One of the most compulsive conceptual projects of the last several years, the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez “Grindhouse” has at last been released on Blu-ray in its original theatrical format, scrupulously recreating the experience of sticky-floor film-going in a nearly deserted downtown movie palace in the late 1970s. As clever as these simulacra may be — Rodriquez contributes an exaggerated zombie apocalypse picture, “Planet Terror,” while Tarantino inventively cross-breeds the car chase and the slasher film for his structurally daring “Death Proof” — they both seem wildly overproduced and far too self-conscious next to the real thing, as exemplified by the recent releases of William Lustig’s elegant 1983 “Vigilante” and Amy Holden-Jones’s fascinatingly conflicted “Slumber Party Massacre” of 1982. Reivews of all here in the New York Times.
If you see only one new Hollywood film this year (and at this point, I wouldn’t blame you), make it David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” As ecstatic as the reviews have been, the film is actually better than the “social document” it has largely been described as: Like all of Fincher’s mature films, its underlying themes are loneliness and impermanence; it is executed with a spectacular sense of tempo that modulates from percussively Hawksian dialogue duels to achingly silent long takes; the visual style seems to blend Gordon Willis’s robust Cinquecento “Godfather” lighting with the thin, fluorescent buzz of on-the-fly digital shooting. Fincher’s attention to detail is as fanatical as Stroheim’s but he never loses sight of the overall emotional structure, which circles back to a “Rosebud” ending as devastating as anything I have ever seen. This one is going into the history books.