal Fassbender is constantly proving himself to be a capable and great actor. He just came off a great role in 12 Years a Slave, and now he was damn good in this. The rest of the cast is just alright. Good, but nothing special. Cameron Diaz plays this evil woman who seems to control everything. She's certainly trying, but I don't think she was all that good to begin with. Yet, Fassbender's performance is enough. Ridley Scott's direction is kind of weirdly slow and focuses more on the characters than usual. It's not his best job but it's more than just alright. The best part of the movie are the interesting neo-noir story that Cormac can do so well. Overall I was impressed compared to all the negative buzz that surrounded it. Some reviewers called it "a boring mess" and "an empty, nasty piece of work". I don't think it's deserving of all the hate. It could be better, but I was pleasantly surprised. I think it's safe to say I liked The Counselor. I didn't love it, but I did like it. This just goes to show you can't always listen to the critics. For example, last year's Lincoln got bombarded with praise and award nominations. Yet, I found it to be an incredibly boring film that boarded on painfully slow. Most critics seemed to hate this movie and yet I found it to be fairly well done. It's not for everyone, but I'd say it's worth a watch. I give The Counselor 3.4 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at        

#tbt Grindhouse review

Happy Throwback Thursday guys! Even though it's not Thursday.
 Sorry about that. Quentin Tarantino, weird as he can be, is one of my favorite directors. Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs... The list goes on. I pretty much love all of his movies. Back in 2007, Robert Rodriguez (a fellow director and Quentin's bud) and Tarantino himself decided to team up and make a double feature in the homage to those old poorly made exploitation pictures they all loved when they were a kid. The product was Grindhouse. Although I'm not old enough to have seen said exploitation flicks back in the 60's and 70's, I am old enough to enjoy the nice mixture of sheer insanity and genius that is Grindhouse. There are two full movies in the Grindhouse package. The first, Planet Terror, is a grossly over-the-top zombie film directed and written by Robert Rodriguez. It stars such big name actors as Josh Brolin and Bruce Willis, even Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas shows up for a short cameo (but I'm not sure how necessary that was). The plot of Planet Terror is that a scientist (Naveen Andrews, or as you may know him, Sayid from Lost) "accidentally" unleashes a gas turning people into bloodthirsty lunatics. So a loner, an ex-go go dancer, a bartender, and Josh Brolin's character's wife try and stay alive and find out what's happening. Next is Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, but in between the two is packed with a few fake trailers and commercials that are actually great. First is Machete, directed by Robert Rodriguez, which is less of a fake trailer because that actually turned into a real movie with the same plot line as the trailer promised. Then there's Werewolf Women of the SS. Which is as stupid and ridiculous as it sounds. But it does have a funny cameo from Nicholas Cage. Rob Zombie directed that one. After that was Don't, directed by the great Edgar Wright. That one was about some haunted house, but it was done in such a way I was cracking up throughout the entire trailer. Lastly was Eli Roth's slasher-parody, Thanksgiving. That one was almost as funny (and bloody) as the rest of the trailers. Honestly, even if you hated the two films in Grindhouse (which I did not) the trailers make the whole thing worthwhile. Finally, there is Death Proof. The plot of Death Proof is there's two groups of girls who are being stalked by psychopathic murderer, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russel) who kills with his 'death proof'car. After the sickeningly bloody Planet Terror, Death Proof was a nice break. It was violent, but it was much more dialogue-centric (as are most of Tarantino's movies). I enjoyed Death Proof a lot. It had some fun dialogue and characters, and it was more enjoyable in a sense than Planet Terror was. I didn't hate Planet Terror though. It had some strangely fun moments. Like for example, Rose McGowan's character has a machine gun for a leg that she uses to kill zombies. This is ridiculous, but it works for this movie. Rodriguez added in a lot more of the 'grindhouse' feel' to his film than Tarantino did. While Planet Terror constantly had the dirty cheap exploitation feeling to it, Death Proof used it a lot less. In Planet Terror Robert Rodriguez added in a "missing reel" to add to the feel. Tarantino did that too. Yet in Planet Terror, the reel was used to tie up loose ends and make the story easier for Rodriguez. While in Death Proof, the missing reel was added only for the feel, not as a plot device. It's obvious that Quentin Tarantino is more talented than Robert Rodriguez. Never the less, I still really enjoy most of Rodriguez's stuff. I liked Planet Terror, but Death Proof was just a bit better. Either way, the entire Grindhouse feature is a terrifically fun time that I would certainly watch again. So yeah, I recommend it! Happy Viewing guys. Remember you can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!