Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rank: Quentin Tarantino*

*[You might want to check out the Writer's Note at the end of this before reading]

I finally saw Inglorious Basterds over the weekend. Like Coen Brothers movies, whenever I see a new Quentin Tarantino film, I have a compulsive need to compare it to his others. With apologies to Grindhouse (because I didn’t see it), here’s how I would rank Tarantino's movies:

5. Jackie Brown – Chronically underrated. Even though I’m putting it at #5, this is still an awesome movie. It should have done to Pam Greer’s career what Pulp Fiction did for Travolta.

4. Inglorious Basterds – I really enjoyed this movie, but my worst fears came true: A summer full of people telling me it’s the MOVIE OF THE YEAR!!!! set the bar too high, and I couldn’t help but nitpick it a little. I’d like to see it again, a second viewing may bump it into third place, ahead of ….

3. Reservoir Dogs – The movie that taught the world how - with good writing and the right soundtrack - extreme violence could be transformed into high art. In other words, the movie that introduced the world to Tarantino.

2. Kill Bill Vols. I & II – I count these movies as one film, as they were originally intended to be. Alone, they are decent, though certainly lower on the list. Together, I think they’re something akin to a masterpiece. I know not a lot of people disagree with me. Those people should get their wrongness looked at.

1. Pulp Fiction – Still the gold standard. Who would have thought Rashomon and 1970s kitsch could mash up so well? Infinitely re-watchable and quotable, I’m not sure Tarantino will ever out-do Pulp Fiction. And he doesn’t need to.

What do you guys think?

* Writer's Note: So, I just realized Red did a really similar post to this like, a month ago. (And when I say "really similar," I mean basically the same thing. (Well, not exactly the same, because she included films he just wrote, and her order was different. But still)). I wish I could use the, "Hey, I don't read this blog," excuse, but I can't, because I do. I apologize for the redundancy, and I hope we can all still be friends. Red will be back to protect me from myself next week.


McGone said...

Wow. I... I don't really think I could argue this ranking. At least until I see BASTERDS again.

Huh. I was all ready to argue a few points, but there's nothing to argue. Nice work, Liz.

And trust me, DEATH PROOF would be #6 anyway.

red said...

Basterds would be #3 for me behind Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill Vol. 1. Sucks that it was overhyped for you.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Here's my problem: I'm always completely swayed by the first review I read of anything. And the first review of Basterds was absolutely awful, no-stars, avoid at all costs (in The Guardian). And since then I've seen tonnes of good (and great) reviews, but I still can't get over the first one I read. Sadly.

I haven't seen Jackie Brown, but I definitely agree with your top three. I usually lump Natural Born Killers in there too, probably at three or four.

words...words...words... said...

I stand by the list I put in Red's post, although now Basterds slides into second place behind Pulp Fiction and everything else bumps down a rank. I totally agree with your thoughts on Kill Bill.