Planet Terror-Extended Version: Special Edition (2007)

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Released 13-Mar-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Animation
Audio Commentary-by director Robert Rodriguez
Featurette-Comic Con 2006, directors and cast of Grindhouse
Featurette-10 Minute Film School
Featurette-The Badass Babes of Planet Terror
Featurette-The Guys of Planet Terror
Featurette-Casting Rebel
Featurette-Sickos, Bullets and Explosions: The Stunts of Planet Terror
Featurette-The Friend, the Doctor and the Real Estate Agent
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 101:14
RSDL / Flipper RSDL
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robert Rodriguez
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Rose McGowan
Freddy Rodríguez
Josh Brolin
Marley Shelton
Jeff Fahey
Michael Biehn
Rebel Rodriguez
Bruce Willis
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Graeme Revell
Carl Thiel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Planet Terror is one half of the arguably failed Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino experiment Grindhouse, a double feature tribute to the B- grade exploitation flicks of the 60s and 70s. A relative critical success, it was a surprising box office failure in the US and prompted Miramax to scrap the concept and release the films separately in overseas markets and on DVD.

Planet Terror is Robert Rodriguez' contribution to the project and is a resounding success. It's an enjoyable homage and Rodriguez literally cuts loose with an impressive level of action, humour, gross out moments and grindhouse style. As a filmmaker he continues to impress in more than a few ways. He has a serious eye for talent, casting lesser known or underused actors as well as sprinkling in a good dose of friends both famous, unknowns, relatives not to mention his real-life doctor and real estate agent. The cast is great and includes Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton, Fergie, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Quentin Tarantino, Tom Savini , Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, Naveen Andrews and Bruce Willis.

Technically, it's a big budget film but was shot relatively cheaply as Miramax was funding two films with the budget for one. He can certainly squeeze more bang for the studio's buck than most directors. An example is Bruce Willis' cameo in the film. Willis was in a few pivotal scenes but was only on set for two days. Sin City was shot in 10 days, this didn't take much longer. Not many directors can do that at all, let alone without comprising quality.

The music is awesome, yet another talent of Robert Rodriguez. I haven't been able to get the grinding theme song out of my head. Like he mentions in one of the featurettes, he wanted a song that was dirty so he went out and wrote one. It opens the film with much effect using the feminine assets of Rose McGowan as eye candy. It's an opening that is cheap, dirty, almost offensive and yet perfectly sums up the era that the film is trying to capture. It also acts as an effective intro to the main character and the change she is attempting to make in her life.

This version of Planet Terror is an extended version that is longer than the Grindhouse version, but is the same as the theatrical version for Australia.

It's never going to win any awards, but Planet Terror is a movie that you cannot afford to miss. It's funny, stylish and doesn't take itself too seriously. By the way, it also has zombies! What's not to like?

Highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video transfer is presented in the ratio of 1.78:1. The DVD is 16x9 enhanced.

The video review is essentially pointless as Rodriguez worked as hard as possible to dirty up this transfer in order to enhance the grindhouse experience. Ironically, it was shot on a Panavision Genesis HD camera, so all footage in the featurettes is pristine.

This is not a disc that will impress visually, but it is forgivable. What could have ended up being a cheap stunt, actually did add a lot of atmosphere to the film.

The picture is not clear at all. There is no edge enhancement. Shadow detail is decent enough.

There is a lot of grain, you'd almost think that you were watching this on an old reel in a dirty old theatre. The colours can be a little washed out, but suit the film. Blacks are ok and skin tones a little washed out or even reddish depending on the scene.

There are film artefacts, dirt, scratch marks, burn marks and every other aging film effect you can think of.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

If the video wasn't great, they tried to make up for it with the audio.

The 5.1 Dolby Digital track (384 kb/s) sounds very impressive, has a great range and adds a lot to the viewing experience.

The dialogue comes through clearly and is never drowned out.

Surround usage is constant throughout the movie and really makes the most of all directional noise.

The subwoofer gets a fantastic workout in the various chase sequences and other key action scenes. My house was shaking under the pressure.

The music is great, it's well balanced and certainly adds to the mood of the film.

I'd prefer a dts option, however, this Dolby mix is very impressive.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Disc One

Comic Con 2006 Directors and Cast of Grindhouse (23:34)

Q&A with Rodriguez, Tarantino and a few of the cast (of both Grindhouse films) at the fanboy convention. A few of the questions were actually pretty thoughtful and the answers were interesting to hear. Rodriguez definitely was more insightful with his responses and QT was way over the top. They seem to be a real contrast in personalities. Tarantino drops the f-bomb a lot! Very interesting to watch.

Director's Commentary

A real treat. He does some of the best commentaries of anyone around.

Disc Two

10 Minute Film School (11:50)

Rodriguez always puts these on his DVD's and this is a great addition to the series. Usually they are more aimed at the "if you were making this at home" audience, this short has more of a "this is how we filmed it for Grindhouse" approach. A real interesting look at some of the effects like the gun leg, film ageing and how Rodriguez approaches film making. He also teases that a 10 Minute Cooking School featuring Texas BBQ Ribs will be on the two disc Grindhouse disc (something that Miramax are yet to deliver on anywhere outside of Japan.)

Bad Ass Babes of Planet Terror (11:49)

Featurette on Rose McGowan's Cherry, Marley Shelton's Dr Dakota Block, Fergie's Tammy, Rodriguez' nieces Electra Amelia Avellan and Electra Isabel Avellan the babysitter twins. Pretty standard featurette but has some interesting anecdotes about the filming and has quite a bit interview footage.

The Guys of Planet Terror (16:30)

Looks at the guys from the film and their respective roles, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Quentin Tarantino, Tom Savini , Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, Naveen Andrews and Bruce Willis. It's like a who's who of fanboy favourites! Interestingly during some of the interviews, there is a Planet Terror poster behind Robert Rodriguez that has the machine gun on the wrong leg (the left leg, not the right as it is in the movie no - doubt it'll be a collector's item!)

Casting Rebel (5:31)

Short featurette on Rebel Rodriguez (Robert's son) and his role in the film.

Sickos, Bullets and the Explosions: The Stunts of Planet Terror (13:17)

Interesting look at the stunts of the film.

The Friend, The Doctor and the Real Estate Agent (6:35)

Rodriguez used three of his friends, including his real-life doctor and realtor in different parts in the film. Very amusing!

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

It's a close call, R1 misses out on the Comic Con interview but R1 gets an Audience Reaction Track.

Personally an Audience Reaction Track doesn't mean much to me so stick with R4.

If a Grindhouse edition ever comes out that'd be my preference though (the double dip will come sooner or later.)

Summary

The film is a lot of fun. Definitely check it out!

The video is awful but that's part of the fun.

The audio is great.

The special features are pretty good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Dobly Digital EX - Luke
Shame about the split. - Tom Tuttle
re: Dolby Digital EX - Roger T. Ward (Some say he's afraid of the Dutch, and that he's stumped by clouds. All we know, this is his bio.)
Various editions of Planet terror - Anonymous
Japan has a 6-disc version! - Paul Ryan
Awesome - Anonymous
original aspect ratio - Anonymous
10 minute cooking school - Argh
Boxed set - Dissapointed again
Re; Boxed Set - Anonymous