Death Proof & r & & r & by BEN KROMER & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & was in Wyoming when Death Proof came out in theaters, so I missed it. And that killed me, because I'm a big Tarantino fan. I don't just mean I carry a torch for Pulp Fiction like everyone does; I loved From Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill, too. Since I couldn't get to the movie, I read a lot of opinions instead and they were savage. The consensus? "It's nothing but chicks talking for 90 minutes." But then my contrarian instincts kicked in. I made up my mind to go against the grain and write the most positive Death Proof review that I could.

Here it is: "Death Proof is about girls being occasionally menaced by a guy who calls himself Stuntman Mike. Mike likes to murder people with his car, the death-proof one. There's a saucy lap dance scene in this movie, and two cool car crashes. And Kurt Russell is in it."

I would have written a longer review, but I'm nearly out of good things to say about Death Proof. That's because it really is lousy -- staggeringly so. Incredibly, undeniably awful.

The movie consists entirely of dames yakking ceaselessly. Imagine spending all night listening to chatty, boring girls in a bar, except you're not drinking and you definitely won't be scoring with them later. That's what watching the first half of Death Proof is like. The second half is the same, but with new, equally boring girls. Kurt Russell is completely wasted as the bad guy. I don't know what I expect from Kurt Russell, but it's a damn sight better than this. The only good scene besides the lap dance is the reappearance of the persnickety Texas cop played by Michael Parks.

My disappointment is immense. Death Proof isn't just a bad movie. It's inconceivably bad. There was no indication from his previous work, in fact, that Quentin Tarantino was capable of making a movie this bad. He's known to be a pothead, though, so I'll just do what everyone does and blame the drugs. Either that, or global warming. (Rated R)

ArtFest 2020 @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Sun., May 31
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