Franchise Weekend – From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay) Robert Kurtzman (Story)

Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo

 

Plot: Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in a truck stop populated by vampires, with chaotic results.


Tagline – How far can Too Far go?

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blood Splattered Blast

 

Story: From Dusk till Dawn starts after Seth Gecko (Clooney) is broken out of prison by his brother Richard (Tarantino) before they commit a daring daylight robbery as they race towards the Mexican border. They have a hostage which Richard soon kills, meaning they must find another one. The brothers pick a family the Fuller family, whose loss of faith priest father Jacob (Keitel) and his children Kate (Lewis) and Scott (Liu) are just travelling.

Once across the border the five head to a bar known as the Titty Twister for bikers and truckers alike, but soon they must put their differences aside when it turns out to be a vampire hideout, where they must fight to daylight.

 

Thoughts on From Dusk till Dawn

 

Characters – Seth Gecko has just been sprung from prison by his brother, he wants to get across the border to complete a deal which would see them both have freedom, he is the one that remains in control wanting to keep everything calm, which would mean not leaving a pile of bodies behind them. He does deliver the threats which would see them as a danger, though he does just want things to be simple. Richard or Ritchie is must more of a loose cannon, he is paranoid and this makes him more dangerous, as he will kill people putting their safety at risk. He is protected by his brother, as he doesn’t seem like he is capable of putting a plan together himself. Jacob was a priest that has lost his faith after his wife’s death, he I taking his family on a vacation and gets forced into helping the brothers, he wants to keep them safe, willing to risk his own life to make this happen. Kate and Scott are his children, they are dealing with their own loss the best way they know how to and being supportive to their father. Santanico is the beautiful dancer that will stop a bar with her dance, she is one of the leaders of the vampires who has been waiting for the food in human form.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney is great to see in this role, after this we only usually see him in smooth talking roles, rather than a rough criminal, showing he could become any role offered to him. Tarantino in this film is creepy and putting himself in the supporting role does hide any restrictions he might have as an actor. Harvey Keitel is great showing a character that is meant to be hating his life choice, but remaining strong for his children. Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu are both solid enough in the supporting roles without getting too much more to work with, while Salma Hayek turns heads with her performance.

StoryThe story here follows two criminals trying to get to Mexico, the family they force to help them across the border and the bar they find, filled with vampires that they must fight to survive the night. Where this story stands up on its own, is by making it a criminal tory to start with, having no hints of horror or vampires involved, as we just watch the two loose cannons trying to get to safety, by pulling the rug out from under us to thrown us into the horror idea is genius switch of pace for the story. we do have themes going on especially with the Jacob character needing to find his lost faith which finding it will become the big part in fight the vampires. The story also exists in a world where vampire stories do exist, which gives them ideas on how to fight back, which was the main attraction to the 90’s horror stories.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film involves the fighting with the vampires, we get to take everything to a new level for this side of the genre, with the blood splatter in the action, which the horror gives us because we vampires which are a staple of horror, but we do focus on the action over the scares.

SettingsThe film uses the getting to the location setting of the camper van which does show us the road trip feel to the film, but it is the bar that will be one that is always going to be hard to forget, being a run down biker and trucker bar.

Special EffectsThe special effects are some of the best you will see in the vampire genre, it shows that you can get plenty done with practical effects, with the only weakness come from the human to vampire transformations, which look CGI and have dated.


Scene of the Movie –
The battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The transformations have dated badly.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most fun vampire movies you will ever see, it has plenty of blood flying around the screen and will keep you entertained from start to finish.

 

Overall: Purely entertaining vampire movie.

Rating

 

 

Harvey Keitel Weekend – From Dusk till Dawn (1996)

fromDirector: Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay) Robert Kurtzman (Story)

Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin

 

Plot: Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in an establishment populated by vampires, with chaotic results.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best Vampire Movies Ever

 

Story: From Dusk till Dawn starts as we meet the Gecko Brothers Set (Clooney) and Richard (Tarantino) who are on the run after a bank robbery on the run to Mexico and safe haven. Also on the road is a priest Jacob (Keitel) who has lost his faith travelling with his children Kate (Lewis) and Scott (Liu) who are on the road after their mother and wife’s death.

When the Gecko’s lose their latest hostage, they find themselves take Jacob and his family hostage as they make it over the border into Mexico to the biker bar known as the Titty Twister where the Gecko’s have arrange to have their meet but they group have to spend the night in this bar with seductive dances and dangerous bikers.

The night takes a twist for the worse when they learn the club is filled with bloodthirsty vampires and all the customers are just their latest victims.

 

Thoughts on From Dusk till Dawn

 

StoryWhen you go into a vampire movie the story doesn’t always need to be all gothic sometimes it can be wildly over the top. This story keeps everything simple by having thieves on the run and a religious man who has lost faith ending up in a shady bar having to spend one night fighting vampires. There isn’t much more to this and that is why it is all so enjoyable.

Action/HorrorWe have plenty of over the top action in the second half of this movie as the survivors take on the new image from horror in the vampires. We can enjoy the action horror throughout this film.

Characters/PerformanceThe Gecko Brothers are strong anti-hero characters and having Jacob as the faithless priest suits the vampire genre. We do get a scene stealing moment from a sexy dancer who becomes one of the vampires.

When you look at the performances Clooney does shine and is one of the most different he ever took on in his career. Keitel is also a good in this role but with the weak point as often is Tarantino’s acting which doesn’t reach the levels of the rest of the cast.

SettingsThe settings are used very well with the travelling sequences in the first half but the Titty Twister bar has become one of the most iconic bar in film history and having the characters trapped there also helps them must work together against the vampires.

Special EffectsThe special effects here are great as you believe each and every one of the kills, fights and attacks the vampires are involved in.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most fun you will have with any vampire movie because when it was released it took the vampire genre in a new direction.

 

Overall: Enjoy the bloody filled vampire classic.

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Double Feature – Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)

casting card

 

Plot: The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict:

 

Story: Kill Bill Volume 2 starts by finally showing us the brutal nature of the wedding massacre which drove The Bride (Thurman) on her killing rampage. We know she has taken care of two members of the Viper Squad and now she sets her sights on Bud (Madsen). When things don’t go as planned we get further flashbacks to learn more about The Bride’s training with Pai Mei (Liu) which made her the fighting machine she has become.

When The Bride get back on track there is nothing stopping her getting her revenge on Bud, Elle Driver (Hannah) and finally the man behind the hit Bill (Carradine) even if there is a little surprise along the way.

Kill Bill Volume 2 is a near perfect ending to the two-part story, he develops The Bride more while finally telling us her real name, it has a react to a twist we knew was coming from the first film. We get to see the final acts of revenge from The Bride which does complete the story and even at over 2 hours long you never find yourself glancing at the time.

 

Actor Review

 

Uma Thurman: The Bride is continuing her revenge quest against her former partners and boss with three more names Bud, Elle and Bill to kill for her own closure. We do get to see more about her training too before seeing the final showdown between the two. Uma once again gives us a fantastic career defining performance.

David Carradine: Bill is the leader of the Viper Squad who knows that The Bride will come for her own revenge. He wants to see how the rest will match up against her before their own showdown. Bill trained The Bride in her ways where he does have a previous relationship with her too. David is great in this role showing he could always be a lead in the right roles.

Michael Madsen: Bud is the brother of Bill who is also a member of the squad, but he has fallen on hard times with his alcohol problems and struggling to hold down a job. He has been planning for The Bride’s visit with his own ways to finish of The Bride once and for all. Michael is good in this role where he plays the role right how you would expect it come off.

Daryl Hannah: Elle Driver is one of the Deadly Viper Squad who is the one-eyed assassin who has always wanted to be the one to kill The Bride. She gets her chance when the two face each other in a one on one battle to the death. Daryl is great in this role where she plays the opposite to The Bride.

Support Cast: Kill Bill Volume 2 has a very small supporting cast with most only appearing in single scenes leading to the final outcome of the film.

Director Review: Quentin TarantinoQuentin shows once more that he really can put together such a simple story that is engrossing from start to finish.

 

Action: Kill Bill Volume 2 uses the smaller amount of action to finish the story but most importantly we still have all the style needed.

Thriller: Kill Bill Volume 2 does keep us one edge like all Tarantino films do whatever is going on.

Music: Kill Bill Volume 2 does continue to use the amazing amount of music that fits all the scenes perfectly.

Settings: Kill Bill Volume 2 takes the journey to different countries that show just how each character and where you would imagine them to be living in.
Special Effects
: Kill Bill Volume 2 uses great effects when needed without having to use them as much as the fir volume.

Suggestion: Kill Bill Volume 2 is one that you really have to watch, while the action is less often it is more about the personal closure. (Watch)

 

Best Part:  The end of Bill.

Worst Part: Not what you would expect after the first chapter.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Talks of one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

Tagline: She will kill Bill

 

Overall: Perfect ending to the Tarantino style revenge film.

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Double Feature – Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

casting card

 

Plot: The Bride awakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her – a team she was once part of.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blood Soaked Action Frenzy

 

Story: Kill Bill Volume 1 starts in typical Tarantino style by having the first act being from the middle of the story as we follow the Bride (Thurman) checking off her list of names she is going to kill after her former hit squad known as the Viper Squad crashed her wedding killing everyone and somehow The Bride survived. We see how she meets Vernita Green (Fox) for a fight to the death.

As we do in Tarantino we move back to the beginning of the story as we see the brutal beating The Bride took at the hands the Viper Squad and her recovery from the coma they left her in, we see how she travels to Japan to find O-Ren Ishii (Liu) and along the way get her weapon of choice a Hanzo samurai sword. This will be the first steps on this revenge blood soaked revenge mission by the Bride.

Kill Bill Volume 1 really is only the beginning of this story, we see what has happened to The Bride and where she is heading when it comes to her revenge. We only see the first chapters with the real personal stuff coming in the next film. This keeps everything simple which is needed and in typical Tarantino style you hardly notice the time pass by.

 

Actor Review

 

Uma Thurman: The Bride was left for dead on her wedding day while carrying child by the former boss and partners in the Viper Squad, awaking from a coma she starts on her own revenge mission against the people responsible and this outing we see her go after O-Ren and Vernita. Uma is fantastic in this role which could well be the one she will forever be remembered for.

Lucy Liu: O-Ren Ishii is one of the Viper Squad, she has been killing people nearly her whole life after witnessing her own parents killed. She has risen to the top of the Yakuza with her no-nonsense style which leaves anyone that crosses her dead but she will fight the Bride with honour. Lucy is great in this role where we see her taking on a role we wouldn’t be used to seeing her in.

Vivica A Fox: Vernita Green is one of the Viper Squad with the code name Copperhead, she has now settled down starting her own family with a child that would have been about the same age as the child The Bride lost. She plays that she wants a fair fight but The Bride knows better than to trust her making this a fight to the death inside her home. Vivica is good in this supporting role.

Daryl Hannah: Elle Driver is another member of the squad that has always been against The Bride and even tries to finishes the job. Daryl is solid but really is just another supporting character ready for the sequel.

Support Cast: Kill Bill Volume 1 has a supporting cast which is mostly just O-Ren’s soldiers which are being used to show just how deadly The Bride is.

Director Review: Quentin TarantinoQuentin gives us one of the most perfect action films of recent years that even builds to the second part of the film.

 

Action: Kill Bill Volume 1 has amazing action going on with the seemingly endless final fight which takes a good half an hour.

Music: Kill Bill Volume 1 uses outstanding music to show the tone of each scene.

Settings: Kill Bill Volume 1 takes us to Japan for most of this action with the final act being inside the club.
Special Effects
: Kill Bill Volume 1 has amazing effects to show the weapons damage on its victims.

Suggestion: Kill Bill Volume 1 is one I think everyone should watch, it really is something special. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Club fight.

Worst Part: Nothing.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: This October, Go For The Kill

Trivia: As Quentin Tarantino was leaving Japan after initial location scouting and securing the studios, he heard the all girl band “The 5,6,7,8’s” playing over the store’s speakers. He was so intrigued by the music that he asked a clerk who the band was. When he was told, Tarantino, who didn’t have enough time to go to a music shop to get their CD, begged the clerk to sell him their copy. Quentin took the disc home, listened to it, and immediately signed the band to play during the “Showdown at the House of Blue Leaves” segment. All of the band’s songs, including the stand-out “Woo Hoo” are covers of early 60’s surfer songs.

 

Overall: This is really a special film that can be watched over and over.

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Reservoir Dogs (1992)

dogsDirector: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay)

Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney

 

Plot: After a simple jewellery heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Redefining Crime Thriller

 

Story: Reservoir Dogs starts as we meet our bank robbers before they go into their latest job, in typical Tarantino style we jump past the actual job as we watch Mr Orange (Roth) after he has been shot with Mr White (Keitel) heading back to the rendezvous. When Mr Pink (Buscemi) turns up White and Pink try to figure up what happened along with what to do with Mr Orange.

Mr Blonde (Madsen) and Nice Guy Eddie Cabot (Penn) arrive tension continue to rise are the group try to figure out who the rat really is.

Reservoir Dogs gives us a crime thriller that did something we hadn’t seen before, it changes the way stories needed to be told by jumping between time periods as we learn about each character and how they ended up where they are now with the heist gone wrong. The mix of twists all work nicely because as you only know the outcome of each situation you never learn what they did to end up where they are until we see their individual story. Saying this could also be used as a downside because people would have liked to have seen the film unfold in an order that is easier to watch but fans should praise the style of this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Harvey Keitel: Mr White is the experienced member of the thieves that is starting to make mistakes with how he acts between the fellow thieves and who he can trust of not. He knows the jobs can be done without anyone getting hurt as long as he is working with the right people. Harvey is great in this role showing how he could be a leading actor in a heist style thriller.white

Tim Roth: Mr Orange is one of the newest members of the team that gets bought in on this job, he gets shot while on the job leaving him on deaths door for most of this film as he begs to be taken to a hospital. Tim is good in this role which is mostly stuck on the dying before he flashbacks.orange

Michael Madsen: Mr Blonde is the psychotic member of the team who is looking to shot first and ask questions later, he is involved in the most famous scene of this film as he doesn’t like loose ends. Michael is easily the most iconic characters in this film and that scene with Stuck in the Middle will stay with you long after seeing the film.blode

Chris Penn: Nice Guy Eddie Cabot is the son of the boss the team is working for, he isn’t fully involved in the job but making sure the team has everything and is united as well as being around to clean up any loose ends. Chris is good in this role but we don’t get as much scenes with him as we would like as his character comes off annoying.

Steve Buscemi: Mr Pink is the talker of the group, he only wants to look out for himself after this job goes wrong. He doesn’t like his name but has to learn to deal with it.  Steve is good in this supporting role that gets the best dialogue of the film.pink

Support Cast: Reservoir Dogs only has a couple more characters that all help the story unfold the way it does.

Director Review: Quentin TarantinoQuentin fully put himself on the map with this crime thriller that showed his storytelling ability and a fresh style on making films.

 

Crime: Reservoir Dogs puts us in the middle of a heist with the plan, the meeting and the aftermath without ever showing the actually heist.

Thriller: Reservoir Dogs keeps us guessing to who is the cop and what actually went on during the heist.

Music: Reservoir Dogs showed the Tarantino loved uses music for extra effects.

Settings: Reservoir Dogs keeps most of the action inside the warehouse only moving away to show what has previously happened to the characters.
Suggestion
: Reservoir Dogs is a film I think most people should have watch at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Stuck in the Middle with you.

Worst Part: Can turn people away with mixed time line.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1.2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Four perfect killers. One perfect crime. Now all they have to fear is each other.

Trivia: Armed with $30,000 and a 16mm camera, Quentin Tarantino was all set to make the film with a bunch of friends, including his producing partner Lawrence Bender who was going to play Nice Guy Eddie. It was then that Tarantino received an answerphone message from Harvey Keitel, asking if he could not only be in the film but help produce it. Keitel had gotten involved via the wife of Bender’s acting class teacher, who had managed to get a copy of the script to him. Keitel’s involvement helped raise the budget to $1.5 million.

 

Overall: Thriller that keeps you guessing without you knowing what is the truth until the end

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