i wonder

i don’t think you can fairly criticize a movie when you havent seen the first half of it, but life’s not fair, so Kill Bill 2 sort of sucked. I don’t have the same hate as an ibogaine-frenzied david denby, and nowhere near as much as moacir but uh, yeah, i would venture a guess that the first part probably sucked too but for different reasons? i don’t know. i don’t have anything particularly or even marginally nice to say, so, as peter rabbit or my mom or someone would like to say, i shouldn’t be talking about it, now should i. it’s not very illustrative to point out that people either love or hate quentin tarantino. i don’t really get it. he’s only made 4.25 movies, i think, and arguably two of them are OK. here comes the science:

Even if kill bill one is a hilarious actionpacked tribute to chopsocky/whatever, the second half is bad enough that i feel safe saying it’s a bloated turd of a movie. i was bored to tears for stretches of part 2. mostly everything that wasn’t the old whitehaired guy. i don’t know that being insincere is a mortal sin (i hope it isn’t), but if it was, this movie and everyone in it has no hope of salvation. what’s especially frustrating is that this movie isn’t cynical, or nihilistic, it’s obnoxious. like “i put in a scene with an old mexican pimp just so i could strenuously clarify that this character, who is not at all relevant to the plot or anything else, is a big asshole who cuts women.” the only solace i can think of is that i dont think anyone ever put that much thought into any of this stuff, they probably just thought it would be cool. So, kill bill: the unabridged version is bad, according to me.

reservoir dogs is pretty much the font of a lot of the things people hate about kill bill (excessive violence to no particular moral message, gore, annoying dialogue, michal madsen). i loved it when i was 14 or so. i listened to the soundtrack while playing Super Contra after school for like the entirety of ninth grade. i have not seen this movie since then. i’m not going to hate because i definitely drank the kool aid on this movie but i was 14. just a kid. i didnt know what i was doing.

pulp fiction: see above. except no michael madsen. and i didn’t actually like pulp fiction to the extent of listening to the soundtrack. (as a matter of fact, i still dont get what people like about the scene where travolta and uma thurman dance. i think it’s retarded.) but i did love this movie because samuel l. jackson came out and swore a lot and there were guns and shit. and i maintain that the christopher walken scene is pretty much the only actually good stretch of tarantino has ever written. so it looks like the score again is world 2, me 0, quentin tarantino 0. i apologize for having bad taste when i was 14. pulp fiction i’ll briefly defend as the one time the trick with the snarky dialogue came closest to working for quentin.

jackie brown: see above, except minus the redemption, but with the line “she got on my nerves so i shot her” or whatever it is added back in as a bonus

four rooms: i dont even remember which part he made

on a more positive note, i made a tombstone pizza this afternoon. it feels so good to be creative again. does anyone want to watch touch of evil later.

3 thoughts on “i wonder”

  1. the awesome thing about jackie brown is the love story–and it’s a very, very good love story. there’s little else good about the movie. but it’s very rare to find a love story about two middle-aged people, especially in a movie that’s not technically about middle-aged love, especially in the above as scripted by a guy younger than either of the protagonists. i give qt props for that.

  2. you know I saw kill bill 2 this week, yesterday in fact, by myself since my friends are assholes. and I have to say, watching pulp fiction (which I liked at 14), I always thought that the weird stilted totally fake dialogue was a joke specific to pulp fiction–as in, it was supposed to sound like a pulp fiction novel reads, complete with bad, melodramatic analogies that don’t work (“I’m the shepherd”).

    anyhoo I went to see KBII because I saw QT on the Charlee Roze show monday where I heard him (QT)say–in various ways but including in these words–that he had a great ear for dialogue, and that’s why his dialogue was so great. so I saw KBII and guess what: quentin tarantino can’t write dialogue at all. i think maybe he’s just dumb–but worse: a dumb nerd. Which mean a) he can’t write for shit; b)he thinks he’s really great and smart; and c)he’s big into collecting stuff, *knowing* about stuff, *being an aficianado*, etc.

    so yeah, kill bill 2, neat at many points, but the fact is, unless that stuff is (still) way over my head, in the way I sort of assumed it was at 13, he’s just a very bad writer who makes kind of mediocre movies which are remarkable for a) being send-ups and b) taking themselves very seriously

  3. The points are all valid. But Tarantino sucks even worse. You touch on why he’s so evil in the “taking themselves very seriously” dept. But they don’t. Or if they do, it’s in a jokey “ironic” way. And that’s the problem. He’s the fucking Pied Piper, man. Of people I might normally respect, while they’re throwing their cigarette butts at me outside of Cobb.

    Tarantino needs to sit the hell down and watch some Lubitsch movies. Or maybe Lubitsch isn’t funny/beloved anymore. Used to be that he figured he was loved since, unlike other filmmakers, he gave you two and two and let you, the audience, make four. And you’d be happy. And it’d be good. Tarantino does the same, but then he beats you off as a reward for coming up with four. Is America this paranoid and self-conscious about its intellectual achievements?

    God I hate this place.

    His dialogue isn’t bad. Rather, he gets credit for writing “good” dialogue, when actually all he’s doing is writing chatter into oddly placed moments. People normally don’t write dialogue like that since the movie is supposed to be economical with its narrative. While he has people going on about burgers in France, that means the narrative arc is stalling, because, and here’s a crucial point, his dialogue doesn’t reveal anything about the characters (almost as a rule, I think). You can throw counter-examples all you want, but a lot of his dialogue is filler. Filler to make you, you fucking hipster, feel good about yourself because you want to validate whatever stupid comment you were extemporaneously making in the back room of Jimmy’s last night. I don’t mean anyone in specific with that.

    Of course.

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