|UserReviews 3Approval 92%Soundoffs 49Album Ratings 1839Objectivity 93%Last Active 12-19-19 2:55 pmJoined 09-24-05Forum Posts 22Review Comments 2,854
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|FILM: tectac's Quentin Tarantino, Ranked|
In preparation of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, which I'll be seeing today and adding to the list afterwards. Meant to do this yesterday and someone else already started one. Luckily for me, their list is wrong, so here is the correct edition.
>> KILL BILL: VOL. I
Too much pastiche; fascinates in individual scenes and homages (the snowy battle with O-ren is a beautiful mimic of a similar scene in BLIND WOMAN'S CURSE) but never coalesces into a solid, original thought. The one Tarantino movie that's fun moment-to-moment but leaves little room for rumination afterward.
>> KILL BILL: VOL II
Even though this is technically "one film," I prefer the second half because QT relies less on xeroxing films of yore and more on actually establishing a story of his own through legitimate character development and dialogue. Unfortunately, given the two part structure, it feels very rushed, like he spent too long on bombast scenes in Volume I and had to make up for lots of lost time with Volume II. Still enjoyable, and the only QT film to bring me to the edge of tears.
>> INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Mostly a great film, but hampered severely by silly over-indulgence that cheapens the film's more masterful elements. For example, the opening scene, the underground bar sequence, and Hans Landa's second meeting with Shoshana over apple streusel are masterclasses of white knuckled tension. However, things like the Bear Jew's introduction or Brad Pitt's obnoxiously artificial accent undercut the gravity completely. I don't mind the quixotic, historical revisionism, but even that devolves into an exercise in excess.
|7||Ol' Dirty Bastard|
The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones
>> JACKIE BROWN
Another great film, and probably QT's most mature effort to date. Kind of like a microcosmic replication of Pulp Fiction with the intertwining story lines and players. It's really, really good, but it doesn't achieve the same level of memorable gusto that penetrates his best films. I do commend the fact that it's essentially a love story, but you can tell that QT was confined by the adaptation just a little. Also, it has always bugged me that Jackie Brown is the least interesting character in her own film.
Running on Empty
>> DJANGO UNCHAINED
2/3 masterful, 1/3 crap. If it weren't for the slapdash, patently obnoxious Third Act of this film, it would be in contention for QT's greatest achievement. Pastiche that also manages to sustain interest on its own revisionist merits. Three amazing central performances and a whole lotta fun for fans of old time spaghetti westerns. Shame about everything that happens after [that thing] at Candie Land.
The Best Of Django Reinhardt
>> RESERVOIR DOGS
I'm probably underrating this, and at one time it would've been at least a #2 spot, but I've fallen just slightly out of love with it over the years. Surely more of an "it's not you, it's me," type of thing, but the beats seem overly familiar nowadays, and I'm finding myself more and more bothered by QT's presence or Roth's ridiculously exaggerated behavior in the opening sequence (yes, *even* for a man who's just been shot). Penn and Keitel are simply amazing here, though, and QT's economy is unmatched.
>> THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Has only grown favorably in my estimation. Love the opening callback to STAGECOACH, and once again QT proves to be a master of economy: There are essentially only two main set pieces in this three-hour beast (the coach and the cabin), and never once do things feel under-paced or sloshy or meandering. Not sure if QT is implying that racism trumps misogyny with that ending (I don't think so), but it's an interesting thought nonetheless. Russell and Goggins are the stars here. Madsen and Jason Leigh tend to be overrated, though.
The Hateful Eight
>> ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Saw this a second time and it greatly improved in my estimation. There's still a drastic difference between the first two hours and the final forty-five minutes, but the delineation now feels purposeful (and wholly intentional). It's as though Tarantino was saying, "And I told you *that* story, so I could tell you *this* story..." and rather than feeling like a two-hour film with an extended forty-five minute coda, this time I got the impression of a languid, two-hour prologue before the real forty-five minute "story." It's an incredibly rich film that's loaded with details and I'm sure it will continue to rise in my estimation. My favorite QT film since DEATH PROOF, and a wonderful combination of his best (and worst) instincts, not to mention it's easil his most reverent and heartfelt work to date.
>> DEATH PROOF
QT's most misunderstood film, and one of his greatest achievements. This is his most "pure" excursion to date. A strangely enchanting ode to the past, a throwback to celluloid, self-aware indulgence, and practical filmic abrasion in an increasingly digital, rigid, and computer-enhanced world: Tarantino’s passion-laden homage to an era that clearly isn’t as death proof as he’d have hoped it'd be. Zoe Bell is da MVP, but everyone in this film rules.
Greatest Hts 1961 - 1976
>> PULP FICTION
A "basic" pick for Number One, but alas, it's the correct pick. A cultural shockwave, and the greatest amalgam of QT's various talents at their apex: His abilities as a screen writer and director are unmatched here, Travolta and Jackson and Thurman are firing on all cylinders, and the film's lofty conversion from one micro-story to the next feels so organic that you'd be inclined to think the movie were at least partially improvised. It's become a popular choice among "film bros" noawadays, but fuck that noise. This is a great film, through and through. There's a reason it's accrued the reputation it has.
|Forever maintaining that DEATH PROOF is supermassively underrated and misunderstood.|
|(And for the record I prefer the Grindhouse cut to the extended version, but both are great.)|
|Excited to see what you think of OUATIH!|
|Hah, me too, actually. The people whose opinions I most trust have either loved it or hated it, so i’m very curious.|
|Ive never checked out death proof because it is supermassively underrated and misunderstood.|
|fuck, i feel a binge coming on|
|Ghandi for real, it is significantly better than most people ever gave it credit for. I think a lot of that has to do with its initial release. I saw it in theaters as part of GRINDHOUSE, and it was an exhausting experience. When I saw it years later on its own, it was like an entirely different film. Despite the ostensible grindhouse flourishes, it’s “too good” to be a true grindhouse film (esp. compared to Rodriguez’s blatant shlock). It should’ve either been the lead off to the two parter, or just released on its own.|
|"it’s “too good” to be a true grindhouse film" |
haha I get you.
I never presumed it was a bad film. I've just never been eager to watch it because of the mixed response.
|Planet Terror was dope though, as was Death Proof. Shout-out to Jackie Brown, still probably my fave Deniro performance.|
|Jackie Brown is way too low and Hateful Eight is way too high. Hateful Eight is Tarantino falling in love with his own style a bit too much.|
|Swap Inglorious with Death Proof and this is close to mine|
|I don't understand docking points for indulgence on Kill Bill, Basterds, and Django, when #2 is his most indulgent film and you commend him for that. Reads mixed to me.|
|I’m not knocking indulgence per se. All of his films are indulgent to various degrees. KILL BILL VOL I is almost nothing but homage after homage and it never amounts to anything greater than the sum of its parts, beside being fun moment to moment. In BASTERDS, I simply think his sillier sensibilities severely steal power from his more serious ones. In DEATH PROOF, the silliness is apparent throughout, but it also serves a purpose. And the indulgence of DJANGO isn’t what bothers me, the Third Act is just a boffo goddamn mess.|
|ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD added at sixth. (That sounds bad, but honestly I actively enjoy every Tarantino flick except for KILL BILL.)|
It's a great two-hour movie plus a great forty-five minute finale, but the ramshackle abutment of those two elements sours the overall experience just a bit. (Have a more lengthy discussion about it, if anyone is inclined to read it, I could post.)
Still a very, very, very good movie, and possible a truly great one that will take me a second or third viewing to completely warm up to. But I enjoyed myself.
|Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is QT’s worst film and it’s not even close, slight history reinventing doesn’t make up for a movie that drags for that long. A giant nothing of a movie.|
|I hear I’m kinda alone in my assessment of Once Upon a Time though, which surprises me. Thought the audiences would not look fondly on it at all. |
|I kind of liked how superfluous it was -- in that way it reminded me of the discourse he used to toss into movies like RESERVOIR DOGS and esp. PULP FICTION. However, the superfluousness wasn't neatly integrated into the narrative; instead it was all lumped into the first two-hour chunk, and essentially all of the narrative load was condensed into the final forty-five minutes. I loved both "parts" of the movie in a vacuum, but their marriage here is slapdash and clumsy imo.|
|I know it definitely has all the elements that QT loves to put in his films, but I just thought his unconnected stand-alone gag style didn’t aid itself to the pacing of the movie this time. So many scenes that i was either waiting for something dramatic to happen, or built up tension just to lead into nothing (when Brad Pitt spent so long walking up to the guy he knows in the hippie cult village, and he finally gets there and he’s exactly who the hippies said he was, which makes me wonder why QT spent so much time building up the tension of that scene)|
And the first two hours just remind me of friggin’ Entourage which is not a good comparison lol.
|As someone whose spent half their life procuring exploitation films, deathproof imo is his worst. I saw grindhouse in theaters and planet terror killed, death proof was a chore by comparison. Amazing car chase at the end, but that long take restraunt scene of gals talking about vanishing point is qt at his lowest. Yes its closer to a 70s flick than PT, but id much rather just watch a 70s movie that isnt trying to be slow as fuck under some misguided guise of authenticity. That saaaid, it's still a solid flick and kurt russell is a lotta fun. Haven't seen any of his stuff since inglorious basterds, thaat was a gooden. Favs probably reservoir dogs, simple and effective.|
|>"makes me wonder why QT spent so much time building up the tension of that scene)"|
Subversion of what you expected, which he obviously achieved. Granted, you are still allowed to dislike and/or be annoyed by that, but I think he was purposely building up the scene to get us to expect a strange blood bath, only to make the "twist" that the hippies were (more or less) telling the truth.
@BAT: I agree with you, to a degree. DEATH PROOF is an amazing film. But it is *not* an amazing "grindhouse" or exploitation film. Tarantino tries to nail a lot of those flourishes and beats, and to me, it functions more successfully as a homage to celluloid and that specific niche of films and filmmaking from a modernist, contemporary perspective. I actually disliked DEATH PROOF when I saw it in theaters as part of GRINDHOUSE, but loved it when I watched it years later on its own. It works far, *far* better as removed from the context of a grindhouse picture.
|Seems like he borrowed some “subvert expectation” notes from Rian Johnson.|
|You could argue he’d been doing it since RESERVOIR DOGS. A “heist film” that never shows the heist.|
|He’s always been one to go against the audiences expectations, sure, but that doesn’t automatically make the movie good. I compare it to Star Wars episode 8 because it’s way closer to Johnson’s “nullify entire plotlines” (Snoke, Rey’s Parents) method of subversion, rather than his off-screen heists and implied storylines that he’s done in past movies. The ending felt more like his style of subversion, but it doesn’t save the movie at all.|
|True, whether the subversion "works" or not is still entirely dependent on viewer subjectivity. In my opinion, though, the historical revisionism worked better (or at least to a more poignant effect) in OUATIH than it did in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. Yeah killing Hitler was great and all, obviously, but OUATIH goes beyond simple bloodthirsty fantasy/revenge, and has a stronger emotion pith beneath it re Tate's "what-could-have-been" fate. |
|Saw HOLLYWOOD again, bumped from sixth spot to third. Things really came together for me on a second viewing, and my issues with the sequestered ending were mostly assuaged. It still feels like two drastically different modes, but this time I got the impression that it was deliberate, and not merely sloppy story telling. Probably one of QT's richest films, and definitely his most tender, intimate work. Ending nearly brought a tear to my eye this time.|
|Man, I liked OUATIH a lot. It helped that a friend said it sucked - PF is his favorite movie. Low expectations ftw.|
Anyway, turns out a 'mediocre' QT movie is still better than... well, most any other movie.
Also, this list is correct. Good work.
|Man I love Kill bill |
|'Man, I liked OUATIH a lot. It helped that a friend said it sucked - PF is his favorite movie. Low expectations ftw.'|
Strange, I can't imagine anyone who is at least remotely familiar with and(/or) warm towards Tarantino thinking HOLLYWOOD sucked. I think it's definitely a grower - most great films are - but that reaction seems harsh, especially coming from a PULP FICTION fan, since that's the film of his I think this most closely parallels.
|Really good performance of Brad Pitt I think|
|Yeah, let's not dwell on my friend's neurotic movie habits.|
Anyway, can't wait to watch it again, in my bed.
|Lots of Tarantino fans don’t like Hollywood at all. Me and my friend group have seen them all together and love them all and pretty much unanimously had a “Star Wars Episode 8” reaction to it.|
|The movie’s only memorable quote is “I’m mothafucking Rick Dalton!” compare that to PF lol|
|I though it was 'Don't cry in front of the mexicans.'|
Oh, sorry, you're doing that thing where your opinion is somehow now the general truth. Very popular these days, but I'm still getting used to it.
|Inglorious basterds is easily his best film along with Pulp Fiction followed by Reservoir Dogs and OUATIH.|