|Page 2 of 178:||           |
|Index||1771 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are many differing schools of thought regarding Quentin Tarantino
and his so-called "style". There are those who believe that the
director who began his career as a humble video store clerk with a
voracious appetite for movies of every conceivable style is talented
and worth imitating. While Tarantino has made some movies worth
discussing for their positive qualities (Reservoir Dogs is, by far, his
best effort), this group of movies is rather small, especially
considering that he has only directed five movies. There is another
school of thought who regards his works as inane, self-indulgent, and
bloated. Pulp Fiction, written and directed by Tarantino, and released
in 1994, is his most divisive movie simply by virtue of being his most
well-known. Upon its release, it was hailed as a warning shot to a
complacent Hollywood- the maverick behind the indie hit Reservoir Dogs
apparently had something else up his sleeve.
Pulp Fiction is ostensibly a crime story featuring the interconnecting lives of several characters. However, upon repeat viewings, the viewer begins to wonder exactly what that something is. Personally, I found this movie ran too long in spots, likely because Tarantino is so ridiculously in love with the sound of his own voice as spoken by different actors that he is afraid to cut one speech or even a single line. Dialogue, though it doesn't necessarily need to serve the story to justify its inclusion, should not be so dense as to drive the viewer out of the experience. When John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, on the way to retrieving a briefcase for their employer, are talking about European hamburgers and foot massages, the scene plays like a witty outtake- as though the actors so understood the style of the movie that they were in that they felt comfortable riffing with the material. Not so- the rest of the movie is filled with conversations of a similar type, including (but not limited to) body piercing, blueberry pancakes, hamburgers (again), and coffee (this one performed by Quentin Tarantino himself, as though he couldn't wait to get a shot at delivering his own lines).
The strangest thing is, while the characters are "in character", as Samuel L. Jackson says in an opening scene, the movie is quite enjoyable. When the characters are placed into real confrontations, the movie takes on an entirely different persona and becomes at least a decent crime movie. Ultimately, however, these scenes are few and far between and, unfortunately, the movie clocks in at 154 minutes. There's really only a decent short film in all of this.
The movie also lacks what I would call a plot. The movie is described as three stories about one story, though that one story (ending, chronologically, with Bruce Willis and his irritating Euro girlfriend riding off into the sunset) doesn't connect the characters enough to be truly about one thing.
Ultimately the movie is a prime example of what happens when a VCR and a wide selection of movies replace film school. The movie lacks a coherent center and seems more like something that was made for the sake of just committing something to film and resurrecting the flagging career of John Travolta. The movie is too large in scope to sustain itself, and, in the end, implodes because there is really no conviction behind the presentation- too concerned with being a hipster-cool riff on a crime story, rife with pop in-jokes and 70's music (perhaps the best part of the movie is the soundtrack), somebody must have neglected to mention that the movie went nowhere and lacked the momentum to even get there.
While all of these qualities combine to form a truly deplorable viewing experience, I do have to mention Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson as two performers in this movie who, I felt, got away clean. Bruce Willis probably gets away with it because he's alone for the majority of his segment and, therefore, doesn't have anybody with whom to trade despicably derisible dialogue. Samuel L. Jackson gets a mention because of the scene at the very end of the movie in which he confronts Tim Roth's character and makes him realize that there are far more fearsome powers at work in the world than robbing a diner. In fact, the scenes coming directly at the beginning and the end of the movie are the two best, and everything else is filler.
As you no doubt have guessed, I fall squarely in the latter of the two groups I mentioned at the beginning of this review. Pulp Fiction is inane, self-indulgent, and bloated.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I think one of the problems many people have with this movie is that it defined and set into motion an extremely irritating trend in contemporary film. The god-awful clones of Tarantino pouring out of indie and mainstream studios alike should not, however, detract from the brilliance and subtlety of this movie. It works simply because those moments of brilliance (I have to admit I know the whole "Jules redemption-speech" by heart) that its imitators lack come in the midst of the camp and gore they all do so well. Tarantino alone uses an adolescent obsession with shallowness and morbidity to high satirical effect--like all great films (or even novels), this movie sets itself into a two-dimensional genre (absurd, pop-culture, comic-book situations) and then undermines its own genre by exposing the heart and soul underneath. There are too many points in the movie in which this happens to mention, but a few come to mind: the blown kiss from Vincent to Mia at the end of the first (or maybe second) story; the death of Vincent; the obvious emotional dedication of Butch to his wife at the end of his own story; Vincent's unwillingness to believe in his own supernatural salvation without realizing he's doomed; and, of course, the climactic speech. With the exception of Jules's final words, many of these moments seem at first to be horrifying or funny--but this is only because they fit so well into the flow of the script. A second glance shows them to be moments so poignant that the only reason they work is because they are so unique to the characters and their situations. The changes in each (or the lack of change) come, in a sense, as they individually choose to either drive for them or fall behind. Most die-hard fans of the movie, I'm sure, have heard the story of the briefcase and the band-aids on the back of Wallace's neck (the entire movie being a quest to bring back his stolen soul), and although Tarantino has denied it, he can't deny that the movie is full of such heroic themes: escape by trial, the reclamation of past, love as both physical salvation and personal security, a will to believe in something beyond one's own selfish world. I won't say that if you don't like this movie that you're mistaken or ignorant, but I think that Tarantino puts his audience into settings much like his characters are in: cheap, full of profanity and nastiness, fleeting. The best of them break through; I think he asks that anyone watching do the same.
You want to do something really neat? Take the movie "Pulp Fiction" and re-cut it, so that, instead of being out of sequence, it is actually in proper sequence. It can be done. Why do this? Because if you do, you will see what a nothing movie this really is. There is no central plot, there is no real theme, or story or climax. It is just a bunch of tricks and overly snappy dialog, masquerading a piece of fluff that has as much depth as the kiddie pool. Hey, more power to Tarantino, the guy is a Houdini, full of slight of hand. But are we really so simple, that we are ranking this one of the ten greatest movies ever made? Come on! OK, I know that Travolta is cool and Jackson is funny. However, let's reserve the greatest films of all-time category for real masterpieces and real stories, and not some overly slick pulp geared towards video store geeks.
It is neat to believe in your heart that you are hip. And if you can obtain coolness by watching a movie, wow! I believe that everybody who says they like Pulp Fiction thinks they are cool. They think that a movie with such style and witty banter is only for the hip. The only problem is that this film is as empty as a Scottish pay toilet and perhaps the most pretensious piece of nothing ever. If you have not figured it out yet, there is no story here. Tarantino simply shoots a pointless movie and then breaks it up so that we do not see it in its proper sequence. So things that happen last come before things that finished before and vice versa. You start to wonder, gee, am I not intelligent enough to follow this? Then you realize, uhhh, no, it is actually fairly simple. He is just stringing a bunch of scenes along in no particular order. Then he gives unrealistic and long-winded speeches to characters that are not particularly realistic. It does not make the film really bad, but at the same time, it does not make it good either. You can paint a piece of crap all kinds of different colors, but it is still a piece of crap. I wonder if Tarantino has the talent to actually tell a real story without having to resort to fancy tricks, shocking scenes and other gimmicky tricks. I doubt it. Oh well, I guess I am just not that cool. I mean, Samuel Jackson sure did say some funny things.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The comments for "Pulp Fiction" generally fall into one of three
categories: 1) "Awesome Dude! The best movie ever!" raves that offer zero
supporting analysis, apparently written by Gen-Y homeboy wanna-bes raised on
"Friday the 13th" and "Nightmare on Elm Street" sequels; 2) more considered,
thoughtful raves praising the unconventional structure and 'hip' dialogue;
3) absolute horror that such violent, profane trash was ever made in the
first place. I am much closer to #3 than the other two.
I had read about "Reservoir Dogs" (but not seen it) when "Pulp" was released. I went to see this with an open mind, before all the hype erupted. I almost walked out during the Gimp scene. I found this movie impossible to enjoy, because it seemed to revel in sadism, profanity, and cruelty, and I could find not one character to identify with. The whole film was simply unpleasant and repulsive - I just cannot find humor in graphic, casual murder. "Apocalypse Now" and "Seven" are favorite films of mine, so I do not buy the 'go back to Mary Poppins' routine from many of the defenders of "Pulp". I think the audience (and possibly Tarantino himself) simply gets off on seeing people like this go about their business - it is a vicarious thrill. I have known some lowlifes in the real world, and it is most decidedly NOT fun. What genuinely scares me about the overwhelming praise that "Pulp Fiction" has received from critics and viewers is that there is zero empathy for the various victims of violence in this movie - they are regarded as mere props, not human beings.
One thing that has always bugged me, story-wise, is the scene in Butch's apartment with Vega. It makes no sense that a guy who is a professional killer would leave his weapon in plain sight, out of his reach, while he 'relieves himself'. I do not care how whacked out he is, in hostile territory he simply would never do that.
Everyone who praises Tarantino as the greatest filmmaker of a new generation - educate yourself a little about film. The overlapping storyline thing is nothing new ("Rashomon"), neither is using scatological monologues and non-stop profanity in place of actual dialogue ("Scarface", for one). Let Tarantino write or direct something where the characters' primary means for self-expression is not gunfire, then we can talk.
Sometimes after seeing a lot of good movies people want to watch something undefined and different,but it does not necessarily mean that the movie is good.When the theme song is the best part of the movie you surely can understand the quality.Sometimes ranking and charts do not show the real picture,this movie does not have a good story,a good screenplay or good dialogues but still it is in the top 10.But believe me this movie can neither give you entertainment nor any sense of understanding.Yeah i agree the movie is not boring,but it is not enjoyable either.Movies like shawshank redemption,godfather or lord of the rings,all of them has a magic-feature.Sometimes it is screenplay(Shawshank redemption) sometimes its dialogue(Godfather) sometimes it is the story (The lord of the rings) .But all of them had the important feature called continuity.I think it is a very important quality of a movie to keep it's continuity.This movie is divided into four parts which actually made the movie look like a comedy-puppet dance just with humans(Because the parts do not define one-another). The most embarrassing thing about this movie is after watching it you will think who is the fool yourself or the writer and directer.Yes this movie is different but not always Difference make something great at least in motion pictures at least.Whatever this is a must see movie for all because you can differentiate the better movies after watching it.
This is, in my opinion, the most over-rated film of all time. Sure,
there is some snappy dialogue here and there, and Tarantino has a good
ear for music, but none of this warrants the gushing praise heaped upon
this movie, nor the godlike status bestowed upon Tarantino himself.
It's over-stylised, over-loud, over-acted, (sorry Samuel, Tim, John, Uma & Bruce) and the non-linear narrative so favoured by the director simply doesn't work.
But it's fashionable, so it's popular.
By the way, this is one of the few films where I've actually seen people get up and walk out of the cinema before the end, so I guess I'm not the only one who didn't like it.
The proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating. The proof of the
movie is in the watching. Most of the top 250 IMDb movies have kept me
glued to my seat--with this one I found my mind wandering to that
jigsaw puzzle I hadn't finished or the possibility of some popcorn. I
found I had very little interest in the characters or in what was going
I asked myself why. Technically the film is very good. The actors all hit their marks and Samuel L. Jackson is particularly outstanding. I liked Maria de Madeiros also as Bruce Willis' wife Fabienne. The camera work is occasionally interesting, as the long scene where we watch Bruce Willis listen unemotionally to Marsellus go on. Interesting, certainly, but rather pointless.
Indeed, that's the problem: so much of what goes on is pointless. It's a big long shaggy dog story, told by one of those irritating people who can't get the story straight and have to keep going back: "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about that. Well, you know what I was telling you before . . ." I tried to find some justification for the higgledy-piggledy way in which this story is told. It does result in the best scene being the last one. But if this scene was the point then why not design the script so that the action is seen to be moving toward this goal and cut out everything that happens afterward? In the end I don't think Tarentino knew what story he was telling and that's why so much is so pointless.
The scenes of Butch attempting to control his temper, of his dilemma whether to help Marsellus, and the final scene in the restaurant are all good and entertaining as far as they go but they don't fall into a coherent framework. And the rest is quite dull.
The dialogue is not witty or clever although it occasionally has its moments. The constant profanity is as pointless as the rest; the point of profanity is presumably to emphasize what one is saying, but if everything is emphasized, nothing is. The mind becomes numbed by it. It's like someone who shouts all the time. Eventually you stop listening. The quotes give you a pretty good idea of what the dialogue is like: when "Shut the f*ck up, fat man!" is listed as a memorable quote, you know how inane the conversation is.
That this poorly composed script should have won an Oscar is a pretty clear indictment of the Academy.
This is what I call a fad movie. People say it is a great movie because
other people said it is great. People are afraid to express their true
feelings because they don't want to be ridiculed by their friends,
especially if one is a member of the so-called X-generation. I would
imagine that the number of people who rented the video or saw it on cable
that stopped watching the movie because it was so bad is fairly high,
especially for a movie that is considered a great movie.
However, I concede that a number of people truly like it. However, I find that there are just as many people who are repulsed by this movie. They just don't express their feelings in this type of format because a bad movie isn't worth the effort of making a negative opinion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pulp Fiction is the quintessential 90's crime film. Pulp Fiction
changed the cinematic landscape when it was released, it broke new
grounds in terms of screen writing and revived the career of John
Travolta. And so on and so forth. In other words, Pulp Fiction is
important film in the history in cinema, but it's not the best film
I have seen Pulp Fiction several times and after each time seeing it, I tend to enjoy it less. I saw it first time a few years ago and loved every second of it. But after seeing few hundred more films and especially grindhouse/exploitation films, Pulp Fiction starts to loose its charm.
Before I continue this thought, I should name the good stuff first. I loved every moment with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. They did a phenomenal job and elevated the already strong dialog. Uma Thurman and Harvey Keitel were also great and so are the scene with Christopher Walken is still amazing.
But aside from the strong acting and great dialog, there isn't a whole lot to Pulp Fiction. It's just bunch of stories that happened in non- linear fashion. It's all being hip and cool and saying clever dialog. There isn't any complex characters like in Jackie Brown and it lacks the creative visuals of Django Unchained or the tension of Inglorious Basterds. I won't deny that Pulp Fiction is very entertaining but there just isn't enough substance or craftsmanship involved to endure multiple viewings.
Films like Apocalypse Now, Lady Vengeance, Taxi Driver, Clockwork Orange and many others, holds up much better after watching them multiple times. Those films can be enjoyed purely from the technical aspects and as well as the story and characters. Pulp Fiction is a popcorn film for those who enjoy dialog, cool characters and movie references. I like films with an emotional core, strong characters and impressive visuals.
Pulp Fiction is a film that most of the people have seen. If you haven't then go watch it because it's entertaining, very accessible 90's crime film. To me Pulp Fiction feels dry and lacks the elements that draw me in films.
|Page 2 of 178:||           |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Official site||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|