I finally watched The Hateful Eight this week and as much as I love Westerns and as much as I love Quentin Tarantino, I have a problem with the movie. As I began to consider things, it became clear I have a problem with the last three Tarantino films and they are all basically the same problem.
This problem involves spoilers. So read with caution.
This weekend, we recorded two podcasts at Die Laughing. On Friday night, we talked to local comedian Patrick Bauer about his favorite filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino.
I, of course, felt the need to discuss how Bill is completely wrong about Batman at the end of Kill Bill, Vol 2. Because if you are going to talk about the awesomeness of Tarantino, you need to spend a little while talking about his most egregious mistake.
We traverse the whole of his filmography, spending strangely small amounts of time on Django Unchained. As one might expect, I enjoy a nerdy film conversation so this one was a treat to record. It was also a treat to record in front of a live audience. Thanks to everyone who came out!
It isn’t often that I watch movies in English with subtitles. The accent needs to be pretty thick for me to give up on my own powers of comprehension.
I don’t actually need to watch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels with subtitles. Not anymore. Those first couple of times watching the film were pretty challenging, though.
I don’t know what to make of Guy Ritchie, honestly. This film and Snatch are an awful lot of fun. I like his Sherlock Holmes films. But I just don’t feel like he produces great movies. Fun movies, sure, but fairly slight.
Lightning Strikes Twice is a film that wants to be a Hitchcock movie*. I say that because it is about a man who is wrongly accused and a woman who loves him but also fears he wasn’t so wrongly accused after all. Thing is, it isn’t a Hitchcock movie. It wants really badly to be Rebecca but that movie was directed by Hitchcock and this one wasn’t.
There are plenty of films out there that are described as “Hitchcockian” and I would think any director would like their movie to be thought of in that way. Hell, M Night Shyamalan wanted to be thought of that way so badly, he even did cameos in each of his films. He wanted to be Hitchcock so bad, he started spending all of his time trying to be Hitchcock and none of his time making good movies.
Well, he’s been trying. He just hasn’t been succeeding.
When I talk about Kill Bill, I typically refer to the two films as my favorite Tarantino films. I differentiate them from what I consider his best film because those are two distinctly different concepts. One is talking about the movie I derive the most pleasure from watching. The other is evaluating the skill of the filmmaker.
Both are subjective measures, of course. Calling a film your favorite is a far more honest measure and one that doesn’t invite any useful argument. How can you possibly disagree with me about which Tarantino film is my favorite?
We can disagree all over the internet about which film is his best. Yet those arguments are always informed, at least a little bit, by which ones are our favorites. Read More…
At CONvergence 2012, I was on a panel that explored Quentin Tarantino as a feminist filmmaker. While the panel offered no answers, it inspired some spirited discussion on Tarantino and also on what makes a film a “feminist” film.
I mean, is Kill Bill a feminist film because it has a female protagonist who can kick all sorts of ass? Maybe.
On the other hand, the entire film began because of Beatrix’s identity as a mother. Is that feminism? Even as a feminist, I’m not sure I know the answer to that question. I think the answer depends on the person answering the question.