BEST OF: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin-Tarantino-Pointing

There is no denying that Tarantino is a giant of contemporary cinema. The release of a Tarantino film is always accompanied by a great deal of anticipation. Although the hype has dimmed slightly over recent releases.

Tarantino has always drawn heavily from his greatest influences including Jean-Luc Godard and Akira Kurosawa, but there is no denying his skill for writing snappy dialogue and creating terrific suspense. I would argue that his films have begun to lack new ideas over the last few outings, but I still eagerly anticipate his next project The Hateful Eight (2015) which will be released this Christmas.

Here know are all of Quentin Tarantino’s features ranked from best to worst.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Still Tarantino magnum opus . Pulp Fiction tells the stories of hitmen Jules (Samuel L.Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta), a boxer named Butch (Bruce Willis), a gangster’s wife (Uma Thurman) and a pair of diner bandits whose lives become intertwined. For me the scenes between Travolta’s Vincent Vega and Thurman’s Mia Wallace is what has made Tarantino’s career. suspenseful, and backed up by engaging dialogue and fascinating characters. It is one of my favourites films of all-time 5 Stars

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Tarantino draws heavily from several films, including The Dirty Dozen to create a thoroughly entertaining tribute to European cinema. Inglourious Basterds tells the story of Shosanna, a jewish girl in Nazi-occupied France who is entrusted with hosting a special screening of a propaganda film while desperately trying to keep her identity secret. Meanwhile, an American special forces unit led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is secretly planning to assassinate Nazi leaders at the same event.

Inglourious Basterds takes some liberties with history, and Tarantino’s decision to cast an actor playing Adolf Hitler will undoubtably turn some people away. However, it still has some wonderful performances by the entire cast, and the dialogue in French and German is some of the best seen in any Tarantino film. Cristoph Waltz’s performance as Gestapo officer Hans Landa is of considerable distinction as well. A thoroughly engaging, albeit slightly flawed entry into the Tarantino canon. 4 Stars

Kill Bill: Volume 1+2 (2003-2004)

His homage to Japanese samurai films. Uma Thurman plays The Bride, a former assassin who awakens from a four-year coma determined to track down the people responsible for destroying her life. The Kill Bill trilogy is visually beautiful and thoroughly engaging. It has some excellent fight sequences as well. David Carradine’s extended cameo at the end is also well worth the wait. 4 Stars

Death Proof (2007)

Quentin Tarantino’s half of the Grindhouse project, stars Kirk Russell as Stuntman Mike, a sadistic predator of women who drives a seemingly indestructible car. Russell is perfectly cast, and the film continues Tarantino’s tradition of casting strong females leads like in Kill Bill (Uma Thurman) and Jackie Brown (Pam Grier).

Death Proof was first shown in theatres with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror. Tarantino’s film is far more dialogue heavy, and audiences found Death Proof as a sharp come down from Rodriguez’s adrenaline inducing conclusion. But Death Proof is better watched as a stand alone film. An exciting car chase in the second half, more than makes up for the pacing in the first. 3 Stars

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

When a jewelery heist goes bad, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them might have tipped off the police. Reservoir Dogs borrows the ‘Rashomon’ scenario, where the characters in the present discuss events in the past in order to piece everything together. But of course, perceptions vary and no one knows who is telling the truth until the end. The real joy of Reservoir Dogs is trying to piece everything together. 3 Stars

Django Unchained (2012)

Tarantino’s latest film is best described as a spagetti western meets 19th century slavery. A renegade slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) teams up with a German bounty hunter named King Shultz (Cristoph Waltz) in order to free his wife from an evil plantation owner named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Although the screenplay won an academy award, the storyline is ultimately thin and the film loses momentum in the final third when it becomes a cliched ‘shoot um up’ film. In other words, Django Unchained is the film Tarantino’s critics have been accusing him of making but did not really make until this one. 2 1/2 Stars

Jackie Brown (1997)

Tarantino’s ode to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Genre icon Pam Grier plays a flight attendant who unwillingly becomes embroiled in a criminal plot involving arms dealers and the police. Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, Jackie Brown is almost universally considered the director’s only real failure. Although it includes most of the hallmarks of a Tarantino film, Jackie Brown’s biggest problem is its pacing. 2 Stars

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