This week we finally get to see one of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer: "Inglorious Basterds
." Like all Quentin Tarantino
aficionados, we've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this World War II action epic since it was in development.
Tarantino's films have had a profound impact on those that have an appreciation for cinema. His use of excessive violence as a form of social commentary, his references to classic movies, and his nontraditional narrative structure has remarkably influenced modern moviemaking since he hit the scene in the early 1990s.
With the release of "Pulp Fiction
" in 1994, and the growth of his fan base, there have been many imitators, of Tarantino's style; a testament to his popularity. In preparation for the arrival of "Inglorious Basterds," check out some of Tarantino's best films:
Die hard Tarantino fans might not agree with having this film on the list, since many complained that the middle's pace was agonizing. The dialogue between the ladies in this one is pure Tarantino however.
Their conversation is filled with profanity, pop culture, and old movie references. You can picture him mouthing their words while the women sit around the breakfast table aggrandizing classic car chase films of yesteryear like "Vanishing Point."
Audiences find themselves rooting for these strong female characters as they fight for survival against the loony killer on wheels Stuntman Mike. As Stuntman Mike, Kurt Russell
has perfected the duality of the awkward loner and the psychotic murderer.
Grindhouse © The Weinstein Company Inc.
"Death Proof" is a high octane thriller when it comes to its car chase sequences. Shot entirely with real cars, and no CGI, the fast paced chases through the countryside keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
directed this movie, but Quentin Tarantino wrote it and starred in it as George Clooney
's whacked out, sex offender brother. You'd be hard pressed to know this is a vampire film at first, considering you don't see a vampire until at least an hour in. The time leading up to the fanged villains, is Quentin Tarantino being a sick bastard and George Clooney being a badass.
George Clooney's sarcasm and wit as Seth Gecko produces some of the most hilarious lines in the movie like "Fight now, cry later," which is uttered as he's fending off a hoard of the undead. The sultry lead vampire is played by Salma Hayek
, who is as beautiful as she is evil. Cheech Marin
shamelessly appears as three different characters, each one of them recognizable but quite different.
While the movie doesn't have the most believable weapons for killing vampires, they certainly are creative. There's enough blood and gore to satisfy horror fans, as well as balls to the wall explosions for action junkies. "From Dusk Till Dawn" proves there's no better place for a showdown with vampires than a seedy strip club, just across the border in Mexico.
Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, this tale of young dumb love borders on tragedy. There are all the hallmarks of a Tarantino movie including drugs, sex, and unnecessary violence. Throw in a Mexican standoff between the cops, the mafia, and a movie producer's gun wielding henchmen and you'll have this film's most explosive element.
The first scene with Christian Slater
expounding on the beauty of Elvis and his obsession with Kung Fu movies to a woman he just met, sounds like a bad date with Tarantino. Other characters echo his narrative voice, but none as clearly as Christian Slater's Clarence, who uses expressions like "I knew something was rotten in Denmark…"
Even though the other characters don't carry as much of Tarantino's voice, they are almost all larger than life. "True Romance" has one of the best ensemble casts a modern movie has ever seen: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette
, Val Kilmer
, Gary Oldman
, Christopher Walken
, Dennis Hopper
, Samuel L. Jackson
, and Brad Pitt
to name just a few.
Oldman, Walken, and Hopper all give powerful performances in their respective roles, snatching audience attention from the main characters Clarence and Alabama. Brad Pitt's role as the stoner Floyd is one of my absolute favorites, because he's so wildly convincing as a burn out.
This gritty crime caper about a group of men with colors for aliases was Tarantino's break out movie. "Reservoir Dogs" is a story for the 90s that feels like it could easily take place in the 70s, partially because of the music in the film's radio program "K Billy's Super Sounds of the 70s."
Tarantino introduces audiences to his unique style with this movie, concentrating on robbers well versed in popular culture, who dress like old school gangsters in simple black suits, white shirts, and black ties. Non-linear story telling also takes the forefront in this flick, showing that Tarantino is quite apt at telling a compelling story even if its events appear out of sequence.
Michael Madsen steals the show at points with his twisted character Mr. Blonde. Mr. Blonde is a cold hearted son of a bitch, taking the time to torture a man, not because he wants information, but rather because he just enjoys it. Steve Buscemi
and Harvey Keitel
share a great dynamic of a paranoid thief and an overly trusting crook that has been in the game too long.
If "Reservoir Dogs" brought people's attention to Quentin Tarantino as filmmaker, "Pulp Fiction" turned him into a pop culture icon. Tarantino helped revive the career of the once stagnant actor John Travolta
, and helped bring an actor like Samuel L. Jackson to national attention as a bad motherfucker.
"Reservoir Dogs" introduced Tarantino's style of non-linear storytelling, but "Pulp Fiction" ultimately refined its art, producing a much more engrossing movie for audiences of all backgrounds.
Image © Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
Instantly "Pulp Fiction" became absorbed into American popular culture, because of its amazing quotability. Without giving away too much of its movie magic, if you haven't seen this film, you need to give it a viewing. Even if you don't enjoy it, by watching it you can at least say you've gotten a taste for the type of films that Quentin Tarantino creates.
Story by Starpulse contributing writer Evan Crean
, a movie trivia guru and trailer addict with a practically photographic memory of actors and directors. Get a first look at the movies premiering each week, which which ones will be worth your $10, which ones you should wait to rent and which ones aren't worth your time.