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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(3 star). See all 132 reviews
on June 11, 2018
Bought as a gift
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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.
5 people found this helpful
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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 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 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 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, 2002
Vampires are the owners of a seedy bar in Mexico and ALL hell breaks loose when George Clooney and company arrive. That should be the plot, but it takes about an hour for the action to begin. Thankfully, the last 45 minutes are wildly entertaining. I still prefer The Faculty when it comes to genre pics from Robert Rodriguez. Quentin Tarantino's pretty hilarious as an incredibly insane bank robber.
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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 January 2, 2009
The film was played on a 50" Panasonic Plasma TV and LG BH200 Combo Player.

The PQ was a 4/5, with some imperfections,and I give the sound a 5/5. The film itself was a 3.5/5, for me. The DTS Master Audio worked for this film, with powerful and articulate sound for the "blow 'em up" scenes, and subtle sound audible throughout the film.

The film thrusts unlikely characters into an even more unlikely situations. The crisis of consciousness of the dad in this situation, in reversing his position of his religious beliefs is both humorous, and core to the film, which has many religious undertones. The son and daughter are both eccentric and Clooney and Tarantino are convincing as the con-men on a mission to flee the country. The combination of music, Selma Hayek's dance performance, with the snake, and the other supporting characters provide a realistic backdrop for this Vampire comedy.

Very entertaining, and great price for the Blu-Ray. A worthwhile addition, if you like Rodriguez, and the actors, and definitely enjoyabl e from a sound perspective.
One person found this helpful
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on November 20, 1999
The beginning of From Dusk till Dawn is cool and the acting, story and everything are great. But from those vampires thingy... that was pretty lame. they should've made anothre plot.
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