Continuing With Our Tarantino Theme . . .

For the purposes of this poll, I am counting Kill Bill Volume 1 and Kill Bill Volume 2 as two separate films—I don’t care if they’re the same story or not. Two. Separate. Films. Also, I’m not including movies that Tarantino only wrote (like From Dusk Till Dawn) or movies that he only directed a segment of (like Sin City).

The poll closes on Monday.

This entry was posted in MONDAY MORNING BLASPHEMOUS POLL. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Continuing With Our Tarantino Theme . . .

  1. Susan says:

    I had a very hard time choosing between Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 and I’m a huge Deathproof fan, but I think I’ve seen Kill Bill Vol 1 the most, and I choose it as my favorite. I can’t believe that not one person picked Deathproof! Darn it.

    • I love Deathproof but ultimately it’s not what I would pick, either. I love too many of Q.T.’s films. I’m not surprised no one else has picked it, though . . . most people I’ve talked to really didn’t like it.

  2. Dave Nielsen says:

    A tough choice, but I ultimately picked Pulp Fiction. The only one of his movies that I didn’t really like that much was Jackie Brown, but even it was pretty good and only ranks so low in my opinion because of the greatness of the rest of them. I did have to see Inglourious Basterds a second time before I really loved it.

    • Yeah, Jackie Brown is EASILY my least favorite of Tarantino’s films. It’s the only one I don’t own, and I’ve thought about buying it for, you know, “the collection,” but then I realized I would probably never watch it. I liked parts of that movie—especially the parts that are named Samuel L. Jackson—but I’ve never really felt the need to watch it again, either.

      • Dave Nielsen says:

        Still, we’ve got to put it in perspective. I’d rather watch Jackie Brown 50,000 times than see any of M. Night Shyamalan. Even The Sixth Sense. So, for me it’s more of a question of suffering by comparison to so much greatness.

        I also don’t own that one. I might have to see it again some time. I haven’t seen it again since I watched it back in ’98.

        • At some point, I’m going to post a defense for Shyamalan on this site . . . and promptly lose all my newfound friends. Still, I like a lot of his movies. Not all of them, but a lot of them . . . even though some are deeply, deeply flawed.

      • Dave Nielsen says:

        After I wrote that I remembered I did like Unbreakable, mostly. Even the twist ending kind of worked. He could make a lot more good movies if he stopped thinking every single one has to have a twist ending.

      • Macabre says:

        I’m disappointed that Jackie Brown and Kill Bill Vol. 2 have zero votes so far. I always felt that Vol. 2 was superior to Vol. 1. I mean, Vol. 1 has some excellent action sequences. (The Bride’s battle against the Crazy 88’s is one of the most badass things I’ve seen.) But Vol. 2 has all the great dialogue that was absent from the first. Also, it has all the emotional payoffs, the spaghetti western influences, the humanizing of The Bride and Bill (whom we never even see in Vol. 1).

        My friends complain about the ending in Vol. 2. After all the epic fight scenes, they thought The Bride (or Beatrice Kiddo, rather) would have the biggest fight of all with Bill. Instead it lasts just a few seconds and takes places while they’re both sitting in chairs. I had no problem with it, though. First of all, I doubt David Carradine would’ve been capable of doing anything too action-oriented at his age. But what people fail to understand is that the battle between Beatrice and Bill begins as soon as she walks into the house. It’s like the classic western standoff— but, in typical QT fashion, instead of a holster and a gun, it’s done with dialogue. (Also, Bill’s breakdown and analysis of Superman is probably my favorite part of either movie.)

        And, for whatever reason, Jackie Brown continues to be QT’s most underrated and underappreciated film. It’s his most mature film to date. Perhaps because it doesn’t have the “coolness” of some of his other movies, people dislike it the most. But it contains some of his best writing, imo. I mean, no screenwriter does dialogue better than QT. And no novelist does dialogue better than Elmore Leonard. Teaming those two up is dialogue heaven.

        Samuel L. Jackson pulled off one of the incredibly rare feats of being evil and atrocious, while at the same time remaining human enough to make audiences like him and actually feel a little bad when he meets his demise, despite the terrible things we watch him do throughout the film. Pam Grier was equally excellent. She has played some of the badass bitches in cinema history, but QT resurrected her from bitparts and gave her the role of her lifetime. She deserved an Academy Award nomination. The romance between Jackie Brown and Robert Forster’s character was very sweet and realistic, without ever becoming sappy or bending to what audiences want/expect.

        Jackie Brown is the only QT film that isn’t broken up into segments or chapters or told in a non-chronological order (unless you count Death Proof, which is essentially two short films in one— the first half being a slasher film, the second half a chase film— that just happens to star the same villain). Jackie Brown is also probably the most plot-driven QT movie. But QT takes his time, allows us to hang out with the characters, get high with them, groove with them, etc. Unlike most movies, we get to see the in-betweens. The cast is excellent (Robert De Niro! Michael Keaton!). QT also has an amazing knack for putting together fanastic soundtracks, and I think Jackie Brown may also be the best in that regard. Each time I watch the film, I spend the next two weeks walking around singing “Across 110th Street.”

        Both of you should give it at a re-watch. Especially you, Dave, if you haven’t seen it since 1998. I try to make a point to watch it at least twice a year.

      • Dave Nielsen says:

        After all the epic fight scenes, they thought The Bride (or Beatrice Kiddo, rather) would have the biggest fight of all with Bill.

        I was hoping it wouldn’t be another epic fight scene. To see Bill leaping around and doing all that Kung Fu shit would have been as undignified as seeing Yoda duking it out with the Emperor.* If it had been done in that fast paced, wire-fighting kind of way. If it had been done in the slo-mo kind of way he fought in Kung Fu The Legend Continues (when already pretty old, at least compared to when he was on the original Kung Fu) it might have just been unintentionally funny. (Bill is kind of a Bizarro Kwai Chang Caine.) The way it played out with Bea using the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique after a very brief fight where they don’t even stand up was the way it should be played between two more or less evenly matched fighters.

        *We kind of see this in one of the deleted scenes where Bill, in the 70s, fights a bunch of kung fu guys in the street.

        (Also, Bill’s breakdown and analysis of Superman is probably my favorite part of either movie.)

        Mine as well. If you haven’t yet, read Jules Feiffer’s The Great Comic Book Heroes which was the source of that bit of dialogue. Among other things he says, Feiffer make a good case for the crude art being a big part of its appeal and value, disliking the later (I guess Curt Swan era) art which in his opinion made the comic look like it was drawn in a bank.

        instead of a holster and a gun, it’s done with dialogue.

        With both, really, although a tranq gun. And Bill’s cool way of holstering it, Lee Van Cleef style, was a nice touch.

        And, for whatever reason, Jackie Brown continues to be QT’s most underrated and underappreciated film.

        I’m not sure what it is, but things just don’t come together like they have in his other movies. Still, as I’ve said before it only suffers by comparison to the rest.

        It’s his most mature film to date.

        I found it to be as much of a comic book as any of his others.

        The romance between Jackie Brown and Robert Forster’s character was very sweet and realistic, without ever becoming sappy or bending to what audiences want/expect.

        We find this kind of scene in every one of his movies, even Death Proof though very briefly and to a much lesser degree.

        The cast is excellent (Robert De Niro! Michael Keaton!).

        I agree with you about De Niro but not Keaton. Nothing against him. I still like his Batman best, despite the weird feature of his costume that didn’t allow him to turn his head. He was great in Beetlejuice. He’s been good in a lot of things. He didn’t work here.

        QT also has an amazing knack for putting together fanastic soundtracks, and I think Jackie Brown may also be the best in that regard. Each time I watch the film, I spend the next two weeks walking around singing “Across 110th Street.”

        It had a good soundtrack, though it was weaker by far than Pulp or Reservoir. What makes it a weaker film is that while there are good performances, some good dialogue, some good songs it just never quite makes it.

        Both of you should give it at a re-watch. Especially you, Dave, if you haven’t seen it since 1998.

        I was thinking I should. I doubt it will move up in the list, though. Possibly it might bump Inglourious Basterds which also had its problems. (One of them was Mike Myers, who I just couldn’t take seriously. It was the accent, toned down considerably from Austen Powers but still kind of comical. I took him seriously in Studio 54 after all.) Again, ranking low doesn’t mean that much considering the stellar company.

      • Macabre says:

        One of them was Mike Myers, who I just couldn’t take seriously.

        He was in the movie for what, 40 seconds?

    • Dave Nielsen says:

      I don’t know how long he was in it. Of course I know you aren’t seriously suggesting the length of time would matter.

  3. Macabre says:

    Tarantino is not only my favorite filmmaker, but I also consider him to be one of my favorite writers. Nobody writes dialogue better than Quentin.

    Pulp Fiction is my favorite movie of all time. It’s the movie that changed the way I look at movies. When I’m bored, Pulp Fiction is the movie I pop into the DVD player. I’ve probably seen it more than any other film. The segment at Jack Rabbit Slim’s— Vincent Vega and Mia discussing five dollar milkshakes, awkward silences, powdering of noses, the sexuality of footrubs— is probably my favorite segment in movie history. I even have a wallet that says Bad Mother Fucker.

    If I had to rank his films individually, based on how much I like each one, I’d probably rank them as follows:
    1. Pulp Fiction
    2. Jackie Brown
    3. Kill Bill Vol. 2
    4. Reservoir Dogs
    5. Kill Bill Vol. 1
    6. Inglourious Basterds
    7. Death Proof

    If Kill Bill is considered as one film, then it would rank second. Inglourious Basterds I’ve only seen twice, so it may very well move up the rankings after multiple viewings. Death Proof is by far my least favorite. It’s his most flawed film and has a lot of issues with pacing. I still like it, though, at least a lot more than most people I know. Seeing Grindhouse as a double-feature is still one of my favorite theater experiences.

    Apparently QT’s next film is going to be a spaghetti western called Django Unchained. Christopher Waltz, aka. The Jew Hunter, is supposedly going to play a bounty hunter who assists a slave, rumored to be played by Will Smith, who is on the hunt for his wife. I think two things are certain. One, they’ll be ample usage of the n-word. Second, the movie will be fucking awesome.

    • Dave Nielsen says:

      My ranking:

      1. Pulp Fiction
      2. Reservoir Dogs
      3. Death Proof
      4. Kill Bill Vol. 1
      5. Kill Bill Vol. 2
      6. Inglourious Basterds
      7. Jackie Brown

      The only reason I rank the Kill Bills so low is that I’m more of a Tarantino Dialogue fan, and while both Kill Bill movies had some of that (moreso Vol. 2 of course) it was overall mainly about the action. Which I loved, but I love his dialogue more. I didn’t find any of the problems with Death Proof that you did. I saw it full length and not as part of Grindhouse. I disliked Planet Terror when I did see it. Really, really disliked it.

      • Macabre says:

        The extended version of Death Proof was better than the version in Grindhouse. In the latter, they cut out the lapdance scene between Butterfly and Stuntman Mike. They also cut out some of the stuff at the gas station, where Stuntman Mike is seen stalking the girls. I can’t remember exactly, but I think in the theatrical version they only show his car go speeding down the road in the background. But on the DVD, he was actually at the gas station, and was spying on one of the girls while she was taking a nap in the backseat. I think he may have even sniffed her toes or something (typical QT and his foot fetish).

        One of my minor quips with Death Proof was the incongruity of the time period. Every character looks and dresses like it’s the 70’s. Everyone seems to be driving 70’s cars. The look of the film, of course, was straight-up 70’s. So why not just place it in the 70’s? Each time someone pulled out a cell phone or starting talking about The Rock or other modern celebs/events, it just seemed so out of place.

        I love the first half the film, though. I enjoyed just hanging out with the girls at the bar, with QT serving them drinks, jamming on the jukebox. I love the slow injection of unease that Stuntman Mike provides. My problems with the film lie in the second half. We spend the first half of the movie with one group of girls; we get to know them; etc. Then we watch them get turned into roadkill in an excellent scene. By then audiences are on the edge of their seat, but QT slows the film way down and restarts it with a completely different group of girls, who spend the next forty minutes just talking. That’s when I felt the film bog down. I love QT’s writing. The dialogue was very realistic (although none if it approached the memorability or enjoyability of any of the lines in Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs). I thought one of the long dialogue scenes in the second half, either in the car or at the restaurant, should’ve been cut out to quicken the pace. Either that or just let us spend the majority of the second half with Stuntman Mike, which would’ve been much more interesting.

        The car chase at the end, though . . . superb.

    • Dave Nielsen says:

      I even have a wallet that says Bad Mother Fucker.

      I thought about buying one of those but didn’t think I could pull it off. Few people could.

      • Macabre says:

        LOL, well, I doubt I can either. I only actually carried it around with me for a couple of weeks, then went back to using a normal wallet. Still, it’s just one of those cool movie items to own.

  4. rorf says:

    So I screwed up. I meant to vote for Pulp Fiction, and I really don’t know how I managed to vote for Kill Bill 1. I wasn’t thinking. And it actually makes a difference, dammit 😦

    Can you change it for me?

  5. Marie 13 says:

    It was a toss up between pulp fiction and reservoir dogs..But RD is such a perfect film/story/character study that I have to pick it. I think RD could be a stage play..it takes place it basically two rooms. Pulp fiction is a masterpiece no doubt about it. Overlapping stories and all, chronologically creative, great characters..but the simplicity of RD makes it perfect. I always wondered how it would play as live theater.

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