Talking About Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol.1 & Vol. 2 and Death Proof
WARNING: THIS IS NOT A REVIEW
I’ve talked about Sam Raimi – a guy who I came to admire from a tender age, and who became the reason for my venturing into the world of film directing. Here, I’m about to talk about someone else who’s art is just as influential to me; and he is none other than the innovative daram daram (fanfare music plays)….QUENTIN TARANTINO! Give it up for him, ladies and gentlemen!
Quentin Tarantino is a director I don’t mess with. I think he’s one of the most unique/brilliant directors in the business. Away with the naysayers who call him a hack and overhyped – the simple truth is, you even need to be some sort of film genius to even ‘hack’ cinema the way Tarantino does. I respect and admire the guy ‘cause he’s a director that never follows the trend, or what is termed conventional. He does his own thing, and he’s been doing his own thing film after film, without respect of persons. He’s got a lot of balls, and he makes no apologies for it. There’s nothing phony or mushy about his movies. They are brutal, edgy, demented, and creatively violent. I can go on and on about the guy, but I’m gonna sound like his hype man or something (like I almost sounded with Raimi), so I’m gonna stop now, and focus on the movies he directed, which are among some my favourites. After all, that is what this article is all about in the first damn place. So LET’S GO!
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Gawd, this movie! Over two decades old and still kills me. This is Quentin Tarantino’s official directorial debut (being that the first one got lost in the ‘fire’ and what not). A story about seven total strangers who team up for what is supposedly the perfect heist. The mob boss, Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) to ensure that everyone focuses on the job, and not get personal gives each of them a nickname. A color for each person. Mr White (Harvey Keitel), Mr Orange (Tim Roth), Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr Blue (Edward Bunker), and Mr Brown (played by Quentin Tarantino himself). The movie also stars Chris Penn as Nice Guy Eddie Cabot, the Boss’s son, who’s supposed to keep the crew in check. Really, I still haven’t quite figured out how Quentin Tarantino manages to get a cast like that. Even in a film debut – he’s just one those directors that when he beckons on an Actor, he or she comes running. No kidding.
In this movie, you’re going to find great acting; you’re going to find some of the most innovatively hilarious dialogues in a movie – classic Tarantino style, and then the blood – oh, the blood. Tarantino uses blood and gore like no one else in this movie. It’s a cold movie that explores the crooked parts of a gangster’s mentality when the metaphorical chips are down.
I’m not giving away anything else; I don’t do spoilers. Just go see it for yourself, if you already haven’t. Trust me, the film is timeless!
Pulp Fiction (1994)
This is by far one of the greatest films ever made! Stress on the word EVER! Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, and boasts of an awesome cast in John Travolta (Vince Vega), Samuel L. Kackson (Jules Winnfield), Bruce Willis (Butch Coolidge), Uma Thurman (Mia Wallace), Tim Roth (Pumpkin Ringo), Eric Stoltz (Lance), Ving Rhames (Marsellus Wallace), and a short part by Tarantino himself. Again, I don’t know how Tarantino gets these casts!
The storyline is one of the most brilliantly woven tales I’ve ever seen in a movie. The plot is basically split into four parts – one part about two hit men (Travolta and Jackson), another about mobster’s wife (Thurman), another about a boxer (Willis), and the fourth about a bandit-couple (Roth and ). The story goes back and forth in between these characters until it reaches a climax where everything intertwines. Sheer brilliance. You’ll love the dialogue in the movie, as well. The movie is full of dark humour; I mean, only in a Tarantino flick do you get to see someone talking about cheese before blowing a guy’s brains away. And there’s this punch line in the movie where Samuel Jackson always quotes this biblical verse before he pops a guy. His reason? “I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his as”. Glorious!
I can’t say enough about this movie; it’s in my top 10 all-time best movies list, seriously. I still watch it every now and then, just for kicks. The movie won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. If I had any say, it should have won Best Picture and Best Directing as well, but when you’re up against a movie like Forrest Gump and director, Robert Zemeckis – well, what can I say.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 & Vol.2 (2003)
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino. This movie is another classic in my book. Why? Because it’s unique and imaginative. A mixture of martial arts/crime/comedy/ and even a bit of manga – Japanese anime. This movie is entirely in a class of its own. Told in classic Tarantino non-linear story-telling style, and unapologetic use of flashbacks. The style of the story telling assumes that of a book, so at intervals you’ll see the scene blacking out and then a ‘Chapter something’ displayed. That stuff kills me.
The cast of the movie is awesome as well, you’ve got Uma Thurman (The Bride), Lucy Liu (O-Ren Ishii), Vivica A. Fox (Venita Green), Daryl Hannah (Elle Driver), Michael Madsen (Budd), and David Carradine, God rest his soul as Bill. Every character is on point in this movie; all killing their various roles, totally!
Vol. 1 starts with a shocking opener, I’m not gonna say, but let’s just say, the movie starts with a Bang! Literally. Then the story pushes forward into the future, where the Bride is forced to kill all her fellow Assassins from her old crew crew, The Viper Squad. The movie takes you across America and to Tokyo in the Bride’s vicious taste for blood. Vol. 2 begins with another flashback and you get a feel of what the lead character is about, and how everything turned sour, and more as to why she is going on a murdering spree.
In Kill Bill Vol.1 and Vol.2, you’ll really see just how much Tarantino appreciates old Martial arts movies, as well as Japanese anime. He uses it in his style of dialogue, camera shots and fight sequences. He combines this all so well, with his modern, racy, yet crisp cinematography. There is never a dull moment in this movie – when you’re not enjoying the fight scenes, you’re bawling in laughter at the dialogues. At least I did.
Hey, check it out, Kill Bill Vol.1 and Vol.2…sheer brilliance by The Master, Q.
Death Proof (2007)
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino (What can I say, the guy’s multitalented!), the movie stars Kurt Russell as a psycho-stuntman who enjoys stalking these beautiful women and uses his ‘stunt-customized’ cars to execute his murderous plans against them. The movie also stars Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Zoe Bell (who plays herself), and Sydney Tamiia Poitier. Tarantino also gives himself a cameo role as he does in almost his films.
A lot of critics think this film is garbage, but the thing about critics is that you shouldn’t pay too much attention to them when you want to see a film. Otherwise you could just be missing out on a good thing. No kidding! If Tarantino listened to critics believe me he wouldn’t be in the class of his own, as he is today! The thing about Quentin Tarantino that people don’t get, and which I’ll explain to you – being that he’s such a close pal of mine, and I have him on speed dial and all is #Wink#, he’s a guy who doesn’t take his film making seriously. I mean, not that he isn’t professional, ‘cause he is. He probably is one of the most professional directors alive, no kidding! But what I mean is, his style of filmmaking is as such that he can choose a genre, like say, 70’s cinema like he did in this movie, and weave a tale around it, and even going as far as using scratchy images as is seen in movies of the time. The movie is meant to somewhat honour that genre. Obviously, Tarantino is a lover of the 70s cinema (besides being a lover of cinema, period), and you’ll always find an element of that depicted in all his movies.
As for the movie Death Proof, I loved it, as I love all Tarantino movies. Yeah, even Tarantino isn’t too hot about Death Proof. But when you’ve made films like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, you have every right not to be hot about anything else you’ve made. The thing about Death Proof is that the storytelling doesn’t follow the hit-you-in-the-gut classic opener of Tarantino’s movies, but is actually quite slow, and you might have to exercise a little patience otherwise you might just walk away. But when the punch comes, Oh boy believe me, it comes with such a lethal savagery that you’ll at once be jolted back into the reality of what it means to be watching a film directed by my homeboy, Quentin Tarantino!
Four Rooms (1995) – Q directs one out of the four segments
Jackie Brown (1997)
Inglorious Bastards (2009)
Django Unchained (2012)