HVO: 'Death Proof' and 'In Bruges'
GRINDHOUSE: DEATH PROOF (DVD 2007, action thriller)
Cast: Kurt Russell, Kurt Rusell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Rose McGowan, Zoe Bell and Tracie Thoms
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Time: 105 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)
GRINDHOUSE refers to a type of exploitation film of the '60s and '70s that promotes sex-and-gore fare for the run-down urban cinemas and drive-in theatres. 'Grindhouse' is actually a double feature (two flicks in one) featuring Robert Rodriguez's 'Planet Terror' and Tarantino's 'Death Proof'. The two movies are sold separately on DVD here.
In 'Death Proof', Russell is Stuntman Mike, a guy who has suffered so many blows to the head that he is psychotic. He picks up a girl for a ride in his souped-up car that she'll never forget. When he's done with her, he goes back to play with her friends, who are paying too much attention to the radio and too little attention to the road. Later, he decides to play a game of terror with another group of women, but this time around, he meets his match. Typically Tarantino, this one is both a tribute and a satire of the exploitation flicks of yore.
IN BRUGES (DVD 2008, black comedy)
Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes and Clemence Poesy
Writer-director: Martin McDonagh
Time: 107 mins
Rating: * * *
BRUGES is an old and picturesque Belgian town and this is where two hitmen, Ray and Ken (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson), are sent to to await further instructions after one of them botched up a hit. However, when Ken finally gets his instructions from his boss Harry (Fiennes), he is not happy with it - and that's when a comedy of tragic errors ensues.
'In Bruges' is as much a character study as a comedy - and it is interesting to see Farrell in a comedic role - as direct opposite to Gleeson's Ken. For while Ken is an easy-going guy, Ray is impulsive and highly strung - until he meets a pretty girl (Poesy) in the town. It is not a film for hardcore action fans - and the ending may disappoint. I like it for its offbeat, devil-may-care humour we seldom get in mainstream flicks.