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movies / February 4, 2012
By Eileen Jones

I got ahold of the script for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and was mildly smug about it till I found out everyone’s read it already. Apparently it got leaked ages ago. Nobody tells me anything.

So what’s everyone saying about it? Basically, that it’s the coolest thing ever, or else it’s a fiasco of epic proportions. Nothing in between.

Me, I’m on the fiasco side at the moment. I tend that way in general. When I order a cup of coffee, I bet the coffee will be a fiasco of epic proportions, too. Though it often turns out to be okay.

In case you’ve slept through all this film-anticipation (and why shouldn’t you?) Django Unchained is the Tarantino film that takes on slavery in America, turning it a kind of Spaghetti Western bloodbath relocated to the Deep South. It’s in production, won’t be out till next Christmas. Probably a mistake to look at the script. Film scripts are an odd, stripped-down form; they don’t make it easy to imagine what could result onscreen. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself, because like I hinted earlier, I’m not wild about the script for Django Unchained.

And I’ve got a lot riding on this radical “Southern.” Big emotional investment, partly because of how rotten American films are lately and how much a new genre is needed to breathe a little life into them. And partly because I have so much faith in genre film as The Better Way to approach cultural history and experience, better because genre actually works. It has an impact, influences how people feel. History lessons and documentaries and high-minded period dramas, when they can’t be avoided, sometimes have their place in making us think dutiful thoughts. But an effective genre film (or book or program or game) can go right into our nerve centers and make us love things, and hate other things, and long for a scenario in which to act on our feelings.

That all might be very deplorable or even dangerous—some people think so, anyway—but there it is.

Anyway, the Django script is very long—166 pages long, and reads even longer, like an oddly formatted, scattershot pop novel. Tarantino is no respecter of proper script form as mandated in all those How to Write a Rote Screenplay books. His title page is a handwritten scrawl, and I have no doubt it’s his own big-kid handwriting, because Tarantino always favors these showy auteur gestures, like running a pompous credit on Kill Bill I putting it in numerical order, “The Fourth Film by Quentin Tarantino.” Why not Tarantino Opus #4 while he’s at it? Even Hitchcock didn’t have a directorial ego that size.

On the other hand, you can never laugh Tarantino off. And I’ve tried. But he’s too good. At intervals, anyway; certain films; certain sequences from certain films. Big bloody chunks of Inglourious Basterds sit there daring you to say he’s not good.

Django Unchained is about how the slave Django (to be played by Jamie Foxx) is unexpectedly freed by an urbane German bounty hunter, Dr. Schultz (Basterd‘s celebrated Christoph Waltz), and teams up with him to go on a plantation raid to free Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). The despicable plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) uses his spread as a giant “house of ill-repuke,” as Popeye would say, for white Southern gents hankering after “ponies,” generally light-skinned female slaves judged the best-looking. “Candyland” also showcases a slave-fighting ring featuring “mandingo” gladiators who battle to the death.

Obviously all that has to be stopped in the goriest way possible. Fine, good. Necessary, even. An ultra-violent, vengeful “Southern” can be the pop media form of “the fire next time” James Baldwin promised us: “We are going to burn down your house,” on film, anyway.

Make that house a plantation in antebellum Mississippi and what decent person, black or white, doesn’t want to help torch it?

But the problem is, it all reads so…stupid. Tarantino’s script is everything his detractors say he is, derivative, obnoxious, juvenile. There are terrible scenes of cornball humor, like when Django is forced to wear a blue satin Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit in order to impersonate Dr. Schultz’s valet, and is confronted by a slave:

Betina: What’cha do for your massa’?

Django: Didn’t you hear him tell ya, I ain’t no slave.

Betina: So you really free?

Django: Yes.

Betina: You mean you wanna dress like that?

Django fumes.

You come to dread the scene descriptions because they’re so embarrassing:

The men go to different stores to purchase Django’s wardrobe….Django looks damn handsome in his new duds. Brown cowboy boots, Green Corduroy Jacket, Smokey Grey shirt, Tan Skin Tight Pants, and Light Brown Cowboy Hat. He looks a bit like Elvis in “Flaming Star” and a Little Joe Cartwright on “Bonanza.”

Or this one:

Stephen has been Calvin’s slave since he was a little boy. And in (almost) every way is the 2nd most powerful person at Candyland. Like the characters Basil Rathbone would play in swashbucklers, evil, scheming, intriguing men, always trying to manipulate power for their own self interest. Well that describes Stephen to a tee.

The Basil Rathbone of House Niggers.

Tarantino writes like some of my students, and he’s getting way too old for that. All that writing-like-talking can be great if you’ve got control over it (see Mark Twain), but it’s godawful when you suffer from logorrhea and have the sensibility of a stoat. Tarantino’s ain’t-it-cool gloating is just as hot for the joys of Candyland, which he seems to wish he could visit personally—maybe he and Leo having a pony-party—as it is for the burning of Candyland. He writes as gleefully about Broomhilda getting flogged naked through the streets as he does about Django’s revenge upon the floggers, because it’s all equally awesome, man. As Broomhilda, Kerry Washington is going to spend the movie nude and whipped, nude and raped, nude and sold. I bet she’s hitting the gym right now, toning up all that “chocolate” flesh, as Tarantino describes it, the better to realistically represent the miseries of the slave girl.

Not Kerry Washington

But everything equally “awesome” gets boring fast, and finally has no impact. Django’s revenge just tails off into nothing—I can hardly remember it. There’s no slave uprising, no Nat Turner action. Django and Broomhilda are somehow going to escape from the Deep South on their own after wasting everybody at Candyland, and lead really cool lives somewhere. Maybe head to California, open a store on Melrose Ave., sell the Django Look, corduroy jackets and skin-tight pants, chocolate make-up for the ponies?

Hell, Tarantino’s half-convinced me the PBS types are right: you can’t deal with slavery in a genre film, it’s insulting. You think of every photo of a slave you ever saw, and wonder how Tarantino could write such crap. And here’s the guy who wants to make a movie about John Browne! It’s laughable!

Still, I hope I’m wrong. Maybe it just reads stupid, and all the sound and visuals will transform it. Or maybe he’s on the set desperately rewriting the script between takes. He should be.

It took me days to battle my way through Django Unchained, cringing most of the time. But when I got ahold of the script for Inside Llewyn Davis, I sat right there and read it through in an hour. Damn, those Coen Brothers can write.

Here’s an early bit of dialogue between the protagonist, Llewyn Davis, and his agent Mel:

Llewyn: How we doin?

Mel: We’re doin great!

Llewyn: Really? New record’s doing well?

Mel is instantly sad:

Mel: Oh—you mean how we doin. Not so hot, I gotta be honest.

Do you hear that? Do you HEAR that? That effortless rhythm achieved by people who can write? Can’t be taught. It’s like perfect pitch or something.

Inside Llewyn Davis is the Coen Brothers’ latest, which won’t be out till 2013. First point to stress about this film: you might’ve heard it’s going to star Justin Timberlake, but you can breathe easy, he’s not the main character. Whew! Big relief. Instead, it’s that guy named Oscar Isaac who played the ex-con husband in Drive. Inside Llewyn Davis is about the folk music scene in 1961 Greenwich Village, right before Bob Dylan takes it by storm. The Llewyn Davis character is based on the real-life folk singer Dave Van Ronk, before Dave Van Ronk became the “Mayor of MacDougal Street,” mentoring Dylan and Phil Ochs and Joni Mitchell and, apparently, loved by all.

Our Llewyn Davis is a hapless fuck-up who lives on the couches of friends and acquaintances and, sometimes, strangers. He’s also a serious musician, which doesn’t make him any easier to get along with. He’ll periodically erupt into righteous lectures about his dedication to music and others’ lack of same. He also keeps impregnating young women who then need abortions and monetary help paying for them, which he has to raise somehow.

One of them, Jean (Carey Mulligan), is the wife of Llewyn’s friend Jim (Justin Timberlake)—Jean and Jim make up a fairly successful husband-and-wife folk duo who’ve been helping Llewyn. Llewyn is always betraying and alienating people who help him, then repenting and trying to make up for it, then re-betraying and re-alienating them.

Anyway, Jean can scarcely draw breath without expelling it immediately in reviling Llewyn:

Jean: …I should have had you wear double condoms. Well—we shouldn’t have done it in the first place. But if you ever do it again, which as a favor to women everywhere you should not, but if you do, you should be wearing condom on condom. And then wrap it in electric tape. You should just walk around always, inside a great big condom. Because you are shit.

I think we’ll enjoy seeing Carey Mulligan play this part after her sweet waify performance in Drive.

In general, Llewyn Davis is failing so badly he tries to rejoin the merchant marines and fails at that, too. He’s stuck with folk music, which he loves/hates. In fact, the narrative frame is Llewyn getting beat up in an alley by a folk music fan from Kentucky who takes offense at Llewyn’s disrespectful comments about the genre.

Llewyn’s shambling couch-to-couch odyssey is lovingly, inventively documented. If you’ve ever been desperate in your life, trying to get a foothold anywhere when you’ve got no money and nothing’s clicking, you’re going to be both impressed and slightly sickened by how accurately the Coens capture that appalling state of being. One of the things that happens to you in that state is that you wind up on wild goose chases after the merest, slightest whiffs of opportunity. You get involved in deeply weird, suspect situations with deeply weird, suspect people. But you’re trapped—even when you can see clearly that some bizarre scenario is unlikely to get you anywhere, you’ve got nothing else going on, so you have to play it out. The farcical and the dreadful meet, and you only get to laugh about it much, much later. If you survive, and if you can ever bear to recall it. But bystanders get to laugh right then and there.

Which is a long way around saying that there’s a central sequence in the script involving Llewyn’s road trip from New York City to Chicago, where he might get an audition which might get him a real gig, that’s so hilarious and awful I can’t praise it highly enough. Llewyn’s ride-mate is Roland Turner, a fat old jazz singer and heroin addict (probably the John Goodman part) who walks with two canes, plus an impassive blonde driver, Johnny Five. Turner is constantly taking restroom breaks of suspicious duration, “herky-jerking” his way back and forth, and making Llewyn pay for the gas. When he’s back in the car he has lots of conversation:

Roland Turner: What’s the N stand for? Lou N. Davis?

Llewyn: Llewyn. Llewyn. L-L-E-W-Y-N. It’s Welsh.

Roland Turner: Well it would have to be something, stupid fuckin name like that. Here, this would interest you, Johnny and I were in Seattle, playing the High Spot—remember this, Johnny?—and I became indisposed after eating a toasted cheese sandwich. May well have been a rancid slice of bacon. Found myself purging from every orifice—one of them like a firehose—I said to the manager, What do you call that thing I just ate? He said, “Welsh rarebit.” I said, Okay, does everything from Wales make you shit yourself or just this piece of toast. He said, and I’ll never forget it because it almost made the experience worthwhile, he said Mr. Turner—Holy Jesus, what is that thing?

He has seen the cat, peeking over Llewyn’s shoulder.

Because of the cat, we never do find out what the manager said to Roland Turner that almost made his Welsh rarebit experience worthwhile. It’s a Persian cat that Llewyn is tending for his friends. This is a serious through-line in the script, the cat, or rather cats—there turn out to be two cats that look so alike Llewyn mixes them up. In the way of desperate people who can’t get control of anything important in their lives and get fixated on one possible act of redemption, Llewyn tries very hard to make things right with the cat, or cats. And fails. I won’t say how, but it’s that mixture of the harrowing and the funny and the haunting that the Coens have got nailed down tight by now. You won’t forget when and how Llewyn abandons the cat to its fate.

The script is great beyond my poor power to describe, of course. And by all accounts the Coens’ plans for handling the music are almost as ambitious as for O Brother Where Art Thou? So barring something odd derailing them, this looks like another Coen masterwork. But God knows how it’s going to play with audiences. It’s so specific, so relentless, so casually honest about things that are never handled casually or honestly in American movies—abortions, drugs, failure, loneliness—that I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a total flop on their hands. The Big Lebowski all over again—a dud at the box-office, but later on everyone claims they always loved it.

So no surprise, the Coens win. And more importantly, we know there’s one good movie being made somewhere in America. It ain’t over yet!





Add your own

  • 1. jonnym  |  February 4th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Tarantino’s writing always seems like shit on the page but it can be a sort of gutter poetry when it comes out of the right actor’s mouth. I like him, even though I agree with his critics about him being derivative, juvenile, etc. He’s got a real talent for putting lipstick on pigs. With that said, a Tarantino movie about fighting slavery is probably going to be so offensively ridiculous that even his panache won’t be able to save it.

    Eileen, you might like Take Shelter, it’s arguably the most well-acted American film I’ve seen in a decade.

  • 2. Mark  |  February 4th, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Wow. This Tarantino piece of trash looks like every racist stereotype every conceived, hog-tied together and bathed in revenge-fueled ultraviolence. I predict it will be a favorite of white supremacists everywhere who will use it to justify a holy race war unto the rapture.

  • 3. mijj  |  February 4th, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Tarantino is up himself. He’s basically a comic book writer with delusions of grandeur.

    Coen Bros are genius. I bet they could do a non-schmalzy wwii comedy set in a concentration camp if they set their minds to it.

  • 4. Mr. Bad  |  February 4th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    It’s nice to see someone admit when they’re wrong, so very, very wrong. Tarantino hasn’t made a good movie since Jackie Brown, and hasn’t written anything even passably adult since fucking over Avary and killing the golden goose. He doesn’t write dialogue, he just projects his stupid, self obsessed internal monologues onto ironic vignettes – a pop pornographer with the necessary careerist streak to get the weinstein $eal of approval and be labeled a genius by the suck up fanboys/entertainment media.

  • 5. Hick  |  February 4th, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I see one movie a year and in 2013 I’ll have to try to see this Coen bros. Llelleyn Leewelleyn Llewwlellyn … well, nothing else will be spelled anything like it, thing.

    It sounds like it may actually capture the existence something like 1/3 of the US population is going through, dropping into homelessness (even if they only are for a year or so), falling into an existence where they have 3 jobs, 4 hours a week each, etc.

    It may actually be worth watching.

  • 6. bulfinch  |  February 4th, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    More than anything else, Tarantino strikes me as an intense lover of films — the kind of rabid film nerd any director might like to have as a fan of their work. Someone with who it would be a helluvalotta fun to talk about films. Whenever I see one of Tarantino’s films, that’s what I see; a great film fan, making a film.

    With the Coen’s films I also see fans, but of crazy and more disparate subjects. I see sensibilities in their work ranging from literature to sculpture to painting to comic books to record collections to science fiction and just plain fucking magic.

    And, dammit…some of us really did love The Big Lebowski when it first came out. I saw it twice, in fact — dragging a buddy to see it with me the second time. I remember afterwards he seemed annoyed, and when pressed, whined how he felt I’d overrated it and how we should’ve seen Ronin instead. Pffhht. We fell out of touch after that, but I believe he died in a fiery pile-up behind the wheel of a cheddar-colored Rubicon a few years ago.

  • 7. Orthodoxy  |  February 5th, 2012 at 4:56 am

    The problem seems to be that the Western is based on the romantic appeal of the setting and characters, which conflicts with any attempt to accurately depict the fundamental inhumanity of the time and place. How many Westerns are there about Wounded Knee or herding entire peoples into barren wastelands? It just doesn’t fit. Even those who do romanticize the Old South try not to emphasize the whole slavery thing, at least in public.
    Without slavery (or whitewashing it) of course, the “Southern” is nothing new.

  • 8. DeeboCools  |  February 5th, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Looks like that new Coen Bros movie will be mighty timely- It’s about time we see the current great depression reflected in Art. I’m noticing it reflected in more and more modern rock music, maybe next is movies.

  • 9. Anton  |  February 5th, 2012 at 6:25 am

    ‘All that writing-like-talking can be great if you’ve got control over it’ (see John Dolan who can walk the talk)

    I agree with everybody. Tarantino isn’t worthy to even tie the shoes of the Coen bros, despite their embarrasing plunders like Oh Brother or Ladykillers. Jackie Brown was pretty good, but Tarantino is still a retarded little shit. I feel embarrased even thinking of Foxx and Washington uncle-tomming in this masturbation fantasy of his in hopes of getting an Oscar from the Big Massas.

    There is something awkward about famous beautiful black actresses ANYWAY, even if they are not engaged in something as embarrasing as this… They always have such an artificial air, they seem so tense, humourless, stiff, out of place. Both in films and as guests in the talk shows where they go to plug the said films. Wahsington is gorgeus, but she always seems like super-tense and pretentious, so one kind of feels turned off by that. It’s like watching a beautiful woman doing something embarrasing, like… acting badly? Selling a crappy, useles product? Maybe they can feel all the caucasian film moguls staring at their ebony curves and drooling and contriving sinister scenarios, I don’t know, maybe Hollywood still has the old Dixie spirit.

    BTW, Hitchocksucker… I hate him as much as I hate our own national holy cow, Kaurismäki. Neither of them has ANY ear for ANYTHING real. They are all surface and props, stiff and crappy dialogue, mechanical plots, pretentions to profoundness.

  • 10. G.G. Allin  |  February 5th, 2012 at 6:33 am

    I gotta agree with Mr.Bad that Tarantino has been totally tedious ever since Jackie Brown. BBC film critic, Mark Kermode, I think nailed it when he said that all Tarantino’s characters talk like Tarantino, except for those in Jackie Brown (because he didn’t write that one) and those played by Tarantino himself (because he can’t act, even like himself).

    This was an interesting article, when you consider the total contrast between the Tarantino part and the Coen Bros. I love exploitation films as much as anybody, but I don’t want to see a contemporary filmmaker just make films imitating them. The exploitation films are fun to watch because they’re novel, but there’s nothing novel about post-Jackie Brown Tarantino.

  • 11. gc  |  February 5th, 2012 at 7:29 am

    “It’s nice to see someone admit when they’re wrong, so very, very wrong. Tarantino hasn’t made a good movie since Jackie Brown, and hasn’t written anything even passably adult since fucking over Avary and killing the golden goose. He doesn’t write dialogue, he just projects his stupid, self obsessed internal monologues onto ironic vignettes – a pop pornographer with the necessary careerist streak to get the weinstein $eal of approval and be labeled a genius by the suck up fanboys/entertainment media.”

    Well, his writing is still more entertaining than yours. Give him that.

  • 12. gc  |  February 5th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    You know, I was all ready to write something like “Yeah, Tarantino, how are you even supposed to feel about him” – and then I read the comments section, and all the vultures are descending with their “Ah yes Tarantino how tedious good that you’re admitting you ‘were wrong’ about him Eileen the Coen brothers are the light and the way.”

    So you know what? Fuck you, scavengers. People have been saying “Tarantino’s a joke, and this proves it!” for every movie he’s directed since Jackie Brown (inclusive), and every time it turns out in retrospect to have some of the most memorable material of anything from the last couple of decades. Maybe he can keep it up for ever and maybe he can’t, but when he can’t, it will be a terrible thing, and your rejoicing in it before it’s even happened simply shows you to be the petty, self-aggrandizers that you are.

    (None of this applies to Eileen, obviously.)

    Haven’t read the screenplay, not surprised that it reads idiotic, not surprised that he gets excited about slave torture, still hopeful for the movie. Kill Bill looks unpromising on paper too. And the morality of it is one thing, but I can still imagine the movie having a positive political impact no matter how much Tarantino likes shooting Kerry Washington under the whip.

    Because nobody’s ever going to defend the Old South, “states rights”, etc on the grounds that “Whipping and raping slaves was fun! No, really!”

    The method today for convincing people that the Confederacy wasn’t so bad is to ignore slavery. To treat it as an unpleasant minor detail, not really worth thinking about, and anyway, what’s so bad about picking cotton?

    And that will be harder with a popular, entertaining movie about the brutalization of slaves, no matter how exploitative it is.

    This, of course, still depends on Django Unchained being popular and/or entertaining.

  • 13. gc  |  February 5th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Oh, and the guy who’s too cool for Hitchcock – just shut the fuck up.

  • 14. MCSquared  |  February 5th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I hate it when Mom and Dad fight.

  • 15. John Drinkwater  |  February 5th, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I think both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are better than anything the Coens have ever done, except for Lebowski.

    I don’t know what happened to Tarantino. The dialogue was great in his first 2 films, and it’s what made those films stand out. But for Kill Bill and Basterds, the dialogue is pretty flat. Those movies are okay in themselves, but without creative, witty dialogue, what’s the point? ‘Action’ scenes are never all that interesting.

  • 16. Flatulissimo  |  February 5th, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I found Tarantino insufferable a long time ago, and had sworn not to see another one of his films after the utter uselessness that was the Kill Bill movies. But, due to Eileen’s generally positive review, I went ahead and watched Inglorious Basterds against my better judgement. You know what? It wasn’t terrible, even though, as she admits, it is only good in certain intervals. Still, better than I expected.

    While that film was a huge step up from his previous crap, I still get the impression that Tarantino only ends up with something good in spite of himself. Kind of like Herzog, who sometimes manages to make decent films, but seemingly by accident.

    But the Coen’s are in a whole different league. Even if they do take the occasional misstep like Ladykillers, I always give them the benefit of the doubt and I’ll see any new Coen’s movie. Unlike Tarantino – I’ll only watch one of his films if Jones insists that I must, since she’s the only film reviewer worth reading.

    Mayor of MacDougal Street is a pretty interesting book, and the idea of a Coen’s movie set in that location and era has the potential to be epic. I am just trying not to get my hopes up too high, lest they be dashed somehow.

  • 17. Flatulissimo  |  February 5th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    #12 – “Kill Bill looks unpromising on paper too.”

    And even worse as a film. Nice attempt to out-contrary the contrarians, but Kill Bill parts one and two were flat-out gawdawful pieces of shit. Far from being considered “in retrospect to have some of the most memorable material of anything from the last couple of decades” those movies can only be considered good if you are 14 years old, have never seen an Asian action movie of any kind before, and are mildly retarded.

    But, if having a “popular, entertaining movie about the brutalization of slaves” makes it harder for Paultards to glowingly talk about how great states rights are, by god I hope you are fucking right and that this Django movie sells lots of tickets to retarded 14 year olds across the land.

  • 18. Flatulissimo  |  February 5th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    “I think both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are better than anything the Coens have ever done, except for Lebowski.”

    What? Blood Simple is easily superior to both of those films.

  • 19. DocAmazing  |  February 5th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    If you’re seeing Tarantino movies sober, you’re missing the point.

  • 20. Fissile  |  February 5th, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Tarantino has been walking around with a hard-on for Sergio Leone since he was a kid. This is Tarantino’s excuse to make a Spaghetti Western. Sorry, Quentin, but you’re no Leone.

  • 21. bulfinch  |  February 5th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Another difference between the Coens and Tarantino is that the Coens don’t trivialize their influences by embroidering them all over their sleeves.

    Even the poster for Django is a rip-off of Otto Preminger’s style.

  • 22. RobertD  |  February 5th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I have to believe that Django Unchained will be good in order to retain any sort of faith in movies whatsoever.

  • 23. radii  |  February 5th, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Tarantino is a cinematic DJ – sampling and mixing and scratching movie bits here and there and sometimes creating a whole new film out of borrowed and iconic moments that overly the spine of his basic story … Dave Chappelle has already done this story in the hilarious Time Haters sketch so it is curious choice for Tarantino … I thought Inglorious Basterds was pretty lame – an amazing beginning setting up a revenge fantasy that descended into a dumb romp in which the revenge motive goes pffft and carefully crafted German covers get blown only to be replaced with buffoonish Italian caricaturing … and a David Bowie music video thrown in … Tarantino can surprise with brilliance, so fingers crossed he does it again

  • 24. gc  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:07 am


    “[Flatulissimo’s opinion on Kill Bill]”

    Nobody cares.

  • 25. Mr. Bad  |  February 6th, 2012 at 8:40 am

    @ 15. John Drinkwater

    The dialogue was great in the first two films because Roger Avary wrote 90% of it, it’s well known within the industry Tarantino “bought out” the writing credit due his partner with somebody’s $…

    @ 11. gc

    Don’t take it personally but I just got noticed by the AEC, and thankfully, I have been improved. Not healed, but at least the symptoms of my trollery have been touched up for the public.

  • 26. Mr. Bad  |  February 6th, 2012 at 9:15 am

    @ 11. gc

    Just for fun let’s compare T’s yearly competition for his first three good movies, everything after has been shit and obviously you could list 100 movies better or simply more beloved than T’s very best work in the last “2 decades” but let’s stick to JUST the yearly competition:

    1992/Reservoir Dogs
    Would you rate it higher than:
    Last Of the Mohicans, the most bad ass period action film ever made by the very best action director working? What about Glengary,Glenross, a perfect adaption of the play with perfect casting and legendary performances? Bitter Moon, Bad lietenant, Candyman, Unforgiven… All genre masterpieces. I like Reservoir Dogs but is it best of those movies, don’t think so.

    1994/Pulp Fiction
    A weak year but Clerks was a landmark and hilarious, Ed Wood impeccable, Leon The Professional is iconic as is Natural Born Killers. Shallow Grave and Killing Zoe also very good, can hold their own. Pulp Fiction is probably the best movie overall thanks to it’s cultural relevance, but who watches it now, who cares? Mostly it spawned a whole genre of terrible movies involving wisecracking hitmen.

    1997/Jackie Brown
    Boogie Nights, enough said. But Starship Troopers is the best (and most prescient) satire of US imperial overreach, ever. The Sweet Hereafter was brilliant.

    Even Tarantino’s best movies barely register above the yearly competition they faced, save for Pulp Fiction which was written by Roger Avary and is frankly a relic without much relevance even 18 years later. So fuck you too.

  • 27. gc  |  February 6th, 2012 at 9:42 am

    @ 25

    “The dialogue was great in the first two films because Roger Avary”

    Nobody cares.

  • 28. Mr. Bad  |  February 6th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    27. gc

    You’re quite a writer yourself.

  • 29. MikeJake  |  February 6th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I feel like Tarantino could be happier and more effective if the zombie movie genre hadn’t become oversaturated, because then he could just make a zombie movie, rather than having to force it by utilizing nazis and slaveowners as antagonists, since its universally accepted that it’s okay to commit horrid acts of violence against nazis and slaveowners (as well as rapists and gangsters and zombies).

    And it’s not like Tarantino is incapable of nuance. The “bad guys” in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill weren’t all charming but unlikeable. Budd was a rotten bastard, but you could relate to him as an exceptional person down on his luck.

  • 30. gc  |  February 6th, 2012 at 10:23 am

    @ 28

    “You’re quite a writer yourself.”

    Yes, I am. And you’re an idiot.

  • 31. MikeJake  |  February 6th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    What I’m trying to say is that Tarantino is lazy and coasting by on the strength of his past work.

  • 32. Mr. Bad  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I’d bet a gajillion ZWD’s that I am in my mother’s basement sitting behind a computer tweezing the grey hairs from my balls.

  • 33. Mr. Bad  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I’d give up but then again by trolling here in many ways I already have given up

  • 34. Flatulissimo  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I would never doubt the judgement and power of the AEC, but I’m trying to figure out how Mr. Bad is a troll and gc isn’t.

  • 35. Anton  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    It’s interesting: If anybody says – for example – that Chekhov sucks, or that Mahler sucks, no literary or musical enthusiast will jump up and start whining. Why? Because none of those enthusiasts revere all the Big Names in that huge field. There is no dogma that dictates that Naipaul can not be considered better than Chekhov, or that Steve Reich can’t be appreciated more than Mahler. In the field of cinema it’s very different. Old = holy, sacred, beyond the judgement of mere mortals. Say anything un-complementary about Hitchock or Ford, and all the little bolshevist film-‘enthusiast’-wankers like gc start squeling, because they are under the influence of the uber-wankers, film critics. So how dispicable is that, to take as the word of God the judgement of such a cowardly bunch of wankers. I bet you there isn’t a fucking film critic in the universe who won’t give Vertigo 5 stars, not because they all absolutely adore it, but because they are just such spineles creatures that they A) dare not challenge the consensus, or B) have been mesmerized by it. Vertigo is laughably bad. It might’ve been good compared to even clumsier stuff of its day, but that doesn’t make it a sacred object of worship.

  • 36. gc  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    @ 34

    That isn’t the censor’s work, unless they’ve suddenly dropped their policy of announcing it whenever they censor something.

    Not my work either. Presumably a third party.

    @ 33

    I see no reason to think Mr. Bad is a troll. He’s just stupid.

    @ 32

    No argument here.

  • 37. gc  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    @ 35

    “It’s interesting: If anybody says – for example – that Chekhov sucks, or that Mahler sucks, no literary or musical enthusiast will jump up and start whining. Why? Because none of those enthusiasts revere all the Big Names in that huge field. There is no dogma that dictates that Naipaul can not be considered better than Chekhov, or that Steve Reich can’t be appreciated more than Mahler.”

    It’s interesting: Anton apparently has never met a literary or musical enthusiast.

  • 38. gc  |  February 6th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    One more thing:

    “I would never doubt the judgement and power of the AEC…

    Attracting sycophants is the price of powerful rhetoric (yes, of course Flatulissimo is kidding here, but then again he isn’t), but Christ it makes the comments section depressing.

    You’ve just been warned, gc…

  • 39. gc  |  February 6th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Love you too.

  • 40. Mr. Bad  |  February 6th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    @ 38. gc

    “gc” has got to be one of the tween age dunces I’ve embarrassed before, it’s always the same, loudmouthed grandstanding concealing a fragile ego. Who else could claim to be a good “writer” having just written such drivel, been so bereft of arguments or insight (see posts 27,28,30,36…) and actually had the tin eared, pseudo-intellectual chutpah to write this sentence:

    “Attracting sycophants is the price of powerful rhetoric”

    Just do your homework and go to bed you twat.

  • 41. woundedduck  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Tarantino is a fucking child. I’m sick of his toy army man movies, “And then this one shoots Hitler into hamburger, and then this one whips the massa. See how I did that?”

  • 42. Ilona  |  February 6th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    This piece is easily among one of your best articles, ever! Great work!

    Tarantino has virtually forever been teetering and balancing on the artificial line of the good bad taste fiasco success and bad bad taste fiasco flop. That’s always been part of the fascination of his movies. That’s one major reason why he has kept us on the edge of our seats. Hence, your reaction is no wonder.

    So, you could tell Tarantino’s Django Unchained is gonna be a fiasco just after reading a manuscript? Impressive! No really, your take on Django Unchained is quite balanced and insightful, and points out some of the same issues as I’m about to do. In fact your article is so damn great it almost makes my narcolepsy inducing wall of text blabber redundant, but yet it gives me a perfect excuse to proudly confess my love to Woody Allen!

    One reads a movie manuscript and is insightful enough to tell how’s the movie gonna be like? Wow! That’s what I call a true talent when one merely reads a manuscript and is able to see the onscreen cinema magic through the lenses of Tarantino: the direction work, the camera work, the soundtrack, the casting, who says what to whom and how, the accents, the storyline emphasises… the works.

    Here’s one angle to consider: Can poor movies be great or considerable satisfying at least? And I’m not talking here about some bizarre camp values or some other
    perverted intellectual tendencies. Sometimes there can be so intriguing and compelling characters and scenes in the movies that they are nearly solely worth a poor movie.

    I’ll give you an example: Woody Allen’s weakest work in general and Celebrity in particular. Could you really read from the manuscript the melodramatically hilarious,
    fantastically tragic, over the top role of Judy Davis as Robin Simon, a brilliantly hysterical, neurotic, sad woman at the edge of mental meltdown? Among other great roles? I strongly doubt you could.

    Sure, Celebrity doesn’t hold the water as a whole. It’s a bit patchy. Allen wasn’t able to deliver the goods one is used to expect from him. Woody put the standards so damn high for himself that his weaker movies are easily overlooked as just poor, and nothing but and that’s it. Perhaps that’s same with Tarantino.

    Well, I reckon you perceive fair enough all the things my amazingly praiseworthy analysis was about. Hell, you gloriously went far beyond my feeble blabber!

    Oh yeah, the article was about Tarantino’s new movie script. I guess most of his work can already now be considered classic cinema and a vitalizing rebirth inject into the Hollywood mainline. But how is it nowadays and in the future?

    Sadly enough Tarantino quite effectively lost me – well, the box office took an entirely different approach – with his Kill Bills. So much so, that I haven’t been much bothered to check out his later work. Sure, both Kill Bills are littered with always so funny and witty Tarantino Brand In Your Face Attitude And Witty Dialog And Bad Ass Characters™, but for some reason those movies didn’t do it for me the same way as the Woody Allen’s movies nearly always do, even the weakest ones.

    No more great films in the vein of Reservoir Doggies, Pulp Fictions and Jackie Browns? I dearly hope it isn’t so – Tarantino is a too damn good director/screen writer/actor/whatnot go to waste. I dearly hope it’s just me temporary falling off with Tarantino which hopefully has nothing to do with the current quality of Tarantino’s work.

    “History lessons and documentaries and high-minded period dramas, when they can’t be avoided, sometimes have their place in making us think dutiful thoughts.” You are joking, right? Not? Oh dear! Tarantino will make people think dutiful thoughts? I seriously doubt that, but perhaps that’s the new genre movie you are talking about rescuing the American movie i.e. the Hollywood box office action. I can see it only happening, if I stretch my imagination to some other weird dimensions. Ok, I just switched on my Weird Dimensions Streching Device. Yes, now I can see it. I mean, didn’t he just do that with Inglourious Basterds?

    PS. Easily disappointed? Go out in 80° F freeze. Pick up a windy day. I guarantee, you will not, you can not be disappointed.

  • 43. Mr. Bad  |  February 6th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    42. Ilona

    Nice, most dedicated PR flack in the biz, did you used to post under the tag ESL_CHIK on AICN and Dark Horizons?

    Well, you certainly have mastered the superior / sarcastic tone but I’d like to speak for the non retards in the room when I say that NO, a bad movie with a few good scenes is not a good movie. Now I know you can talk yourself into a tizzy about bad ass this and in your face that but it all comes off like hard sell self promotion, sort of like Tarantino, right?

    Oh well, are you off to the next blog? Check back in 24 hours and update us. In the meantime there are movies by accomplished directors like Martin McDonagh, Ridley Scott, Terrence Malick, David O’ Russel, Refn,Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson,Andrew Dominick… coming up iin 2012. Make sure to keep old hatchet face in the news, we’d have forgotten him long ago otherwise. I hear his next project is Kill Bill 3… what a master, think it will come in two (watered down) parts?

  • 44. John Drinkwater  |  February 6th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Mr. Bad,

    If Roger Avary is such a great writer of dialogue, why hasn’t it come through in any of his other work? Not that Killing Zoe and Rules of Attraction are bad movies, but…

  • 45. You're wrong! All of you!  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I hate Schlitz beer. People that like Schlitz beer have bad taste. The beer I like is better than Schlitz beer. If you have good taste in beer, then you probably already know what beer I drink. People that like Schlitz beer don’t understand beer.

    For the love of fuck, Tarrantino isn’t competing with stuff like Glengarry Glen Ross, he’s competing with… I don’t know, Rambo III or something. If idiot critics (not Eileen) have ever confused his aggressively *mainstream* movies with art-house or indie fare, then they’re simply proving their own uselessness.

    At the risk of doing a devil’s advocate thing here, isn’t comparing Tarrantino to the Coen Bros. something like comparing a really well-crafted porno mag. to the works of Da Vinci? The Mona Lisa would win out every time until you’re trying to jerk off, at which point context would become an issue.

  • 46. Ilona  |  February 7th, 2012 at 1:18 am

    @ 43 Mr. Bad

    Kudos for your tizzy bad ass paranoid analysis! Well done!

    “Nice, most dedicated PR flack in the biz,…”


    “…did you used to post under the tag ESL_CHIK on AICN and Dark Horizons?”

    No. It’s been always just me. For the good, the bad and even the worse the only ego trip(s) I have done is under this moniker. And if I have ever made any impersonations, it’s always been under this moniker. I don’t do multiple pseudonym bullshit ego trips. I don’t see any point in that.

    Yes. A bad movie is a bad movie. D’oh! I wasn’t even argueing that. I quite clearly pointed out that there are movies which aren’t exactly masterpieces, far from it, but are quite enjoyable none of the less for the reasons I mentioned as well as for some other reasons in spite of their evident shortcomings.

    You quite simply didn’t get me. There wasn’t any weird ass second, behind the the closed doors agenda in my writing.

    I was about to advise you to read my totally dominating, absolutely superior, brilliantly cohorent, well articulated and hearttfelt writing all over again with a thought. You know, the brains actually switched on this time around, all the beanut butter brushed off. But really, what’s the use?

    Sir, please take a walk and talk to your fellow brothers in retardom in some other strangely lit room.

  • 47. James  |  February 7th, 2012 at 7:17 am

    T stole the idea of the Southren from me. I came up with a piece called “Squeal, Yankee Pig Squeal,” long before he started talking about the southren.

  • 48. Joe Tex  |  February 7th, 2012 at 8:06 am

    #45 – This argument might be easier to swallow if the publisher of this hypothetical porno mag wasn’t up his own ass so far, and didn’t print “The 4th Work of Visual Art in Magazine Form by Joseph Pulitzer” on the masthead of his stroke book. Then, he’s just asking for unwelcome comparisons.

  • 49. Mr.Bad  |  February 7th, 2012 at 10:40 am

    @44. John Drinkwater

    You have a point, and Avary may have shot his bolt early on, but I’m not saying and never said that Avary was a genius, only that he wrote the cool, pop inflected dialogue that Tarantino ultimately took full credit for. I think it was very of its time – the 90’s were pretty self indulgent. Killing Zoe was a great script for something written in under a week, and lately he’s did an amazing job co-writing the Beowulf script with Neil Gaiman. Everybody thought that that movie was going to be utter shite, the script turned out to be great and the movie is one of the most underrated of the CGI spectacles.

  • 50. Subutai  |  February 7th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    The problem with Tarantino is that he needs to get off the fact that his mother had a preference for black dick. He shows how juvenile he really is about this by “pissing on black people” as much as he can in every movie he has made so far.
    Django will sink like the Titanic and I predict a straight to DVD venue.
    He has some talent but he’s not a good director.
    The second I read Jamie Fox as Django ,I got the image of Will Smith in Wild Wild West. Garbage #1 and Django follows that as garbage #2. Sorry Quentin but the 1’000 and 1 smart ass quips Jamie is going to making from the start to the finish won’t save this turd nor will the naked colored gals.

  • 51. RobertD  |  February 8th, 2012 at 12:58 am

    If Roger Avery is supposed to be the real talent behind Pulp Fiction, then you might want to ask yourselves why everything he’s done by himself has been so mediocre.

  • 52. gc  |  February 8th, 2012 at 2:53 am

    @ 45

    At the risk of doing a devil’s advocate thing here, isn’t comparing Tarrantino to the Coen Bros. something like comparing a really well-crafted porno mag. to the works of Da Vinci?”

    Well, yes, but only if you bear in mind that the category of “really well-crafted porno mag” includes Donatello, Botticelli, Titian, Caravaggio, etc.

    Anyway – Christ, you people are bunch of vain provincials. (No, not you. Yes, you.) Incapable of seeing artistry, and afraid to take anything seriously, unless there’s a sign every five minutes assuring you “Yes, this is very, very mature, sophisticated, meaningful art, and everybody will think you’re cool [which you aren’t] for appreciating it and nobody will think you’re a shallow arrested development case [which you are].”

    (None of this should be construed as a dig at the Coen brothers. It’s not their fault that their work happens to appeal to this species of scum.)

  • 53. gc  |  February 8th, 2012 at 3:14 am

    (continued) And Christ, you guys aren’t even good at it.

    Glengarry Glen Ross? That’s your archetype of an art house movie? You could have picked Orson Welles, Preston Sturges, Kurosawa, one the French new wave guys, Bergman, David Lynch, but no, you go with David Mamet?

  • 54. gc  |  February 8th, 2012 at 3:38 am

    @ 36

    “That isn’t the censor’s work”

    Well, having just re-read this entire thread and seen the revised version of comment #25, it seems I assumed wrongly.

    Shame on me.

  • 55. Quarlo Clobregnny  |  February 8th, 2012 at 3:56 am

    There is no way on earth the Tarantino movie will come close to the brilliance of Jacopetti and Prosperi’s “Goodbye, Uncle Tom”.

  • 56. Mr. Bad  |  February 8th, 2012 at 5:21 am

    @ 53. gc

    Glengarry, Glen Ross was directed by James Foley, not David Mamet, stupid fucking loudmouth twerp kid. Nobody was talking about an “archetypical art house movie”, that is your (idiotic) phrase – what a pretentious snot nose kid you are, if anybody is vain and provincial it’s obviously you. Way to drop every name you’ve heard in Art/Film 101 minus any explanation or intelligent comment.

  • 57. Mr. Bad  |  February 8th, 2012 at 5:38 am

    @46. Ilona

    In your first post you wrote:

    “Can poor movies be great or considerable satisfying at least?” So… If a movie is poor it cannot by definition be great. D’oh!
    Your overlong and eminently boring defense of Tarantino really lent a lot to the debate. Keep in mind that all of the “good scenes”, like for instance the House of Blue Leaves sequence in Kill Bill have been ripped off straight from the source material, in this case Hong Kong Action cinema. Tarantino even brought in Yuen Woo-Ping to “revisit” his greatest hits because Tarantino was so late to the party, a real visionary who had already been beaten to the punch (no pun intended) by the Wachowski brothers (Matrix/2000) and most memorably by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger/2000).

    So if you’re ignorant of even mainstream American films and love his hip filler material leavened by stolen greatness from afar than you too will love Tarantino’s work – was that your point? Did I get it this time around?

  • 58. rick  |  February 8th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I kinda skimmed the Inglorious Bastards script before it came out and it read awful, like an abject failure–

    But I watched the movie and it was…something else. I hadn’t read or comprehended that every scene was designed to ratchet up tension in a particular interesting way.

    Now it’s the only “film” from the last few years that I have any sort of organic desire to watch multiple times. So I’d seriously hold out judgement.

  • 59. Ilona  |  February 8th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    @ 57. Mr. Bad

    “…?” What’s the significance of a question mark by definition? D’oh!

    “…and love his hip filler material leavened by stolen greatness…” If you are pointing at the Kill Bills, I don’t love or hate them. My reaction is a solid meh.

    “…you too will love Tarantino’s work – was that your point?” No. My point is you absolutely have to worship Tarantino as a person and all of his work, particularly the Kill Bills, which you obviously do.

    “Did I get it this time around?” Sure, why not. Did you?

  • 60. Mr. Bad  |  February 8th, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    @59. Ilona

    Finally, you’ve made your point, couldn’t you have just laid it out in plain suck-up/PR flack style?

    Instead we get your labored mountain of obvious irony and sarcastic prose, all to produced this little mouse:

    “you absolutely have to worship Tarantino as a person”

    Yes, that is obviously your point and always was since his works post Jackie Brown is indefensible and which is why I suspected you were a plant, which you probably are, because who else but a child or a flack would write these saccharine love notes to the T man:

    “…one major reason why he has kept us on the edge of our seats”

    “Sure, both Kill Bills are littered with always so funny and witty Tarantino Brand In Your Face Attitude And Witty Dialog And Bad Ass Characters™”

    “Tarantino is a too damn good director/screen writer/actor/whatnot go to waste”

    “I mean, didn’t he just do that with Inglourious Basterds?” (referring to creating a new type of hollywood action movie)ROFL

    BUT your’e not a junket whore? These line s are ready to run on the full page USA Today advert, go suck up somewhere else.

  • 61. jimmythehyena  |  February 9th, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I’ve got an Ms in Madonna Studies from Smith and I assure you that Mr.Tarantino was spot on with his analysis of the semiotics of “Like a Virgin”.

  • 62. ariot  |  February 9th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    If forced to pick.

    I pick Guy Ritchie (pre Holmes)

    Does that mean I’m not one of the cool kids?

  • 63. coprologie  |  February 13th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Tarantino seems like he’d be friendly toward me. The Cohens seem like they’d avoid me.

    What am I to do with this?

  • 64. Z  |  February 13th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Tarantino strikes me as a spoiled princess who has somehow been mistaken for a major filmmaker. He is a master of appropriating other filmmaker’s material and re-purposing it for his own childish ends. Samuel L. Jackson admitted that all Tarantino really does is take scenes from his favorite films and string them together to create a sort of pop culture collage. Tarantino has a sordid history of stealing friend’s and contemporary’s ideas. He screwed Roger Avary out of his proper writing credit for “Pulp Fiction.” Avery wrote the best and most original story for the film which became the segment with Bruce Willis as the boxer on the lam. Just as a real writer always writes, a real filmmaker must constantly be working on a film. Tarantino prefers to party and rest on his laurels. After “Pulp,” it took him many years to shit out another film. When he finally did it was “Jackie Brown.” I like “Jackie Brown,” but most of what I like about the film comes from Elmore Leonard’s mastery of character/dialog and not Tarantino’s trashy, exploitation gloss. After “Brown,” it has been a downhill slide for QT. “Kill Bill,” is all frosting and no content. The second volume in particular is embarrassing and seems like the work of a QT imitator.”Death Proof,” is nothing more than a party Tarantino threw with his celebrity friends and then filmed. When Tarantino finally delivered his supposed magnum opus “Inglourious Basterds,” it had exactly one good scene surrounded by a lot of cutesy nonsense that would have made Lee Marvin cringe. Tarantino obviously has no interest in pushing himself as an artist. His use of snarky irony punctuated by bursts of calculated violence has become stale and predictable. His art has been dead for some time now. Bob Dylan once said that a real artist should never get to a place where they feel completely comfortable. A real artist must constantly challenge themselves by moving into new areas of artistic exploration. Tarantino has an area that he works in that is obviously comfortable for him, but he refuses to move beyond it. His cinema of cool is self-limiting and makes every new film he does seem more predictable and tired than the last one. The Coen Brothers have long since abandoned the cinema of cool. Every new movie they do is different and tries to achieve a different sort of artistic end. They are not content to just remake the same crap over and over again. They seem to understand what a marvelous gift it is to be able to make films in the first place. They move from one project to another and always seek to improve their craft. Their cinematic catalog is so stunning at this point it almost defies comprehension. Most directors would kill to have made just one movie like “Fargo,” or “The Big Lebowski.” Those two masterpieces are just feathers in the Coen’s increasingly rich and varied caps. While Tarantino continues to spin his wheels and drive in circles the Coens are charting a new path as true artistic explorers. Between QT and The Coens there is simply no contest. I would like to thank Mr. Bad for pointing out the sad fact that QT’s pop culture moment has been over for some time now.

  • 65. gc  |  February 14th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    @ 64

    1. “His cinema of cool is self-limiting and makes every new film he does seem more predictable and tired than the last one. The Coen Brothers have long since abandoned the cinema of cool.”

    You’ve got it approximately backwards. What’s changed is that, after Pulp Fiction, Tarantino stopped using genre conventions in a way that the cool kids could enjoy while still feeling confident that, in enjoying them, they weren’t sinking to the level of the vulgar masses (which, of course, is where they’ve always actually been).

    The Coen brothers, as an unfortunate side effect of their blatant weirdness, have never caused this discomfort.

    2. “His [Tarantino’s] use of snarky irony punctuated by bursts of calculated violence…”

    Tarantino’s films are the antithesis of snarky.

    This is, actually, another example of how the cool kids confuse themselves over Tarantino. Terrified that somebody might think they’re not in on the joke, they make sure to indicate in passing that they are, not realizing that there is no joke.

    3. “Just as a real writer always writes, a real filmmaker must constantly be working on a film. Tarantino prefers to party and rest on his laurels.”

    So, basically, you don’t know anything about the history of great writers. (Or visual artists or musicians.)

    4. “Those two masterpieces are just feathers in the Coen’s increasingly rich and varied caps.

    Jesus Christ, you couldn’t write more like a mainstream press hack if you tried.

  • 66. Z  |  February 14th, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Oh, if only I could be a mainstream press hack. Instead I have to argue with the lowest dregs of the internet like you. Tarantino does not use or subvert genre conventions. He merely presents them as end in and of themselves. I don’t see any vision coming from him. I see Robert Richardson’s beautiful cinematography in the service of banal set pieces that ultimately go nowhere. QT’s films have become catalogs of references to other much better movies and justly forgotten pieces of genre crap. QT’s taste is in his ass and he wants us all to have a nice whiff. You are wrong when you say there is no joke my friend. There is definitely a joke and it’s on you. So spark up a doob and watch “Kill Bill,” for hours on end searching for deeper meaning. Maybe if you squint and stare really hard at the screen you will find some.

  • 67. gc  |  February 15th, 2012 at 7:56 am


    “Tarantino does not use or subvert genre conventions. He merely presents them as end in and of themselves.”

    That’s using them.

    “So spark up a doob and watch “Kill Bill,” for hours on end searching for deeper meaning.”

    Assuming that admiring an artist implies “searching for deeper meaning”; name dropping Bob Dylan; assuming that anybody has smoked a “doob” in the last twenty years; this is not making you look good.

  • 68. gc  |  February 15th, 2012 at 8:10 am


    The previous comment should not be construed as saying there’s anything wrong with Bob Dylan.

  • 69. Z  |  February 15th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    As one gets older gc, one finds that a bunch of pretty pictures flying across a screen is not quite enough. It’s the difference between being caught up in a great novel or watching “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” You will discover this when you get out of your diapers. If I have you pegged correctly you probably find the corporate hack work of Christopher Nolan immensely stimulating as well.

  • 70. Mr. Bad  |  February 15th, 2012 at 10:57 am

    @ 67. gc

    “Tarantino does not use or subvert genre conventions. He merely presents them as end in and of themselves.”

    That’s using them.

    No fucktard, that does not mean he’s using them – it means he’s duplicating them onscreen without adding any value. Plagiarizing, copying poorly.

    Tarantino is not an author, he is not creative, at best he is a translator who hasn’t mastered either the language he’s translating to or from.

  • 71. gc  |  February 15th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    @ 69

    “As one gets older gc, one finds that a bunch of pretty pictures flying across a screen is not quite enough.”

    “One” apparently meaning “Z”.

    Maybe you did once believe that a bunch of pretty picture flying across the screen (not that that’s what Tarantino does anyway) was enough, and now you don’t. That’s not unusual. Lots of people because mired in stupid ideas as they get older.

    The fact, of course, is that a bunch of pretty pictures can be great or worthless, depending on the pictures and how they’re arranged.

    “As one gets older gc, one finds that a bunch of pretty pictures flying across a screen is not quite enough. It’s the difference between being caught up in a great novel…”

    Dude, you’re the idiot who said “a real writer always writes” several comments previously. You don’t get to talk about great novels.

  • 72. Z  |  February 15th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    GC, calm down man. I understand you like Tarantino. It’s cool. I went through that phase as well. A great writer such as yourself will come to understand that there is a whole big world out there that does not involve hipster dialogue and kung-fu swords.

  • 73. gc  |  February 15th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    @ 71

    “I went through that phase as well. A great writer such as yourself will come to understand that there is a whole big world out there that does not involve hipster dialogue and kung-fu swords.”

    Leaving aside, again, the stupidity of this as a characterization of Tarantino – you’ve now admitted to going through a “phase” of thinking that the world does consist of “hipster dialogue and kung-fu swords.”

    You are not good at this.

  • 74. Mr. Bad  |  February 15th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    @ 71. gc

    What a petulant little fascist you are! You will decide who can talk about what huh? You will spend the day thinking up crushing put downs like “nobody cares” and polluting the exiled comments section with your self regard and endless drivel… When will your mommy show up and tell us all to leave her little baby alone because he’s about to slit his wrists out of frustration? C’mon, tell us more, you’ve name dropped a lot, whined a lot and now I’m asking for some substance in your comments – what are you afraid of babycakes? Stop using generalities, give us the full force of your superior “intellect” LOL.

  • 75. Z  |  February 15th, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    GC, it’s really okay. I understand that you’re angry. You have a right to your feelings no matter what your father told you. This is a safe place for you. I want you to describe in single words only the good things about your mother.

  • 76. gc  |  February 16th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    @ 75

    Man, that mincing “They seem to understand what a marvelous gift it is to be able to make films in the first place…” New York Times persona sure fell apart quickly.

    Not that this is to your credit; it suggests that you’re simply too dumb to understand that to do the David Brooks voice effectively (such as it is), you have to do it consistently.

    “GC, it’s really okay. I understand that you’re angry. You have a right to your feelings no matter what your father told you. This is a safe place for you. I want you to describe in single words only the good things about your mother.”

    Why do you hate America?

  • 77. Scarlet  |  February 19th, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Okay, the script…

    Where can I get my hands on it, please?

  • 78. Derp  |  March 4th, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    If I wanted to watch a movie about niggers killing whiteboys then I’d go see Redtails. Derp derp derp!

  • 79. Uncle_Billy_Cunctator  |  March 6th, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Where am I? Is this where people meet and argue after finishing community college film classes? Also, what percentage of the angry ones here are poking away at their laptops at Starbucks or Coffee Bean, annoyed by the loud conversations all around them?

  • 80. Steph  |  March 6th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Django Unchained is a retread of Mandingo [de Laurentis, 1975] with a German doctor added to the dialogue. Only youth who were born the year Pulp Fiction came out would consider DJ “new” or “original.”

  • 81. nat turner  |  March 31st, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Django Unchained is better cuz it shows crackers being killed. and everybody here is a pretentious fag

  • 82. Hmmm  |  May 7th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Anger behind a keyboard, y’all crack me up. A lot of jealously here as well, probably most of you are wannabe film makers and all of you “wannabe’s” won’t do shit with your lives but try and make a shit film that nobody wants to see because you have no talent. I don’t care for QT films, but I don’t go around whining about them either, grow up and get off the man’s dick before its so far up you ass you can taste his spunk.

  • 83. fanboys lol  |  May 16th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    So many,Tarantino fanboys crying their little hearts out! (GC and others)

    The solid truth is, Tarantino has not made a film of merit since Jackie brown.

    He is now content on appealing to the moronic masses,with quips and gore.

    This was enjoyable early on with the co-made from dusk til dawn,but is now so tired!.

    I would like to see Tarantino return to the gangster genre, in a attempt to pick up where he left off with Jackie brown.

    Or better yet, to make a movie that would defy all his stereotypes and upset his perpetual adolescent fanboys.

    I predict django will be a horrible mess, but blind fandom, will claim he has shat gold.

  • 84. fanboys lol  |  May 16th, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    In relation to my previous post.

    I would like to point out Kevin Smith.
    Smith with his movie clerks, was touring the festivals at the same time as pulp fiction was doing the rounds in 1994.

    Both Tarantino and Smith were funded by Harvey Weinstein and Miramax and were touted as indie.

    Somewhat the new wave of the 90’s counter culture if you like.

    And the careers of the two can be looked at as similar in a way, both sticking strongly to their own comfort zones/formula.

    Smith’s dismal failure cop out,putting the final death blow to his comedies.

    Smith attempted something completely new for him with Redstate,you could say Smith’s first grown up movie.

    Redstate proves a change can be good.

    Here is hoping Tarantino will branch out,can you imagine a comedy from him or a romance a scifi?

    (In closing i will say this,pulp fiction is still among my favourite movies.

    I just wish Tarantino was making films of this calibre ,rather than the dribble he is churning out.

    kill bill 3 next for the love of god please no!!!!! attempt something new Quentin.

  • 85. Steph  |  May 29th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    “Tarantino has not made a film of merit since Jackie brown” Merited only because it is based upon the work of a superior writer-Elmore Leonard. Without the Leonard’s blueprint, Tarantino would have been lost.

  • 86. Greg  |  May 25th, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I feel you dislike Tarantino for all the wrong reasons.

  • 87. Matt Aleshire  |  November 18th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    “A hold.”

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