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Posts Tagged ‘pulp fiction’

(source: wikipedia.com)

Number 8

Django Unchained

Director: Quentin Tarentino

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, Leonardo Dicaprio

Year: 2012

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

This is the youngest film to appear in my top ten, and for those of you who read my disclaimer are probably thinking: “How on earth can a film this new have played a significant role in developing your character?” Unfortunately, there’s no short answer.

When I was a young kid my dad would often tell me about some of his favourite films, regardless of the age rating they came with. One film he would often tell me about was Pulp Fiction. Released in 1994, Pulp Fiction is a black comedy crime film that tells a non linear story featuring an ensemble cast. The film is known for its eclectic dialogue and highly stylised direction. My dad would often tell me the story of the accidental shooting of Marvin. Despite the gruesomeness of the anecdote I was always intrigued why my dad found it so funny. It wasn’t until I was much older when I watched the film that I finally understood why that particular scene always made my dad chuckle.This Tarantino fella had a way of turning violence into comedy.

(source: mentalfloss.com)

While Pulp Fiction wasn’t Tarantino’s first film, it is no doubt his most famous and influential movie. It was such a hit, that subsequent Tarantino movies are often judge against Pulp Fiction’s success. The film stayed with me, and I’ve re-watched it several times – once forcing Helen to watch it – and while I can appreciate its cultural significance, I never considered it one of my favourite films of all time.

(source: solidsmack.com)

Fast forward a decade to Kill Bill, a two part martial art film written and directed by Taratino and starring Uma Thurman. I fell in love with both films for many reasons, but what I liked the most was the Western themes that Tarantino littered throughout. Kill Bill isn’t Tarantino’s strongest work, but it is certainly memorable. I remember watching David Carradine walk those final five steps while Ennio Morricone’s Navajo Joe theme played on and thinking “Tarantino should make a cowboy film.”

(source: 4thletter.net)

Fast forward almost another decade and we come to my Number 8, Django Unchained. Inspired by Spaghetti Westerns, Django Unchained tells the story of an African-American slave who teams up with a German bounty hunter in order to rescue the former’s wife. The film doesn’t shy away from America’s past with slavery, and there are one or two scenes that are difficult to watch. It’s a fantastic journey, with the usual Tarantino tropes along the way. Like Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained is entertainingly irresponsible and ethically serious at the same time. Incidentally, two years before the film’s release, I played a videogame called Red Dead Redemption, which was a Western action-adventure. I fell in love with the game and then Django and Dr. Schultz came along and I immediately connected the game experience with the film.

(source: gamesradar.com)

Upon its release I joined my dad and sister in watching the Django Unchained at our local cinema. This was the first time I had actually got to watch a Tarantino film with my dad, which was a huge improvement from him telling an adolescent me about people getting shot in the face.


Trailer for Django Unchained:

Trailer for Red Dead Redemption:

Freedom by Andy Hamilton and Elayna Boynton (this song should have won the Oscar for Original Song, unfortunately that accolade went to Adele for her abysmal Skyfall song).

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PULP FICTION

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth

Release: May 1994

Run Time: 154 Minutes

Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is a highly stylised post-modern American crime film. Held in high regard by critics and film study students, Pulp Fiction is known for its eclectic dialogue, ironic humour and violence, and a host of cinematic and pop culture references. Its non-linear story revolves around mobsters, small time criminals, and a MacGuffin briefcase.

Set in Los Angeles during the 1990s, Pulp Fiction’s narrative structure is broken down into seven sections, each with their own distinctive characters. Like most of Tarantino’s films, the sections are in a non-chronological order, but every story is original and beautifully relates to one another without straying too much from the bigger picture. Expect to see an armed robbery, many assassinations, a drug overdose, a katana, and a gimp in this mixed bag of bloody violence and crude wit.

The acting is phenomenal, with award-nominated performances from John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and the lascivious Uma Thurman. Bruce Willis’ act as aging boxer Butch is a terrific addition and the role of Jules Winnfield couldn’t have been played by anyone else but Jackson, who brings misdemeanour and fury to the role. But the real star of the movie is Tarantino himself, and not as whipped husband Jimmy, but in his role as director and writer. The script is confidently written; the banter between the characters is extremely entertaining no matter how mundane the subject is. In terms of direction, there are some brilliant themes and creative decisions that he chose to implement, all of which make the film feel as good as it is. Elements such as: keeping Marsellus Wallace identity hidden until you least expect it, the briefcase that’s nothing more than a plot device, Vincent Vega’s (John Travolta) chaotic toilet visits, and the elaborate links that interweave each story are just some of the many little things that make this film so good.

Its cool style, sound, music, and film references are fundamentals for a Tarantino film, as is the excessive use of the F-word. Pulp Fiction is a modern classic with a crass attitude and an outstanding cast that will be remembered for a very long time.

Helen’s Thoughts:

Right, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like Tarantino’s films, because I quite like some of them – Kill Bill for example – but Pulp Fiction was the worst one I’ve seen. Why? I don’t like ironic violence, and if I wanted to watch a film about drug use I’d watch Trainspotting again. I’m not disputing the fact the acting was good – I like Bruce Willis – but I really didn’t like the subject matter. The thing that annoys me about Tarantino’s films is that you can’t quite believe they’d actually happen; I prefer something to be either fantastical or true to life, not something in between. I can understand why people would like Pulp Fiction and I’m glad I’ve seen it, but I wouldn’t watch it again. I think a lot of pretentious people claim to like films like this because of the cult status they have and think that they should like them; I’m not going to pretend I like a film just to be cool.

VERDICT: Not for me.

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