Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Tarantino Trilogy

Quentin Tarantino hit the jackpot with Reservoir Dogs, but it's been all downhill from there for the nerdy writer/director. He plumbed new depths with the sophomoric Inglourious Basterds, where misspelling the film's title was the cinematic equivalent of a cat peeing on the carpet because it's not getting enough attention.

In that effort, at least Tarantino wore his gimmicks on his sleeve. In Pulp Fiction – a contender for most overrated film of all time – you have to sit through two and a half hours of Tarantino the writer indulging himself with borrowings, allusions, in-jokes and dialogue that's so pleased with itself that you want to have a word in the ear of the Ezekiel-misquoting gun-toting black guy and do to the script what some other fellow did to John Travolta on the toilet.

In Jackie Brown, Samuel L. Jackson is back as the cool killer type. This time round, though, he's got two ponytails, one on the back of his head and one on his chin. Once more, you have two and a half hours of Tarantino to sit through, as a wafer-thin story is spun out to accommodate more gimpy talk, as Tarantino gets to be the kid he always dreamed of being – not the one that gets his head pushed in the can by his classmates for being the TMI Guy.

Having showed us that he couldn’t act with his turn as Mr. Brown in Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino’s back in Jackie Brown as the ultimate oxymoron, a wimpy hardman. Whatever possessed him to go back in front of the camera we may never know, and of one thing you can be absolutely certain: I will never ask him. I don't have 150 minutes to spare.

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