(aka "Grindhouse -- Death Proof" )

 

directed by Quentin Tarantino
USA 2007

 

Mr. Tarantino is another story — a connoisseur, a scholar and a bit of a highbrow. Not a snob though. Quite the opposite: He combs through trash in search of art and has done a lot to teach American audiences (and critics) to appreciate the formal seriousness and aesthetic sophistication of, for example, Asian action movies. Death Proof is in part a sincere tribute to the work of Monte Hellman, whose films have ascended from the fetor of their low-rent origins into the purer air of art houses and museum retrospectives, which is where they belong. Mr. Hellman was always a serious filmmaker, and Mr. Tarantino is too.

At a certain point in Death Proof the scratches and bad splices disappear, and you find yourself watching not an arch, clever pastiche of old movies and movie theaters but an actual movie. You are not laughing at deliberately clumsy camera work but rather admiring the grace and artistry of the shots — in particular a long take in which the camera circles around a group of women talking in a diner. At his best — in parts of Pulp Fiction, in Jackie Brown, in sections of Kill Bill, Vol. 2 — Mr. Tarantino strips away the quotation marks and finds a route through his formal virtuosity and his encyclopedic knowledge of film history back to the basics of character, action and story.

Death Proof is a decidedly modest picture, fittingly enough given its second billing in this double feature. But its scaled-down ambition is part of its appeal. It consists of long stretches of talk — the rambling, profane banter that is Mr. Tarantino’s hallmark as a writer — interrupted by kinetic bouts of automotive mayhem.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Posters

Theatrical Release: 6 April 2007 (USA)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Genius Products (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Yunda Eddie Feng for the Review!

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CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Genius Products

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 113 min
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.74 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio DD 5.1 English, DD 5.1 French, DD 5.1 Italian
Subtitles Optional English SDH, Spanish
Features Release Information:
Studio: Genius Products

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Music Selections
• International Trailer
• Poster Gallery
• previews for other movies
• Stunts on Wheels: The Legendary Drivers of Death Proof
• Introduction Zoe Bell
• Kurt Russel 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

DVD Release Date: 18 September 2007
slim double keepcase

Chapters 21

 

 

Comments:

Video:
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen image varied wildly in quality. The first half of the movie has been beat up and degraded to resemble badly-handled grindhouse film prints. Expect to see a lot of lines, scratches, dirt, and other blemishes. There are a lot of jittery moments and minute jump cuts to simulate bad splices. At 56:10, the film transitions from damaged color to black-and-white. This is when the movie drops the grindhouse look in favor of pristine quality. The black-and-white looks fantastically cool and stylish. At 1:02:34, the film transitions from black-and-white to un-damaged color. I suppose this is because Tarantino wanted to showcase the extended road chase that dominates the second half of the movie.

Audio:
Even though Death Proof was meant to re-create the grindhouse experience, the DD 5.1 English track is very much a contemporary interpretation of grindhouse happenings. As with the video, there are hiccups, drop-outs, hisses, scratches, and plenty of general wear-and-tear during the first half of the movie. However, this is an action movie made in the 21st Century, so expect plenty of zooms and pounding noises assaulting you from every direction. The subwoofer gives a throaty roar whenever a character puts pedal to the metal. This is an aggressive, dynamic mix that doesn’t suffer from the same technological limitations that 1970s’-era grindhouse features did.

You can also watch the movie with DD 5.1 French and DD 5.1 Italian dubs. (Presumably, the Italian dub pays tribute to the director’s love of Italian genre flicks and the zany, hilarious dubbing that was used in spaghetti westerns.) Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles support the audio.

*Note: The packaging indicates that Disc 1 includes a DD 5.1 Spanish dub, but this is an error.

Extras:
--Disc 1--
Tarantino is a talkative guy, so it’s a little surprising that he’s been shy about audio commentaries. This release of Death Proof continues the trend--no yak track.

In addition to the usual Scene Selections, this DVD has Music Selections that lets you jump to specific music cues. You can listen to extended cues for three songs. As Death Proof was released as a stand-alone entity outside of the U.S., you get the movie’s international trailer and a gallery of international posters. There are also previews for other Genius DVDs.

--Disc 2--
“Stunts on Wheels: The Legendary Drivers of Death Proof” shines the light on the people who made the second half of the movie an exciting set piece. “Introduction Zoe Bell” familiarizes viewers with stuntwoman Zoe Bell. In “Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike”, the lead actor enthuses about how much he enjoyed working with Tarantino. “Finding Quentin’s Gals” details Tarantino’s work with the ladies in the cast.

“The Uncut Version of ‘Baby, It’s You’ Performed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead” is exactly what it sounds like. “The Guys of Death Proof” celebrates the character actors whom Tarantino favors when casting for his movies. In “Quentin’s Greatest Collaborator: Editor Sally Menke”, Tarantino talks about how great his editor is. Oddly, Menke doesn’t appear in the featurette. Half of this featurette is an assemblage of bloopers with people saying hello to Menke.

Finally, there’s a trailer for Double Dare, which is a documentary about stuntwomen (including Zoe Bell).

--Miscellaneous--
Genius Products opted for a slim double keepcase to house the DVDs. You get a cardboard slipcover and a $5 coupon for Planet Terror, which will be released on DVD later this year.

 - Yunda Eddie Feng

 



DVD Menus
 


 

Disc 2

 


Screen Captures


subtitle sample

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Genius Products

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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