By now I’d imagine that you’ve heard of Quentin Tarantino, the director of many Hollywood masterpieces such as Reservoir Dogs, Django Unchained and Kill Bill? Of course you have and if you haven’t where have you been?
5 – KILL BILL VOL 1 2003
This was Tarantino’s fourth major production, this was in fact his first movie in the 21st century after a six year absence in the industry after Jackie Brown in 1997. Kill Bill seen Quentin Tarantino reunite with Uma Thurman from the blockbuster success they brought together in Pulp Fiction, along with other Hollywood hitters such as David Carradine and Lucy Liu. This one tells the story of ‘The Bride’ a pregnant woman who is shot in the head during her wedding rehearsal by her former lover ‘Bill’ and his squad of deadly assassins.
She awakens four years later to notice, no baby, no family, and only one thing on her mind…revenge. For me this is sitting at number five due to the fact it had its own unique style of being cheesy on the martial arts side of things with a hint of gore, a BIG hint of gore. Seeing someone being decapitated and being welcomed with a hose of blood spraying around the room was strangely cool, you don’t see that anywhere else. It also has one of my favourite fight scenes in film, Tarantino again using his genius making the scene completely black and white as we see the bride butcher 88 ‘Tokyo Yakuza’ gang members with her trusty Samurai sword. In total this film had a total body count of 95 on screen deaths, so if you like a good slasher, this film is definitely for you!
4 – INGLORIOUS BASTERDS 2009
This film was Quentin’s 7th motion picture, so he was no longer the new kid on the block, he went into uncharted territory here with a World War 2 movie. Inglorious Basterds is a very unique film. To put it simply it’s about a squad of Jewish Soldiers led by a red neck on a quest to kill Hitler. Yes I believe that got your attention. The movie headlines names such as Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and the genius Christoph Waltz. For a start Christoph Waltz’ performance was simply mind blowing, this is where the world was introduced to him. For the first time we simply seen a linguist genius who mesmerised us every time he opened his mouth. Tarantino even came out to say that without Christoph this movie would not have happened.
This film is full of complex conversation in German, French and English so getting the actors together to perform these scenes would have been a difficult task itself. But still with subtitles the body language and conversation topics itself kept us all engaged. Also with the complexities out the window, there was lots of shooting, scalping’s and seeing Nazi Soldiers being bludgeoned to death with Baseball bats. It was genius. Without ruining the ending of the movie, this film does simply not follow the true outcome of the war. As violence and death is a common theme of a Tarantino film I feel the body count could be an interesting statistic. But Inglorious racks up an impressive 315 screen deaths, impressive, most impressive.
3 – DJANGO UNCHAINED 2012
Django is Tarantino’s most recent film, released in 2012 it tells the story of a slave turned bounty hunter trying to rescue his wife from slavery so they can have their happy ever after, the journey in trying to do so is epic though. This film stars a great line up of Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio. For me that is a cracking line up. Jamie Foxx was a surprise lead at the time and people were questioning the appointment, however he delivered with a strong cutting edge performance. Originally the role of Django was offered to Will Smith, now wouldn’t that have been a strong appointment, however him turning it down was probably the best thing that could have happened. I can’t picture anyone but Foxx in the role.
Not only was Jamie flawless but Christoph Waltz whom I have spoken of before even got an Oscar out of his performance. Playing a silver tongued German bounty hunter who made a deal with Django to point out his targets and in return would help him get his wife back. Seems a simple deal doesn’t it? Nope not when the fierce slaver that is Calvin Candy (Leonardo DiCaprio) owns her. In my opinion this is Leo’s best ever role. He goes from a cool composed rich guy to bat shit crazy in a matter of seconds and it’s simply delightful. This film has the traditional aspects of a western but goes completely dark with lots of racial slurs, blood, guts and explosions. There is even a small appearance of a party of KKK members led by Jonah Hill. This film is totally crazy but that’s what’s great about it. Body count is nowhere near inglorious but still has an impressive 64 deaths!
2 – RESERVOIR DOGS 1992
This movie was Tarantino’s first movie and can be argued as the film that made him. All the way back in 1992 a young director decided to make a movie about a group of criminals planning a diamond heist. Now what’s so unique about that you ask? The film starts with the diamond botching then goes back to showing the story of each character on the job. This film is what started the Tarantino dynasty with 4 of the main actors reappearing in other Tarantino films, the line up being; Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi. The most interesting thing about this movie isn’t the shootings, the suits, the shades. It’s the culture. For example the first scene in the movie doesn’t start in the middle of the action, it starts in a small diner.
Yup, it starts with all the criminals suited and booted in the morning of the heist enjoying a coffee and some breakfast together, seems pretty normal, what’s so special about that? They have a simple conversation about ‘tipping’, yes you read that correct ‘tipping’. This all starts when ‘Mr Pink’ refuses to tip the waitress because he doesn’t believe in it, this sparks off a debate which lasts a solid five minutes, but it keeps the audience engaged, I find scenes with simple but complex dialogue absolutely genius. Not only is the script magic but the film has a music playlist which is present through ‘K – Billy’s super sound of the 70’s’ radio show. The playlist explains it all really, with a wonderful line up great 70’s pop. Not only is this special but we also see someone’s ear getting cut off to “Stuck in the Middle”. Yes strange trying to picture it I know. This film has one of the lowest of Tarantino’s body counts sitting at 11 but I blame that on the low budget, he’d have more if he really wanted to.
1 – PULP FICTION 1994
Pulp Fiction is a masterpiece and not a lot of movies live up to this. This was Tarantino’s 2nd movie in 1994 and has a strong line up Samuel L Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman. This movie went on to become an icon in modern picture. Showing aspects of deep conversation, culture and violence. This film holds a special place in my heart as my favourite film of all time. Due to the fact it’s filmed in its own unique format, it’s not filmed in chronological order. People might think that won’t work, but it does. It was one of the first films to do this and God did it work.
This film isn’t one big complex story but its several mini stories. One of them being taking the gangster bosses’ wife out to dinner, the other being trying to retrieve your father’s watch whilst having a price on your head and the other is accidentally blowing a kid’s head off in the back seat of your car. Yes a little green bag of variety there. The film is similar to Reservoir Dogs in the sense of its tantalising conversations but it feels bigger to me in the sense of there’s more variety of topics which is talked about. An example of this is when Hitmen are going to a deal with business early in the morning, they are talking about stuff from Burgers, Mayonaise and talking about massaging girls feet, but before they knock on that door they say “Right let’s get into character” as the door swings open, serious stern looks are on those loveable hitmen’s faces. It’s unique in the sense that you never see anything like this in cinema, to actually see it from the bad guy’s point of view was sheer brilliance.
John Travolta and Samuel L did it for me in this. Their performance was flawless. Before this film was made John Travolta’s career was all but over, his singing and dancing days were a thing of the past as Tarantino converted him to being a badass hitman. Samuel L’s monologue of the ‘Righteous Man’ is also one of the most anticipated monologues in cinema history. The film currently sits 7th on the highest rated movies of all time on IMDB. So it must have done something right. This is actually a low body count on this one only sitting at a simple 7, oh well can’t be violent all the time I guess.
So if you haven’t seen any of these movies, don’t be square. Get them watched immediately, you won’t regret it.