Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Tarantino Film Review (Prologue)

Earlier this week, the trailer for Quentin Tarantino's new film was released. Django Unchained, which I'll speak more about below, is Tarantino's eighth full-length feature film, and marks his 20-year anniversary as a director. In the world of film, it's difficult to find a more polarizing character than Quentin Tarantino.

To his fans, he is a genius wordsmith with an uncanny talent for creating engaging, unique, and visually stunning masterpieces. To his critics, he's a pompous, unoriginal hack who just rips off the ideas and styles of film-makers he grew up watching. Let's make this clear, I am a fan of Tarantino's films, but not a fan of the man himself. I think that it's possible to separate the man from his craft and focus solely on his body of work. I find it very uncomfortable to watch Tarantino in interviews, and while he's usually interesting as an actor in his own films, I'd much rather he just shut up and stayed behind the scenes, that's where he does his best work.

I find that most of Tarantino's films are quite appealing to the literary-minded, such as myself. While some criticize his movies for their long, drawn-out scenes of conversational dialogue, it's these scenes that make me enjoy his work. The violence, the camera angles, and the music are all reasons to be a fan as well, but ultimately it's his ability to take a 10 minute conversation between characters and make it either the most interesting or most tense scene in the movie. Trust me, I'm not a blind Tarantino fanboy who will defend his every choice to the death, there is plenty of fault to find in even his best movies, but I still get excited every time I hear that he has a new project in the works.

Currently, his new project is Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The very basic story is that a slave has teamed up with a bounty hunter to rescue his wife from a villainous slave owner. While the plot doesn't necessarily excite me, the anticipation for Tarantino's execution of the material is enough to make me look forward to this film's Christmas release. My early predication is that DiCaprio's portrayal as the slave driver will steal the show. Like any other Tarantino film, Django is sure to have captivating dialogue, intricately crafted tension-filled scenes, intense and shocking violence, a great soundtrack, and hopefully a few surprises too. Check out the trailer here:

As with my other celebrity profiles, if you want a full biography, Wikipedia is there for you. I'm going to speak about Quentin through my relationship with his various films. In the post that follows, I've ranked his body of work from my favourite to least favourite. The criteria for this list is simple: I'm judging his films based on my personal tastes, the entertainment value, the writing, the directing, and the re-watchability and lasting effect they've left on me.

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