A few people asked why I didn’t rant about Eli Roth’s performance in the new Tarantino picture. I’d love to tell you that I wanted to focus all blame on the director, given that it was his self-indulgent casting choice that led to this serious blight on his own movie. Unfortunately, that is only true in retrospect. The truth is, I found the movie so mind-numbingly stuffed to the gills with self-indulgence on Q.T.’s part, that by the time I got out to the car I barely remembered Brad Pitt was in it, let alone anyone else. Sure, I went off on Christian Bale after that dull-ass robot show, but that was mostly because I expected more from him. He is a great actor, and one at this point who doesn’t need any more damn money, so watching him walk through such a boring mess pissed me off. Eli Roth, on the other hand, showed up in Deathproof as a glorified extra, and was bad enough to be distracting. So his acting couldn’t possibly disappoint me. (And let me just say here that I do enjoy the trashy horror crap he directs. I especially got a kick out of Hostel Part II. It’s so irresponsible and offensive I just couldn’t help but love the shit out of it. I’m sick, what can I say?) His turn in Death Proof ultimately wasn’t a big deal because he was barely there. However, when he is introduced as “The Bare Jew” in Ignoramius Bastages or whatever he was called, I cringed as he screamed that mostly unintelligible string of baseball cliches from his throat after beating that Nazi to death (in acting 101 they teach you how to breathe from your diaphram so when you are yelling you can be understood.) It’s sad when what could have been an awesome moment is destroyed by high-school level performance mistakes. Up until that moment, in fact, I was really enjoying the movie. After that, Tarantino’s mistakes stacked up to the point where I simply no longer cared about what was going on. As for Roth, what he did for the rest of the movie cannot be described as acting. It was loitering. He looked like a guy completely thrilled to be hanging around on the set of his good buddy, the famous director. And it looked like he was having fun. Me…not so much. Maybe if I had been treated to all the Nazi scalpings that I was promised in the first act, his loitering wouldn’t have bothered me so much. And I know if Tarantino had recreated that scene with all the naked, machine-gun firing Nazi chicks featured in the original film, I wouldn’t have given a rat’s ass that he paid his friend to hang around with him on the set all day. He didn’t. But again, I forgot to mention that. I just forgot. Sorry.
Yours forever, Tonn