The middle age stewardess Jackie Brown smuggles money from Mexico to Los Angeles for the arms dealer Ordell Robbie. When she gets caught by the agents Ray Nicolette and Mark Dargus with ten thousand dollars and cocaine in her purse, they propose a deal to her to help them to arrest Ordell in exchange of her freedom. Meanwhile Ordell asks the fifty-six year-old Max Cherry, who runs a bail bond business, to release Jackie Brown with the intention of eliminating her. Jackie suspects of Ordell's intention and plots a complicate confidence game with Max to steal half a million dollar from Ordell. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Spike Lee publicly criticized Tarantino for the frequent use of the word "nigger" in the film. Samuel L. Jackson, previously a frequent Lee collaborator, defended Tarantino in the press. Miramax chairman called Lee in an attempt to mediate between him and Tarantino but Lee refused to speak with Tarantino. See more »
Ordell insists that .45 pistols have become popular because The Killer (Yun-Fat Chow) used a .45. In fact, Yun-Fat Chow wields a 9mm Beretta throughout The Killer (1989). The only .45 that appears anywhere in the movie is held by a Triad. See more »
Girl at Security Gate:
Flight 710 to Cabo San Lucas, now boarding Gate 103, first class only. Flight 710, Cabo San Lucas, now boarding Gate 103. First class only.
Buenos dias. Welcome aboard. Welcome aboard.
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The menu/function/default voice (example: 'you have no new messages') on the telephone answering machine in Jackie Brown's bedroom is Quentin's. See more »
Less showy than Pulp, but a more mature story that is just as enjoyable
Jackie Brown is a 44 year old air hostess who also acts as a money carrier for her boss, gun dealer Ordell Robbie. When one of Ordell's other employee's is caught he is forced to kill him, however, before he can get to him the employee tells the police about Jackie and they pick her up. With Jackie facing jail or being killed by Ordell she strikes a deal with both the police and him to bring in a large stash of money. However to help her retirement she plans to play the game to her own ends.
Coming as a follow up to both Dogs and Pulp, this film was going to be the `greatest movie ever made' or it was going to be met with a critical response that seems to be a bit negative. It was the hype and hyperbole around anything baring the name Tarantino that perhaps was giving every film he did higher and higher standards to meet, it is wasn't Jackie Brown that was met in this way it would have been the next film, or the next one. However the reviews were mostly good, but it did get some unfair reviews from critics who expected this to continue the upward trend. In a way I believe that this film did show Tarantino's growth as a director.
Where Pulp Fiction was dizzying in it's style and pace, Jackie Brown is much more of a mature, balanced film that is satisfying in a more traditional sense that the design of Pulp. Developed from a Leonard novel, the plot is a solid crime thriller with a good plot that still gives room for Tarantino to do some time shifting as he reveals some key scenes from different perspectives to allow us to see the bigger picture. As a story it fills the rather generous running time pretty well and is enjoyable throughout.
The film is still full of Tarantinoisms for the fans - the heavy soundtrack, the pop culture references, the witty, slick dialogue. However where the film stands out is that the characters are actually better than in his previous films where they never really went beyond the story and dialogue. Here not only are they better but they also include well-written female parts! While some of the characters are as good as they need to be within the confines of the basic crime story, it is in Jackie and Max where Tarantino has grown up a bit - although in fairness this was an adaptation rather than his own script, but he still manages them better than some of his own thin characters.
Following the praise for Pulp and Tarantino's ability to rejuvenate careers, he must have had no problem cherry picking for this role. Grier gives a great performance and should be grateful for the role in an industry that generally ignores middle-aged women (not to mention black women!). The only thing surprising about her is how poorly she has taken this big lead role and used it to take her career on. Her performance embraces her age and uses it well, but it is Forster who gives the standout performance here. Not an actor many will be aware of apart from this film, he got an Oscar nomination for this and I think he deserved it. His performance is very low-key and quite moving - I think I will appreciate his work here more as I get older. Jackson does what is expected of him and has no real character, but his energy and skill are there to see. De Niro plays a little against type and is an interesting, but underused character. Fonda is really, really sexy and has some good lines while the rest of the cast do good work in small roles with people like Keaton, Tucker and Bowen in there.
Overall I enjoy this film and can understand why it will never be loved to the extent that Pulp was and is. However to me this is a more satisfying film with an enjoyable plot and a more traditional delivery. The development of actual good characters beyond snappy dialogue is what impressed me the most and it sadden me to see him regress about a decade into style without substance with Kill Bill Vol. One.
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