Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Ezekiel 25:17…The Path of the Righteous Man.

Ok,

So a while ago I wrote a little email about a guy named Cameron Crowe.  Basically, that was me geeking out over someone I admire.  This is not going to be that way.  In case you didn’t get it (or if you were in a cave in 1994) the subject of this email is not just a bible passage, but a quote from a little movie called Pulp Fiction.  Pulp Fiction, directed by a little director named Quentin Tarantino. 

Now, I absolutely love just about everything Tarantino does, but I fucking hate Tarantino.  On the one hand, he can write dialogue like no one else, but on the other hand he’s a pretentious/pompous ass.  Not that that’s shocking in Hollywood, but it would be so much sweeter if he was talentless as well.  My experiences so far in Hollywood seem to suggest that the least talented people are complete dicks, while the most talented people are pretty awesome.  (Tom Hanks is totally rad, Mary Hart, from Entertainment Tonight, is a bitch and a half).

That being said, I think Tarantino should stick to screenwriting, and I’ll tell you why.  Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, and Reservoir Dogs are all fantastic movies.  They’re gritty, laced with a certain, dare I say Tarantinoesque kind of wit, and though they’re slightly idealized or rather slightly stylized forms of reality, they still touch on major themes that affect us in everyday life.

But Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs don’t hold a candle to Natural Born Killers and aren’t even in the same ballpark as True Romance (definitely in my top 5 movies of all time).  And you know why Natural Born Killers and True Romance are so much better than the other three…because Tarantino didn’t direct them.  True Romance doesn’t have the same out of ordering that Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Kill Bill have (though that is part of what makes Pulp Fiction genius…the John Travolta dying and then coming back to him is a stroke of genius).  And Natural Born Killers, though the script was heavily heavily edited by Oliver Stone, who directed the movie, is weird, but not in a Tarantino way.  Natural Born Killers gets down the surreal media storm effect. 

It might be of interest to you all to know that True Romance and Natural Born Killers, along with Say Anything, are the movies that made me want to write movies.  When you’re in this business there are two important questions you get asked…what’s your favorite movie? (mine’s Clueless if you didn’t already know) and what movie made you want to make movies?  To me the second question is the more interesting of the two because many people answer that their movie that made them want to make movies is some terrible movie that motivated them to make something better.  My reason, on the other hand, for choosing these three films is that they evoked the kind of feelings in me that I want to evoke in other people.  After I watched Natural Born Killers I had to sit in silence for at least an hour and just soak in what I had just experienced.  I can’t even put it into words, but the fact that this film had, so completely, hit what exactly American society does with/to truly despicable people is just unbelievable.  I just remember sitting on the couch in my parents living room thinking…that’s it, that’s just it.

True Romance, on the other hand, is a film that is really truly ROMANTIC.  And not in the cheezy, Boy meets girl, there’s some sort of unrealistic/completely and obviously contrived situation where there’s some sort of a road block to the two characters being together, but in the end everything turns out ok.  No, no in True Romance Christian Slater kills Patricia Arquette’s old pimp because he is such a dick.  Patricia Arquette and James Gandolfini have what is quite possibly the best onscreen fight of all time.  The part with the corkscrew, I’m not going to tell you what happens, but I’m just saying it’s fucking awesome.  And that’s really True Love.  When someone will risk life and limb to defend you and to keep your secret.  When someone will take a shotgun to Tony Soprano after she throws him through a glass shower, that’s true romance. 

Now, the other three: Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Reservoir Dogs are all fantastic films and I’m not arguing that they’re not.  Pulp Fiction changed film as we know it and it remains to this day one of my favorites.  Samuel L. Jackson is a badass, Bruce Willis’ best role (except maybe Die Hard), John Travolta proved that he could actually act (though he seems to have been recently disproving that), and man oh man does that movie make you want a Royale with Cheese.  And Pulp Fiction is really the only of the three films that actually works better with the out of order storyline.  An arguement can be made for Reservoir Dogs because you don’t find out who the cop is until it is absolutely necessary…this scenario made possible, to an extent, by the out of order storyline.  Now, Kill Bill, which I totally loved even though I so didn’t want to, could have gone either way.  I think the movie would have worked just as well (especially the first one) if the story had been in order.  The flashback in Kill Bill Vol. 2 was necessary where it was, but the rest of the story really could have worked either way.  I have this to say to Mr. Tarantino…a movie does not have to be chronologically out of order to be a great movie.  Shake it up Quentin.  Give us something new.

Peace, Love, and True Romance

Julia

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June 14, 2007 - Posted by | Hollywood, Movies, Quentin Tarantino

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