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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on May 8, 2011
"From Dusk 'Till Dawn" is not a great film by any means, but it is entertaining...up to a point. The first half of the film is an effective, stylish and creepy noir/suspense film, with director Robert Rodriguez showing uncharacteristic restraint in his film direction. Clooney and (surprisingly) Tarantino are good in their roles, and play off of each other well. Unfortunately, the second half of the film becomes increasingly silly, as Robert Rodriguez succumbs to his fetish for over-the-top action and cartoonish violence, quickly undoing all the creepy suspense that was so carefully built up over the film's first half and settling for a parody-like tone for the rest of the film.

If done right, over-the-top horror film parodies can be very entertaining, as the first two "Evil Dead" films show. However, that sort of tone usually works best in a short feature format (such as the "Tales From The Crypt" television series). If the film is to be feature length, then a good deal of imagination is needed to sustain interest, otherwise a sense of a fatigue sets in. It is this imagination that makes the "Evil Dead" films work, and is what's missing in "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" (endless vampire explosions notwithstanding).

Still, if you're a "B-Movie" horror fan, the film definitely has its moments; besides the two leads, there's a great supporting cast (put together especially for genre fans), fun (albeit goofy) make-up effects, plenty of scantily-clad women, and buckets of fake blood, making the film an acceptable (if padded out) "B" genre film. Overall, a three-star film (out of five).

Regarding the Echo Bridge Blu-Ray release, that is truly a lazy catalog release title, if I've ever seen one. Currently available exclusively at Best Buy stores (but not on Best Buy's online website), I picked this up for ten bucks less than a week ago, and have already decided to get my money back (the Blu-Ray will see a general release in stores on May 3rd).

Presented in the incorrect film aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (from the film's original 1.85:1), the picture quality of the Echo Bridge transfer is a wildly inconsistent mess. A few scenes here and there look very good. However, most of the time the picture quality is soft and murky-looking, giving the film a dull, flat look. Colors tend to look unnatural and overly-saturated. The picture has plenty of digital artifacting and is riddled throughout with edge enhancement, killing off fine background detail. Blacks come off as strong but shapeless, crushing any detail thanks to the transfer's murkiness. I've read by some that DNR was occasionally an issue with the transfer; personally, I didn't see it, but I think we can all agree that even if DNR has been used, it is the least of problems for Echo Bridge's Blu-Ray release of "From Dusk 'Till Dawn".

As a result of the good reviews I've read online, I decided to order online the Canadian Blu-Ray release of "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" from Alliance. Now, I must confess that I'm not very big on importing Canadian Blu-Ray's, and I've heard fairly crummy things about Canadian distributer Alliance's Blu-Ray releases. Well, after a side-by-side comparison, there is simply no contest: in every respect, the Alliance Blu-Ray release is superior to the Echo Bridge U.S. release.

The picture of the Alliance disc is sharp throughout, without any of the murkiness and softness that plagues the Echo Bridge Blu-Ray. Colors pop but maintain a natural look, blacks are strong without being crushing, and neither DNR or edge enhancement are anywhere to be found. Regarding the audio, both the Echo Bridge and Alliance versions contain a DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix. My initial (and rather quick) comparison did not find much difference between the Alliance and Echo Bridge releases. However, a second, deeper comparison revealed there was indeed a difference between the two soundtracks, and once again, Alliance came out ahead. Surround was more expansive throughout with stronger panning effects, and bass was definitely more present. In fact, about the only thing the two releases have in common is a complete lack of extras.

Overall, while the Alliance transfer is not quite demo quality, it is a vast improvement over the Echo Bridge release, and a commendable hi-def transfer for a catalog title (In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the Alliance transfer of "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" even trumps Lionsgate's recent U.S. Blu-Ray releases of the "Scream" trilogy, which were all flat-looking and had far too much edge enhancement for my tastes). Only the complete lack of extras prevents me from giving the Alliance Blu-Ray release a four-star review.

So, to sum up: for casual and hardcore fans, skip the U.S. Echo Bridge release and pick up the Canadian Alliance Blu-Ray, which can be had right here on for roughly the same price (or slightly more). Of course, true fans will also need to pick-up (or hang on to) the Miramax two-disc DVD set, with all of its top-notch bonus features, including the feature length making-of doc, "Full Tilt Boogie", audio commentary with Rodriguez and Tarantino, deleted scenes and outtakes, a special effects doc and more (I do not recommend that DVD set for casual fans, as the picture is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen).

Maybe someday the fabulous bonus features from the two-disc DVD "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" release will finally be married to a worthy film presentation, such as this Alliance Blu-Ray. For now, fans of "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" can only hope.
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on October 10, 2001
This is not a deep movie. It doesn't have a intricate or creative plot. Therefore, do yourself a favor and fast forward through the first 2/3 of the movie and get to the strip club b/c that is where all the fun begins. I'll fill you in on the what you miss so at least you understand who the characters are. The notorious Gecko Brothers (George C. and Quentin T.) rob a store, leave a trail of destruction, hijack a mobile home from a disgruntled minister and his two children and make a break with them across the Mexican border. From what I wrote you might think that there would be a lot of action...wrong. Aside from the brief opening shot out the rest is boring, long winded dialogue that acts as filler until...they come upon a raunchy bar/strip club in Mexico and, of course, stop for some entertainment. Little do they know that it is really a lair of some rather nasty and thirsty vampires. Salma Hayek makes a brief appearance here as a very sexy vampire. I say brief b/c once the sun goes down she ain't so sexy. With the sun down and the exits sealed, it is "go" time and the Gecko brothers, their hostages, and the other biker type scum in the strip joint go head to head with the noctural predators. The movie earns all its stars right here. Had the first 2/3 of the movie been like the last third this would easily be the most action packed gore fest of all time. Seriously, blood and gore flow in such ways I cannot possibly give it justice through a written description. I'm tempted to give it a higher rating but I resist b/c after seeing the ending I cannot help but be disappointed and irritated that the rest of the movie was soooo lacking.
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on October 19, 2000
The commentary from the director and writer was very verbose. They rarely talked about the scenes. This was a commentary that was easier to listen to if you weren't actually watching the movie. Scenes would trigger memories of events happening as they were making the movie and they would go off on tangents for long periods. Although the stories they relate are interesting, I'd prefer they actually talked about scenes in the movie. Another drawback to the commentaries was you couldn't change them by using the 'Change Audio' button, but had to change it at the main menu. Since you couldn't hear the dialogue during the commentary, it would have been nice to be able to easily switch back and forth. The full-length documentary film 'Full Tilt Boogie' was interesting and showed what it was like shooting the film. This comes on a completely separate DVD. The name of the documentary comes from a line one of the crew uses to describe the shooting of the film. The gallery stills run very fast and aren't that interesting. The music videos include the song used for Salma's dance. This is just lifted from the film and some other shots from the film are intercut, but nothing new. The Zztop song is included and features Clooney and Salma in a completely different location. It looks like someone's expense house. The plot for the video isn't very interesting. The outtakes are mainly actors not getting their lines right and aren't funny. The cut scenes aren't very interesting either. The longest one being a much more graphic and gross bar fight scene which even I couldn't stomach. The director also gives commentary on how he shot the opening scene and the bar fight scenes. This was along the lines of his commentary for 'Desperado', only not as good. Finally the a 30-minute featurette is also included and gives some more interviews with the cast and crew, some scenes are lifted from 'Full Tilt Boogie.' Overall, I'd say if you have this film on the previously released DVD, I wouldn't bother replacing it. There is nothing interesting enough that is added.
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on October 9, 2000
The movie "From Dusk Till Dawn" is strange in it's ways of how the story line goes. It starts off with two guys trying to get to Mexico to get some money that is owed to them for killing known cowboys in the USA. They end up capturing hostages and get them to drive them through to the border of Mexico. They get through and end up at the 'Dusk Till Dawn' joint. Things were really great in this movie until this stage. The movie then leads into them being there and all the dancers and strippers turning into vampires, in which they fight against them till dawn comes. In my part, why start a movie off so excellent, and then let it all drop at the end basing it on vampires in such a remote and small location as the 'dusk till dawn' joint. "From Dusk Till Dawn" shows no really great horror scene. I think the strange part about it is the fact it goes from an action movie to a silly horror scene. This movie is one to borrow or rent, with my opinion do not buy it.
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on October 12, 2001
Some of the reviews here are written a little too seriously. While this is by far a good film, it nevertheless achieves its original intention. Quentin Tarantino owed a script to these special effects guys, therefore this movie was the result. With his good buddy Robert Rodriguez as director, famous for his kinetic and often ludicrous action sequences, this movie is an over the top romp. You can't take this movie too seriously because its just not that kind of movie. It's fun eye candy. Selma Hayek in a bikini doing a snake dance? If that isn't gratuitous, I don't know what is. And then there's the extra gory violence. If this movie was made by a special effects company, then you have should expected no less. I had a really good time watching this movie, especially the scene that invovles a ... monologue (Very, very funny). So grab your favorite date, turn off the lights and enjoy these two hours of fun.
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on January 14, 2003
Apparently this was the movie Quentin really wanted to make. "From Dusk to Dawn" starts off with the traditional Quention recipe and I admit I found it disturbing in scenes. I had been told many years ago that there was a vampire theme in this, so wasn't sure if I had the right movie because there is no hint of that in the first half of the film. Suddenly it just changes and goes totally bizarre .... but as I said, this was a theme that Quention really wanted to pursue.
All I can say is, don't take the film seriously. Just sit back and enjoy. It will become a cult classic ... slowly but surely. George Clooney is brilliant in this.
DVD EVALUATION: Early DVD version had poor transfer and limited extras. Best to locate new Collectors version with sharp clear transfer and plenty of extras. Worth adding to your collection particularly if you enjoyed "Pulp Fiction".
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on June 16, 2000
Viloent,bloody and often times very funny. Two wild Bank Robbers on the run from a massive killing spree head to Mexico to hook up with a man who will give them protection from the law. But things don`t go as planed, They make an arrangment to meet at a local bar filled with exotic dancers but the man who supposed to give them protection never shows and soon enough an altercation with one of the locals brings out a horde of flesh eating vampires for a night these two robbers will never forget. Far fetched story but it kept me going on through the end. I really did enjoy the outlandish performances of Clooney and Tarantino as the two bank robbing brothers on the run. Harvey keital plays his part as the unwillingy hostage they capture very convincley. If you like mindless fun with Bloody violence and sharp foul mouthed humor you will love FROM DUSK TILL DAWN.
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on April 21, 2000
Quentin Tarretino apparently likes to involve himself in films with no plot to speak of, or in which the plot is irrelevant. FROM DUSK TO DAWN is a case in point. It reduces the post-Hammer Vampire film to it's most basic elements: the world is a scary place, full of monsters, where sex and death are messy twins. There are no philisophical points. There is no character development. There are no good guys. The movie is about as subtle as a hand grenade. Nevertheless, what it does it does perfectly. If you liked the Hammer horror films of the '70's ... a lot of blood, spookey makeup, and as much sex as the censors would let by (then), then you will like this film. This is a "B" grade horror film, at the top of it's class for style. If you don't LIKE "B" grade horror films, this isn't for you.
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on March 30, 2001
Simplistic plot. Predictable cardboard characters. Notable acting & impressive effects. Two psychopaths, one merely vicious, his brother, utterly depraved, gun their way to Mexico, taking a faith-lapsed minister and his two children hostage. Across the border, they try to survive the night, beating off vampires at an exotic dance club. Definitely "Grade B" horror flick material, but Clooney & Tarantino keep it from sinking to MST3K fodder. Still, it's hard to know whether to root for the vampires or the crooks. Rated R for exposed female anatomy, explicit language & graphic violence--just the thing for the adolescent at heart.
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on September 3, 2002
Quentin Tarantino said it himself: "From Dusk Till Dawn" is PURE exploitation--no bones about it. If you're not in the "Fangoria" crowd, then you'd probably try to stay away. I'm not usually in that crowd either, so I'm giving it a mediocre rating. But, the first half of the movie picks up where "Pulp Fiction" left off. Great dialogue throughout the whole movie. Still, if you're not into monster flicks, you're probably better off watching another Tarantino or Elmore Leonard film.
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