Tag Archives: Robert Rodriguez

Quentin Tarantino Part II

So here we are, now Quentin found his film-making “soul mate” with Robert Rodriguez and they join forces to make one hell of an overlooked picture.

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Four Rooms: An unusual film to say the least. This one was an anthology flick set in a hotel with four separate stories set in “Four Rooms” of the hotel, all connected via the bellboy played by Tim Roth.
Both Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez wrote and directed their own segments within this film.

Tarantino’s story was an absolutely brilliant re-telling of Roald Dahl’s classic short story, The Man From The South. Even if you are already familiar with this story, and you most probably are more aware than you think as the story has been told and re-told many times over the years. Including a version done by Alfred Hitchcock from his TV series as well as the story being the first one ever aired from the TV show, Tales of the Unexpected.
Still, even with an already famous and known story. Quentin Tarantino manages to pull off a unique take on the tale and even bring in a great and hilarious new twist.

Four Rooms is an under appreciated and under praised flick and well worth watching, even if only for Tarantino’s segment alone.

But the Quentin and Robert joining does not end here.

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From Dusk Till Dawn: Was a collaboration between Quentin and Robert Rodriguez, with Quentin Tarantino not only writing but also taking on a starring role. But this time, directing duties were held by Robert Rodriguez.

From Dusk Till Dawn is a film that if you have no idea what it is about…it’s the best way to watch the film. This is why I’m trying to avoid spoilers here, so much so that I’ll not even use a poster that gives away plot details.
It you have not yet seen From Dusk Till Dawn, just watch this film as blindly as you can, don’t look at the cover, don’t ask friends about it.
Just watch it, it’s awesome and best left unspoiled for you.

Quentin and Robert part ways…only temporarily. As Quentin tackles his next film solo.

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Jackie Brown: A throwback to “blaxploitation” cinema of the 70s starring the awesome Pam Grier in the title role.
The film also features Michael Keaton, cast at a time when people were forgetting how he was…but still proves just how much of a great actor he really is.

Jackie Brown is a return to Quentin Tarantino’s roots of films like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Being very character based, with a plot that is not as straightforward as it first appears to be.

As the 90s are left behind, we catch up on the 2000s with Quentin Tarantino giving into his love for Kung-Fu/Samurai films.

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Kill Bill: Originally filmed as one picture, but split into two “volumes” during post-production.
Kill Bill was a tour de force of classic Kung-Fu/Samurai revenge films. This is Quentin’s “homage” to films like, Lady Snowblood.

Full of bloody, revenge fuelled violence. But also those interesting characters Quentin Tarantino is famous for. This is one of his very best films.

Us fans still await the long promised, Whole Bloody Affair. Which is both “volumes” edited together as originally intended. Quentin Tarantino has been saying is coming for over a decade now.
This cut of the film does exist and has done for many years now, as Quentin himself has shown it several times at film festivals. But still no home release.

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up yet again next.

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Sin City: OK, I know this is not a film directed by Quentin…though he did direct one scene and does have a directing credit due to this (see poster above), so it’s being included.

The scene Quentin directed was the one involving Dwight and Jackie Boy.
Full of Hitchcock-esque paranoia and suspense, very much put me in mind of Marion driving in her car after stealing the money in Psycho.
The “voices in her head”, the added element of the police following her, etc.

While the scene is pretty much verbatim from the graphic novel the film is based on, it still maintains that Tarantino style. It was also the first time Quentin has shot digitally, as he’s an “old school” film-maker and had always shot on film previously.

Quentin my have only shot 1 scene…but it’s a hell of a great scene in a hell of a great movie.

Sticking with the partnership, Tarantino and Rodriguez indulge in their love for exploitation cinema.

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Grindhouse: This film was really more about Quentin and Robert pandering to their own fanboyism. As both directors are huge fans of exploitation cinema.
The whole “Grindhouse” sub genre, which for those not only the know, was a form of low budget films that were relased mainly in the 70s and always heavily used exploitation as it’s selling point. Whether that exploitation be gore, sex, violence, etc.
These films would often be shown in seedy, backstreet cinemas known as Grindhouses. Hence, Grindhouse cinema.

Quentin’s film, Death Proof, in this Grindhouse double bill was a 70s inspired stalker film where the killer used his car to stalk and kill his victims, his “Death Proof” car if you will.

Kurt Russell took on the lead role of Stuntman Mike. A mysterious yet charming man that loves nothing more than stalking young girls and murdering them using his car.
It’s not a complex plot, but as simple and seedy as this film is. It’s still has that unique QT polish.

Quentin flies solo for his next film.

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Inglourious Basterds: “This is probably my masterpiece.” Declares Lt. Aldo Raine at the end of this film, many people took that line as being Quentin Tarantino himself saying this film is his masterpiece.
To be fair, it’s hard not to agree. Inglourious Basterds is a genuine masterpiece of film-making.
Brilliant modern twist on the classic WW II action/thriller all wrapped up in Quentin’s own unique style.

An amazing cast lead by Brad Pitt and his “stunning” Italian accent.
Inglourious Basterds is a simply amazing film…and indeed a masterpiece.

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Django Unchained: This was Quentin Tarantino showing his love and passion for the classic Western genre, a genre he loves so much he considers The Good, The Bad and the Ugly the “best film ever made.”
Taking an already established character…yes, for those unaware, Django (the D is silent) had already been seen on screen before…over 30 times in fact, though only two were “official”. This was Quentin Tarantino’s take on the legend that is Django.
Even the original Django (Franco Nero) appears in this version in a cameo role.

This ends part II, but join me in part III where I’ll take a quick look at Quentin Tarantino’s up and coming new flick, The Hateful Eight and just offer my own personal views on his work so far and talk about what’s next for Tarantino after his new film.

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Quentin Tarantino Part I

Today is my Birthday.
So as a Birthday present to myself, I’m going to indulge myself and write about one of the very best, modern writer/directors, Quentin Tarantino.

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2015 is said to be a huge year for movies.
We have already had Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max has been revived brilliantly in Mad Max: Fury Road.
We have also been taken back to Jurassic Park with Jurassic World. As he promised, Arnie came back as the Terminator in Terminator Genysis.
Later this year, Rocky Balboa will be back training Apollo’s son in Creed. Plus the new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is released this Christmas.

Most of these big name films just bore me if I’m honest.
I mean, the whole world seems to be so looking forward to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But me? I just couldn’t care less.

However there is one film released later this year that I simply can not wait to see.

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The Hateful Eight.
Quentin Tarantino’s new flick.
I’m so excited and already looking to see if I can pre-book tickets as soon as I’m able to.
I do love me some Tarantino moving pictures.

So I thought while I patiently wait as the release date for The Hateful Eight slowly draws closer, that I’d look back on the man and his amazing career so far.

From Quentin Tarantino’s early love for films, to his breakthrough films of the early and mid 90s that cemented him as a genuine film-making talent, right up to today.

So please join me on my retrospective look back at one of the very best, modern writer/directors…and mediocre actors.
Or I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance…etc…

Born Quentin Jerome Tarantino on March 27, 1963. Quentin Tarantino had always had a great passion for films and film-making and often describes himself as the ultimate film nerd.
Seriously, this guy’s film knowledge makes him a walking IMDb, only more reliable.

Quentin engaged in his love for films by working the infamous Video Archives a VHS rental store in the late 80s. When he wasn’t working with movies, he was watching them instead.
However, as much as Quentin loved his simple life of working at the VHS store. He always wanted more and always had a passion to make movies…so he did just that.

Tarantino’s “first” film was called, My Best Friend’s Birthday.

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What, never heard of the film?
Well that is probably due to the fact it was never a theatrically released film and more so just a few friends experimenting by making a movie together.
The film has never officially been released for one reason or another, one being the that it’s been said the last half the film was destroyed in a fire. But there have also been conflicting stories that say the second half was never destroyed in a fire, it was just never filmed at all. Either way, the film is not complete.
However the first half does exist and can be seen if you know where to look…like here.

Did you enjoy that?
Bad acting, below average camera work and direction. Yes, it’s not exactly high quality I know. But you can see Quentin’s style he would eventually become famous for, slowly emerging in this film. The dialogue is there, the characters are there, the homages are there.

But there is something else I wanted to point out about My Best Friend’s Birthday.
Does any of that film seem slightly familiar to you?
How about that scene where the character Clarence talks about how if he had to fuck a man, he’d fuck Elvis?
Maybe you have already seen a film with a similar scene, but with far better production values. Maybe that film was called True Romance?

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Yep, True Romance is “technically” a remake of this no budget, friend made film.
Quentin Tarantino took his concept behind his first film, My Best Friend’s Birthday and turned it into his first ever full film script that would become True Romance.
He also wrote another film script Natural Born Killers.

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Quentin Tarantino then sold both of these film scripts and the films were made into proper Hollywood productions with Tony Scott directing True Romance and Oliver Stone directing Natural Born Killers.

Quentin Tarantino was now a bonafide film script writer.
But he still strived for more and decided he wanted to not only write films, but direct them too.
With the money he made from selling his two scripts, he started work on his next script with the full intention of directing this one.

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Reservoir Dogs: Tarantino’s first proper film as a writer and director hit the cinemas in 1992…and it hit them hard.

Reservoir Dogs premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1992 and later shown at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals. The film was a huge success when theatrically relased and has gone on to become a firm independent film-making milestone.
Quentin was an unknown and nobody trusted him to direct a full length feature film…but that soon changed after the release of Reservoir Dogs.

Quentin Tarantino went from an unknown to a known name overnight with the success that was Reservoir Dogs and his next film would only be even bigger.

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Pulp Fiction: Was released in 1994 and made Quentin Tarantino the hottest name in Hollywood.
Many fans consider Pulp Fiction to be Quentin’s greatest work so far. I, myself have lost count of how many times I have seen the film. I recall a time where myself and friend, Paul would watch this film every Sunday without fail.

Pulp Fiction was a runaway success. A wonderful short story anthology that intertwine with each other leading to one hell of a great story full of amazing characters.

With now 2 successful films under his belt, Quentin Tarantino started to make friends in the film world. One such friend was another low budget and independent film-maker, Robert Rodriguez and they would team up for the next film.

Here ends part I, but coming up in part II we see Quentin and Robert join forces, as well as see Quentin’s career just keep on growing.

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