Friday, September 14, 2007

Camera Obscura - Death Proof Arrives; Return of MSTK3

The DVD market is always offering variations on movies and television unlike ever before. Expanded, revised, re-cut and usually without ratings, movies have a freedom not seen since the MPAA ratings board was created in the late 1960s.

Next Tuesday will bring Quentin Tarantino's portion of this year's "Grindhouse" double-bill of B-movie fun, titled "Death Proof." What you won't see on the DVD are any of the fake previews which were part of the theatrical release between "Planet Terror" and "Death Proof."

What you will get though, is the full-length version of the movie, which some viewers did not like, and some did. I did, no doubts there. Especially when Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), who has been killing off innocent victims with his car, gets the car chase game played on him by a group of Stunt-Women who are filming in Lebanon, TN when Mike arrives to frighten them.

Another extra treat on the DVD is a featurette of Tarantino's longtime collaborator, film editor Sally Menke. As his movies jump through time so often, her work is worthy of much consideration, as she keeps the narrative focused in all of his movies.

Scenes never shown in the theatrical release get their day on this release, and I am most eager to see it for some other reasons too: so much of the film was dialog, and I want to slow the pace down and explore it. While many of his movies have very strong female leads, there was much discussion among the characters about relationships and sexuality, and I'm curious to review that script.

Another featurette on the disc will provide more details on stunt woman Zoe Bell, whose terrifying ride on a car hood in "Death Proof" was just stunning.

While I think folks who did not see the original double-bill release missed a great old-fashioned drive-in event, I have no problems with the two movies being split up for DVD release. I liked them both very much and will be happy to own them both.


If you miss the once-regular TV presence of Mystery Science Theater 3000, new hope has arrived on DVD.

Now calling themselves The Film Crew, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett are back skewering bad movies from the sidelines as you watch with the release of their direct-to-DVD release called "The Film Crew: Wild Women of Wongo."

And I'm not alone in my appreciation of the guys as they rip into a very, very awful movie "Wild Women of Wongo."

"Since "Wild Women Of Wongo" is filled with the worst line deliveries ever uttered, blue haired people, and a yappy parrot who is everywhere at once, the Film Crew has no problem ripping into this trashy semi-S&M-ish movie. One of the benefits of these DVDs is that Mike, Bill, and Kevin can be a bit more R-rated. No, they don't simply spout profanities. They do, however, make clever sexual innuendos that are often times the most memorable bits. In addition, the crew does a great job of pointing out how the characters in the film resemble the likes of Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons," Bam-Bam from the Flintstones," and Cher."

Certainly worth a rental if you can find one, and as I understand it, more releases from The Film Crew are ahead.


Writer Cormac McCarthy is getting several big screen adaptations of his work, with the upcoming "No Country For Old Men" by the Coen brothers, and Ridley Scott has "Blood Meridian" set for 2009. Word comes this week that McCarthy's "The Road" is in the pipeline and actor ViggoMortensen may be getting the lead. More details here.

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