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9.0 5 10
FanFix August 01, 2012 3631
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I would recommend this edit for the overall grindhouse presentation and for the improved version of Machete, although NOT if you're looking for a better version of Deathproof.

Of all the edits trying to do a "grindhoused" version of a film, the one here with Machete is the best I've seen. I made the mistake of watching it on a hi-def smart TV at my friend's house, and we were fighting with the TV settings to try to get it to NOT correct the video and make everything crisp-looking. So that was not ideal, but on my laptop it looks fantastic. I would quibble that the audio throughout could be given the same treatment though, with rough patches, pops, and missing bits, which would really improve the whole trash-exploitation aesthetic. Another quibble is that for all the great choices in removal and streamlining of the Machete narrative: if you've got a naked Jessica Alba shower scene, you don't touch that. I don't care how fake it was, that stays in.

Deathproof fares a lot less well in this edit. It's a Tarantino film that I like, though I admit that the ending with a blubbering Russell and a girl power jump is jarring and puts me off. I was looking forward to reworking the narrative then, but this ending is even worse. Firstly, without the Stuntman Mike stalking scene from the beginning, he comes out of nowhere. The opening dialogue with this set of girls looking at the engines is honestly pretty weak and the actresses are just trying too hard. It was less noticeable when it wasn't the first scene. Then we cut to the other girls with no resolution to the first story, and then back for just a brief bit at the end to see their final run-in with Mike. The tone and story is all over the place, and not in a good, Pulp Fiction-y way. But the insistence on making this a more directly "shared Tarantinoverse" works really poorly because our final scene is now with a bunch of characters we've never seen before just delivering long exposition. It might work better placed earlier, so that we recognize that the guy on the farm is a really creepy threat from the hospital, but both scenes are wasted here.

The Deathproof edit is a massive swing and a miss for me, but this might be worth watching for the Machete edit. Like the original Grindhouse, it's just too bad this release doesn't allow you to split up the movies and watch the one you prefer.

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