Thursday, October 12, 2006

Trailer Thursday ... with Grindhouse!

Before I go any further, a quick word of praise for YouTube. Whatever it was originally designed for, it has quickly evolved into my single greatest time waster at work, and for that I can only say thank you.

Especially when it brings something as wild as this. For anyone somehow still in the dark, ubergeeks Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have teamed up for "Grindhouse," which will actually be to back-to-back short features, complete with fake trailers in between the two.

Count me as at best mildly excited about this project. Don't get me wrong, I love them both, Quentin unconditionally and Robert, well, about half the time. He's made some truly great flicks ("Spy Kids," "El Mariachi" and, of course, "Sin City"), but he's also made some real dogs (the "Spy Kids" sequels and the two awful flicks that followed in the "El Mariachi" series).

However, he's a guy who clearly has fun making movies. The key question is always will anyone else have any with his finished product. After watching the trailer for his half of "Grindhouse," which will be called "Planet Terror," I can only offer a tepid "I think so."

What does it have going for it? Well, a scantily clad Rose MacGowan doesn't exactly turn me off, and the hero is Danny Trejo's Machete, who has turned up in most of Rodriguez's movies and who is, without getting too technical, a very bad man. Plus, who wouldn't want to ride a motorcycle loaded with very heavy artillery off a ramp, taking out all your nemeses on the way?

What's bad? Well, you can tell right away it's gonna be very, very bloody, so if that's not your thing, look away. Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion that the cheesy '70s look will wear thin well before the end.

Anyways, I promised you a trailer, so here it is. I can no longer find it on YouTube, so click here and enjoy it courtesy of AICN. And, as always, tell me what you think.

Terry Gilliam takes to the streets

Just as often as YouTube can bring us something fun like that, it can bring something truly tragic. Like Terry Gilliam begging on the streets of New York, just for the right to get his films seen.

Now, Terry Gilliam is, first and foremost, a prankster, and you can definitely look at this as a stunt. But if you think about it for even a second, it's also really depressing.

Gilliam's troubles securing distribution for "Tideland," his new movie about a girl who turns inward and starts talking only to her own dolls after her mother's death, have been well-documented. It will get an opening in at least one theater in New York tomorrow, but probably very few more after that.

The most depressing thing about this whole mess is that Gilliam has brought much of it on himself by being so obstinant. "Lost in La Mancha," the great documentary about his failed attempt to make a Don Quixote flick, shows that once he gets an idea in his head, he sticks to it, even if no one else is willing to go with him.

But no filmmaker should be forced into this stunt he performed recently outside the studios of "The Daily Show." If you can take it, click here to see for yourself. Just remember, I did warn you that it's fairly painful viewing.

15 comments:

carrie_lofty said...

Gilliam's was a stunt ;) Although I find it depressing that I have seen various films at festivals, go home and rave about them, and then... nothing. No distribution deal, no DVD release. Friends have to trust me that they were great, but no one will see for themselves. Sweetland was like that. Best film I've ever seen that NO ONE else (practically) has seen.

And Grindhouse - don't you think they're just trying too hard these days? Think about Reservoir Dogs and El Mariache... great, low budget, hungry, stunning, direct, and not so damn much of an HOMAGE to other eras. And Rose McGowan as a sleezy stripper? Lazy casting! I'll probably see it eventually, but you're right - only tepid interest. Sigh...

Reel Fanatic said...

'm pretty much with you on Grindhouse, Salome ... It definitely seems like they're coasting with this one, especially with Tarantino's half, which is apparently about some kind of killer car, a la Christine ... sheesh

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that Gilliam has made some truly good films. He should not have to resort to stunts. In fact, I don't know which is worse--being forced to resort to stunts or actually resorting to them!

Anyhow, I have to agree with y'all about Grindhouse. I think Tarantino and Rodriguez may just be trying too hard with this one.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of YouTube, have you seen this Lauren Graham interview with Craig Ferguson? It made me giggle. Quite a bit...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOYPNc__cTk

Reel Fanatic said...

If you haven't seen "Lost in La Mancha," Mercurie, I really recommend it highly .. it can be hard to watch as he fails so epicly, but it really highlights all his strengths, and definitely his weaknesses, as a filmmaker

marina said...

YouTube is deadly. I stay away as much as possible because when I do end up there...hours before I can pull myself away.

I think the "Grindhouse" trailer looks awesome in that uber cheese, 70's exploitation flick. Certainly not for everyone but totally up my alley. Can't wait!

D. Paul said...

Gilliam's a visionary, but Hollywood's like Capital Hill. You have to have a certain amount of flexibility if you want to get things done. I applaud his ideals and all, but worry that in the end, the audience is the one that suffers when every other Gilliam project falls by the wayside, just 'cause he doesn't want to play nice with the bigwigs.

As for Grindhouse, I think it's simply a case of two directors who have been handed Carte Blanche, indulging themselves with no one to keep them in check. They're so enormously popular, that no studio exec in their right mind would tell them no. It's a shame, too. Grindhouse could have been a neat little movie, but instead it plays out as terribly self indulgent.

And man, do I talk too much. But Anonymous, that Lauren Graham clip is the funniest interview I have ever seen...

Reel Fanatic said...

It definitely does seem more than a little self-indulgent to me too, D. Paul, and particularly disappointing for Quentin given two ideas he apparently had his sights on before his adult ADD kicked in .. One was sewing together the two parts of Kill Bill for a DVD release, which would be amazing, and the second was a World War II flick, a new genre for him that would have been fascinating, even if he flopped

Anonymous said...

I thought so too! It was the first of Ferguson I had ever seen. Do we know if he's always that funny or was it just her Gilmorish presence?

Lori said...

Gilliam cracks me up. Of course, the fact that he actually took and kept that money he panhandled is a little...uh...weird. But whatever. I did see 'La Mancha,' it is a fascinatingly sad study in all that can go wrong when making a movie. Gilliam is certainly one of the great filmmakers of all time in my book, but I have no doubt that the guy is a real pain in the a** to deal with.

As for 'Grindhouse,' I'm actually looking forward to that. Yeah, it might be total self-indulgence on their parts...but these guys always get my money 'cause I know whatever it is, I'll have fun watching it. They've also hired two of my favorite underrated actors, Kurt Russell and Michael Biehn. They get points with me for that too.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm with you on Kurt Russell replacing Michey Rourke in Quentin's half, Lori ... I'm glad Mickey got his moment back in the sun with Sin City, but by the end of that one I had seen just about enough of him already

Anonymous said...

First of all, thanks for stopping by my little neck of the woods.

And second, you have a fabulous site. Thanks for the info about some movies I would normally never hear about. And Gilliam's panhandling just has to be a stunt...and he probably had a lot of fun doing it...as I had fun watching it.

Bubba

Jeff Msangi said...

This is definetely a great blog,loved the set up and the topics.I for one also enjoyed youtube.com.I loved the jokes,the rarely seen interview,the music,just to name the few.
Thanks for stopping by at my site as well.Thanks

Reel Fanatic said...

I finally got around to watching that Lauren Graham clip, ye who chooses to remain anonymous, and I can only offer a hearty thanks .. she is almost always that funny on the Gilmore Girls, and I love that Ferguson just let her go, even when she started riffing on cannibalism

wcdixon said...

Love the blog - very well put together.

Gilliam shot Tideland up here about 20 minutes from me in mid west Canada...and as much as he has had his moments, nobody should be able to get away with the 'I am god' stuff he pulled off. But then again - nobody here was going to challenge him...all were too gaga.