Posts Tagged ‘reservoir dogs’

quentin tarantino

Man, that Quentin Tarantino really knows his music.  Matter of fact I haven’t seen a Tarantino film that didn’t use music as a great enabler between the audience and the storyline.

madsen reservoir dogs

Take Reservoir Dogs, for instance. Why does the image of Michael Madsen grooving with a razorblade come to mind? (apart from the fact that Mr Madsen is obscenely cool). Two words for you…Stealers Wheel. That’s the band who recorded Stuck In The Middle With You, which was so expertly featured in that famed torture scene with Mr Blonde and the police officer.

tim roth pulp fiction

Here’s another one…think about what you remember the most about Pulp Fiction? For me, it has to be Dick Dale’s Misirlou – a kickass instrumental romp that plays once Pumpkin and Honey Boney get busy trying to rob the restaurant. Same goes for Jackie Browne and its excellent use of Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street and Tomoyasu Hotei’s Battle Without Honor or Humanity in Kill Bill I. Great tunes that instantaneously become greater with their association with pivotal sections of the film.

Quite recently, I got my hands on the Death Proof and Planet Terror soundtracks and I’ll be damned if these two didn’t contain some of the most fantastic music I have heard all year.  Death Proof is like that worn-out jukebox that the most detached college kid in the neighbourhood had during the Seventies. Bawdy, loud, fun and chockfull of throwback rock and roll.

april march

Despite contributions from fascinating bands such as Pacific Gas & Electric, The Coasters and T Rex, it is April March’s super-annoying Chick Habit that steals the limelight. Make no mistake, it is in fact super fucking annoying, but for some reason – it works remarkably well when heard in the film. I am yet to get Rosario Dawson’s skull crushing stomp out of my head.

As for Planet Terror (wasn’t directed by him, but I couldn’t help it), well I didn’t know that Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan could make such beautifully intense music. Ms Gowan shines the brightest when she lets her voice melt like sad butter on You Belong To Me, as Rodriguez pretty much kills it on most of the original compositions. Cherry Darling, Cherry’s Dance Of Death and The Grindhouse Blues are gnarly, ferocious and ethereal – all at once.

Man, that Tarantino fellow knows his music so well that it must be rubbing off on his friends too.

Listen (to other great Tarantino tunes)

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – Hold Tight (Death Proof)

The Statler Brothers – Flowers On The Wall (Pulp Fiction)

Jimmie Vaughan  – Dengue Woman Blues (From Dusk Till Dawn)

George Baker Selection – Little Green Bag (Reservoir Dogs)

Dimitri Tiomkin – The Green Leaves of Summer (Inglourious Basterds, apparently)


Warm clothes

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will-smith-in-seven-pound-001Seven Pounds: I detested The Air I Breathe for its feeble attempts at feigning intelligence. A lot of film directors feel the need to infuse some sort of pretentious intellectualism or quasi-theatrical drama into their films to give them credibility. But I ask you, since when did we, neanderthals, NOT enjoy stupid films? Remember Independence Day? Big, fun, cool visuals and er… Will Smith. Hell, sometimes even silly dramas find their way into my heart. Case in point, Green Card and Paradise. Gabriele Muccino’s Seven Pounds is a lot like our colleagues, yeah you know, those ones who read a couple of Nietzsche quotes on brainyquotes.com and all of a sudden think of themselves to be connoisseurs of existentialism. “It’s an extraordinary journey of redemption,” scream IMDB junkies. Give me stupidity over pretensions, I mumble.

00092428_The Accidental Tourist: Legend has it that the jury at Academy Awards took time-off from smoking crack in 2005. They put the crack pipes down long enough to nominate William Hurt for best supporting actor for his 15-minute powerhouse performance in Cronenberg’s History Of Violence. He’s one of the most important actors of the Nineties and look no further than Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist to have a peek into Hurt’s virtuosity as a performer. Also starring the ever-fantastic Bill Pullman, Geena Davis and Katheleen Turner, the film revolves around Macon Leary (William Hurt) – a travel writer for corporate travelers, now trying to get his life back on the road after a tragic accident leaves him desperately cynical towards everything furry and warm. Geena Davis, for once, does not suck and does her best “Minnie Driver” impersonation yet. Kathleen Turner and Bill Pullman, well…they couldn’t suck even if they were forced at gunpoint to act in a remake of Casablanca.

2008_changeling_001Changeling: Clint Eastwood would have got the “comeback of the year” award every year since 2000 but the thing is he never went away. In 2003, after nearly three decades of mediocre acting, mediocre directing, spaghetti westerns and Dirty Harrys, Mr Eastwood hit his peak as a director with Mystic River – a riveting drama that boasts of talent such as Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins. It won Clint Eastwood two Oscars. In 2004, he made Million Dollar Baby and subsequently became the proud possessor of four more Oscars. His next two films were not as critically acclaimed but nevertheless added to his Oscar loot with four nominations and another gold statuette. Angelina Jolie and Clint Eastwood are probably going to be nominated for the Oscars this year for Changeling – a film that was seemingly made for that very purpose. Now, now…it’s a neat film with no jarring flaws but once again, a thread of vacant emotions – similar to that which destroyed Million Dollar Baby’s credibility towards the climax – rears its ugly head. Jolie cries so much in this film that after a point, you almost find yourself rooting for the prodigal “son” to turn evil and run his mommy down with a tricycle.

Long story short, “Mom loses son. Son comes back. Son not really ‘real’ son. Mom finds out. Evil policemen have other plans.” Oh well, at least more Oscar worthy than “poor boy meets rich girl, screws over Billy Zane, screws rich girl in a different way, everyone falls of the cruise ship and the most annoying person on-board survives”. You want proof of the old man’s talent as a director? Go watch Bird.

zoe-bellDeath Proof. For my money, the third best Quentin Tarantino film behind Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Released in 2007, Death Proof was Tarantino’s tribute to B-grade action of the Seventies and Eighties. A sleazy, gory and stylish nightmare with an opening sequence so preposterously retro and so elaborate that it makes the discourse on Madonna at the beginning of Reservoir Dogs seem like a passing thought. A fitting tribute to non-kitschy influences of liberal thinking, I guess. What many don’t know is that Death Proof is also a tribute to J. G. Ballard’s superb novel – Crash. And to think director Paul Haggis stole some of the book’s best lines, made a corny movie and won a friggin’ Oscar for it. Eishhhh. Remember Don Cheadle saying, “People would crash into each other just to feel something (pause)…anything”. That was so ripped off from Ballard that it almost immediately ceased to be funny. Hmmm…anyway coming back to Death Proof. It’s fun, mindless and a whole lot of Zoe Bell (as Zoe Bell) beating the shit out of Kurt Russell. It’s almost endearing how earnestly Zoe chases Kurt down and opens a can of whoop ass. Now who do I have to kill to see her kick Michael Douglas’ ass?

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