Tarantino

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Gunfingers
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Re: Tarantino

Postby Gunfingers » Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:30 pm UTC

No, the baby was Bill's. She got the husband after she ran off.

Also, i still haven't gotten around to seeing Death Proof.

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Re: Tarantino

Postby Malice » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:55 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:There was entirely too little internal consistency in either film to allow me to appreciate the story telling. I mean, it's one thing to be over the top and ridiculous, but it's another to try and tell a serious story while using over the topness as an excuse to leave a million little plot holes. Maybe I should suspend my belief a little higher, but it's difficult to invest in characters and story within a universe that lacks internal consistency.


What about it lacked internal consistency?

There's also my being female and straight (can't say as I've ever had a blowjob), and it's more than a little off putting that the cast is half a dozen under-wear-model-physiqued women, two old guys, and some other guys that get hacked up. To say nothing of the protaganist abandoning all accomplishments, talents, and other comitments because she happens to get pregnant.


I would have thought you'd prefer that to the opposite--a cast consisting of a half-dozen men, two old women, and some other women that get hacked up.
Personally, I think it's pretty awesome to see an action movie starring almost entirely strong, unfetishized female characters. Yes, they're all pretty, but that's kind of a movie thing.

Also, I'm all in favor of women carrying on both careers and childrearing, but do you really think athletic acts of violence punctuating constant global travel are the best things for a pregnant woman to be doing?

Anyway, it's not like she quits her job in order to be a housewife. She quits her job in order to get a much less dangerous job, in a music store. She leaves Bill, who is decidedly unstable, for Tommy, who seems like he would make a good, normal husband and father. She changes her entire life, not out of some conception of weakness, but to do what's best for her child (and, as Bill implies, so she could try having a normal life too).

@Libertine:
Try Jacky Brown. It's the one of his that has the closest thing to an actual character-driven plot, rather than a series of violent incidents.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby cephalopod9 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:24 am UTC

Malice wrote:I would have thought you'd prefer that to the opposite--a cast consisting of a half-dozen men, two old women, and some other women that get hacked up.
Personally, I think it's pretty awesome to see an action movie starring almost entirely strong, unfetishized female characters. Yes, they're all pretty, but that's kind of a movie thing
On the contrary, Metalocalypse is the best show ever.

Not that I can 'prove it' or anything, but they seemed pretty fetishized to me. See, I do appreciate a strong female character that makes sense, but
Spoiler:
She's as big around as my pinky finger! I'm supposed to beleive she can take a morning-star square in the chest and just keep on going, did I miss the part of her back story where her skeleton was infused with adamantine? They could cast a muscular woman, they could focus on feats remotely beleiveable for her physique to acheive, or just give some semblance of reason to it, but instead they make her indistructable with no explination what so ever. Normal women aren't industructible, nor are they often that narrow. It's hard to see her as a "strong unfetishized female character" when it feels more like a joke.
it's hard not to see it as blatant eye candy. The way the camera moves over her body, the way her outfits tend to be skin tight, (the way she ends up tied up in a coffin with a flashlight in her mouth) all points to her being a sex object.
Malice wrote:What about it lacked internal consistency?
At the risk of being accused of not appreciating the style, every single fight scene.
Severed arm- geyser of blood
severed leg- geyser of blood
decapitation - geyser of bood
severed pinky toe- geyser of blood
top of O-ren's head gets chopped off - ... ... nothing!

Beyond that, The Bride's character doesn't make that much sense to me. Is she a cold blooded assassin, or is she nurturing and emotional? Is she strong enough to stand perfectly still supporting the weight of a full grown man on the point of a sword held in her fully extended arm, or does she wobble picking up her bags? Does she like Bill enough that his baby is the most important thing ever, or does she want to run away from him? At the core of it, the premise is dependent on her pregnancy being more important then absolutely everything else in her life, and I can't quite make sense of that.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby Malice » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:58 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:Not that I can 'prove it' or anything, but they seemed pretty fetishized to me. See, I do appreciate a strong female character that makes sense, but
Spoiler:
She's as big around as my pinky finger! I'm supposed to beleive she can take a morning-star square in the chest and just keep on going, did I miss the part of her back story where her skeleton was infused with adamantine? They could cast a muscular woman, they could focus on feats remotely beleiveable for her physique to acheive, or just give some semblance of reason to it, but instead they make her indistructable with no explination what so ever. Normal women aren't industructible, nor are they often that narrow. It's hard to see her as a "strong unfetishized female character" when it feels more like a joke.
it's hard not to see it as blatant eye candy. The way the camera moves over her body, the way her outfits tend to be skin tight, (the way she ends up tied up in a coffin with a flashlight in her mouth) all points to her being a sex object.[/spoiler]


As far as casting goes, it's not like they searched far and wide for a suitable actress. QT and Uma Thurman have been friends for years. He wrote the script for her, and gave it to her for a birthday present.

In terms of indestructability... *shrugs* That's the genre. Seriously, that's what happens in action movies. Action movie stars are like Timex watches.

As for the eye candy... *shrugs* It seems minor compared to most Hollywood movies. How many sex scenes did she have? How many times did she show her tits? Seems better, at least, than a lot of other things.

Malice wrote:What about it lacked internal consistency?
At the risk of being accused of not appreciating the style, every single fight scene.
Severed arm- geyser of blood
severed leg- geyser of blood
decapitation - geyser of bood
severed pinky toe- geyser of blood
top of O-ren's head gets chopped off - ... ... nothing![/quote]

That's a stylistic thing. By which I mean, of course it's internally consistent! Each person dies in the manner that befits their level of drama. The fight with the Crazy 88 is supposed to be over the top (I mean, it's not like they even try to hide the fact that they've just got hoses filled with fake blood behind the actors) in that way (and it's the only one--every other fight is basically realistic). QT wants to impress you with how bloody and grotesque the scene is. Why? Because that brings it over the line from horror to comedy. If they portrayed that realistically, you'd be turned off--instead, you find yourself laughing at things like the guy holding his own severed arm. By exaggerating (and over-exaggerating) the violence, he pushes it to just this side of slapstick comedy.

The O-Ren fight, on the other hand, is meant to be slow-quick-slow (kind of like a Pixies song), is meant to be stylish, is meant to be the dramatic closer. If she had started spraying blood, you'd be laughing--it would seem out of place. You don't really question it in the big fight sequence because everything's happening so fast; but in the middle of that garden, you'd have time to think about it, and decide that it made no goddamn sense.

Essentially, QT's films have (at least) internal consistency on levels other than the surface. Reality may bend momentarily to accommodate his point or effect at any given time, and then snap back again later; but the strategy for when and why and how that happens remains the same over the course of the film.

Beyond that, The Bride's character doesn't make that much sense to me. Is she a cold blooded assassin, or is she nurturing and emotional?

Both. She's clearly emotional, because even as an assassin, she's in love with Bill; but she's also able to detach herself from the implications of her career, and talk matter-of-factly about murder and death.

Is she strong enough to stand perfectly still supporting the weight of a full grown man on the point of a sword held in her fully extended arm, or does she wobble picking up her bags?


I'm trying and failing to remember the latter moment in the films. Perhaps you could enlighten me?
I'm guessing, however, that this falls under action movie territory. She is able to do what she has to be able to do within the context of a scene, but that doesn't make her Supergirl outside of the action.

Does she like Bill enough that his baby is the most important thing ever, or does she want to run away from him?

I don't think she likes the child because it's Bill's. It seems quite clear in the movie that her dilemma is, she loves Bill and doesn't want to be away from him, and doesn't want to kill him, either, but she must eventually do both in order to protect her child. QT portrays the latter as something of a primal instinct (one of the closing credits is the line, "All is now right in the jungle, the lioness is with her cub"). She's pulled between her love for Bill and her love for another person, and that person isn't even remotely her fiancee Tommy. She chooses her kid, because while she loves Bill, she fears him, too, and understands that the life they lead together can't ever become the simple, domestic one her child needs. (Part of the utter poignancy of that scene where Bill is making sandwiches and telling stories; it's a glimpse of what perhaps should have been, but never could have been.)
Concisely, the pull towards Bill and away from him, towards his child, isn't an inconsistency, it's the central internal conflict of the film, and the one which sets the entire plot in motion. What makes the film something of a tragedy is that there was no right choice.

At the core of it, the premise is dependent on her pregnancy being more important then absolutely everything else in her life, and I can't quite make sense of that.

I don't mean the following as an attack, in the slightest, but simply a neutral question: have you ever been pregnant? I know I haven't. But I can imagine that it's very important to the mother.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby cephalopod9 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:28 am UTC

Malice wrote:As for the eye candy... *shrugs* It seems minor compared to most Hollywood movies.
That is still not the treatment a male action star would get.
And I know about the movie being all for Uma, I am not Uma and that does not make me like it better. (Further more it only explains the first needle thin actress, not the other 6)

Malice wrote:
At the risk of being accused of not appreciating the style...
That's a stylistic thing.

I'm trying and failing to remember the latter moment in the films. Perhaps you could enlighten me?
When she's goin' up the steps for the first time to go get trained, she bends down to pick up the bags she goes all wobbley like she's making a big show of how heavy they are, then 3 minutes later she's fighting with what's his face and he jumps up on her sword (or was it a spear?) with out her or the laws of physics seeming to mind. To me, that is stylistic like copying dragonball z in art class is stylistic. Bending reality because you feel like it (even momentarily) does not equate to internal consistency; If it's to accomodate a point it should not be glaringly obvious.
I don't mean the following as an attack, in the slightest, but simply a neutral question: have you ever been pregnant? I know I haven't. But I can imagine that it's very important to the mother.
(I've also never killed anyone with a katana, and the movie's not about me.) The plot never establishes a stable character for her, she bounces around between being Bill's ditzy girlfriend, to -serious time kill everyone with a sword-, to mother of the year, without any apparent internal conflict or hesitation. (With the exception that she's a woman, so her maternal instincts must overide everything. ). Let me refrase, Does she think Bill's the kind of guy to star gaze and giggle with, or is he the kind of guy she's terrified of telling she's pregnant?
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Re: Tarantino

Postby Malice » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:26 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:
Malice wrote:
At the risk of being accused of not appreciating the style...
That's a stylistic thing.
Tongue firmly in cheek, Ceph. You were asking for it, after all.

I'm trying and failing to remember the latter moment in the films. Perhaps you could enlighten me?
When she's goin' up the steps for the first time to go get trained, she bends down to pick up the bags she goes all wobbley like she's making a big show of how heavy they are, then 3 minutes later she's fighting with what's his face and he jumps up on her sword (or was it a spear?) with out her or the laws of physics seeming to mind. To me, that is stylistic like copying dragonball z in art class is stylistic. Bending reality because you feel like it (even momentarily) does not equate to internal consistency; If it's to accomodate a point it should not be glaringly obvious.


It's entirely possible that the bags were heavier than the little old man. But really, to me, that scene doesn't feel like she's supporting his weight; it feels like he's supporting his own weight, like he's the kind of guy who can do wire-fu without wires. I'm not sure I can justify that feeling by anything explicit within the movie, that's just my impression.

But okay, really, complaining about the lack of internal consistency in his movies is like complaining that nobody ever says "fuck" in 1940s movie. That's just not what's going on. QT's movies are post-modern; they intend you to be aware at nearly every moment that you are watching a movie. When you see the Bride in an outfit from a Bruce Lee movie, you are thinking, "She looks cool in that," but you are also thinking, "She's gonna kick as much ass as Bruce Lee did". When you hear Elle whistling the theme from Twisted Nerve, you are thinking, "Murder is going to be done." What he does is, he uses your past movie-going experiences to inform and infuse his characters and stories with greater emotional power and thematic significance. When Vincent dances with Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction, it's also John Travolta dancing again, and that makes it more exciting. The same thing goes for his stylistic flourishes, like exaggerated sprays of blood, or the switches between color and black and white--he's shifting you from one level of enjoyment (story level) to another ("Wow, this is a cool movie"), in order to have you directly engage with your movie-going experience, the way he does. Feel free to dislike it; but calling it a flaw of the movies is like complaining that Eisenstein didn't use enough long takes, or that Psycho doesn't follow Janet Leigh's story all the way through. It's just not what the artist intended, and it's not necessary in order for the film to be good or entertaining.

Let me refrase, Does she think Bill's the kind of guy to star gaze and giggle with, or is he the kind of guy she's terrified of telling she's pregnant?


Both! (and let me point out, at very different points chronologically). People are paradoxical! Turn it around and look at Bill. He loves the Bride very much, clearly; and yet, he begins the movie by shooting her in the head. It's not out of character for him. "There are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering bastard." She feels contradictory things about him, too. She loves him, yes, but she doesn't think he'd be the right father for her kid.

She's not scared of telling him she's pregnant, exactly, not foremost; she's scared of raising her kid in the wrong environment. She makes the decision to leave him, and after she's done it, she's afraid of his reaction when he finds her. The conversation they have outside the chapel, in Vol. 2, has her beginning by being afraid that he'll turn to violence, relaxing gratefully as it appears he'll be civil, and then feeling betrayed when he orders the attack. This is exactly what she feared. She's scared he'll find out that she's pregnant, that she ran, that she chose the child over him, scared that he'll react the way he eventually does.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby theonlyjett » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:38 pm UTC

It's entirely possible that the bags were heavier than the little old man. But really, to me, that scene doesn't feel like she's supporting his weight; it feels like he's supporting his own weight, like he's the kind of guy who can do wire-fu without wires. I'm not sure I can justify that feeling by anything explicit within the movie, that's just my impression.
This whole scene is the classic training/mentor montage scene. This is a kung fu scene. Kung fu master standing on his opponant's sword is probably as old as kung fu movies. His mastery may even allow him to stand on air, if only for an instant.

Edit: 200!

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Re: Tarantino

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:32 pm UTC

cephalapod, it kind of feels that you want this movie to be something it is not and never claimed or intended to be. I would never do as good a job of movie analysis as Malice has (and generally does, when he wants to), nor am I particularly fond of this movie, but you can't go into a movie with the wrong mindset, the wrong expectations and be upset when those expectations aren't met. For example, you wouldn't go into Iron Man looking for a dramatic love story or Step-Brothers looking for an Arnold Schwarzenegger-style shoot 'em up, would you? It's even more important with Tarantino because he's constantly stylizing his films to fit a specific genre (but oftentimes over the top, even when referenced to that genre). Kill Bill is even worse about this (I don't know that worse is the right word, but you know what I mean) in that he pays homage to different types of films throughout the movie (he may do this in his other films, I'm not enough of a film buff to know this).
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Tarantino

Postby Gunfingers » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

I think Roger Ebert does a pretty good job summing it up.

Ebert's 4/5 review of Vol. 1 wrote:The movie is all storytelling and no story. The motivations have no psychological depth or resonance, but are simply plot markers. The characters consist of their characteristics.

But then, if you read his other reviews, Ebert is a huge Tarantino fan.

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Re: Tarantino

Postby Various Varieties » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:17 pm UTC

I first watched Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction about a week apart a few years ago, I had trouble deciding which I preferred. But now Pulp Fiction is definitely my favourite - every time I watch it I'm amazed by the way the various strands link together without (as far as I know...) any real plot holes, and every so often I still come across an article which points out yet another detail I'd never noticed. Its construction is incredible. Reservoir Dogs is also great (and some might see its tight and compact nature compared to his sprawling other films as a virtue), but I think Pulp Fiction is far more rewatchable.

Malice wrote:What he does is, he uses your past movie-going experiences to inform and infuse his characters and stories with greater emotional power and thematic significance. When Vincent dances with Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction, it's also John Travolta dancing again, and that makes it more exciting.

And what's more, he's dancing in a gawky, silly way, which is very funny when you see it for the first time and realise that this was the same guy who was doing elaborately choreographed routines in Grease.

Felstaff wrote:However, Jackie Brown is a serious piece of work from an established and respected author. I think it was Tarantino's first 'grown-up' film, and he had the balls to not only change the title and main character's name to fit his own Pam Grier ideals, but also to fit all his (now) trademarked stylistic techniques in it so it becomes 100% Tarantino, 0% Leonard. A big amount of respect is needed for that kinda galljib.

Apparently Tarantino did talk to Leonard before writing the screenplay, who told him "You're the filmmaker - use what you want and make your movie." Afterwards, the novelist said it was not just the best screenplay adaptation of one of his own works, but also possibly the best screenplay he'd read at all!<ref>Smith, Jim. (2005) Tarantino. London: Virgin Books.</ref>

I love Jackie Brown, from the "Across 110th Street" opening, to the scene in the department store shown from three different perspectives (OK, so a lot of critics complained about the film's length, and that sequence is the main reason it's as long as it is). The film also contains a rare non-gimmicky use of split-screen - so that Max's realisation that the gun is no longer in his glove compartment can be shown at the exact moment that Jackie uses it to threaten Ordell. You couldn't get the same effect from cutting alternately between the two scenes.

Then he kinda took steps backwards. I meant to say 'homage' in my last post, but wrote 'parodied' instead. Freudian slip, perchance? It wasn't intentional. His Asian/Grindhouse homages were too comic-book to be homage, and one step on the wrong side of glib, so it became a sort of mimicry of martial arts in Kill Bill and of cheap, grainy, cinema-nasty in Death Proof.

I haven't seen Grindhouse, but yeah, as much as I love Kill Bill, it does seem like for the last few years he's been kinda preoccupied with the grimier end of the movie spectrum, making films with exploitation subject matter but Hollywood production values. I'd love to see him come back with something as mature as Jackie Brown (I haven't read the leaked Inglorious Bastards screenplay, so I don't know if that will turn out to be it).

Felstaff wrote:Quentin Tarantino is a bad actor.

I mean, a bad actor.

And acting happens to be the only part of the filmmaking process in which he had any formal training!


Malice wrote:Pulp Fiction is amazingly entertaining, but I dislike how utterly shallow it is. There's only one scene of character growth and emotion in the entire movie, and the rest of it often feels like a bunch of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Libertine wrote:I pretty much hate what I've seen of Tarantino's movies. It's just not my style. He uses violence in lieu of a plot, which bores me.

To both quotes: :shock:

"Violence in lieu of plot?" There's probably less violence in Pulp Fiction than most people remember, although the threat of violence is there constantly (it's the main reason Vincent's so uncomfortable during Mia's flirting, for example). Those moments of violence that are shown explicitly, it's always for a purpose: it always has plot consequences (whereas in Kill Bill - vol 1, at least - a lot of the OTT violence is largely for visceral aesthetic value) and often also doubles as comedy (I've always categorised the movie as more of a black comedy than a drama).

As I stated at the start of this post, I think Pulp Fiction has an endlessly fascinating plot. True, there aren't many scenes dedicated solely to character studies (which single scene of character growth were you referring to, Malice?), but I think an intricately constructed plot, presented in an interesting way, provides a different kind of depth.

22/7 wrote:Kill Bill is even worse about this (I don't know that worse is the right word, but you know what I mean) in that he pays homage to different types of films throughout the movie (he may do this in his other films, I'm not enough of a film buff to know this).

Oh, very much so. Often it has to do with the actors he casts, as with the earlier example of John Travolta being shown dancing in a very non-Saturday Night Fever way. It seems you also get more out of Jackie Brown if you're familiar with Pam Grier's '70s movie roles, too (which I am not).

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Re: Tarantino

Postby Malice » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:15 am UTC

*blushes* Aw, shucks, 22/7.

Various Varieties wrote:
Malice wrote:Pulp Fiction is amazingly entertaining, but I dislike how utterly shallow it is. There's only one scene of character growth and emotion in the entire movie, and the rest of it often feels like a bunch of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


As I stated at the start of this post, I think Pulp Fiction has an endlessly fascinating plot. True, there aren't many scenes dedicated solely to character studies (which single scene of character growth were you referring to, Malice?), but I think an intricately constructed plot, presented in an interesting way, provides a different kind of depth.


Pulp Fiction has a fascinating structure. Its plot is minimal, if that--two guys go pick up a briefcase, clean up after a murder, run into a robbery. One of them goes on a date. The part with the most plot is the Bruce Willis segment, and it's the one that feels the most coherent--essentially "The Gold Watch" is its own full feature in the middle of Pulp Fiction. The others are more like episodes, entertainingly done and ordered, but not very interesting on their own merits.

The single scene of character growth is the last one, where Jules decides to analyze his own cool style for actual meaning, apply that to his own life, and end up turning away from violent solutions to his problems. He has gone from an essentially unformed character (in an emotional or moralistic sense) to one questioning his job, his life, and the role of God in both. It's the only time any character goes through a change. The rest of the film's characters are entirely static, and while we may sympathize with their situations, we are never drawn into their stories the way we are drawn into the story of a person presented with a choice or a conflict they are working to resolve.

In every other Tarantino film, we're given some dichotomy, pulling our characters this way or that. In Reservoir Dogs, it is the risks and rewards of human connection--they should be professional and not know each other's names and not care and act in their own self-interest, but they fall into patterns of compassion, from the easy camaraderie between White and Pink, to the bond that forms between Orange and White by the end of the film. In Kill Bill, as I mentioned before, it's between her love for her kid and her love of Bill (or, to put it another way, between her job and her family). In Death Proof, it's again on a risk/reward axis--do you have fun, despite the dangers, or do you stick to being "good girls"?
Often, as you can see, these are bound up in issues of identity, through your career--because what you do defines who you are. Is the Bride capable of leaving her career, or is she, as Bill says, a "natural born killer"?
Pulp Fiction, to me, is missing that dimension. What little is there is so surface and shallow. Vincent likes Mia, but he's afraid his boss will get mad and hurt him. Bruce Willis's character has the moment when he chooses to go back and rescue Marcellus, but it plays like common human decency, not anything he agonizes over. Even Jules' moment seems arbitrary--this one incident has shaken him up, and changed his mind around, but do I really care whether he goes and wanders the land or not? Not really.
Tarantino's so good at writing dialogue and directing his actors that you're always in the emotion of the scene, even if that emotion never carries over or grows or goes anywhere except to a new scene and a new emotion. I'm not saying it's a bad film. It's really really fun, and well-constructed from many standpoints. But I go to movies primarily to feel, and Pulp Fiction has very little which satisfies on that level.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby cephalopod9 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:20 am UTC

I got my rant on back there, nothing personal of course, the movie just gives me a headache.
Malice wrote: When you see the Bride in an outfit from a Bruce Lee movie, you are thinking, "She looks cool in that," but you are also thinking, "She's gonna kick as much ass as Bruce Lee did".
Personally, what I remember thinking was "how is that frame holding up that sword?" but also "there are a great many things I would rather see in a movie than Uma Thurman's backside". I'm sure the effect is different for someone attracted to women.
It's just not what the artist intended, and it's not necessary in order for the film to be good or entertaining.
You'll notice I do acknowledge that it's meant to be stylistic, I just don't think it's done well.
22/7 wrote:cephalapod, it kind of feels that you want this movie to be something it is not and never claimed or intended to be. ... It's even more important with Tarantino because he's constantly stylizing his films to fit a specific genre (but oftentimes over the top, even when referenced to that genre).

See, I don't want to give the impression that I don't like appreciate swords, drama, arterial spurts, and over the top fightin'. Ridiculous violence is awesome. But don't pretend that makes a movie; gaudy effects cease to be "stylistic" when they're jarring and disillusioning. I don't feel like Tarantino effectively borrows from other movies to make a good film, so much as he lifts ideas and scenes from other places and ham-handedly layers them on top of eachother.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby Gunfingers » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:37 pm UTC

Have you never seen an action movie? Ridiculous over-the-top violence is exactly what makes that entire genre. Same tends to be true of kung-fu movies and some westerns.

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Re: Tarantino

Postby Malice » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:36 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:I got my rant on back there, nothing personal of course, the movie just gives me a headache.
Malice wrote: When you see the Bride in an outfit from a Bruce Lee movie, you are thinking, "She looks cool in that," but you are also thinking, "She's gonna kick as much ass as Bruce Lee did".
Personally, what I remember thinking was "how is that frame holding up that sword?" but also "there are a great many things I would rather see in a movie than Uma Thurman's backside". I'm sure the effect is different for someone attracted to women.


Uma Thurman doesn't really do anything for me. I just think she's cool, and I didn't notice nearly as much camera-ogling or revealing costumes (it's not like she even shows any skin in those things--it's a jumpsuit, not a bikini) as is usually present in Hollywood movies.

It's just not what the artist intended, and it's not necessary in order for the film to be good or entertaining.
You'll notice I do acknowledge that it's meant to be stylistic, I just don't think it's done well.[/quote]

What's not done well about it?

See, I don't want to give the impression that I don't like appreciate swords, drama, arterial spurts, and over the top fightin'. Ridiculous violence is awesome. But don't pretend that makes a movie; gaudy effects cease to be "stylistic" when they're jarring and disillusioning.


They're supposed to be. When Tarantino does some kind of effect (like over the top blood-spray) it's supposed to take you part-way out of the movie. He's postmodern, that's what they do, they wink at you all the time. You come out of the moment a little and say, "Hey, I've never seen this much crazy blood in a movie before," or, "hey, he just switched between color and black and white and back for no apparent reason, cool."
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Re: Tarantino

Postby Various Varieties » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:06 pm UTC

Malice wrote:(it's not like she even shows any skin in those things--

Except her toes! :wink:

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Re: Tarantino

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:14 pm UTC

Various Varieties wrote:
Malice wrote:(it's not like she even shows any skin in those things--

Except her toes! :wink:
Hey Gretta! Show us your ankles!
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Tarantino

Postby cephalopod9 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:09 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:Have you never seen an action movie? Ridiculous over-the-top violence is exactly what makes that entire genre. Same tends to be true of kung-fu movies and some westerns.
Don't make me start some over the top violence on your face. ;P
(Unless that wasn't directed at me, if you're not being sarcastic you missed the parts where I said I like swords, and Metalocalypse is the best show ever).

Malice wrote:They're supposed to be. When Tarantino does some kind of effect (like over the top blood-spray) it's supposed to take you part-way out of the movie. He's postmodern, that's what they do, they wink at you all the time. You come out of the moment a little and say, "Hey, I've never seen this much crazy blood in a movie before," or, "hey, he just switched between color and black and white and back for no apparent reason, cool."
My issue with that is the way the movie goes on to expect the audience to take it seriously, empathize with the Bride, care what Bud's doing, etc. I suppose that's the main issue in all this, not just that it makes no sense, but that it's trying to sell a serious dramatic plot while making so little sense (or am I just overestimating Tarantino here?). It makes the plot-holery seem careless if not inconsiderate. (For incoherent pop-culture refrences interlaced with nonsensical violence I usually go fer 15 minute adult swim cartoons, not big budget hollywood movies, is all I'm sayin').
Also, I'm pretty sure Brain Dead still has the record for most crazy blood.

Malice wrote:Uma Thurman doesn't really do anything for me. I just think she's cool, and I didn't notice nearly as much camera-ogling or revealing costumes (it's not like she even shows any skin in those things--it's a jumpsuit, not a bikini) as is usually present in Hollywood movies.
It's much more of a personal bother than an objective critique, there were various elements pointing to "you are supposed to enjoy looking at this body", (I don't want to get nit picky and list specifically all the ways they do that and it kind of grates on me all the more to go through and point to all the places she isn't naked). It's kind of a salt in the wound thing. See, action movies (and nerd culture in general) has this really annoying habit of focusing on the desireability of heterosexual women, while refusing to acknowledge them as a potential audience. (If you're a heterosexual male, imagine trying to enjoy a fighting game where all the male characters are shirtless and have exagerated junk bounce.)
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Re: Tarantino

Postby Malice » Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:38 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:
Malice wrote:They're supposed to be. When Tarantino does some kind of effect (like over the top blood-spray) it's supposed to take you part-way out of the movie. He's postmodern, that's what they do, they wink at you all the time. You come out of the moment a little and say, "Hey, I've never seen this much crazy blood in a movie before," or, "hey, he just switched between color and black and white and back for no apparent reason, cool."
My issue with that is the way the movie goes on to expect the audience to take it seriously, empathize with the Bride, care what Bud's doing, etc. I suppose that's the main issue in all this, not just that it makes no sense, but that it's trying to sell a serious dramatic plot while making so little sense (or am I just overestimating Tarantino here?).


*shrugs* I am perfectly able to have both emotional responses. But as I mentioned earlier in the thread, Kill Bill is kinda segmented, so that for most of part 1 you're going "Sweet, over the top violence," and for most of part 2 you're going, "Aw, what a sad story."

(If you're a heterosexual male, imagine trying to enjoy a fighting game where all the male characters are shirtless and have exagerated junk bounce.)


I'm all for shirtless men, but does anybody actually find "junk bounce" attractive?
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Re: Tarantino

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:02 am UTC

Personally i find it offensive that there's no male equivalent to cleavage. Girls can drive us fucking nuts with that shit, and i have no way to retaliate. I can't walk around with the seam of by balls showing and expect anyone to be turned on. It sucks!

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Re: Tarantino

Postby ishikiri » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:41 pm UTC

The over the top blood spraying everywhere is a reference to another flick. . . whose name I cannot remember. Its the one that the kid watches in Kill Bill 2 - It was banned pretty much as soon as it came out because there is so much gore, it was only de-banned a few years ago.

Its an awful, shitty flick and really not worth the trouble of either watching or purchasing, although some of the early fightscenes are actually fairly true-to-life in terms of use of a katana (I mean the banned film not KB2 BTW).
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Re: Tarantino

Postby 22/7 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:09 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:Personally i find it offensive that there's no male equivalent to cleavage. Girls can drive us fucking nuts with that shit, and i have no way to retaliate. I can't walk around with the seam of by balls showing and expect anyone to be turned on. It sucks!
From the handful of girls with whom I've had such a conversation, yes, yes there is. It's just not as universal as cleavage.

Apparently capitalizing 'I' helps. ;)
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Tarantino

Postby Gunfingers » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:08 pm UTC

What is this non-universal retaliation?

Also, not capitalizing personal pronouns is a weird thing i do. I think it's stupid that the only pronoun that gets capitalized is that one, so i never do it. It's inconsistent and inherently arrogant. Admittedly, two things that describe me incredibly well, but i don't want to broadcast that fact.

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Re: Tarantino

Postby 22/7 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:37 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:What is this non-universal retaliation?

Also, not capitalizing personal pronouns is a weird thing i do. I think it's stupid that the only pronoun that gets capitalized is that one, so i never do it. It's inconsistent and inherently arrogant. Admittedly, two things that describe me incredibly well, but i don't want to broadcast that fact.
Haha, I was just giving you a hard time.

As for the "non-universal retaliation", have a talk with whoever you're trying to ... uh, retaliate against? Unless it's not someone who you can have that conversation with. Then maybe a friend? It's there, though. Oh, it's there.

rEdiculously off topic.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby cephalopod9 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

Malice wrote:*shrugs* I am perfectly able to have both emotional responses. But as I mentioned earlier in the thread, Kill Bill is kinda segmented, so that for most of part 1 you're going "Sweet, over the top violence," and for most of part 2 you're going, "Aw, what a sad story."
...I'm all for shirtless men, but does anybody actually find "junk bounce" attractive?

It's not that I can't, just that there's next to no transition between the two halves. Going straight from 99% action to 99% sad story seems kind of... stupid is all. Matter of opinion I'm sure.
How does Tarantino"s other stuff compare? I've been sort of meaning to see Pulp Fiction and Grindhouse, but if it's also going to make me angry, I might just skip it and be able to say I haven't seen it instead of having this sort of conversation again.

I was just trying think up a parrallel; y'know, I have my own pair and don't really care to see anyone else's, least of all grotesquely exaggerated in a way that seems designed with the intent of making me feel inadequate. (Also it was just kind of a random thought playing Soul Calibur "what if video games had to give as much 'bounce' to their male characters?")
For me, it's toned mid-riffs(/muscular backs) and sexy hair that'll do it. Admittedly, not as easy to fake/enhance as cleavage so not a fair trade exactly. (although I kind of wonder if the effects of cleavage aren't over stated, as it's been my experience that it usually takes other physical attributes as well. would you go for tits on a gargoyle?, but that's a conversation for another forum)
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Re: Tarantino

Postby 22/7 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:35 pm UTC

I personally love Pulp Fiction. It's very much in Tarantino's wheel-house. It's extremely stylistic, it's got a great script chock-full of these one-liners and banter between characters (like Ocean's 11/12/13/14/15/16/17 except intelligent and funny), and the actors (and Tarantino) do a great job of playing the characters off one another. That said, and as Malice has already pointed out, there's essentially no character development (with the single notable exception of Jules, you'll see) and the movie as a whole is pretty shallow when it comes to plot. It's essentially a bunch of different characters' story lines being interwoven such that you see the happenings of and around these people at a certain point in time and you get to see the current dynamic between them, but that's about it. Still, I love it.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:How does Tarantino"s other stuff compare? I've been sort of meaning to see Pulp Fiction and Grindhouse, but if it's also going to make me angry, I might just skip it and be able to say I haven't seen it instead of having this sort of conversation again.)
Personally, I'd say that his earlier stuff - Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.. are better movies overall and better places to start than Kill Bill.

Kill Bill's almost a conversation between him and the audience in a "Oh, man, remember this style of movie? Aren't those awesome? And then there's this style, where they do effects like this? Man, I love that shit"

Fiction and Dogs are him telling stories. I've yet to sit down and watch Planet Terror or Death Proof, so I don't know how they are.. but they're probably more deconstructions of the genre than they are individual stories. I've also never seen Jackie Brown, and keep meaning to do so but then I forget. D'oh.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby KingLoser » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:04 pm UTC

Question: I mentioned it earlier in the thread, and although it's very likely people just enjoy ignoring me (I'm guilty of that...) I'm now genuinely interested, do you guys consider Natural Born Killers to be non-canon Tarantino or summit, because it wasn't directed by him?

Awesome, awesome movie.
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Re: Tarantino

Postby Malice » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:21 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:
Malice wrote:*shrugs* I am perfectly able to have both emotional responses. But as I mentioned earlier in the thread, Kill Bill is kinda segmented, so that for most of part 1 you're going "Sweet, over the top violence," and for most of part 2 you're going, "Aw, what a sad story."
...I'm all for shirtless men, but does anybody actually find "junk bounce" attractive?

It's not that I can't, just that there's next to no transition between the two halves. Going straight from 99% action to 99% sad story seems kind of... stupid is all. Matter of opinion I'm sure.


Well, I wouldn't say it's as extreme as all that. Volume One starts, after all, not with a gunfight, but with the conversation afterward. And it periodically backs off to slow the pace or remind you of the character dilemmas underneath--her conversation with Vernita Green, her reaction upon waking up and finding her child gone, training with Sonny Chiba.
Likewise, Volume Two is suffused, not necessarily with action, but with the expectation of action, and the tension that provides--Bill showing up to the wedding, the Bride coming after Bud, the conversation with Esteban, and then the final confrontation with Bill.

I don't know. I like what he does. I think it works better than it would have if it had been set up differently.

How does Tarantino"s other stuff compare? I've been sort of meaning to see Pulp Fiction and Grindhouse, but if it's also going to make me angry, I might just skip it and be able to say I haven't seen it instead of having this sort of conversation again.


I think those will make you less angry. Pulp Fiction is entertaining. Death Proof has some of the same issues as Kill Bill--the dialogue and action portions are pretty divided (dialogue, action, dialogue, lots of action, the end), but in this case, there's a clearer reason for it (that's what old exploitation movies did, because they didn't have the money to be action all the way through, but they needed enough to draw the audience in in the first place), and it's entirely focused on women, but it's more clearly pro-women as opposed to exploiting them.

SecondTalon wrote:Fiction and Dogs are him telling stories. I've yet to sit down and watch Planet Terror or Death Proof, so I don't know how they are.. but they're probably more deconstructions of the genre than they are individual stories. I've also never seen Jackie Brown, and keep meaning to do so but then I forget. D'oh.


Planet Terror is directed by Robert Rodriguez, and is essentially a parody of exploitation movies. Those movies are essentially low-budget, not-very-good works that are largely forgotten, but if you actually go and watch them, you'll find that most of them are either better than you expected overall (ie., a pretty good movie even by general standards) or contain single moments that transcend the work and are totally awesome or brilliant. Planet Terror is like a movie that has nothing but those moments. It's like a rollercoaster that only goes down--things just keep getting more and more absurd.

Death Proof is more about the genre than the individual stories, but there's enough there for you get involved with the characters. (Death Proof, by the way, is more like an actual grindhouse movie, just done by someone much more talented than the usual exploitation writers and directors. Well, actually, it's like two stuck together--the slasher movie and the car movie.)

KingLoser wrote:Question: I mentioned it earlier in the thread, and although it's very likely people just enjoy ignoring me (I'm guilty of that...) I'm now genuinely interested, do you guys consider Natural Born Killers to be non-canon Tarantino or summit, because it wasn't directed by him?


Canon in what sense? It's part of the same "world" as his other things, to the extent that they are all part of the same world (not very much, but it's there).
If you mean canon in the sense of, no auteurist theory is complete without it, then, yeah, of course it is.
If you mean canon in the sense of, it must be included in any Tarantino film festival, then, well, not really, no. I consider it to be a Tarantino script (an early one, which bears many resemblances to the flaws and foibles of his other early script, True Romance) but a (shitty) Oliver Stone movie.
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