Entries tagged with “Quentin Tarantino”.


The movies fans word is divided in two – those who love Quentin Tarantino’s work and those who hate it. There is almost nothing left out, if you have seen a film by Tarantino you either liked it immensely, or you felt insulted, disgusted and exposed to the worst of the bad taste. You probably dreamed about it the night or many nights after. You did not forget it completely. And it hardly left you indifferent. ‘The Hateful Eight’ will just deepen the abyss between the camps. Tarantino made not only another film but one that will confirm everything bad that haters dislike and will make delirious of evil joy the fans who admit they are fans and those who still feel it’s good to be cautious nowadays in admitting they are fans.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3460252/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3460252/

 

‘The Hateful Eight’ is full of quotes. The story is a crossing of action Westerns and Agatha Christie’s mysteries – meaning that not only that there are a lot (and I mean a lot!) of gunshots, horses, two bounty hunters, one criminal on her way to be hanged and one sheriff (or maybe none) on one side, and characters that play roles and are being discovered by the smart detective via traps and dialogs (a lot of dialogs and I mean a lot!). The music is by Ennio Morricone who composed the unforgettable tunes of the spaghetti westerns half a century ago. There are references to Spielberg’s Lincoln and to Tarantino’s previous movies and especially  Django Unchained  which dealt with the same period and the racial relations from a very different perspective. However, if you have seen the film you will get to the conclusion that the quotes are intentionally non-respectful. The ‘mystery dialogs’ are long and verbose, and will make the action film fans checking if they did not enter the wrong cinema hall. The Lincoln starts and an apparent moral anchor to twist into an interpretation that I will not reveal but which looked to me like Tarantino telling Spielberg – this is what I do to the kind of themes you beat me with at the Academy Awards in 2012. Tarantino takes no prisoners. He is taking classical material, blending it, smashing it to the walls, shooting at it and spitting it back mixed with blood and poison. Sometimes literally.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

Then, it’s a movie by Tarantino. If you are a fan you will get plenty of the gore stuff you like, you will get villains who can look charming for a few minutes an commit atrocities or be victims of atrocities the next ones. It’s a well told story which proves again that Tarantino is in the big league of American film directors (together with the Coen brothers, Scorsese, Spielberg and Woodie Allen) who can invent and tell a story like no one does out of America. Acting is superb to the point that we hardly recognize  or .  The vision is kitschy, is dark, is violent, there is no place for kindness, no morals, no values. It’s Tarantino.

 

I believe that there is such a genre called ‘the Tarantino movies’. They have a story which is usually a gangster story, but not necessarily. Men in the story are teenagers or they all have teenagers minds, they are addicted to comics and pulp fiction, they love cinema if cinema was invented when the action takes place, there must be a scene in a cinema theater or at least in front of a TV set in these films. Girls are gorgeous and hookers. Morality plays an important role, but is of a special kind. There is a lot of violence in this films, so well filmed that viewers know it’s not true and they have fun watching it. Martial arts are the real art.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt0108399/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt0108399/

 

Some of the Tarantino films are made by Quentin Tarantino. Some other not. ‘True Romance’ is not, but it’s written by Tarantino, it was made 20 years ago but looks as fresh as if it was made yesterday, which shows that the genre beyond other qualities also has the one of aging nicely. It’s a gangster story, it’s a love story, it’s a crime comedy about a young couple semi-willingly becoming murderers and unwillingly becoming drug dealers, it’s a road movie, it’s a movie about Hollywood. And it’s fun to watch.

 

(video source C64b)

 

There are so many good things in this film that I have a hard time picking which one to list. Dialogs and the musical score (Hans Zimmer – see the list of the films he composed for at IMDb and you will understand why you loved even more some of the best films in Hollywood in the last 30 years) are exquisite. Acting is stellar with the lead exception of Christian Slater which I simply cannot force myself to like. Lucky me, he is paired in the film with Patricia Arquette, and then we have Dennis Hopper, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman … wow … each of them in supporting roles hard to forget.

The director of this film is Tony Scott, who died last year. He was among these directors who would never get an Oscar because he just made the films that pleased the crowds. ‘True Romance’ is however much more than a crowd-pleaser, it may be T.Scott’s best and one of the best Tarantino films ever made.

Death Proof may be the most typical Quentin Tarantino product since Pulp Fiction. Those who love Tarantino will love the film and love him more, those who hate him will have at least one more item to add to the list of cinematic infamies they believe he is guilty of. While other pictures made by him in the last decade deal with bigger stories, or re-write episodes of history (WWII and the Holocaust, slavery and fight for emancipation) from the Tarantino perspective, Death Proof is almost a cinematographic alternative to Pulp Fiction, taking its inspiration from the low cost B-movies genres – horror thrillers and slashers.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1028528/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1028528/

 

The film comes in two packages and I must mention that I have seen and I am writing here about the standalone Tarantino-only version. It lasts almost two hours and is symmetrically divided into two stories of equal duration. The common (and BAD) hero is Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) who is using his large and iron-strong car as a terror and murder weapon. In the first part he is set on killing a group of young and brainless girls he meets in a bar some place in Texas. In the second part he tries to do a similar act in Tennessee, but he runs out of luck. One of the girls happens to be a stunt-woman, another one seems to know what world she lives in and carries a gun. Not only that his murder plan fails, but the girls will respond with a vengeance. Almost like in Kill Bill. All things considered, Tarantino must be a feminist of some sorts.

 

(video source Canal de Biel2000)

 

Some of the 70s movies techniques, starting with titles, ending with credits, colors and quality of the film give to Death Proof the air of authenticity and credibility. Beyond Russell and Tarantino himself who as in most of his movies takes a small role in the good tradition of Hitchcock, there is fine acting worth mentioning by Zoe Bell (a stunt woman herself, with the looks of a muscled Jodie Foster) who steps ahead of the crowd of beautiful women and leads their transformation from preys to hunters. The film is violent as any movie by Tarantino, but I must observe again that Tarantino’s violence is so exaggerated and so cinematic that you can feel his smile (actually rather a grin) telling us – ‘this is just entertainment’. Trash? certainly, but this trash is so pure that it’s gold.

I saw yesterday Tarantino‘s Django Unchained. The film deals approximately with the same historical period as Spielberg‘s Lincoln, but what a difference!

Spielberg and Tarantino are without any doubt two of the most important American directors today. Both come from the let’s call it commercial cinema like let’s say both had remarkable blockbuster successes which translated into financial success enabling them to produce and direct everything they dream. Both use this success to explore with their personal craft tools, style and talent – various genres which they change and put their own imprint in. Both made films about the Second World War and about the Holocaust, and now about U.S. history, and the horrors and abolishing of slavery.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1853728/

 

Concerning the movies about the Holocaust and the Second World War I think Spielberg and Tarantino are tied at the highest possible level. Schindler’s List was impressive and Saving Private Ryan is simply  the best war movie I’ve seen, while Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds rewrites with a Tarantinesque chutzpah and expressiveness  one of the final pages of the history of the Second World War.

Lincoln and Django produced me completely different reactions. Spielberg appears to wish to say by all means that ‘I can do serious films’ and the result is Lincoln – a rhetorical film, in which characters make speeches even when they are in bed with their wives, a film in which I miss the thrill of discovery and emotion and the fluency of the story telling I love in Spielberg. On the other hand Tarantino tackles that time in history in Django with his usual boldness and lack of complex, he uses violent action cinema and makes a deep reverence to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. The result is a sparkling film that is both  fun to watch and passes the message.

 

(video source The JoBlo Movie Network)

 

This is certainly a violent film, but maybe I should say something about Tarantino’s violence (on screen) the way I see it. The exaggeration and complete lack of realism in the violent choreography of Tarantino’s movies is his way of saying – do not take me too seriously. There is something more in this film however – the introduction creates the message of abhorrence towards slavery in a manner at least as efficient as Lincoln’s speeches in Spielberg’s movie.

There is a lot of good cinema in Django which makes the film enjoyable also for the passionate of quality cinema. Jamie Foxx‘s rendition of Django, the liberated slave who turns into a professional killer in order to save his wife is dark and compassionate at the same time.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson are a fabulous pair of suprisingly bad guys, and Tarantino himself and Franco Nero show up in minor but memorable appearances. And the story telling … well … it’s good like in the good Spielberg movies.

Django is my preferred 2012 film about the period of abolition of slavery.

 

 

I think that it is a mistake to judge a film as what it is not.’Inglorious Basterds’ is not (just) a war film. It is not a historical film. It is not a film about the Holocaust either. It is a film by Quentin Tarantino. A genre by itself.

Tarantino makes entertainment using as starting point different subjects, and develops them his way. One can of course ask whether world war II and the Holocaust can or should be dealt with by films in any genre. I believe that the answer is yes and that this answer was given already many decades ago. The French made I think some of the first comedies about the war (Babette s’en va-t-en guerre with Brigitte Bardot was made in 1960) and later in the past century the Holocaust started to be dealt in various registers, including the comic one, the best example being of course the fabulous La vita e bella by Roberto Begnini.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTUDXLKI3LY

(video by hitfixcom)

I liked this ‘Tarantino goes to war’ exercise although I do not think it is his best film. Relative to the the ‘Kill Bill’ two volumes ‘Inglorious Basterds’ seems a little bit too simple and too direct. Yet it figures a triangle of characters that are all acted wonderfully – Brad Pitt as the commander of the Jewish avengers squad is almost hard to recognize in voice and appearance, Christoph Waltz is one of the best villains seen on screen in recent times, and Melanie Laurent provides an exotic mix of revenge, ingenuity and femme fatale. The other point of attraction is the use o a cinema hall as the set for an alternate end to the world war – here Tarantino is at his best and the result is unforgettable. This is enough stuff to make of ‘Inglorious Basterds’ one of the contenders to the Best Film Oscar race especially now that the number of finalists in the category was raised to nine. It will not get the trophy, but it will give a good fight.

The IMDB entry with more information, reviews, viewer comments can be found at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361748/