Monday, April 26, 2010
Missing in Action: Grindhouse (theatrical version)
This week's Missing in Action is about Grindhouse. The movies have been released separately in unrated versions, but we have never seen the entire experience on dvd. Well, not in this country at least.
Japan saw a 6-disc set of Grindhouse that included everything that we saw stateside and included the entire Grindhouse movie that was shown in theaters. This is something that bugs me and I will probably be talking about this further in another Missing in Action segment, but why do other countries get better editions of American movies. You would think that we would get them, but we don't. Anyway, the only release that has the 3-hour version of Grindhouse is Japan and that release is out of print.
So where is our theatrical version? Robert Rodriguez tweeted that he was working on a 15-minute Cooking School for the Grindhouse release, but that was some time ago. The Weinstein Company need to get on the ball with this release.
So what are we missing? As a whole, we are missing the theater experience. Grindhouse tried to recapture a time in American cinema that few people remember and that was the problem with the movie. Few people even knew what the term "grindhouse" meant. But the movie was an experience. It transported us back to when double features were all the rage.
There is another problem with Grindhouseand it is the second half. Death Proof is a terrible movie. It's a horror movie that has no horror in it. Tarantino tried to mix a car movie with a slasher movie and it just doesn't work. Tarantino is a self proclaimed cult movie nut and yet he makes a movie that they wouldn't have made in the 70's. There is a saying that goes: just because you know the notes doesn't mean you can play the music. Death Proof is a perfect example of this. All the notes are there, but the music doesn't sound the same.
For all of Grindhouse's flaws, there are things that are brilliant. Planet Terror is one of Robert Rodriguez's best movie. This movie looks and feels like a 70's movie, minus the girl with a gun for a leg. And the trailers are spot on.
I own the Japanese set and I love it, but this movie screams to be released here in the states. Even if they were to release the movie barebones, fans would still buy it up just to have to Grindhouse experience at home. The movie has aired on Starz as a complete movie and it has been shown in HD as well, so you know that The Weinstein Company already has the tools to release this and yet, they haven't.