Tarantino Top 15

March 26, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This whole self isolation time means I have nothing to do so I'm just going to write about random things to keep me sane. Well about as sane as you can get after spending half the day trying to assemble some basic piece of crap furniture from Kmart. Literally worse than Ikea. I bought a cube bookcase and trolley to organise my desk area so I can make art and things. SEVEN HOURS AND TWO RAGE QUIT MOMENTS LATER..everything is assembled but one of the trolley wheels is bent. There's no way to straighten it. That was too much frustration for one day so I'll go back to them tomorrow.

Today is Quentin Tarantino's birthday. The dude is God. I can't remember which came first - Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction - but I became obsessed with him and his work after that moment. Under normal circumstances I HATE films that are just a whole lot of talking, I will zone out entirely and have no idea what's happening, I sometimes do that when someone is talking to me too. Thankfully nobody has noticed yet. BUT I have no issue at all listening to Tarantino's heavy dialogue. It's also cool how he's made his own universe, like Kevin Smith has, where some characters overlap in films or are related to characters in other movies. So I've decided I'm going to rank some of his movies whether he directed, acted or whatevered. It's not ALL of the movies he's connected too and the reason is I haven't seen everything and I'm on Coke #3 and sugar crashing.

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15. Jackie Brown [1997]
Director/Writer
Unpopular opinion but I hate this movie. I can't even bring myself to rewatch it to see if adult me would like it better. In an interview Tarantino referred to Jackie Brown as his "hollywood" movie and how it's not part of the Tarantino Universe like the rest of his films are. I decided that was clearly the reason I didn't like it. It's not his original story either it's based off a book. Maybe that's another reason. Feel free to change my mind and leave a comment!

14. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood [2019]
Director/Writer
Another unpopular opinion but I thought this was boring. The best scene was right at the end which was the first I felt like I was finally watching a Tarantino flick. I didn't find the storyline all that interesting, didn't really give a shit about the characters, zoned out regularly and I didn't understand the point of using the Charles Manson storyline just to fuck it up. Honestly, I bitch about American Horror Story for the same reason. If you want to use a serial killer then fine, but don't glamourise him or create a storyline that didn't exist. 

13. Inglourious Basterds [2009]
Director/Writer
I hate war movies for the most part but I liked that this is more of a revenge film. This one has an interesting enough storyline and characters but I really have to be in the mood to sit through it. Also, Eli Roth (Tarantino made him a household name among horror fans when he produced Roth's first film Hostel) is as creepy as his movies. Honestly there's just something about him where I'd cross the street if I saw him coming. 

12. Natural Born Killers [1994]
Writer
Tarantino isn't credited for this one because of how much Oliver Stone and co changed the story. He totally dismisses the film and fair enough. The film itself is a trip and my favourite part of the film is Robert Downey Jnr's awful attempt at an Australian accent. That said, still better than John Lithgow's idea of an Australian accent in Pitch Perfect 3. That man should never be allowed in the country for that abomination. I'd love to know what Tarantino's version of a serial killing couple were like though. It's a shame we'll never know.

11. Destiny Turns On The Radio [1995]
Actor
This is one of those movies that doesn't have much of a plot but it's crazy enough to keep you entertained. Tarantino has a small part as Johnny Destiny and he randomly pops up here and there throughout the film. It's set in Vegas and centres around Julian who just escaped jail, his ex girlfriend is a cabaret singer who is somehow recently pregnant with his baby despite living with another man this whole time and an empty motel pool that's a portal to god knows where. I can't even explain why I like this movie, probably just because it's not your average rom com. It's a bit like a dodgy soap opera, like that one with that little guy who died. You know the one. 

10. Curdled [1996]
Producer / Gecko Bros News Report
This is a rare gem that's impossible to find these days. If you're lucky you might find it online on some random website. The film is about a young immigrant woman with an obsession of violent crimes. Don't we all? She also keeps a scrapbook of true crime clippings. Also maybe a little bit relatable. So what does a girl with an obsession for violent crime do as a job? Clean crime scenes of course! Which keeps her busy since there's a serial killer around at the moment. It's 100% quirky good fun. This film has a clip on a crime tv show featuring the Gecko Bros from From Dusk Til Dawn.

9. The H8tful Eight [2015]
Director/Writer
Many called this the Western version of Reservoir Dogs. Maybe it is but is that a bad thing? Similar premise, bunch of randoms in a cabin waiting for a storm to pass. Lots of talking. Some shooting. People die. Another awful Australian accent, this time provided by Tarantino but he gets what he deserves. Ok It's Reservoir Dogs with Samuel L Jackson. 

8. Django Unchained [2012]
Director/Writer/Actor
Dr Shultz, a German bounty hunter, frees a slave to help him track some bounties and in exchange he helps him find his wife who was sold off. Samuel L Jackson is a scene stealer as Stephen the house servant.
Movie connections: Shultz is rumoured to be linked to the grave of Paula Shultz in the Kill Bill movies, we'll never know for sure but it's a safe bet. It's not exactly a common surname!

7. True Romance [1993]
Writer
This was probably the last movie Christian Slater made where he was still desirable to women everywhere. In the quickest romance ever, boy meets girl at a cinema one night, they go eat pie, they sleep together, girl tells boy she's a hooker hired by his boss for his birthday which he takes incredibly well and the next morning they're Mr and Mrs! You can't even get a guy to go on a date these days, romance sure has changed since the 90's! 

6. Grindhouse: Death Proof / Planet Terror [2007]
Director/Writer/Actor/Producer
I was so excited when this was coming out, especially knowing he'd teamed up with Robert Rodriguez again, then was completely gutted that because American's didn't know it was a double feature and were walking out after the first film, so we didn't even get it. There were a couple screenings of Death Proof at one cinema and that was it. We had to wait for DVD. Damn shame because these are some cool movies and I loved the way they connected despite being quite different in theme/genre. Death Proof is probably in my Top 3 Kurt Russell performances and also the ultimate "Girl Power" movie. Stuntman Mike is like that creepy guy that superlikes you on Tinder. He's middle aged, not ugly but not attractive, he's somewhat self entitled but also hates females and likes murdering them in gruesome fashion with his stunt car. It has serious 70's vibes with the music and fashion and the death scenes are brutal. In Planet Terror where everyone is becoming infected with a virus and turning into zombies, Tarantino plays Rapist #1. Thankfully no rape takes place because what happens to him is the grossest fucking scene ever. If anything I'd call that karma. 

5. Four Rooms [1995]
Director/Writer for segment The Man From Hollywood
This is the best collaboration film ever! 4 directors teamed up to write and direct their own segments. The film also has an amazing cast with Tim Roth, Antonio Banderas, Madonna and Bruce Willis. The film centres around a new hotel employee (Tim Roth) and the hotel guests he has to deal with on New Years Eve. There's witches, deranged married couples and god awful children. Then you have the penthouse which is where Quentin is. Yes, he also acts in his segment too. Of course. Duh!

4. Kill Bill Vol 1/Vol 2 [2003-2004]
Director/Writer
I have fond memories of when I saw this at the cinema. I went with my mum but we got to the cinema a bit late so as we're walking into the room it's completely dark because the film had just started. So there I was with a coke in one hand, some form of a munchie in the other, watching the screen as I walked and next thing I'm yelling out in pain because I tried to sit on the plastic cup holder. I had a huge black bruise on my thigh by the end of the film. How often can you say you scored a bruise from an action film?

I'm lumping these two films together because I can. Both films have different vibes but you can't have one without the other. The first film is more of an action film with a killer opening fight scene and the entire scene with the Crazy 88's is insane. I love the subtle connection with other Tarantino films as well with Sheriff Earl McGraw making an appearance (he first appeared in From Dusk Til Dawn and later in the Grindhouse films) during the flashbacks of the wedding rehearsal massacre. This film came with a great set of action figures by McFarlane Toys including a Quentin Tarantino Crazy 88 figure which came with a squirty thing of fake blood. Back in the days when horror toys were cool didn't cost $50+

3. From Dusk Til Dawn 1996
Writer
Honestly I wish Tarantino would make another horror movie because this film is badass. It has vampires, the Titty Twister which looks like the coolest bar on earth and this was the movie when I realised why all the women in the world thought George Clooney was hot...I think it was the tattoos. That said, the scene with Salma Hayek has you questioning your own sexuality too. Props have to go to Robert Rodriguez though for making the film. A decent script can only go so far. I didn't like any of the film sequels though and the tv show they made I didn't get past episode 1 - why do we need the first five minutes of the film dragged out into an hour? YAWNFEST!

2. Pulp Fiction [1994]
Director/Writer/Actor
This was the movie that introduced me to Samuel L Jackson and ever since then I've taken great delight in hearing him say "motherfucker" in everything. Movie highlights including the infamous dance sequence with Mia and Vincent, "Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more Goddamn time!" and Christopher Walken. Actually any scene with Samuel L Jackson is brilliant. The whole movie is just one thing after another leaving you wondering just how fucked up things can get.
Movie connections: Vincent Vega is Mr Blonde's brother. 

1. Reservoir Dogs [1992]
Director/Writer/Actor
There is so much talking in this movie that normally I'd zone out and be lost forever, but it works. Tarantino knows how to write a script that keeps you entertained. It's fast paced and interesting even if a little bit nuts at times (re that diner scene talking about "Like A Virgin") and even though scenes go back and forth between now and the past you're not getting lost in what's happening. It's impossible not be invested in the characters because they're actually interesting and not just a bunch of guys with similar bland personalities. Mr Orange is the undercover cop trying to win over everyone's trust, Mr White is the no nonsense crime veteran who actually seems to be a decent bloke, Mr Blonde is an absolute psychopath, Mr Pink was my introduction to Steve Buscemi and I was sort of on his side during the whole tipping argument, Mr Blue was forgettable because I don't actually remember him right now and Mr "that's a little too close to Mr. Shit" Brown was Tarantino. It's got a great soundtrack but "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel will forever be known as the "ear song".

So now that you've made it this far, what would be your #1 Tarantino film? Leave a comment below!

 

 


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