Once Upon a Time in Quentin Tarantino’s Brain
#1/100 in my Favorite (Random) Movies List
In honor on Tarantino’s ninth of 10 films coming out this past week, I decided to kick-off my 100 favorite movies thread with a compilation of Quentin’s best and better.
First things first, I saw the newest film and I loved it. So, that gives you a pretty good idea of how this list could go (but don’t worry, there will definitely be some unexpected opinions and movies) so, hate it or love it, let’s get into it, shall we?
For the longest time, Inglorious Bastards was my absolute favorite Tarantino film. I think it may now be a super close #2 “That’s a bingo!” However, my favorite, and what is, in my opinion, the greatest Tarantino film of all time, are two completely different movies. More on that in a second.
Inglorious Bastards (which was featured in a previous post of mine; see “The Legend of Strum Strum” for a good laugh) is different than its predecessors solely on content and plot. Tarantino took a historical time period that affected the entire world and turned it on its head. The bare bones of the film are still classic Tarantino: lots of swearing, hapless violence, multiple complex and insane characters, chapters separating intertwining plot lines and character arcs, all coupled with a dynamic score, and a twist to cap off the ending with a bang (or flames, or machine guns, or knives, you get the picture).
However, in my opinion, the best Tarantino film of his career is: Kill Bill Vol. 2 (cue the crossfire). Kill Bill is separated into two films, the first volume is inspired by eastern-style film making. Volume 2 is made in western film style. The eastern film style makes a great starting point for the storyline of the Bride and her quest for revenge on those who wronged her and ruined her future and took her child. But Volume 2 brings a new perspective to the storyline, and we dive deeper into the Bride’s history with Bill and the gang, while also getting to see the emotional depth this abuse has caused in her inner psyche. Along with the basic structure of a Tarantino film (see above) Volume 2 has a different feel to it for me. The color, the score, the story arc and the flashbacks make this film what it is. Not to mention, Queen Uma Thurman 🙌🏻.
I’m fairly “new” in my Tarantino journey. The first of his movies I ever saw was Pulp Fiction my sophomore year of college. I had no idea what I was getting into, and boy was I surprised. I ended the experience thinking, “boy I’m never getting those two hours back.” But somehow, I gave it another shot a few months later, and realized the masterpiece that it is. Don’t worry, it’s in my top five (number four to be exact, behind KB Vol. 2 and before KB Vol. 1). But this began my, let’s call it “research” into the modern day filmmaker who is breaking the mold of film.
Tarantino’s films were never anything I grew up on. They’re raunchy, violent, and waaaay out there. And trust me, Tarantino is not my favorite director ever (all again Alfred Hitchcock!). His movies are ones you really have to be in the mood for. However despite all of that, they are just so. Damn. Good! When you actually are in the middle of a Tarantino film, boy get ready! You know what to expect with the bare bones format, but the experience is intense, and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
When I eventually got around to watching Reservoir Dogs, I gotta say, I knew it was not the film for me. And that’s okay! It’s still a fantastically done film! It takes place in primarily one location, the dialogue is punchy and raw and sucks you in. Not to mention, the cast is stellar. And the twists and turns keep it interesting. And hey, it connects with Pulp Fiction (Vega brothers what up?). How meta!
Swinging back to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood—wow! Not to give spoilers, but I will say this, seeing the Manson Family get their asses kicked was pretty satisfying (yay flamethrower!). The nostalgia in this movie was fantastic. I felt like I was right there. And the suspense each time we see Margo Robbie as actress Sharon Tate. Leading up to the date of her eventual demise, it gets a little more heartbreaking each time we see lovely Sharon enjoying her life, seeing her film, dancing with her friends. The character of Cliff Booth has the regular charisma of a great Tarantino anti-hero. Brad Pitt made the role great.
In summary—Quentin Tarantino is not for everyone. And if you genuinely enjoy all of his films, good for you! Obviously, I did not cover every film in this post (sorry Django fans...), but I feel that Tarantino encapsulates modern creative filmmaking with a flare. And he definitely deserves a longer and much more in-depth analysis than this post gives his craft.
However, there are still more posts to come, and more movies to watch.
See you next time