CLASSICS: Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Quentin Tarantino (screenplay)
Starring: John Travola, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis

It’s hard to weigh the merit of a movie like Pulp Fiction.  Quentin Tarantino’s bloody chat-fest had a sudden and immediate impact on the landscape of American film, yet it’s still young in the eyes of the art form.  It is a classic like all those old movies you associate with that word (some of which it references), yet it’s filled to the brim with sleaze.

Pulp Fiction forges its story of fragments of other movies, most of which wouldn’t have made it past the cutting room floor.  There are heated exchanges about fast food in Europe, riffs on the sexual nature of foot massages and lengthy discussions on what a television pilot is.  All of those happen in the first scene that hit men Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules have together.

After a similarly chatty opener where two lovebirds decide to rob a diner, these two hit men banter back and forth.  Much has been made of the highly stylized dialogue, so much so that these types of conversations have earned this director his own label: “Tarantinoesque.”

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REVIEW: Little Fockers

Little Fockers
Directed by: Paul Weitz
Written by: John Hamburg & Larry Stuckey (screenplay)
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert DeNiro, Jessica Alba, and Owen Wilson

It has always been about fear for the Focker franchise.  The fear Greg (Ben Stiller) has of his father-in-law/ex-CIA agent Jack (Robert DeNiro) and vice versa.  For two films, thanks to a handful of other comic aids, that unlikely comic duo has become weirdly iconic.  Like The Godfather franchise, which this movie apparently thinks it’s worthy of spoofing since it stars DeNiro, it’s time for the unnecessary third installment.

In yet another uncomfortable moment between Jack and Greg, this time at some snooty prep school that Greg is trying to get his kids in, Jack talks about being a shepherd taking his family out to graze.  This is the central conflict of the movie, the passing of that title onto Greg and seeing if he is worthy.  Unfortunately, there is no such figure to guide either the horrendously unfunny screenplay or the large, famous ensemble cast to greener pastures.

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