Quentin Tarantino

April 7, 2011

Quentin Tarantino

I don’t worship this guy like so many others. Sure, I enjoy some of his stuff, but his arrogance and outright theft (I mean, homage) really annoys me. I know he’s admitted in the past to stealing from others when he’s asked about it. But he puts it in the context that he’s a great artist and that’s what great artists do. Kiss my ass. With each film his self-indulgent dialogue scenes get longer and longer. It becomes less about the story telling and more about jumping up and down on the bed yelling “LOOK AT ME!!”

Reservoir Dogs – His first film. It put him on the map and re-introduced something that had been missing in American films for a while. Snappy dialogue. He also made plagiarism not a crime (this is opinion, not a statement of fact. take that , lawyers). This is an old story and I’m not gonna re-hash it. Just rent Ringo Lam’s City On Fire and check the similarities.
Pulp Fiction – This was the big one, and won him the Palm D’or at Cannes, and an Oscar for screenplay (shared with fellow video store employee, Roger Avery. And based upon Roger’s subsequent work, he should give the Oscar back). This was entertaining and helped jumpstart (albeit briefly) John Travolta’s career. Sam Jackson was robbed come Oscar time, and was much better than Tony Manero. But people like comebacks, and this was a good one for Barbarino. And for all you whippersnappers who think Tarantino invented the “pliers and a blowtorch” line; go rent Charley Varrick by Don Siegel.
Jackie Brown – I liked this one. The first time he openly worked with someone else’s material by adapting Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch. He picked up a better cinematographer in Guillermo Navarro (Guillermo Del Toro’s d.p.), and had a decent cast. However, this will be one of the few times I’ll agree with Spike Lee, and say Tarantino went overboard with the use of the “n” word. It comes across like a high school student being granted permission to use the word “fuck,” in a short story. I sense Quentin giggling to himself every time Ordell Robbie says “nigger.”
Kill Bill VOLs 1 & 2 – I like ‘em both, but the first one might be stronger (it’s more fun). He probably coulda whittled them down into one movie, because they are kinda bloated. He somehow convinced Bob Richardson to shoot this one, and it’s Quentin’s best looking film yet. I see a lot of 60‘s Japanese influence in this one, especially from Seijun Suzuki.

Inglourious Basterds – Golly, I’m torn on this one. The interminable dialogue scenes wear out their welcome real fast (don’t get me started on that P.O.S. Deathproof). But my biggest complaint is that this film is not about the Basterds (they’re hardly in it). This is about every other ancillary character in the film. This would be like if The Dirty Dozen spent the majority of its time with Robert Webber and George Kennedy. I was also not a fan of the music choices. Yeah, I get it. You’re so cool cuz you put Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western music in your WWII movie. And I bet I was the only one in my audience to identify the closing credit song from Paul Schrader’s Cat People being played when Shoshanna was putting on her war paint. Maybe if would’ve been interesting if you hadn’t already done something similar in Kill Bill.

Now, the standout for this film was Christoph Waltz. That guy kicked 10 kinds of ass in this role (and won the Oscar for it). In fact, all the non Basterd actors were very good in this. It was nice to see Diane Kruger act in her native German, and see that she actually has some chops (note to foreign actresses: unless you’re British, stay away from Hollywood. They will not know what to do with you. You will be an estranged wife or girlfriend, and be nothing but a supporting character).

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Amory August 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Your post has moved the debate forward. Thanks for sahirng!

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