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Last Active 12-19-19 2:55 pm
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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.
10Talk Talk
Laughing Stock


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.
9Billy Joel
The Stranger


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.
8Billy Talent
Try Honesty


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.
7Ol' Dirty Bastard
The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones


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.
6Jackson Browne
Running on Empty


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.
5Django Reinhardt
The Best Of Django Reinhardt


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.
4Pink Floyd


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.
3Ennio Morricone
The Hateful Eight


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.


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.
1Dick Dale
Greatest Hts 1961 - 1976


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.
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