Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Say You? To Love Or Hate Quentin Tarantino


The love him camp.

This is where I fall. I love the guy. Every time he makes a movie, I am first in line to see it. (Actually, Piper and I are first in line.) He is arguably the most interesting director working today. He always shoots for the moon, and even if he falls short, I love Tarantino for trying. I admire his rich pop culture dripping dialogue and his overriding mission to make entertaining movies.

I saw Inglourious Basterds and it worked for me. Siskel and Ebert once defined a great movie as one with three great scenes. Using those criteria, this was a great movie:

1) Opening interrogation scene with Colonel Hans Landa and the man at the farmhouse.
2) The shootout in the basement.
3) The Interrogation “shoe fits” scene with Colonel Landa and Bridget von Hammersmark.


The hate him camp.

I don’t fall into this camp, but I know there are many campers here. Detractors say Tarantino falls in love with his own dialogue, his movies are way too long and he doesn’t have an original idea. All he does is steal from better directors and then he calls it homage.

I’ve read some reviews of Inglourious Basterds that were pretty vicious. The LA Times describes the pace as “glacial.” Kenneth Turan goes on to say, “… also getting in the way is Tarantino’s inevitable self-indulgence, his willingness to please himself by choosing movie moments over genuine emotion.”


WHAT SAY YOU? Do you love Tarantino or hate him?

From Brian

14 comments:

elgringo said...

I love him, I'm a life-long member of the camp. That being said, I didn't love Basterds. My actual review will be up later today but I felt that the movie didn't know what it wanted to be and resulted in a schizophrenic project. Some might blame it on marketing but it's clear that the problems lie with the writer/director. But Basterds was enjoyable enough. I'll check it out again and I'll be first in line with you and Piper for whatever QT puts out next.

Scott
He Shot Cyrus

Encore Entertainment said...

Isn't there an in between. I don't really like Tarantino, but when people start mouthing off I pray that his film does well. That's how it was with Basterds

foolishblatherings said...

I am in the love him. I enjoyed all of his movies, except Kill Bill, Vol 2 and Death Proof.

Emily Blake said...

I'm disgusted by his overinflated ego and the people who keep feeding it. As far as I'm concerned he's made two great films and two okay films, but for some reason we're told he's the second coming. He has contempt for people who take a more traditional route and seems quite pleased with his own lack of education, as if it make him superior if he doesn't bother with spell check.

That said, Reservoir Dogs was genius. He should have failed more before his success.

PIPER said...

elgringo,

I enjoyed it and am writing up a piece about it.

It's certainly not without its problems. We really don't know a thing about any of the Inglourious Basterds. I'm kind of done with the Chapter technique to introduce each part of the movie and it's a bit talky at parts. All that being said, I still really liked it.

Encore,

An in between with QT? Never thought about that. Could be.

foolishblatherings,

I may be one of the few that actually really liked Death Proof. Monotonous dialogue and all.

PIPER said...

Emily,

I am no fan of over-inflated ego (see Eli Roth), but for some reason QT doesn't bug me. I chalk a lot of it up to enthusiasm. I may be blowing smoke up my own ass, but that's where I am right now.

Moviezzz said...

I think it all depends on the film.

I LOVED INGLORIOUS, PULP, and JACKIE BROWN but felt the KILL BILLs, his segment of 4 ROOMS and DEATH PROOF, most of all, were his most self-indulgent. (DOGS is somewhere in the middle for me).

But he knows how to make an interesting movie, whether you like it or not.

PIPER said...

Moviezzz,

I need to see Jackie Brown again. It might end up surprising me. I think I had different ideas of it when I first saw it.

But you're right. He definitely makes interesting movies.

JOSEPH CAMPANELLA said...

I love him. BASTERDS was fantastic and will repeat myself once again. Those who didn't enjoy it must not like movies.

His filmography is flawless. Even DEATH PROOF, his worst film is interesting. Some of the performances are great and it contains one of the great car chases on film. Plus it may just have the best ending ever.

Here is a Tarantino inspired post about self indulgent directors and why I absolutely love them....

http://cinemafist.blogspot.com/2009/08/indulge-me-will-you.html

Doug the Boug said...

QT had no cred with me from the get-go. When PULP FICTION was released, I was working on documentaries for PBS, seeing what was really going on at crime scenes and hotspots of urban decay. PULP came across as a smart-ass white boy's fantasy of what it's like on the streets. Also, since I came of age during the Decade Under the Influence, I already knew each movie he was ripping off from shot to shot. I left the movie bored and insulted.

PIPER said...

Joseph,

I really enjoyed Death Proof. Imagine the film without the second all-girl conversation around the table and you've got a solid movie. Russell was fantastic and he ate up every scene.

I'll check out your post.

Doug,

Pulp Fiction was never supposed to be a "true" version of life on the streets. It was never billed as such and never pretended to be. And I think you're right in your description of it being a "white-boys" fantasy. And it's not just QTs fantasy. It's Roger Avary's as well.

And yes, QT is guilty of stealing or borrowing or paying homage to. As is Brian DePalma. As is Martin Scorsese. As is Francis Coppola. Obviously none of these borrow or pay homage to the extent of QT, but they do it.

What QT is is a mash-up genius. He's a sampler. We praise rap artists for this every day, yet we say QT is a scoundrel for doing so. But to me this is an argument that will go on for the ages. You either agree that it's okay he does this, or you don't. I personally am okay with it due mostly to the fact that his films are some of the most interesting I've seen.

Kramer said...

I have to agree with Piper on the feelings on Pulp Fiction. First tip off; the movie was called PULP FICTION. The name tells you the style of the film. The original pulp titles of the 20's and 30's weren't that real either. They were about bigger-than-life heroes, pretty girls, exotic places, strange and mysterious villains...It was never supposed to feel real. It was supposed to feel cool. Really cool. Tarantino created his own modern take on it. Grittier yes, but still rock star cool.

brian said...

Thank you Emily and Doug.

This post would have been a bust without some QT haters.

Brian

Doug the Boug said...

Brian,

You gave me a lot to think about: how come I enjoy the mash-ups of Fatboy Slim but not of QT?? Good stuff to think over. Thanks.
Doug