Tag Archives: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino Films Ranked

With Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood released in cinemas last month, I decided to rank his entire filmography. In the months leading up to its release, I’ve been re-watching the movies from him I haven’t seen more than once to make sure about how I felt about them, and for the most part I appreciated them a lot more after the more recent viewings.

Tarantino’s filmography in general has been absolutely fantastic, and I must emphasise this before I get into my ranking, as some movies may be placed differently compared to most other people. I consider all but one of his movies great. So I’ll just start with that previously mentioned one movie that doesn’t really work that well for me.

10. Death Proof

Death Proof sticks out like a sore thumb amongst Quentin Tarantino’s filmography. While I’m fully aware of the fact that Death Proof is supposed to be a tribute to exploitation movies, it doesn’t succeed in that fully. It tries to be dialogue driven, and that just doesn’t really work with the exploitation genre. Even if it is possible for it to work, the dialogue here while not bad, is on such a lower level compared to his other movies, and isn’t enough to make you genuinely interested in the characters or what is going on. So, when it is following these two groups of characters as they are talking about random things (like Tarantino does), you might be mildly interested but it really just feels like a grind for the most part.

That’s not to say that the movie is without merit. Kurt Russell is great as the serial killer Stuntman Mike, and the rest of the cast are honestly decent for the most part, even though they really didn’t have much to work with. Also, a lot of the aesthetics seen in exploitation movies are captured very well here, from the sleazy side to the freeze frames and the scratchy visual effects. The scenes involving cars, whether that be the murders in the first half, and the chase scenes in the second half are generally thrilling too. Watching it again more recently, I definitely disliked it less than when I saw it, but I still take a lot of issues with it. Placing it at the bottom of this wasn’t exactly a difficult decision to make.

My original review of Death Proof

My more recent review of Death Proof

9. Kill Bill Vol. 1

I know some people would put both parts of Kill Bill as one movie, and Tarantino himself has called them one movie, but the tones and approaches to the story are so different that it can easily be split into two parts, and they are released years apart, so I will treat them as separate movies. I know that it must be pretty outrageous to some putting Kill Bill (any of the parts) close to the bottom of the list. However, I do think it’s really good, and I think I’ll like it even more the more I watch it.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 is one of the most stylistic movies ever made, and I love a lot of Quentin Tarantino’s style and direction throughout. This is the more Eastern style revenge movie, with some really over the top elements, but Tarantino’s blend of different styles and genres work so well together to culminate in a really entertaining movie. I mean he even inserted an anime segment for a character in a lengthy backstory and it actually worked seamlessly with the rest of the movie. The over the top gory action and violence is still memorable, with it remaining Tarantino’s bloodiest movie (which is saying a lot). The cast all work well, with Uma Thurman cementing herself as an icon here as The Bride. With all that said, I’d be lying if I said that it was hard placing this movie towards the lower end of the list. When I think back to the movie, I tend to remember how stylish, bloody and entertaining it is, but that’s it. The dialogue I guess is reasonably good but none of it stuck with me like his other movies. The story itself was pretty simple and didn’t have a lot to it (and you can probably already guess why I prefer the second volume over the first), even though it does its job fine enough and easily gets you on board with Thurman’s character. I’m not complaining that there’s not much ‘substance’, I don’t have a problem with movies having ‘style over substance’ (whatever that even means at this point), but I just personally got a lot more out of his other movies outside of the entertainment. Although I may not quite love Kill Bill Vol. 1 as much as other people, it nonetheless remains and iconic classic and definitely deserves all the acclaim.

My review of Kill Bill Vol. 1

8. Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown is often widely known as one of Tarantino’s weaker movies, I myself thought it was just alright when I first saw it but not on the level of most of his other movies. As you can tell by my placement of it on my list, it’s not one of my favourites, but I definitely liked it a lot more when I saw it again.

Jackie Brown is a slow burn for sure, but it’s also Tarantino at his most restrained (along with his latest movie). He really takes his time with the plot progression and although it takes a while to get use to the pacing, it’s very rewarding to stick through it all the way to the end. The cast were good, with some of the characters among the best written from Tarantino, with the highlights being Pam Grier, Robert Forster and Samuel L. Jackson. Although I don’t think it’s one of his best movies, it’s still great, and I get the feeling that I’ll appreciate it more and more I watch it.

My review of Jackie Brown

7. Kill Bill Vol. 2

Kill Bill Vol 1 used to be my favourite of the 2 parts, with Vol. 2 feeling rather weak in comparison to me. It felt more drawn out, less flashy, and I was even a little bored at certain points. However looking at it again more recently, Vol. 2 really stuck with me more, especially with it being a lot more story driven.

Whereas the first volume was more of an Eastern style revenge, Volume 2 is a Western style revenge, though that’s not necessarily why I prefer it more. As I said, it’s a much more story driven movie, and it really takes its time with its pacing. Save for a few moments, a lot of the more over the top and outrageous parts from the first volume has been significantly toned down here. It gave me a little more to care about what is going on outside of the obvious revenge aspect. The acting also stood out more in this movie. Uma Thurman was already great in the first volume, but she’s even better in Volume 2. And in his small screentime, David Carradine as the titular character of Bill remains one of the highlights of the movie. Volume 2 does have its issues, like the odd random monologue which comes out of nowhere and just feels unneeded. Also I should mention that generally the Kill Bill movies just don’t really stick with me, as I know for many other people they’re much higher on other peoples’ lists. But if I had to pick a favourite of the two parts, I’d definitely take the second over the first.

My review of Kill Bill Vol. 2

6. Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Tarantino made one of the best directorial debuts ever with Reservoir Dogs. It’s a real standout in the crime heist genre, showing only the aftermath of the heist. While Tarantino was still finding and discovering his style at this point in time, he already showed some impressive talent here and would only build upon it later on.

Reservoir Dogs demonstrated Quentin Tarantino’s abilities early on, mostly with his real standout writing, with some clever and surprising twists, fantastic (and occasionally meandering) dialogue, and unconventional ways of telling the story. Even when Reservoir Dogs is significantly lower budget, and Tarantino’s direction seems pretty standard compared to all his movies that would follow it, today it still holds up at being very effective. The small but talented cast did a very good job, with Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Michael Madsen particularly standing out. I’m not sure where people generally place Reservoir Dogs amongst his filmography, but I still think for the most part it still holds up reasonably well today.

My review of Reservoir Dogs

5. Pulp Fiction

The placing of this film on the list is maybe a little different than most would expect from lists ranking Tarantino’s movies. Pulp Fiction is often labelled as his masterpiece, it’s the film that launched Tarantino onto the map as a director to really watch, and as inspired so many future filmmakers. Make no mistake, it’s an excellent movie, and absolutely deserves all the acclaim it’s been receiving ever since its release.

Reservoir Dogs was Quentin finding his style and tone, and with Pulp Fiction, he fully defined it for audiences everywhere. Tarantino’s script was fantastic, doing a great job at making 3 interconnecting stories all worked together seamlessly. It’s generally an entertaining movie, with some great dialogue, and very memorable characters and scenes. The cast also were great, with John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman being the highlights, giving some of the best performances of their careers. At this point, you might be wondering why this movie is lower on the list. The movie doesn’t exactly have many problems, but I personally found the Bruce Willis storyline to be a little weaker in comparison to the other two, and it even managed to drag at certain points. Outside of that, I personally just think the next movies on this list just stuck with me a lot more. Nonetheless it’s a classic for a very good reason.

My review of Pulp Fiction

4. Django Unchained

For a while, Django Unchained was my favourite of Tarantino’s movies ever since I first saw it, I actually think it was the first movie I saw from him. It’s over the top, brutal, stylistic, and entertaining from beginning to end, and I had a blast with it.

Tarantino has infused western elements in a number of his movies, but this is his first attempt at making a full on western, and you can tell he absolutely loved doing that with every second of Django Unchained. Jamie Foxx is really good but Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson are fantastic here. Django Unchained is a standout among the western genre in recent years, and Tarantino brought to the table some of his best aspects, from the snappy dialogue, the fantastic writing, and the deliberately larger than life and stylish direction. Granted it’s been a little while since I’ve seen it last, but from the past few times I saw it, I loved it.

My review of Django Unchained

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s most recent release is also one of his best. His love letter to Hollywood is also his most laid back, optimistic, impressive considering most of his other movies (and especially considering the film he made just beforehand). It may not work for everyone especially how different it is compared to much of his other movies, but I consider it to be amongst his best work.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is quite a long movie at almost 3 hours long and meanders for much of its runtime, but it’s one of the rare cases where I actually loved it despite much of its plotless narrative. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt gave some of the best performances of their career, and there are some good performances from the rest of the cast as well. Tarantino and Margot Robbie also successfully tributed Sharon Tate in a respectful way, showing audiences who Tate is (more than a tragic victim of the Manson murders). The third act is also fantastic and is amongst Tarantino’s best final acts in his filmography. It’s not quite my favourite of his movies however, even though I really do love it. I guess the first act was a little slower, even though the movie really picked up after the second act started. Also I feel like the rest of the cast outside of DiCaprio and Pitt didn’t really get to shine as much, I particularly would’ve liked to seen more of Margot as Sharon, the latter will no doubt be fixed with the longer cut that Tarantino has planned to release. With that said, I get the feeling I’ll like the movie the more I watch it, I already love it and it’s getting better the more I think about it.

My review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

These next two movies are interchangeable, I’m still trying to figure out which I like more.

2. Inglourious Basterds

In most lists ranking Tarantino’s movies, Inglourious Basterds is ranked in at least the top 3 of his best movies and for very good reason. Absolutely everything in this movie works at such a high level, from the writing, direction, acting, there’s really no weak spot that this film has that I could really pinpoint.

Inglourious Basterds is probably Tarantino’s most complete movie. From the beginning with the excellent opening with Christoph Waltz, to the fiery and chaotic climax, Inglourious Basterds doesn’t make a single misstep. With his writing, Tarantino has crafted some great characters and dialogue, as well as countless incredibly memorable scenes. The cast all worked very well in their roles, with Christoph Waltz and Melanie Laurent being the highlights. Entertaining and all round fantastic, Inglourious Basterds really does get better every time you watch it and is one of my all-time favourite movies.

My review of Inglourious Basterds

1. The Hateful Eight

Bit of an unconventional pick for Quentin Tarantino’s best perhaps. While The Hateful Eight is generally well received, responses have been split a little. Some loved it, others found it to be disappointing and one of Tarantino’s weakest movies. I really liked The Hateful Eight when I first saw it, however I only loved it when I watched it again in prep for his latest film. I can’t exactly explain why this movie worked so well for me particularly, but there’s something about it that I love over his other movies.

The Hateful Eight nearly 3 hours long (and even longer if you watched the extended cut) but from beginning to end it is completely riveting, even before people start being killed off. It’s a slow burn with the first half, but with the characters and the incredible dialogue, I was on board with it all the way. This is by far Tarantino’s bleakest movie from beginning to end, with his most despicable lineup of characters, and an uncomfortable vibe between many of the characters throughout. Strangely enough though, it still managed to be darkly funny at times, and I just had a really good time watching it. The ensemble cast all around were fantastic, with Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Walton Goggins being the standouts. It may be interesting watching it as your first viewing as detectives trying to figure out what’s going on, but it’s even better rewatching it knowing exactly what’s going on. The Hateful Eight is I guess on the side of the more divisive of his filmography, but I consider it among his best, if not his all-time best.

My review of The Hateful Eight

What is your ranking of Quentin Tarantino’s movies?

EDIT: Upon further thoughts and a rewatch, I’d now move Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to the number 9 position of the ranking, ahead of Death Proof and behind Kill Bill Vol. 1.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) Review

Time: 161 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Graphic violence, drug use, offensive language & sexual material
Cast:
Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton
Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth
Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate
Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring
Margaret Qualley as “Pussycat”
Timothy Olyphant as James Stacy
Julia Butters as Trudi Fraser
Austin Butler as Charles “Tex” Watson
Dakota Fanning as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme
Bruce Dern as George Spahn
Mike Moh as Bruce Lee
Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder
Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen
Al Pacino as Marvin Schwarz
Director: David Leitch

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one of the most anticipated movies of 2019. First of all, it is the next movie from writer and director Quentin Tarantino, and also features one of the best casts of the year, with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino and more involved. I was curious about much of this movie, from the cast, to it being Tarantino’s first movie about Hollywood, considering his absolute love for film. Then there was the whole aspect of it apparently surrounding Sharon Tate’s murder (with this movie initially being branded as a Manson murder movie, which it very much isn’t). Tarantino delivers on yet another fantastic movie, and one of the best of the year.

If you plan to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, you should probably know first that is a long movie at around 2 hours and 40 minutes, and there is an even longer cut coming later. This is definitely Tarantino’s most laid back movie, and this kind of approach to the story won’t work for a lot of people. Some movies that meander don’t really work for me, it would have to have me on board or invested in order for it to even like. However, for whatever reason, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood does work for me. Admittedly, it took me some time to get used to the pacing in the first act, it was rather slow to begin with. The movie is really is just jumping around to the perspectives of the 3 main characters and what they’re doing, with each of the 3 acts focussing on a day in their lives. The movie isn’t plot driven on the whole, not with revenge or anything like that. This is also among the most genuinely heartfelt of Tarantino’s movies, the only other movie of his you could really compare it to is Jackie Brown. It’s ironic that after his bleakest and darkest movie with The Hateful Eight, he then makes his most lighthearted. It’s also very much a comedy for the most part, and that comedy is generally effective throughout. At the same time, it’s darkly effective when it needs to be, such as a tense scene taking place at a ranch with Brad Pitt. I won’t mention much about the third act (it’s really the only part of the movie that you could really spoil), but that’s the point when it really escalates, and if you find yourself a little bored from the rest of the time, you’re going to probably like that act more (provided you don’t take issue with the direction it takes), as it seems to be a lot more focussed in terms of plot. However, I know that some people won’t accept this particular direction, I was more than fine with what they did. I do think that it’s worth mentioning that I think some of the significance of certain scenes won’t hit people who aren’t familiar with the Manson family murders, or Sharon Tate and what happened to her. Now I’m not an expert, but I do generally know the main idea of what happened in real life for a while before going into the movie, and so I got the intended effect. But I just know that people who don’t really know about it at all will be confused at the very least. For those who already know about it and are wondering if her murder was exploited (like many have speculated), the simplest answer I can give is no.

The cast was pretty large and talented, and among the most exciting aspects of the movie. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt give some of their best performances here, and their respective characters of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth are among Tarantino’s best characters. They share some great chemistry together and genuinely feel like best friends. Despite being mainly known as a ‘serious’ actor, DiCaprio with this and The Wolf of Wall Street has really shown that he has a knack for comedy. There’s a certain scene where he just has a complete breakdown after not getting some of his lines right, and it’s among the funniest scenes in the movie. His storyline is really about him being struggling as an actor, as his transition from tv actor to film actor has failed. Brad Pitt also shines as Cliff Booth, which rivalling his best performances (and that’s saying a lot). He has so many hilarious lines and moments, and is really one of the highlights of the movie. Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate, and there was much speculation surrounding her role in the movie. The main story really follows Dalton and Booth as they have their own storylines, but once in a while it’ll cut to Tate doing things during her day. One could wonder why the movie focusses on her, as none of her scenes seems to be in a storyline like the other two main characters, or does it seem to be amounting to anything. What I can tell is that her inclusion is meant to show audiences who Sharon Tate is through brief scenes, from her picking up a hitchhiker to her entering a screening of a movie that she starred in to hear audiences’ reactions to her performance. Robbie and Tarantino did a good job at making audiences of today remember Tate as someone much more than a tragic murder victim. I would’ve liked to have seen more of her, hopefully that inevitable extended cut will have more scenes with her. I will say though, despite the cast being one of the most anticipated parts of the movie, outside of those 3 previously mentioned actors, most of the others don’t get a ton of screentime. The likes of Margaret Qualley, Al Pacino, Timothy Oliphant, Dakota Fanning and others play their parts well, but don’t expect to see them more than a few scenes. Some appearances of actors like Michael Madsen and Scoot McNairy, as well as portrayals of iconic real life people like Bruce Lee (Mike Moh) and Steve McQueen (Damien Lewis) are basically just cameos. I guess they’re good in their necessary scenes, and maybe didn’t need to have more, but it’s worth knowing going in that they don’t get a massive amount to do like you might think they do.

Quentin Tarantino definitely has a great handle of this movie, as he usually does with his films. He really takes you back to the 60s Hollywood time period, with the costumes, to the production design and sets, and yes, the very well picked music. Longtime Tarantino cinematographer Robert Richardson also contributes heavily to the movie, giving it a stunning look and even successfully conveying a fantasy and relaxed feel to some of the scenes. Sometimes the movie would just follow Booth or Tate just driving, for a minute or so, it may stop the plot for a bit but for some reason it just worked for the overall vibe of the movie. I feel like if you are really into film, there’s going to be a lot of things in the movie that you’re going to enjoy, especially the scenes of filming with Dalton’s segment in the second act.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino’s heartfelt love letter to Hollywood, and one of the best movies of the year. The cast is great (DiCaprio, Pitt and Robbie particularly), and Tarantino’s writing and direction are on point. It’s not quite in my top 3 favourites from him, but it’s close, and I’d still say that it’s among his best movies. I know that apparently he wants to make one more movie before he wants to retire as a director, but if he just finished with this movie, it would be very fitting for him.

The Hateful Eight (2015) Review

Time: 168 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic violence, sexual violence & offensive language
Cast:
Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren
Kurt Russell as John Ruth
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue
Walton Goggins as Chris Mannix
Demián Bichir as Señor Bob
Tim Roth as Oswaldo Mobray
Michael Madsen as Joe Gage
Bruce Dern as General Sandford “Sandy” Smithers
James Parks as O.B. Jackson
Director: Quentin Tarantino

While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter another bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and a man who claims to be a sheriff. Hoping to find shelter from a blizzard, the group travels to a stagecoach stopover located on a mountain pass. Greeted there by four strangers, the eight travelers soon learn that they may not make it to their destination after all.

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I had been meaning to rewatch The Hateful Eight for a while. I remember looking forward to The Hateful Eight ever since its announcement, mostly because of Quentin Tarantino’s involvement. We nearly didn’t get this movie when the script leaked and Tarantino initially wanted to not do it, but I’m glad he changed his mind because The Hateful Eight ended up being really great. Having rewatched it (the recently released extended version), I now consider it to be one of his all time best movies. The acting from its large and talented cast is fantastic and Tarantino’s script is great, it had me riveted from start to finish.

Quentin Tarantino is generally great when it comes to writing, and his script here is among his best work. This movie like his many of his others are dialogue driven, and unsurprisingly the dialogue is fantastic, no one writes dialogue like him. The theatrical cut is very long at 168 minutes and people need to know that going in. Also it’s not like an explosive action movie, it’s a suspenseful mystery film and moves at quite a slower pace. Once all the main characters are in the same place in the same house, it builds up the suspense as we spend time with the characters and have to try to figure out if they are trustworthy or not. It definitely improves on a repeat viewing, because you know exactly what is going on. People only really start dying around the halfway point, from then on it becomes very tense. So if you are a little bored during it, the second half should pick up for you. None of these characters are particularly good people, in fact in terms of lineups of Tarantino characters in each of his movies they are easily the most despicable group, but they are entertaining and interesting enough that you’re still willing to watch them for just under 3 hours. This movie was surprisingly darkly hilarious as well, it really had me entertained throughout. As for people who have seen the movie already and are wondering about the extended cut, Netflix broke it up into 4 50 minute segments, making the movie about 3 and a half hours long. I looked up at some parts of it, and the parts that did add in were written pretty good. Otherwise for the most part I didn’t notice too many differences, and you’re not necessarily missing out anything major. So if you’re watching the movie for the first time, it might be better to go with the theatrical cut.

This cast is large and talented with Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern and James Parks and they were all fantastic, there were a few highlights though. This is one of Samuel L. Jackson’s all time best performances, he just absolutely nails this role. This was actually the first movie I have seen Walton Goggins in, and if I was forced to pick a highlight performance among plenty of other great performances in this movie, it would be his. Another showstealer was Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is amazing here as the prisoner being taken by Kurt Russell’s bounty hunter. I do feel like the writing didn’t give the character quite as much to do in the movie as she could’ve, but JJL really brought it to the performance. Channing Tatum also makes an appearance that’s a little more than a cameo, and I will say that he is great in his screentime, very different role for him.

Tarantino once again directs this film really well. One of the first things you’ll notice about this movie is Robert Richardson’s cinematography, it’s a stunning looking movie. It really felt like we were back in the 19th Century and it really places you in this snowy environment, we don’t really get that with Westerns. The Hateful Eight is a much smaller movie compared to Django Unchained, there are very little action or scenes with violence. It’s very much a suspense and mystery film, almost like a longer and Western version of Reservoir Dogs. There aren’t a whole lot of people being killed like in Kill Bill or Django Unchained but when people die, it is unsurprisingly violent in pure Tarantino style. However this time it’s much more brutal than you’d expect it to be, which fits the tone of the movie. The soundtrack from Ennio Morricone was masterful, he actually used some unused music from The Thing as part of it. It fits absolutely perfectly for this movie.

The Hateful Eight is yet another fantastic film from Quentin Tarantino that has gotten a bit of a mixed response from some people, but it really worked for me. From the fantastic writing, the great performances and direction, everything about this movie I really loced. This Hateful Eight definitely does hold up on repeat viewings, in fact it gets better upon rewatches. Both this and Inglourious Basterds are now my favourite movies from Tarantino, and I’m looking forward to seeing if Once Upon a Time in Hollywood manages to be at that level.

Inglourious Basterds (2009) Review

Time: 153 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence and offensive language
Cast:
Brad Pitt as Aldo “The Apache” Raine
Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus/Emmanuelle Mimieux
Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa
Eli Roth as Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz
Michael Fassbender as Archie Hicox
Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark
Daniel Brühl as Private First Class Fredrick Zoller
Til Schweiger as Hugo Stiglitz
Director: Quentin Tarantino

In World War 2, a group of American soldiers led by LT. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is sent into Nazi occupied France to kill as many Nazis as possible. A plan is made to kill high ranking German officers at a movie theatre. That movie theatre belongs to Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent), a Jewish refugee who witnessed the deaths of her family by Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). When she finds that every major Nazi officer is attending for a premiere, she hatches a plan of her own.

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Inglourious Basterds is widely considered one of the best films from Quentin Tarantino, and for good reason. The acting, direction but most of all the writing makes this such a unique, different and entertaining movie, which has gotten better every time I’ve watched it. One of his most complete movies and definitely one of his top tier movies, if not his all time best.

It’s no surprise that Quentin Tarantino’s writing is fantastic, in its 2 hour and 20 minute runtime it doesn’t miss a beat. From start to finish the film is riveting, a good example of one of these scenes, happens to be one of the best scenes, which is at the very beginning; it was a very tense and it’s a credit to the actors and Tarantino. One thing that is different from his other movies is the way it is structured; the film is broken up into chapters, focussing on particular characters. It’s only in the final chapter where both the Basterds, Hans Landa and Shosanna are in the same chapter. As usual the dialogue is fantastic, and while Tarantino could be considered self-indulgent with some of the dialogue in this movies, here all of it feels just right. Another difference is the use of 4 multiple languages throughout the movie, which was definitely a different turn from Tarantino and made things interesting. The final act of this movie is exhilarating and very entertaining in one bloodbath of a finale.

Tarantino gets the best out of everyone who stars in his movies and Inglourious Basterds is no exception. Brad Pitt is hilarious in this movie, especially with his very overplayed accent. Other actors like Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender and Daniel Bruhl, all have great moments in this movie and contribute to the movie immensely. There are however two standouts among the cast. The performance that steals the show of course is by Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa. Waltz is magnetic when he’s on screen, that aforementioned opening scene establishes him as an absolute screen presence. Melanie Laurent is often overlooked in this movie but she’s really fantastic here, definitely deserving of much more praise.

Quentin Tarantino effortlessly directs this movie with his style and infuses it with a lot of energy. Tarantino really helps to set the film in the 1940s, from the production design to the costumes, all of it was done well with great detail and it really paid off. Helping this is the music picked for it, even when some of the songs that are used in a much later time period (including Cat People by David Bowie), they fit perfectly in the scenes they are placed in.

Inglourious Basterds has gotten better every single time that I’ve seen it. The performances from its large and talented cast (especially from Melanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz) were great, and of course the writing and direction is at the core of what made it work so well. Though we are still a little while away from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, at this point in time I’d say that Inglourious Basterds may well be Tarantino’s best film yet. Definitely watch it if you haven’t seen it already.

Death Proof (2007) Retrospective Review

Death Proof

Time: 113 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Offensive language, violence and content that may offend
Cast:
Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike
Rosario Dawson as Abernathy
Vanessa Ferlito as Arlene
Jordan Ladd as Shanna
Rose McGowan as Pam
Sydney Tamiia Poitier as Jungle Julia
Tracie Thoms as Kim
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lee
Zoë Bell as Herself
Director: Quentin Tarantino

Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is a professional body double who likes to take unsuspecting women for deadly drives in his free time. He has doctored his car for maximum impact; when Mike purposely causes wrecks, the bodies pile up while he walks away with barely a scratch. The insane Mike may be in over his head, though, when he targets a tough group of female friends, including real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell (who served as Uma Thurman’s double in “Kill Bill”), who plays herself.

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I remember when I first saw Death Proof many years ago, I heard it was his worst movie, but I was expecting that going in, and I was just expecting a reasonably okay movie. I was still immensely disappointed in the end result, it was overlong and dull, and for a tribute to exploitation movies in general, it partially misses the mark. Having rewatched a lot of Quentin Tarantino’s movies in the lead up to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I decided to watch Death Proof again, to see if I still felt that way about the movie. While I didn’t dislike it as much when I first saw it, most of my feelings on the movie haven’t really changed all that much.

As it’s a second review of the movie, I might delve into spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the movie yourself that just know this. Personally though I don’t think much of the experience could be ruined by spoilers. The biggest problem of the movie is that it tries to do two things at once, and they doesn’t work together. On one hand it’s meant to be an exploitation tribute movie, it was even paired with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror in a collection called Grindhouse. It certainly gets the sleaze aspect correct, and it does have some moments of the graphic violence that you’d expect. There are no doubt some grindhouse elements, and the concept alone sounds like a exploitation movie. However, Death Proof movie also tries to be dialogue driven, and it just doesn’t fit the movie at all. All of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, save for Kill Bill Vol. 1 (and maybe Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds) are dialogue driven, and Death Proof is no exception. For those who don’t know, exploitation movies are rather trashy, and usually filled with a bunch of explicit content, whether it be violence or sex. Not that I necessarily need that to enjoy the movie, but considering what it’s supposedly aiming to be, the focus on a lot of dialogue is just rather confusing. Even if you were going to try to make it work, the dialogue in the movie isn’t necessarily bad but it’s nowhere near as captivating as his other movies, it’s really weak. I didn’t dislike it as much as the last time I saw the movie but its pretty underwhelming. Usually Tarantino writes some very memorable characters. Taking Kurt Russell’s Stuntman Mike out of it however you don’t really remember the characters outside of the actors playing them.

The movie is split into two halves. The first half is mostly at a bar, it’s not that good but at least you feel like it’s really building up to something, with Stuntman Mike around the group of characters. The second half is much different. It starts with Stuntman Mike but then he disappears and doesn’t really come back till like the last 20 minutes of the movie, so there’s like no tension whatsoever and you’re just watching these uninteresting characters just talk about random things, except (as I mentioned the earlier) the dialogue isn’t all that good. Sure, there really wasn’t a lot happening in the first half but at least you felt like he was around to pose a threat. The second half also contains a questionable at best scene where the girls leave Mary Elizabeth Winstead with a guy who just so happened to play a trucker rapist in Kill Bill, and they ended the scene with some very unnerving implications to say the least. I’m not even sure what the point of that scene even was, because if anything that just makes us not care about these characters. While I do like the idea of making having a switch around with Stuntman Mike then being chased by the lead women, the fact that he just went after them in broad daylight was a little far fetched and kind of out of character for him considering how slowly he took his time planning his murders in the first half. Still, the last act was entertaining and a fitting way to end the movie. The movie is under an hour and 50 minutes long and it definitely feels far too long, probably shouldn’t have been more than 80/90 minutes. Honestly if you cut out (or at least shortened) quite a lot of the dialogue, you might’ve been able to make the movie shorter and overall a lot better.

Kurt Russell is one of the most recognisable actors in the movie as Stuntman Mike, although being listed as the lead, he just sort of appears on screen every so often. With that said, he kills it in all of his scenes as a serial killer who uses a car instead of a knife or a chainsaw. And when he gets shot in the third act and finds himself on the run, his sudden change in acting was effectively hilarious. The first group of women included Vanessa Ferlito, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Jordan Ladd and Rose McGowan, with the second group consisting of Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Zoe Bell (as herself). All in all they are at about the same level, they are alright but can only do so much. I really just didn’t care about these characters, which really was the main problem.

Quentin Tarantino directed this, and I think he mostly did a good job with it. He manages to make Death Proof look like an exploitation movie, some of it works, other parts don’t. The effects and filter on the screen is done to make it look like an exploitation movie, there’s even parts where the screen blacks out a second, meant to look like it’s changing to the next film reel. In the first part of the second half, the screen turned black and white (I guess it’s meant to be like meta with projectors losing colours) and when it returns, the scratchy effects are completely absent all the way to the end of the movie, never really understood why that happened. The car scenes themselves are good, it really consists of just 3 though, the crash with the first group of women, the bit where Russell is chasing the second group of women with Zoe Bell on the roof on the car, and him getting chased himself. The crash scene is straight out of a grindhouse movie, with the impact happening and rewinding to see the absolute damage it happened on everything and everyone. The chase with Zoe Bell on a car (who’s a real stuntwoman and she certainly performed that scene well that well) was very thrilling. And of course the final chase was gratifying as Russell found the tables turned against him. I don’t remember the soundtrack of Death Proof that much but I remember the songs fitting the movie reasonably well, which Tarantino does well in all of his movies.

Quentin Tarantino has a near perfect lineup of movies on his filmography, but Death Proof stands out in a bad way, by far his worst movie. If you like a lot of his other movies and haven’t seen this one yet, it’s worth giving it a chance at least. Just make sure not to take the movie seriously at all. Having seen this movie twice, I still don’t think it works. As for making effective tributes to exploitation movies, Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror seemed to be way more aware of the movie it should be trying to be.

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) Review

Time: 136 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1]
Cast:
Uma Thurman as The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo (Black Mamba)
David Carradine as Bill (Snake Charmer)
Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth)
Vivica A. Fox as Vernita Green (Copperhead)
Michael Madsen as Budd (Sidewinder)
Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver
Julie Dreyfus as Sofie Fatale
Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo
Gordon Liu as Pai Mei
Director: Quentin Tarantino

The Bride (Uma Thurman) picks up where she left off in volume one with her quest to finish the hit list she has composed of all of the people who have wronged her, including ex-boyfriend Bill (David Carradine), who tried to have her killed four years ago during her wedding to another man. Leaving several dead in her wake, she eventually tracks down Bill in Mexico. Using skills she has learned during her assassin career, she attempts to finish what she set out to do in the first place.

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Directly after watching Kill Bill Volume 1, I decided to watch the second half of the story that same day. I always remembered it being a solid enough but underwhelming follow up to Volume 1, and it seemed to be a reaction that I’ve seen from multiple people. I definitely think it is a better movie when I saw it again not too long ago. This movie swapped out the over the top action flick with a western-esque revenge, and that’ll either make you like it more than the first movie, or like it less. Personally I now consider it to be the better of the two movies.

Kill Bill Volume 2 is a very different movie compared to the first one. It is much slower paced movie, there isn’t nearly the same amount of the blood and gore and it’s more longer and drawn out at 2 hours and 20 minutes instead of an hour and 50 minutes. It is a lot more dialogue focussed, and given that this is Tarantino’s strongest suit, he excels at it. While it is jarring seeing the difference between the two movies (especially after watching one after the other), there’s a lot more going on with the story. Volume 2 leans in heavier with the Western genre conventions. This movie works a lot better with me on a rewatch than the first time I saw it. I won’t deny that the first volume is way more entertaining, it’s one of the most stylish and iconic movies ever made. However, writing wise I’d say that the second movie is better. With that said, I still don’t think that the writing is anything compared to most of his other movies. While it has some great moments of dialogue, some of the dialogue scenes feel drawn out and unnecessary. The biggest example is a scene between The Bride and a character played by Michael Parks, the scene could’ve just been a couple minutes long but Parks has this long monologue and it really felt self indulgent (really a lot of the movies do). I know a lot of people want a Kill Bill 3 but honestly I thought they ended the story perfectly here.

Uma Thurman is once again excellent as The Bride, this is her career defining role. With this movie being more low-key, story-focussed and less action orientated, she gets a lot more to do here acting-wise. Other supporting players teased in the previous movie also get to do a lot more here. We finally get to actually see David Carradine as Bill and he definitely lived up to all the build up, he was perfect for what the movie needed and he particularly shines in the third act. Not to mention the actual much anticipated confrontation between him and The Bride doesn’t go the way that you’d initially expect it to. The other remaining people that The Bride is after played by Michael Madsen and Daryl Hannah also play their roles very well.

Quentin Tarantino’s direction was once again great and like the story, it was a much more lowkey, less over the top action and not nearly as stylish as the previous movie. There aren’t as many insane and over the top moments. However, it is very well directed, the western influences are definitely a lot more present here. If you felt that Tarantino was way too indulgent with the way he directed Volume 1, Volume 2 is probably going to be more up your alley. The action itself is good, even if there weren’t many of them. The highlight was a fight between Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah, which is the most flashy of all the fight scenes, very over the top and entertaining.

Kill Bill Vol 2 worked way better than I initially gave it credit. It fills in much of the story depth that was missing from the first half, the writing and direction was great as to be expected, the cast was great (with Uma Thurman once again leading excellently) and I’d consider it to be better than the first volume. People are generally split on which of the movies is better. I’ll say that if you really liked Volume 1, you’re going to want to watch Volume 2 for the story at the very least. Maybe you might like it even more than the first movie.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) Review

Time: 111 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1]
Cast:
Uma Thurman as the Bride
Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii
David Carradine as Bill
Vivica A. Fox as Vernita Green
Michael Madsen as Budd
Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver
Julie Dreyfus as Sofie Fatale
Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo
Chiaki Kuriyama as Gogo Yubari
Gordon Liu as Johnny Mo
Michael Parks as Earl McGraw
Director: Quentin Tarantino

A former assassin, known simply as The Bride (Uma Thurman), wakes from a coma four years after her jealous ex-lover Bill (David Carradine) attempts to murder her on her wedding day. Fueled by an insatiable desire for revenge, she vows to get even with every person who contributed to the loss of her unborn child, her entire wedding party, and four years of her life. After devising a hit list, The Bride sets off on her quest, enduring unspeakable injury and unscrupulous enemies.

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I’ve been meaning to rewatch the Quentin Tarantino movies I haven’t seen more than once, and I started that with Kill Bill. I remember liking Kill Bill when I first saw it, although I liked the first part a lot more than the second. I don’t remember it being among my favourites of Tarantino’s movies, it was entertaining but that’s all it was for me. I’ve watched it again, and while I still don’t consider it among his best work, I do appreciate it much more now.

Kill Bill is split into two parts and you can feel that for sure, however Volume 1 still works as its own movie. This is a very different film from Tarantino, while the plot of Kill Bill involves revenge (which seems to be in line with some of his other movies), many of the things that happen here is nothing like he’s done before. Volume 1 seemed to be a mashup of anime, martial arts movies and western genres, and the combinations work really well. It’s split up into chapters and not necessarily told in chronological order, yet somehow it works. The pacing is pretty good and fast paced, keeping you engaged throughout the entire hour and 50 minutes runtime. He uses a lot of visual storytelling, and saved much of the big heavy exposition scenes for Volume 2. Now with that being said, with the lack of a lot of dialogue comes with some of the issues of parts of the story being empty, which is something that Volume 2 makes up for thankfully. Some of the chapters also are better than others, the one where The Bride is getting a sword wasn’t as engaging as the other sections of the movie, even though it was necessary for the plot. On the whole it’s really entertaining.

The cast do well in their roles and Tarantino wrote them as being very memorable and fleshing a lot of them out, even with only brief moments for characterisation. It’s really Uma Thurman who’s the standout of the entire movie, she was great as the lead character of The Bride, giving the best performance of her career. She was very convincing as her character, as well as the action. As great as this movie was, it wouldn’t have been nearly as effective without Thurman. Lucy Liu also works really well as one of the people that The Bride is after, who plays a large part in the second half of the movie. Vivica A. Fox also does well in the one chapter that she appears in. There are also some brief appearances by David Carradine, Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen as characters who would play a much larger part in Volume 2 and they are also good in their screentime here.

As to be expected, Quentin Tarantino’s direction is great. As I said earlier, this is a very different film from him, and that’s especially the case with his directing style. Kill Bill Volume 1 is probably his most stylish film, and considering the films that he’s made with the likes of Pulp Fiction and such, that really is saying a lot. It attempts many different styles, there’s even a bit where one of the chapter was a straight up anime and it somehow worked with the whole film. People don’t really think of Tarantino as the action movie kind of director (aside from this movie, the closest thing to an action movie he’s made was Django Unchained almost a decade later) but he handled the action scenes really well. The most standout of the fight sequences was with The Bride against multiple enemies at once, it’s truly something to watch. As it’s a Tarantino movie, you can expect it to get really bloody, and Kill Bill Volume 1 is definitely among his most violent movies. I’m talking about decapitations, limbs being severed and geysers of blood. The aforementioned Crazy 88 fight was so bloody and gory that a black and white filter was put on and I’m pretty sure that it was so that the movie could get a rating less than a NC-17 (yet the black and white stylistically worked incredibly well). So if you have a pretty weak stomach, the Kill Bill movies are definitely not for you. Tarantino is one of the strongest examples of directors who’s use of music is generally iconic and works perfectly, Kill Bill showcases that very well.

Kill Bill Volume 1 was better than I remembered. Quentin Tarantino blended the genres really well, the film was really entertaining overall, and the cast (especially Uma Thurman) were great. It’s still not as great to me as say Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction or Inglourious Basterds but it remains a standout of his movies.

Jackie Brown (1997) Review

Time: 154 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence, offensive language and sex scenes
Cast:
Pam Grier as Jackie Brown
Samuel L. Jackson as Ordell Robbie
Robert Forster as Max Cherry
Bridget Fonda as Melanie Ralston
Michael Keaton as Ray Nicolette
Robert De Niro as Louis Gara
Director: Quentin Tarantino

When flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is busted smuggling money for her arms dealer boss, Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), agent Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton) and detective Mark Dargus (Michael Bowen) want her help to bring down Robbie. Facing jail time for her silence or death for her cooperation, Brown decides instead to double-cross both parties and make off with the smuggled money. Meanwhile, she enlists the help of bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster), a man who loves her.

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Jackie Brown is typically known by most as one of the weaker Quentin Tarantino movies. It’s such an odd movie for him to make, but after the unbelievable success of Pulp Fiction, he wanted to try something very different. When I saw it for the first time, I didn’t know what to think, it was fine and I didn’t dislike it by any means, it’s just that compared to his other movies, it just wasn’t on that same level. I wanted to watch it again to be sure of how I felt about it, and thankfully I liked it a lot more than I did before.

Jackie Brown is the only script by Tarantino that’s not completely original, as he’s adapting an Elmore Leonard’s book titled Rum Punch. I’ve never read the book myself or looked up the similarities and differences between the two, but Quentin no doubt made the movie its own thing. Jackie Brown is a much more lowkey and subtle movie compared to his others. While his movies are generally better experienced when you are actually fully focussed on it, you actually really need to pay attention to everything that’s going on with this movie, it’s very much story driven. It’s surprisingly a noir movie, with the characters, the slow pacing, and the way a lot of the plot points are set up. The dialogue is pure Tarantino, making most of the main characters as 3 dimensional as possible. As far as writing for characters go, this is one of his best. There are a lot of details and subtleties that make the movie one that you have to be fully paying attention to. The movie is 2 hours and a half long and it can drag a little bit towards the middle, but not enough to make the experience tedious (unless you’re expecting a much more flashy and fast paced movie).

There’s a pretty talented cast in Jackie Brown, and they all do a good job with it. Pam Grier is in the lead role of the titular character and she was really great at really brining this character to life, seemed to be a perfect casting choice considering how Jackie Brown is definitely paying homage to a lot of Blaxploitation movies. Robert Forster was one of the standouts, with him and Grier sharing some great chemistry, among the highlights of the film. This is probably one of Samuel L. Jackson’s most overlooked roles as an arms dealer, looking at the dialogue it really seemed like a role that Tarantino specifically wrote for Jackson (in fact at certain points I think he went overboard). While you get the feeling that Tarantino didn’t really take advantage of Robert de Niro as much as he could’ve, he acts here like he hasn’t before, it’s such a lowkey and different performance from him. Other supporting players like Michael Keaton and Bridget Fonda also work well in their roles.

Quentin Tarantino’s direction is also quite lowkey, yet from his style and cinematography you can still tell that it’s his movie, it’s just not as flashy as you’d expect it to be. Some people might accuse him of often having ‘style over substance’ (a very flawed criticism in general I find), but I’m not quite sure how you’d be able to say that about Jackie Brown. Unlike most of his movies, there really isn’t much violence, and when it is present it’s about as graphic as those typically seen in a PG-13/M rated movie. The music is also great, Tarantino typically finds a solid line-up of songs for the movie, Jackie Brown’s is among his best soundtracks for his films, and that’s saying a lot.

Jackie Brown may not rank among Quentin Tarantino’s all time best movies, but is still very solid. The performances from the large cast are good, and Tarantino’s direction and more story-driven script make it all work. Even if you generally don’t like Tarantino’s movies, I’d recommend checking it out, for some it’s even considered to be his best film.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) Review

Time: 108 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] contains violence
Cast:
George Clooney as Seth Gecko
Quentin Tarantino as Richard “Richie” Gecko
Harvey Keitel as Jacob Fuller
Juliette Lewis as Katherine Fuller
Ernest Liu as Scott Fuller
Salma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium
Cheech Marin as Border Guard/Chet Pussy/Carlos
Danny Trejo as Razor Charlie
Tom Savini as Sex Machine
Director: Robert Rodriguez

On the run from a bank robbery that left several police officers dead, Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his paranoid, loose-cannon brother, Richard (Quentin Tarantino), hightail it to the Mexican border. Kidnapping preacher Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his kids, the criminals sneak across the border in the family’s RV and hole up in a topless bar. Unfortunately, the bar also happens to be home base for a gang of vampires, and the brothers and their hostages have to fight their way out.

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I remember watching From Dusk Till Dawn years ago, it had a big reputation for starting off as a crime movie and then halfway through turns into a bloodbath of a vampire movie. It wasn’t that much of a surprise to me, I knew that going in. And in knowing that, it really worked for me and was a very entertaining movie. It’s a violent and bloody grindhouse/B movie that’s a lot of fun.

From Dusk Till Dawn is a very B movie and it wholeheartedly embraces that. As I said, From Dusk Till Dawn is known for basically being two halves of very different movies. The first half is a violent crime movie (probably a typical Tarantino crime film) following the Gecko Brothers (George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino) as they take a family hostage. The second half is a bloodbath of a vampire movie. I guess I would hide this as for some it was an absolute surprise but its practically a well known fact at this point that it’s not really worth it. As for which half you’ll prefer, I don’t really know. I will say that going in I was more expecting the vampire movie, so I was kind of waiting for that section to come up for a while. Quentin Tarantino wrote the script and you can really feel like it’s his writing throughout, especially with the dialogue. In a way, Tarantino’s writing and Rodriguez’s direction were a perfect match for this kind of story.

The cast for the most part does well. George Clooney gives quite possibly my favourite performance of his. Gone is the charismatic and charming Clooney that would be appear in even his criminal roles like Danny Ocean, here he is a straight up ruthless criminal who still remains likable despite it. Quentin Tarantino despite being a very talented writer and director does get a bit of a bad wrap when it comes to his acting, especially in this movie. I personally think he was actually alright here, no he’s not really that great of an actor but his character Richard Gecko who’s an unstable psychopath, he pulls it off well enough. Maybe other actors could play the part and do it better but he does the job okay. The hostage family is played by Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu, who really play the only redeemable characters in the whole movie, and they did quite well (although Liu is a cut below Keitel and Lewis). We do get some other actors in smaller roles but do their part to stand out, with Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin and Tom Savini being some of them. And of course we have Salma Hayek, who is only in a couple scenes but is one of the most memorable parts of the movie (granted its mostly because of a dance she does around the halfway point but still).

Robert Rodriguez directs this movie, and as typical of (non Spy Kids) Rodriguez, the action is entertaining and really bloody. Early on, when the violence is present, its bloody but it’s kind of disturbing at the same time. In the vampire segment however, it goes really over the top with the gore and its just really entertaining to watch. There is a lot of practical effects used for the gore and its very creative and impressive. These representations of vampires aren’t the Dracula kind of vampires, these are the absolutely grotesque and monstrous kind of vampires. The reason that this movie didn’t get an NC-17 rating is that they turned the vampire blood from red to green, and I guess it worked (and made it stand apart from the other representations of vampires even more).

From Dusk Till Dawn probably isn’t for everyone. The switch from crime to horror in the halfway point did put off some people, you might end up digging one segment much more than the other, I can’t say for certain. If you’re up for a weird and violent action horror movie written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez however, I’d say give it a go.

Pulp Fiction (1994) Review

1994, PULP FICTION

Pulp Fiction

Time: 154 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic Violence and Offensive Language
Cast:
John Travolta as Vincent Vega
Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield
Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace
Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge
Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolfe
Tim Roth as “Ringo”/”Pumpkin”
Amanda Plummer as Yolanda/Honey Bunny
Maria de Medeiros as Fabienne
Ving Rhames as Marsellus Wallace
Eric Stoltz as Lance
Christopher Walken as Captain Koons
Director: Quentin Tarantino

Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) are two hitmen who are out to retrieve a suitcase stolen from their employer, mob boss Marsellus Wallace. Wallace has also asked Vincent to take his wife Mia out a few days later when Wallace himself will be out of town. Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) is an aging boxer who is paid by Wallace to lose his next fight. The lives of these seemingly unrelated people are woven together comprising of a series of funny, bizarre and uncalled-for incidents.

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Pulp Fiction is one of the big cinematic classics that most people have heard of. I remember hearing about this movie for years and when I finally saw this movie I wondered how I could’ve held off this long. Everything is good in this movie with the great acting, filmmaking and the brilliant script created by director Quentin Tarantino, all of these help to make it a cinematic masterpiece.

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Let’s get the obvious out of the way: the script is absolutely fantastic. The structure is interesting, it has three stories, one with Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, another with John Travolta and Uma Thurman and another with Bruce Willis. These stories aren’t played chronologically instead they are plated during each other, a structure that Sin City would eventually use. All of the stories are great but if I had to pick a favourite, I’d pick the Jackson/Travolta story; the chemistry between those two were just so hilarious. I love dark comedy and it is well done here, it proves that death in movies can in fact be funny (not spoiling anything). The dialogue really shines here, a lot of these characters end up talk about meaningless things but they are interesting, hilarious and overall entertaining to watch. On top of that, all of the characters are well established and a lot of that is done through the dialogue. The pacing is also really good, I didn’t feel bored, the only time it felt a little slow was a scene with Bruce Willis and his girlfriend which felt a little long but that was it.

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Something that Quentin Tarantino can generally do is get the best out of his actors. It definitely helped that Tarantino’s ensemble of actors were well picked for their roles. Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are great in this movie and as I said before, their chemistry was very strong. Other actors like Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis did very well. It should be noted that this movie revived John Travolta and Bruce Willis’s career, so they have Tarantino to thank. Christopher Walken is only in one scene in the film and it results in one of the funniest scenes in the movie involving a gold watch. Every actor in this movie takes advantage of any scene they’re in.

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Pulp Fiction relies more on its script and acting than it does on special effects but the technical side is done very well. The film is very stylish with the editing, cinematography and overall direction, it was all very Tarantino esque. There are so many locations and moments that are so memorable, even when there’s nothing big going on. The soundtrack was also well picked and all of the songs were edited to the right moments.

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Pulp Fiction is a fantastic movie that should be watched by everyone. The acting is superb, Tarantino’s direction is great, the film is entertaining to watch but it’s the script that really ties everything together. It’s in my opinion Quentin Tarantino’s best movie, everything fits nicely together. If you haven’t seen this classic, check it out as soon as possible. Just know that it’s more of a dialogue driven movie, so you may not love this movie as much as others.