Monday, June 25, 2012

The Problem With Quentin Tarantino

Last night I got home from work rather late and decided to wind down with a little television. I was hoping to find High Plains Drifter; The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, The Outlaw Josey Wales, or any one of the old Eastwood films. I suppose I will have to buy them. I passed up Scarface and Goodfellas and went with Pulp Fiction. Hard to go wrong there.  I enjoy watching the allstar cast (some with bit parts) and find it nice that this film put John Revolting back on the map. His stock kind of fizzled after Saturday Night Fever and Urban Cowboy and it was good to see his career resurrected somewhat after having a major role in Tarantino's work. At any rate, Pulp Fiction was an instant classic (although my ex wife said it is "trash"), and therein lies the problem. It is pretty hard to hit a grand slam right out off the bat and ever follow it up with something near as influential in the world of film. It is like batting 390 in the bigs in your rookie season and batting 225 the for the remainder of your career or being the QB of a Super Bowl team as a rookie and never making the playoffs again.

For the casual movie fan, Pulp Fiction may well be the only film that can be readily identified as a Tarantino work. It does not matter that Reservoir Dogs (which predates Pulp Fiction) and Inglorious Basterds, both commerically succesful, are the work of Tarantino. Some of his other films are worth watching also (check out Four Rooms, which is a collaboration with other lesser lights). Again the casual fan may not realize that they are the work of Tarantino.

As interesting (and somewhat disturbing) as Tarantino's films tend to be, none will ever top Pulp Fiction in popularity. There likely will be no film that he makes in the twilight of his career that defines his work. That can be good or bad I suppose depending on your particular perspective.

I like Tarantino films (most of them) and hope he continues to work until he tires of it. What a fun job it must be.


Jayhawk said...

I watched Open Range again, with Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall. I think it was made for TV, but it's one of the better westerns I've seen. Definitely Duvall at his best.

Bartender Cabbie said...

I love Duvall. The Apostle is one of the best films I have ever seen.

Bartender Cabbie said...

I saw Open Range again recently also. Anything with Duvall is worth watching. He doesn't pick a crap movie to work with just for a paycheck. He doesn't have to I'm sure. Costner? Some very good some not so much.

Jayhawk said...

Yes, Duvall is utterly reliable. Costner varies from outstanding to total dog crap. Duvall in A Family Thing with James Earl Jones and Billy Bob Thornton is worth watching more than once.