Friday, November 27, 2015

Top 52 Things I Love About Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (that no one talks about)

To watch the second volume of a film is to compare it to the first. Rarely are The Godfather and The Godfather Part II mentioned in the same breath without mentioning which one the speaker likes better. Same for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga. Rather famously, Tarantino shot the film at one time, as a whole, and decided in editing to cut the films in two. The results continue to split audiences. When I saw Vol. 2 in the theater, I expected the balls-to-the-wall action extravaganza of Vol. 1 to still be in play. Instead, Vol. 2 revealed itself to be a patient, more restrained follow-up. Vol. 2 is a straight drama with a few thrilling action sequences, as opposed to Vol. 1, a straight action film with a few dramatic scenes. As it turns out, I like both volumes equally, but feel free to share your thoughts on the whole saga!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Top 52 Things I Love About Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (that no one talks about)

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is best known, at least by Quentin Tarantino himself, as Tarantino’s first Movie Movie Universe film. To explain. Tarantino has said he makes two types of films: ones belonging in The Realer than Real World Universe, and others in The Movie Movie Universe. The Realer than Real World Universe is for films that are based in a slightly heightened version of reality. This is where Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown belong. The Movie Movie Universe is an alternate, fantastical reality. To put it simpler: characters from The Realer than Real World Universe would likely go see a film from The Movie Movie Universe. Which makes sense. I mean, can’t you imagine Ordell Robbie loving the shit out of Kill Bill?

So, in short, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 was a real departure from the QT films that came before. It literally opened the filmmaker up to a whole new world.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Top 59 Things I Love About Jackie Brown (that no one talks about)

My countdown to Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight continues with a dissection of Jackie Brown. Jackie Brown could very well be Tarantino’s most underrated film. Hell, its Top Critics score on Rotten Tomatoes is currently 61%, the lowest of any Tarantino film. Which means that many major critics didn’t really dig the film when it was released, but I think you’d have a hard time finding one who didn’t like the film today. Be sure to check out my previous posts on Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and come back next Friday for my take on Kill Bill: Vol. 1.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gaspar Noé’s Love

Gaspar Noé is the most polarizing film director currently in the game. He makes uncommonly challenging and profane works. For more than a decade, I have passionately defended Noé’s films not only as art, but great art at that. I understand Noé’s intention, and, while extreme, I find value in it. His first feature, I Stand Alone, climaxes with a massive title card warning the audience that they have 30 seconds to leave the theater. When the title disappears, Noé spends the remainder of his film justifying that warning. Bad things happen in I Stand Alone. Horrible, brutal things. But look closer. Did they happen the way the main character perceived them?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Top 75 Things I Love About Pulp Fiction (that no one talks about)

The Hateful Eight countdown continues as I dive into my second favorite film of all time, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. I absolutely adore this film, so I did have a lot to say about it, which I hope you dig. Come back next Friday as I dissect Jackie Brown!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Victoria is a very, very good film about people who make very, very poor decisions. And that’s okay. Really, it’s okay to watch a movie about people who spend 138 minutes of their lives making bad choices. Faulty character choices isn’t necessarily faulty filmmaking. In the best hands, such choices are realistic depictions of people with particular flaws. The titular character in Victoria, played harrowingly by Laia Costa, makes a lot of choices throughout the film that you may not agree with. In fact, I let out an “Ohh, nooo” early in the movie, partly because I thought Victoria was acting stupidly, but mostly because I really cared about her and didn’t want her to get hurt. And that’s the difference. That’s the character balance good films know how to achieve. They make you care about someone, as opposed to making them knife bait to setup the next kill.