It’s amazing what a few years can do. I sat down just a short while ago and watched this movie for the first time since high school. I hated this movie in high school. I thought it was long, boring, disconnected, and poorly acted. Having watched it again, it no longer seems so long and boring.
As these reviews go on, you’re going to notice certain things. I have feelings about certain actors and/or directors that are very hard to change. Quentin Tarantino is a brilliant director who only recently came into his prime. I am so very much looking forward to the next few decades of his work. His early work, particularly Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are just a couple of hours of him ejaculating all over himself. He gets a few good scenes in with Pulp Fiction,but really it’s no better than watching him masturbate.
The story, what little there is, meanders about (loiters almost) and never actually goes anywhere. There is no sense of closure on any of the stories, save for Butch (Bruce Willis) and Fabienne (Maria de Medeirios). As a writer this drives me insane. The film is populated by bad characters doing bad things, and no one learns a damn thing or grows up. No conclusions come to, except for Samuel L. Jackson’s pseudo-spiritual realization in the last few scenes.
Tarantino could have easily had me with this movie, too. I am a sucker for book-ends in a flick. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s a sense of symmetry that appeals to my OCD nature, but I just love it. He could have done much better with a more ambiguous ending, maybe have Jules give his little speech to Vincent (the dreadful John Travolta), cut to Honey Bunny and Pumpkin (Amanda Plummer and Tim Roth) beginning their robbery, then quick cut to Jules and Vincent, cue Miserlou by Dick Dale, roll credits. BAM! I don’t know, though, I’m not the famous director.
I’d like to know who decided Uma Thurman was beautiful? Because that person was wrong. Just take some time to really look at her. Look at her hands, those huge, clawing, meaty things. They’re like deadly weapons on their own. Then we’re forced to sit through Tarantino’s fetish over Thurman’s feet. I don’t like feet to begin with, but if you think her hands are bad, good gravy her feet are terrible. Then to pair her up with John Travolta, one of our countries worst actors! It was painful to see! I could almost feel him reaching into the camera and saying, “Remember when I did Saturday Night Fever?” They might as well might as well have had him disco dancing with Uma “my eyes are too far apart” Thurman
They didn’t, though; what they did was under use good actors like Ving Rhames and Bruce Willis. Sure, Willis had his moment to shine as a disgraced boxer on the run from Rhames’ gangster, but it was far from the focus of the movie. It was almost more of a distraction (though a welcome one). Seriously, I couldn’t even tell you what the movie was really about.
I know that Tarantino was going for 4 different stories interwoven alá Four Rooms, but the later was a much more successful attempt. These stories didn’t interweave so much as they drunkenly stumbled through each other, occasionally bumping into each other while Vincent Vega used the bathroom. To say that this movie exists in the same cinematic universe as Inglorious Basterds and Kill Bill is an insult to those films.
It was, however, a lot of fun to see great (tiny) performances by Frank Whaley, Eric Stoltz, and Kathy Griffin.
And now, a gripe: It’s often a lot of fun when directors make a cameo appearance. Usually it’s just one line, or as an extra. Tarantino should have tried that.