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REVIEW: Kill Bill

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

When I was thirteen years old and sitting in theaters for one of the Matrix sequels, a trailer came up for “the 4th film by Quentin Tarantino”. This was the first I’d ever heard of the man who would, seven years later, be my favourite director currently working in Hollywood. And at the time, I had no idea who he was. All I knew was that his 4th film looked really, really cool. It must have been Matrix Reloaded, cos the only trailer that still said Kill Bill. I followed the movie’s production online and found out that it was being split into two movies in post- for two reasons: first, to sell more tickets; second, so that no one would have to sit through four hours of movie. I’m the kind of titanic idiot who listened to all 60 minutes of Metal Machine Music, so I don’t watch Kill Bill Vol. 1 or Vol. 2 any more. Instead, I watch a fanedit of both movies in one, as it was always meant to be.

Kill Bill comes from a time in Tarantino’s life where he suffered “epic-itis”. After Jackie Brown, every movie he wrote turned into a four-hour movie marathon, combining all of his favourite parts of many disparate genres of film. This was when he started developing Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds and his career graduated from the small LA crime scene onto the world stage of movies that are movies about movies. Kill Bill was uniquely suited to be split into two features. It’s a two hour ode to Kung Fu followed by a two hour ode to the Western, following the epic story of B██████ █████, and her revenge on the people who killed her and her unborn child on her wedding day. But the Bride (Uma Thurman), as she is known, isn’t an ordinary woman. She’s a retired assassin, who used to go by the codename of Black Mamba, a former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (or DiVAS for short). And the man who dealt the “fatal” blow to her head with a handheld cannon was her former boss and lover, Bill (David Carradine). Read more…

Categories: Movies, Reviews, Tarantino

REVIEW: Jackie Brown

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Jackie Brown is an oddity among Tarantino’s features. It’s the only one not to be in 2.35:1, it’s the only adaptation, it’s said to be a tribute to blaxploitation, but instead takes a long look at aging in a life of crime. It’s almost a Coen Brothers movie at the end of the day, what with its slow, talky pace, understated dark comedy and absolute refusal to get going until half an hour into the movie. Now, I found the Coen Brothers hit-or-miss for the longest time (finally decided on miss, sad to say) but when I say that about Jackie Brown, it’s not an insult. It’s to let all my fellow cinephiles know the kind of movie this movie is. If you could picture Fargo but with all the Minnesota references with shoutouts to blaxploitation and with a significantly tighter backend, you’d end up with something like Jackie Brown.

You know how with some movies, you can see the amount of money spent on them in the movie itself? Jackie Brown looks like one of those movies. Tarantino finally got a crane shot, and let me tell you, he milked it. The roads are wet, the film is crisp–it’s fantastic. The look befits the movie that Tarantino wanted to make–his “why can’t you see me as an actual filmmaker” picture. Adaptation of a respected author; clean, crisp cinematography; a mature set of characters and interactions. While I would be the last person on Earth to characterize Tarantino’s filmmaking or style as juvenile, this is indeed his most mature effort. Read more…

Categories: Movies, Reviews, Tarantino

REVIEW: Death Proof

September 19, 2010 Leave a comment

So, it’s Sunday night, right? And I’m chillin’, playin’ Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, right? and then I realize. I haven’t posted anything. I post on Sundays. Crap.

Death Proof is Quentin Tarantino’s fifth feature film. It was originally released in 2007 as a double feature with Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror with a few fake trailers called Grindhouse. This is one of two movies he’s made that I’m reviewing re-cut. Let the record show, I’m reviewing the “whole movie”, DVD release of Death Proof, and let me say, it’s an entirely different film from the cut presented in Grindhouse. While Planet Terror felt like a longer, looser version of itself when released on DVD, Death Proof came back out of the editing room an entirely different film. While I knew that it was a better movie than Planet Terror in the theaters, it was this re-edit that finally showed me why. While Planet Terror remains an infinitely more fun, “modern” take on grindhouse culture, Death Proof is faithful to a fault. An endearing fault.

When Rodriguez and Tarantino came up with the idea to make a double feature, Rodriguez called the zombie movie and Tarantino got dibs on the b-movie classic, the slasher film. Of course, like all things Tarantino, what he states with simplicity, he complicates by making a legitimately good movie. His slasher is the only one I’ve heard of who regularly uses a car to murder women, as opposed to the popular knife school of serial killing. Of course, there are also dreams and varieties of methods, but killers always like sharp objects on wood handles. Not Stuntman Mike. Read more…

Categories: Movies, Reviews, Tarantino

REVIEW: Pulp Fiction

September 8, 2010 1 comment

I’m watching Pulp Fiction on my left right now and trying to find an appropriate quote to open this review. I don’t think my mom would approve me opening with “Everybody stay cool, this is a robbery!” “Any of you fucking pricks move, and I’ll execute every motherfucking last one of you!”. As it’s the first moment in this movie where Tarantino leaps out of the frame and grabs you by the throat, I think it’d make a great epigram. Also, I’m restricting myself to using profanity only in the context of what I’m reviewing. That’s why Shits & Giggles is okay to type but I can’t talk about how some friends and I played mailbox baseball for ████s and giggles.

See what I did there? Read more…

REVIEW: Inglourious Basterds

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment

You know somethin’, Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece.

Quentin Tarantino Lt. Aldo Raine, Inglourious Basterds

I’m inclined to agree. FOUR STARS Read more…

REVIEW: Reservoir Dogs

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

You’ve seen Reservoir Dogs. I’ve seen Reservoir Dogs. Everyone and their mum’s seen Reservoir Dogs. If you haven’t seen Reservoir Dogs, you’re either far too conservative to watch something “so violent” (yet I can assure you, you’ve seen worse) or you haven’t seen any movies that haven’t been in theaters since you got enough money to buy your own ticket.

So why would I review a movie everyone has seen already? Because Reservoir Dogs, by being overshadowed by Pulp Fiction, is Quentin Tarantino’s most under-rated movie. How can a movie be under-rated when it’s hailed as a classic by everyone? I’m glad I asked. Read more…