Now that Argotnaut and I are back in the southeast part of Portland, we are much closer to several of the second-run theaters that are near and dear to my heart. My love of the Laurelhurst Theater is well known. But we are also within walking distance of the Bagdad Theater. This gives me a chance to go catch a flick at a moment's notice whenever A has a bunch of homework that will keep her confined to her office and I'm a bit at loose ends. Such was the case last night, when I decided to go see "300" and "Grindhouse," two movies -- actually three if you count "Grindhouse" as two, because it's comprised of both "Planet Terror" and "Deathproof" -- that I'd been waiting to show up at the second-run theaters.
So here are my one sentence reviews of each flick:
300 review: I gotta start to do some crunches.
Planet Terror review: Rose McGowan; god -- DAMN! But I bet the machine gun was easier to walk on then those shoes.
Deathproof review: Kurt Russell is awesome.
Okay, seriously (sorta) I kinda liked 300 the best. The story was juvenile and the history fast-and-loose at best. But for a visual experience, it was breathtaking. Hell, the closing credits sequence alone had more visual ingenuity than most movies made today. Movies are hands down THE media for delivery of images, and "300" is the kind of thing only movies can do, and one of the reasons I think big screens will always be with us regardless of how big our plasma TVs get.
"Grindhouse" was good, too, and I recommend it for those who like their humor grimy. Some of the conventions were a bit too precious for me -- the fake negative scratches, the low-fi soundtrack, the bad framing -- given the CGI machine gun attached to Rose McGowan's leg and the obviously high budget necessary to pull off the awesome car chase at the end of "Death Proof." Also a bit precious is the fact that Rodriguez and Tarentino both are such clever filmmakers that they couldn't help but do accomplished work even while trying to pretend not to. But at the same time, I like that the directors obviously wanted to do something fun and different, and the "coming attractions," like "Werewolf Women of the SS" alone were worth the price of admission.
Now I'm afraid I must venture to the multi-plex and see "Spider-man 3," since it's one of the few films I think will be necessary to see with the full "Doubly" treatment. But probably I'll go see "The Lives of Others" first. Damn, I'm elitist.