Death Proof-Extended Version: Special Edition (2007)

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Released 13-Mar-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Stunts on Wheels: The Legendary Drivers of Death Proof
Featurette-Kurt Russel as Stuntman Mike
Featurette-Finding Quentin's Gals
Featurette-The Guys of Death Proof
Featurette-Introducting Zoe Bell
Featurette-Quentin's Greatest Collaborator: Editor Sally Menke
Trailer-Machete
Featurette-The Hot Rods of Death Proof
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 108:49 (Case: 107)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Quentin Tarantino
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Kurt Russell
Zoe Bell
Rosario Dawson
Vanessa Ferlito
Sydney Tamiia Poitier
Tracie Thoms
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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Plot Synopsis

Death Proof is the lesser 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, prompting Miramax to scrap the concept and release the films separately in overseas markets and on DVD.

Death Proof is Tarantino's contribution to the project and is a disappointment. Unfortunately, Tarantino's script is lacking his trademark flair, with only a few lines reaching the heights of zingers from past hits. A lot of the lines come off more like someone trying to sound like Tarantino. Even more disappointing is that it takes almost 75 minutes before the film is even fun, let alone approaching the heights of his previous work.

It's supposed to be a homage, and while Rodriguez literally cut loose in Planet Terror, Death Proof's action is mainly limited to the final 20 minutes. In Tarantino's defense, the final 20 minutes are amazing, with stunt driving you'll not soon forget. For a movie named after a 'death proof' car, there's way too little car and way too much boring conversation.

The cast is good and does the best it can with the material on hand. The players include Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rose McGowan, Quentin Tarantino (he really can't resist can he?) and interestingly, Kiwi stuntwoman Zoe Bell. Techincally, there's nothing wrong with the cast. Russell seems to relish the role, everyone seems like they are having a lot of fun, but collectively they don't hold a candle to Planet Terror's cast.

Technically, it's a big budget film but was shot relatively cheaply, as Miramax was funding two films with the budget of one.

The music is awesome: Tarantino has always been a master at finding dated and obscure tracks that bring out the personality of film.

It's worth noting that this is an extended cut compared to the Grindhouse version. The lapdance as well as some background on Stuntman Mike scoping out his next victims are the key additions.

Quentin Tarantino is a talented director, but unfortunately this is far from his best work. A must-see for fans, everyone else could almost give it a miss. That is unless you want to fast forward to the last 20 minutes - that alone is worth the price of entry for some.

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Transfer Quality

Video

 

The video transfer is presented in the ratio of 2.35:1. The DVD is 16x9 enhanced.

The video review is essentially pointless as Tarantino 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 pretty poor.

There is a lot of grain, you'd almost think that you were watching this on an old reel in a dirty old theater. The colours are pretty 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

 

The 5.1 Dolby Digital track (384 kb/s) sounds good, 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 reasonable workout in the two chase sequences, besides that it's pretty quiet.

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

Not as good as the audio for Planet Terror - but good enough.

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

Extras

 

Disc One

The Hot Rods of Death Proor (11:45)

Fun look at the cars of the film.

Trailers

Trailers for Death Proof, Grindhouse and Double Dare (documentary with Zoe Bell.)

Disc Two

Stunts on Wheels: The Legendary Drivers of Death Proof (20:37)

No CG in this film so this shows some of the old school stunts and filming done for the driving sequences. Very fun.

Introducing Zoe Bell (8:53)

Look at who this Kiwi stuntwoman is and how Tarantino 'discovered' her.

Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike (9:30)

He's awesome and underused, but this is a great tribute to the actor.

Finding Quentin's Gals (21:14)

Featurette on the gals of the film. Pretty standard featurette but has some interesting anecdotes about the filming and has quite a bit interview footage.

The Guys of Death Proof (8:14)

Looks at the guys from the film and their respective roles, not as cool as the Planet Terror one. Probably because there are a lot less of them.

Casting Rebel (5:31)

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

Uncut Version of Baby It's You (1:47)

Extended look at one of the movies scenes with Winstead singing. She has a great voice (if it's really her!)

Hi Sally (4:35)

Brief look at one of QT's collaborators - Sally Menke with outtake footage of callouts to her.

Censorship

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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 tie as the Special Featres are identical.

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 in the last 20 minutes. To get that far though can be pretty tiring.

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

The audio is good.

The special features are pretty good, but a commentary would've been better.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Monday, November 03, 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)
Ironic -
A major disappointment -
The review is spot on. - Tazjas
Japanese dvd -
Correction On Claim About The 70's - Groovem
Picked up the 6-disc R2 Grindhouse for $80 and never looked back. -
Ah Grindhouse...we were there! -