Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

Pulp Fiction review; or, why the cast list on the poster is 12cm long

It's been a pretty good two weeks. Mum's been away on a business trip (that's not why it's good, its just a comment...), and as Dad mentioned to someone at work - "tonight I'm going to get home, cook burgers and chips, let one of my daughters play on the computer for the rest of the night and the other have half a glass of Pinot and watch an 18 movie."

And last night's 18 movie was Pulp Fiction. Excellent...

Before I start...I'm gonna warn you that I can't review it in isolation. I can't help comparing it to RD, and though I did like it it a lot, I might not sound much like it as everything I mention is bettered in its predecessor. On the other hand, that's hardly surprising and it's no insult either. The list of films not as good as RD...well it's long. I'm just having difficulty deciding how many of my former-favourite films are actually on that list.

On the RD special features, QT says his cast were so interesting that you could have dressed them in white costumes on a white background and it still would have been compelling, an idea reflected in the uncomplicated style. And he does that again here, he just points the camera and lets 'em act, which is very very commendable, and far more interesting than typical Hollywood cinematography. For one thing, as he shies away from close ups, he makes the most of his actors. They get to act with their whole bodies, which is far more unusual and fascinating to watch and on the off-chance he's hired a slightly lame actor (not aimed at anyone in particular) it doesn't make them do close ups they can't pull off. One problem: Bruce Willis, who I just don't like as an actor. With the exception of Twelve Monkeys. It's not even that he can't act, he just makes me skin crawl. And he does get close ups...

On the other hand, Butch was really sweet...he had a really strong sense of honour. People accuse Tarantino of just doing mindless violence and swearing, and ok there's quite a lot of that. But sometimes the characters do have a moral center, and he's one of them. He went back for the watch, for because it was important to his family, and then he rescues Marcellus which he really did not have to. I thought that was great, especially finding the samuri sword. Cool...Jules is another example, actually finding faith and trying to be "the shepherd".

Which brings me onto my next point - the characters. All excellent. Mia was really sweet as the very alluring, and very unavailable, gangster's moll - out of control but very attractive nontheless. Honey Bunny and Pumpkin were amusing as luvvy thiefs who decide to rob a diner, completely out of the blue with no planning or anything (Nice to hear Tim's English accent again, nice to see him in a role which lets him let out some of that ferocious intensity he does so well...hey, I have a bit of a soft spot for him...and very nice that Jules interrupts their robbery and then actually lets them get away with the cash.)

The plot structure was very alienating to begin with. Once I got a handle on what was going on, it was ok, but it took a while to get into. Until then, it was just a series of pretty good scenes which really didn't fit together all that neatly. On the Wordplayer site, I read a quote about a good film unfolding as perfectly as pearls on a string. Well this, to be frank, doesn't. To me, it felt like a bit of a mess. It was satisfying piecing it all together afterwards though.

My favourite segment was undoubtedly the Bonnie Situation - Brett's apartment, the accident in the car, the caption on Mr Wolf's arrival...AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT BONNIE. I need to get this out of my system. This is Bonnie the nurse. Now in the RD deleted scenes, Eddie actually does try to get some medical attention in - he calls a fair number of people, and time being short, calls Bonnie. Presumably, it's the same one (though judging by her predicted reaction, I'm not sure she's entirely the right person for the situation). Anyway, I thought it was incredibly cool, though as if anyone else cares...coincidentally, Bonnie's husband's full name is Jimmie Dimmick, according to somewhere or other. A relation of Larry's? Possibly, though what light that sheds on which order the films come in I don't know.

As per usual, the script was good. A couple of excellent lines here and there. But compared to Dogs, it felt a bit forced. Most of the scenes worked, but one or two of the pop-culture offloads sounded more like someone trying to write like Tarantino.

And the music? Great! It's just music you want to listen to.

A few random points -

1. If I were Marcellus, I would not let my wife out of the house. And if she needed babysitting, I'd hire an old and ugly woman.

2. The world would be a better place if more films had opening shots like this:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
But the Hawaiian shirt was probably a mistake.

3. What do you mean Jack Rabbit Slim's isn't a real restaurant?! That sucks! Somebody needs to make a tribute restaurant of some sort, because it is seriously cool. Booths made of vintage cars, b-movie posers, remote-control-car tracks, waiters dressed as Zorro...

4. I probably would have enjoyed it more had I waited half a year or something...I can't think of any good reasons why the one is significantly better than the other, it just is. Blame it on the colour scheme. Or possibly, as it struck me this morning, because while the characters are ace, I didn't actually care about any of them. Compared to The Other One where I have a favourite character by only a tiny tiny margin, and was actually emotionally involved with what was going on.

5. After all these years of seeing/hearing it used, I finally know where "I'm gonna go medieval on yo' ass" comes from. My favourite line (at the moment, it'll change later...) is "I'm going to go powder my nose". Eh he he...

6. Having a look at the bullet holes in the wall and where they're actually standing, I think Jules may have a point about divine intervention. Not even I could miss that close. (PS, I love their reaction)

7. I don't giveadamn what's in the briefcase. I do love Pumpkin's reaction, though - it can't be anything as ordinary as the diamonds, he seems far too awestruck for that (plus, Mr Pink's bag was tiny, and no one in their right mind would keep them in anything bigger purely in case of harming it). And I doubt he would recognise a soul floating around. Personally, I wouldn't attach much significance to the glowing light either - I think it's a special effect for the audience only, like when Mia draws the square, or when the Duke's eyes twinkle in Moulin Rouge. The goldness is only there to make a point for us. OK, so perhaps I do want to know...

All in all, it probably is a better film than I'm giving it credit for. I just can't get that enthusiastic, on account of it being very much in RD's shadow. It's like getting infatuated with someone, and thus not noticing their brother is also pretty good looking. Though at least I have the comfort of knowing a tad more about Bonnie.

In other news...well there really isn't any, aside from the fact I now despise Roger Ebert more than ever before and there's absolutely nothing he can do to make me change my mind on this ever. Even liking Signs isn't enough. And overseeing a TV trailer for To Kill A King, a film I've been wanting to see for a fair while, I've decided I probably shouldn't. Being a violent royalist, I somehow think seeing Tim Roth play Cromwell might do something painful to my mind. Like make me a parlimentarian.


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