Having written about Tarantino this past week, I decided to tank his films.
This is my personal taste, I completely understand if you disagree. In fact, where do you think that I got it wrong? Let me know.
Note that I haven’t seen Once Upon A Time In Hollywood yet.
8: Hateful 8
Hateful is an appropriate word. I can’t put into words how much I disliked this film. It was long laborious and loathsome. There was no one to root for, so by the time the mystery was solved, I didn’t care. The acting is grand, and I like that Tarantino uses practical blood effects. There is a part where characters are puking blood. It’s a bad sign when Tarantino comes across off as a pale imitation of family guy. This is well below the standard, there’s nothing to recommend. The theme by Ennio Morricone, but then you can listen to that on Spotify.
7: Kill Bill Vol1&2
After a break, Tarantino was back with not one but two films. One film split in two. After Jackie Brown, we were treated to a rip-roaring rampage of revenge and, it was OK. I put these two together because volume 1 brings up volume 2. Volume 1 is grand, and it has a great third act even if it does drag on for a bit. Volume 2 is properly dull. The saving grace of Volume 2 being the buried alive section and flashback. The fight between Thurman and Hannah in the trailer park. It feels like his most juvenile film. All of a sudden, he wants to be an action director? Volume 1 is worth a watch. You can skip Volume 2.
6: Django Unchained
This is a film that is close to being a masterpiece. I always think that I like it less than I do, but as part of this article, I was going to watch the opening scene. I ended watching most of it. Most is the keyword. It’s a buddy road movie and the first two hours are fantastic. The first two hours. Sadly the film is 2 hours 45 minutes.
The film grinds to a halt at the two-hour mark. The most interesting characters have been killed off. Django is a good character. Without the contrast of Christoph Waltz’s character, it becomes dreary. They could have ended it shortly after the shoot out in the big house, and it would have been much better. It’s just my opinion, what do I know.
Leonardo DiCaprio gives an excellent performance. Tarantino even find a way to work in the DiCaprio shout effectively. He’s not the main villain of the piece. That’s Bruce Dern’s character, and he only shows up in a flashback.
Let me reiterate that this is a great movie, those last 45 minutes are a slog. People gave Return of the King abuse for not wrapping things up quicker.
5: Inglorious Basterds
This is a film of two halves, and they sit in contrast with one another. One half is a sincere story about Shoshanna. A Jewish woman who harnesses the power of cinema to get revenge on the Nazi High Command. The second half is about a ragtag group of guerilla fighters wreaking havoc in Nazi-occupied France.
I haven’t rewatched the whole film that many times. To be honest, I’m not that invested in the Shoshanna storyline. More often, I rewatch certain scenes. These scenes are, in my humble opinion, some of the greatest scenes committed to film. Here they are in descending order.
1: The beer hall scene.
2: The opening scene
3: The bear jew scene
There is also Brad Pitt giving a restrained comical performance. I love him at the premier “Areberderchi.”
Some people love this. I just consider it very, very, very good.
4: Death Proof
This will be considered controversial, and I accept that. Even Tarantino himself has repeatedly stated that it’s his worst film. This one has crept up on me, though. Over time it dawned on me that this is one of the ones that I’ve watched the most. What I like about it is that it’s the least self-important of all his films except for Dogs. It’s also brief, under 2 hours, which is what you want for what it is. What is it? It’s a horror film about a guy who kills women with his car. It has a few grisly death scenes, and it ends with a great car chase. It’s one of the best modern ones since Ronin.
The ace in the hole for this film is Kurt Russel as Stuntman Mike. He switches from jovial to threatening, too cowardly so deftly. It’s an underrated performance in an underrated movie. Strangely you can’t seem to buy this digitally. If you can watch it on streaming, go for it, ignore Planet Terror, it’s garbage.
3: Reservoir Dogs
I have written about this recently so am not going to go over it too much. This is fantastic. As directorial debuts go, it’s up there with Citizen Kane, Night of the Hunter, Badlands and Night of The Hunter.
2: Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown is a film that ages like wine. When I first saw it, I didn’t like it, there was a distinct lack of Tarantino in the movie. It was more reserved than Dogs and Fiction. It took me a few watches, but it’s a great close to the first part of his career.
The film can be summed up with the line “You didn’t exactly set the world on fire, did you, Jackie?”.
It’s about people past their prime trying to get by. It’s excellent, and you should give it another watch soon.
1: Pulp Fiction
Are you surprised that this was number 1 after my article the other day? I have a deep personal connection with this film, and it broadened my tastes. I’m thankful for it, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.