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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quentin Tarantino Movies - The two pending ones and the old ones

For a guy who has directed a piddly 15 titles (some of them TV and some of them shorts and some of them where he guest-directed parts), Quentin Tarantino sure is famous. This probably has something to do with the excellence of the low-budget Reservoir Dogs and the originality of Pulp Fiction. Recently, we’ve heard that he’s doing two new movies, Django Unchained and Kill Bill 3. This info has been out for a while, but we're telling you in case you missed it, so that you can get as excited as we are.

Django goes like this (this is a summary Ern's cousin pasted on her Facebook wall): Freed/escaped slave Django (probably Will Smith) who, under the tutelage of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) becomes a hardcore bounty hunter himself. Then after helping his German mentor, the two team-up to track down Django's slave wife and liberate her from a man named Calvin Candie (probably Leonardo DiCaprio) a charming but ruthless plantation owner whom Django must cross in order to get his wife back. Could that sound any better? Wait for it. Samuel L. Jackson is going to be in it too.

We don’t want to give too much away about Kill Bill 3. Let’s just say Vernita Green’s daughter grew up…and so did B.B. We’re pretty stoked for these.

What we love about Tarantino is what most people who love Tarantino love: He’s fun. He loves movies more than anyone else who walks the face of the earth, and he knows just who to copy and borrow from while still adding his own flavor. Also, he discovers great actors and compiles excellent soundtracks. We are entertained. We like his style of good dialogue taking up most of the movies, with short spurts of action in between. He's not for the faint of heart though. No curse word is off limits and if a Tarantino movie ever didn't have any over-the-top violence, we'd die of shock.

So for all the Tarantino fiends, we are going to discuss each of his movies going back in time.

2009 Inglourious Basterds
The good: Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, and Diane Kruger. Also, Shosanna’s revenge story. We couldn’t have loved the ending more. That’s how we all really wanted it to end, right? We also liked the commentary on violent films/war movies. We admired how ballsy it was to have most of the movie in German and French, rather than English. Even after 2.5 very tense, talky hours, it left us wanting more. We earnestly await the prequel.

The bad: Brad Pitt wasn’t as good as we all thought he was going to be. But he did make an hilarious Italian. It could be argued that the movie was sadistic, morally reprehensible, and self-righteous. Heck, we know it was. But a good revenge fantasy always is.

Movie Grade: A

2007 Grindhouse- Death Proof
The good: If you’re a girl, you need to admit you’ve at least thought about trying to learn that lap dance. That’s the sexiest thing we’ve ever seen, and she didn’t even have to take her clothes off. That’s how it’s done. Then the whole final 20 minutes. This was supposed to be trash (that was the point of the homage), but it was just too clever to qualify. It is still good on its own, but it’s better with Planet Terror and the fake trailers

The bad: It should have been first in the Grindhouse presentation. Rodriguez’s gross, star-studded action movie amped up the violence and pace. Then it slowed to a halt when we got to Tarantino’s talkier, slower movie. Tarantino likes to build up to awesome violence, rather than just slosh it out. Three hours is a long time to sit, and we don’t think many people were ready for a movie with so much girl talk, awesome girl talk though it was, after watching Planet Terror. Tarantino sort of cheated by making a movie with good dialogue and build-up. But we weren’t able to fully appreciate it after being browbeaten by Rodriguez’s gross-outs. The leg gun was pretty cool though.

Movie Grade: B
2003 Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2004 Kill Bill: Vol. 2
The good: We think this is one of the times that Tarantino was really out to have fun and indulge all of his fantasies and fetishes. One of his favorite things? Strong women. There is nothing sexier to this guy than a woman tearing through some flesh with a samurai sword. Then he goes with a western motif. We loved these for the “buried alive” portion alone. These are stylish fun, full of foul language and tension. You know you held your breath when she was fighting Gogo. These are purely for the action fan. No one’s really doing any deep thinking. We’re ok with that. Also, we now get "Bang Bang" stuck in our heads at random intervals.

The bad: They are a little silly and the plot is simplistic. Also, wildly unrealistic. The action is great until she gets to Bill and they talk about their romantic history, stalling what should have been a climax.

Movie grades (We’re doing these together): B+

1997 Jackie Brown
The good: Uhhhh, we don’t remember.

The bad: We don’t remember. Most Tarantino movies have several scenes that stick with you forever. We know there was a surprising death…but isn’t there always a surprising death in his movies? We don’t really know what happened with this movie, but we were bored. Critics seemed to like this one. We think it’s by far Tarantino’s worst.

Movie Grade: C

1994 Pulp Fiction
The good: Every movie tried to be this movie after Pulp Fiction came out. There were no good guys (we’ve heard it pointed out that there are never any good guys in a Tarantino movie), yet there were plenty of memorable characters who we cared about. Jules is one of our favorite movie characters of all time. It had dark humor, the plot was good, it was extremely quotable, and there were just so many memorable moments, from the wallet to the dancing scene. This movie really has no bad scenes. Once, in college, Ern got the honor of acting out the entire first scene as Honey Bunny for a class. Best class ever. So much fun.

The bad: The movie is a little cold and long, and some people were disturbed by the gimp scene. We say those people have no business watching a Tarantino movie. You have to be a real movie lover to love this movie, not just someone looking for the latest feel-good chick flick to take your grandma to. Unless your grandma is awesome.

Movie Grade: A+

1992 Reservoir Dogs
The good: The script and cast. This movie shows that those two things are all you need to make an A+ movie. This is about as low-budget as it gets, but it always feels like a serious movie. That’s serious talent.

The bad: Too bleak for some.

Movie Grade: A

If you enjoyed most of these titles, allow us to recommend In Bruges while you wait for more Tarantino offerings.


  1. The only Tarantino movies I have seen are Reservoir Dogs and the Kill Bills (I did see Pulp Fiction, but I was at a college party, and well, don't remember enough to comment). RD is a classic, and any movie lover would eat it up. KB is definitely more genre-specific. If you don't like action and blood, don't bother.

    I have in the Netflix queue many of those mentioned, including Pulp Fiction, and look forward to digging deeper into his work.

  2. You have to have the right attitude to enjoy him. You have to just be ready for violent fun. If you enjoyed RD, you have the right attitude.