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I mean no disrespect to any of the other commentators of this movie, but I never would have expected to hear someone say this is, would have, or could have been QT's best. In fact, I think Tarantino himself would have a good laugh at that notion. He might even take offense to it.
If you've ever seen the time Tarantino was on Charlie Rose, he talks a bit about this movie (without ever mentioning the title) and I can see and completely agree with everything he said about it. It's really an awful movie - largely due to the horrendous acting... but what are you gonna do; it's essentially a student film for a man who was never a film student.
In case you haven't seen the interview I mentioned, here's basically what he said: He admitted that the movie was really bad, but if you watched it, you could tell that he did it (very true). He also said this movie, while a complete failure, was his film school. He learned about film-making during the process of making this film; it really amounted to an experiment. In another interview he mentioned that, when he was in negotiations for Reservoir Dogs, when asked by a studio exec if they could see his previous work, he said no.
There are a few moments that are very much Tarantino, and a couple of them show up in evolved forms in his later movies. This is the reason referred to in the summary line of this review. QT is, without a shadow of a doubt, my all-time favorite filmmaker, so it's an interesting look back in time to see what a completely inexperienced, unprepared Tarantino with no budget whatsoever could do.
I realize I haven't quite specified what was so bad about this movie, but it's pretty much everything. It's not well thought out, it's disjointed, the sound and picture are horrible (don't worry, I'm not really counting against it for that - it's to be expected for such a low budget film), the dialogue is not up to par, and I reiterate that the acting is truly awful (with the exception of QT himself).
However, it is undeniably a Tarantino movie, and for that reason and that reason alone I can see fit to give it 5/10 stars. I can guarantee, though, that most of these people rating it at 10 stars would not give this movie the time of day if it were from a no-name director. I'm no different, but I admit it openly, and I'm not afraid to critique the man despite my near-idolization of him. I think it was actually a nice twist of fate that this movie was destroyed, making Reservoir dogs his first official film credit instead.
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