Posts Tagged ‘Quentin Tarantino’

Death Proof – Minute Movie Review

Montag, Oktober 11th, 2010

Review:

A group of attractive young woman meets the mysterious and creepy Stuntman Mike, whose fetish is deadly car crashes. Naturally, things don’t end well for the girls, but luckily Mike meets some more formidable opponents as his next targets. Quentin Tarantino’s homage to the grindhouse thrillers, cheap exploitation flicks designed to entertained and titillate, is far too sophisticated for its own good. The fake scratches in the picture can not disguise the polished design. Tarantino made an entertaining film – even his worst efforts, such as this one, are that – but it works neither as a homage nor a spoof of a genre that is probably best forgotten. Simply put: a bad script and bad acting do not make a so-bad-it’s-good film, you also need a bad director for that. Undone by his own vanity, Tarantino luckily went on to make the far superior Inglourious Basterds.

Random Observations:

Death Proof at the IMDb

I first saw the film in an open-air cinema back in 2007, the only showing of the original Grindhouse double bill (combined with Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror) in Germany. It started to really rain after the first thirty minutes, so I left early. And while the rest of the film is slightly better than the beginning, it’s not any better than I hoped or expected.

When you desperately need bad actors, it’s not such a bold move to cast a stuntwoman (Zoe Bell) in a lead role. Surprisingly, her acting doesn’t really stand out from the crowd.

The female dialogue Tarantino writes is so annoying that you can’t help but root for bad guy Kurt Russell, who while not cool or scare, at least is not annoying. At least until his inevitable breakdown into a crying baby.

I really should have put spoiler tags on that last paragraph. My bad.

I Kina spiser de hunde – Minute Movie Review

Donnerstag, April 29th, 2010

Review:

In China They Eat Dogs is an action comedy crime film, a genre that has been made popular by Quentin Tarantino. And Tarantino’s influence can’t be denied in this story of an extremely boring bank clerk who stops a robbery and then decides to abandon his boring life by teaming up with his criminal brother to right the wrongs he has done to the poor bank robber. Naturally, this doesn’t work out as intended. The film is a pitch-black comedy that is brutal without apologizing for it, yet often also simply hilarious. Despite it’s American heritage (and even a major character being American), the film is also decidedly European in its honest portrayal of a world that quickly turns surreal.

Random Observations:

I Kina spiser de hunde at the IMDb

Writer Anders Thomas Jensen went on to write international films like Lone Scherfig’s Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself before directing the Danish film Adams æbler (Adam’s Apples).

I really enjoyed the epilogue. It was funny.

The title refers to the fact that in China, they not only eat dogs, but they also think nothing of it. Basically, it means that you should make your own rules. A theme that is extensively explored in the film.

Oldboy – Minute Movie Review

Mittwoch, März 24th, 2010

Review:

A boisterous father of a young daughter is imprisoned for fifteen years for no apparent reason. But his ordeal isn’t over when he is released as he tries to find out the reason while also taking revenge. Oldboy, by South Korean director Chan-wook Park (possibly Park Chan-wook, sources vary) is a revenge thriller that seems to sacrifice plot for style, but actually makes sense in the end. It’s a beautifully shot film and has gained cult status among Tarantino fans. If you don’t mind violence, you’ll definitely enjoy this film. If you are squeamish, you should nevertheless give it a try. It’s not the masterpiece many people claim it to be, but it’s solidly made.

Random Observations:

Oldboy at the IMDb

The film is based on the manga of the same name, but the story deviates from it significantly.

The ending was shot in New Zealand, which over the last decade has become the go-to place for filmmakers in need of beautiful scenery.

First South Korean film I have ever seen.

Oscar Predictions and Preferences – 2010 Edition

Samstag, März 6th, 2010

Award Season is Crazy Season. If you follow these things at all, you have been bombarded by information about the superiority of one film above another for months now. If you blissfully ignore all that stuff, you might even not have heard that a producer on The Hurt Locker is in trouble for trying to convince Academy voters to vote for his film instead of Avatar. His crime: sending an e-mail to his friends. Yes, things are crazy. So it is a good thing that with the Oscar telecast on Sunday, Award Season will be over. Until May or so, when the first discussions for next year’s favourites and winners will begin once more.

But before the Oscars, the most important of all the meaningless awards, are handed out on Sunday, it is time for my annual Oscar predictions. Last year, I picked 19 of the 24 winners. This year, let’s try to improve on that. But unlike last year, this year I actually feel like I am entitled to my own opinion, having seen 20 of the 58 animated films, 18 of the 38 feature films, and actually having seen all nominated films in three categories. So not only will I now predict the Oscar winners as promised, I will also tell you who should win. (Yes, my opinion constitutes objective truth in these matters.) The following list is ordered rather randomly and incomplete, an alphabetical and complete breakdown of all categories and predictions follows at the end.

(weiterlesen …)

Miller’s Crossing – Minute Movie Review

Dienstag, Januar 5th, 2010

Review:

During the prohibition years, in a small American town, a local mob boss runs into trouble when one of the guys he allowed to grow big disagrees with him and attempts to take over the town. Caught in the middle is Gabriel Byrne, the smartest guy in the room, who tries very hard to avoid a war between the two sides. The film is even more complex than the usual gangster movie fare, but in this case, it’s a good thing. It perfectly captures the time, creating a timeless classic with great dialogue, a lot of very dark humour, great performances and a captivating story and characters. It may be one of the lesser known and appreciated films the Coen Brothers made, but it deserves some attention. A lot of it, actually.

Random Observations:

Miller’s Crossing at the IMDb

Director Sam Raimi has a small cameo in this film as a gunman. Coen Brother’s fixture Frances McDormand also appears for a few seconds.

The truly amazing thing about the Coen Brothers is that they make one excellent movie after another, while freely moving from one genre to the next and without relying on their own peculiar “style” that most directors use to cover up their lack of ideas.

Has anyone ever mentioned how much Tarantino ripped off from this film?

Inglourious Basterds – Minute Movie Review

Samstag, September 12th, 2009

Review:

Quentin Tarantino’s newest film is a violent revenge fantasy taking place during World War II and envisioning a Jewish-American squad striking fear into the Nazis’ hearts and ending the war earlier. The film is strongest in its surrealist scenes that are often outrageously funny, but suffers from more plot holes than elements and a teenager’s world view that posits vengeance as a solution. The film is very entertaining as long as you don’t stop to think about it, but it is not the return to form for Tarantino. But sure, it’s better than anything he has done since Pulp Fiction – something quite easily achieved.

Random Observations:

Inglourious Basterds at the IMDb

This is the first Tarantino film that wasn’t worse than the previous one. Good for him.

Christoph Waltz, who won the Best Actor award at Cannes for the film, is the stand-out in a decent cast.

Funniest scene: Brad Pitt, Eli Roth and Omar Doom pretending to be Italian.

The cast list reads a bit like a who-is-who of German film. In addition to Waltz, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard and August Diehl star.

I’m not sure this was intended, but the “basterds” are all rather stupid, while most of the Nazi protagonists, namely Waltz and Brühl, are eloquent and intelligent.

My Favourite Contemporary Actors

Freitag, März 27th, 2009

As I said before, everybody loves Top Ten Lists. Especially me. So I thought I’d start a new, sort of regular, feature here, where I make Top Ten Lists of things I like. Now, the usual way to go about that would be to make lists like “The Ten Best Actors Working Today”, but even I don’t consider my opinion so important as to call it objective. So I will make lists like “My Favourite Ten Actors Working Today”, even if that title is a little longer. And so, without further ado, here are the ten actors whose body of work I enjoy so much, that just their participation in a film means that I want to see it, in reverse order. If you know all ten of them, congratulate yourself on having good taste. (weiterlesen …)

Comic Book Movie July – Sin City

Dienstag, Juli 22nd, 2008

Sin City is pulp. Sin City is violent. Sin City is cruel. But it’s aware of all that, so it’s okay, really. Frank Miller wrote first one and then many stories set in this fictional town. Stories that explored the darker side of society. Stories that were populated by criminals, thugs, drug lords, prostitutes and unlikely heroes. Stories that were common and yet strangely new and unique. They were heralded more for their unusual visual style than for their content. And thus Miller was happy creating comics, never thinking about turning them into a film. But then along came Robert Rodriguez and everything changed.

(weiterlesen …)

Comic Book Movie July – A History of Violence

Dienstag, Juli 15th, 2008

A History of Violence. Think about that. Such a simple title, yet it conveys so much meaning. It sounds eloquent, yet brutal – and that may also sum up the film A History of Violence. It’s brutal. It’s bloody. It’s archaic. And it’s brilliant. In many movies today, violence has become gratuitous, has become a means without an end (Seen any Tarantino lately?). But A History of Violence is different. Sure, it more than deserves it’s R rating or being restricted to adults in Germany. But underneath that, there is so much more – an enthralling thriller as well as a heartfelt plea for family and small-town life.

(weiterlesen …)

Minute Movie Review – Four Rooms

Sonntag, März 16th, 2008

Review:

Four Rooms was written and directed by four filmmakers – Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Each of them wrote a story set in a hotel on New Year’s Eve – connected by the bellhop that visits each room in turn. The segments are quite different and start out rather horrible, become slowly better before finally reaching the great climax that is Tarantino’s. He and Rodriguez prove why they are still successful thirteen years later. Tim Roth plays the bellhop and his great physical comedy connect the stories. Still, you have to endure the first two before the movie becomes watchable.

Random Observations:

Four Rooms at imdb.com

Steve Buscemi was originally slated in the lead role, but had to drop out due to “image” reasons. As much as I liked Tim Roth in this film, I think it would have been better with Buscemi.

Quentin Tarantino plays the lead in the last segment and he pretty much plays himself in a Hitchcock remake (which they openly acknowledge). It’s really good.

Robert Rodriguez’s segment is a straight-up comedy. Something rather unexpected, I’d say.

Allison Anders seems to be mostly interested in having woman walk around topless. A review I read summed it up pretty well by saying that her piece was what every High School drama student wanted, but didn’t dare to do.