Tag Archive | "Quentin Tarantino"



Tarantino’s Top Ten Of 2013 So Far Includes Linklater, Woody Allen Films And… LONE RANGER?

Posted on 08 October 2013 by Rich Drees

Quentin Tarantino

Although some may just regard director Quentin Tarantino as a defender of trashy exploitation cinema, he often displays a love for all films, from the high brow to the low. With that in mind, the reveal of his Top Ten of 2013 so far from the folks over at the Quentin Tarantino Archives is of interest and some speculation. They are, in no particular order except alphabetical -

Afternoon Delight (Jill Soloway)
Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
The Conjuring (James Wan)
Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg)
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
Kick Ass 2 (Jeff Wadlow)
The Lone Ranger (Gore Verbinski)
This Is The End (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg)

As the list was offered with no commentary, I can not begin to imagine what Tarantino is seeing in something as roundly beat up on by the critics as The Lone Ranger was, but I am sure that the director has a unique point of view that may at least give some pause to reconsider the film.

Now of course there are probably some films that he hasn’t seen yet that would make his list. I know that I haven’t caught up with everything that Tarantino names here. If the director releases a final Top Ten list in December, it should be interesting to see what gets cut and what gets added. In the meantime, it is fodder for some interesting discussion.

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Posted on 24 June 2013 by Rich Drees


Quentin Taratino’s Kill Bill could very well be a distillation of his entire career. A two-part revenge story that references numerous exploitation films of the past while simultaneously raising the material to a level not normally associated with such fare. From an original screenplay that weighed in at around 190 pages, Tarantino seemed to be unwilling to cut any of it down to where it would be a comfortable two-hour film, so the decision was made to first film the entire thing and then later to split the film into two volumes to be released six months apart.

This past weekend, I had the rare privilege to view both halves of Kill Bill edited back into its original epic-length configuration. Titled Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, the print was Tarantino’s personal assemblage of both films back into one four-hour roaring rampage of revenge that the director constructed to screen at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival just months after Vol. 2 had been released to theaters. It is the only print in existence and Tarantino has only lent it two or three times in total over the last decade.

Amongst fans of Tarantino’s work, there seems to be a bit of a mystique about The Whole Bloody Affair, probably due to its unavailability. Is there much more violence? Are there scenes that were deleted from Vol 1 and Vol 2 that have been added back in? Was splitting the movie into two volumes ultimately a good or bad idea?


To be honest, there are not many changes to be found between The Whole Bloody Affair and the individual Vol 1 and Vol 2 and many of the changes that are to be found are strictly cosmetic. Of note, though, the very first obvious change is the omission of the “Klingon proverb” from Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan about revenge being a dish best served cold that opens the film. In its place is a dedication to “Master Filmmaker” Kinji Fukasaku, who had died in January 2003 as Tarantino was in the process of post-production for the films. It is Fukasaku’s Samurai Reincarnation (1981) that Tarantino is quoting when he has Hattori Hanzao (Sonny Chiba) state in reference to the sword he has made for the Bride “If, on your journey, you should encounter god, god will be cut.” (Reportedly, this dedication was on the Japanese release of the film.)

The most obvious difference comes in the Showdown at the House Of Blue Leaves segment. Tarantino famously had to present a portion of the bloody sword battle between the Bride and the Crazy 88s in black and white as a way to placate the MPAA ratings board over the amount of blood in the scene. The Whole Bloody Affair restores the sequence to its originally-shot color, as it was seen in other territories. (There are also additional action beats that were previously unseen in the US Vol 1 edit.) Also reportedly carried over from the Japanese release are a few extra moments of gore in the animated “Chapter 3: The Origin Of O-Ren” and a quick shot of the Bride chopping off Sofie Fatale’s second arm.

The second half of the Whole Bloody Affair rightfully omits the short black-and-white introduction from Vol 2 in which we see the Bride driving and recapping the audience on the first film. Tarantino’s early draft of the screenplay placed this scene at the start of the film and he smartly repurposed it for the opening to Vol 2 once the split was made. It is interesting to note that Tarantino doesn’t restore it to its original position at the front of the film for The Whole Bloody Affair. Was it a decision that came as he was compiling the edit for Cannes or had he already decided to jettison the scene before the film was initially split and then realized that he could use after all for Vol 2?


Perhaps the biggest structural change stemming from the film being one unit instead of two comes right at what we consider the end of Vol 1. The Showdown at the House Of Blue Leaves has concluded and the Bride has taken Sophie Fatale to the hill overlooking the Tokyo hospital and dumped her off so she could deliver her message of warning to Bill. It is at this point that the Whole Bloody Affair cuts to black and then a short intermission. However, Vol 1 continues with a short, minute-and-a-half segment that shows the Bride compiling her “Death List Five” and a few moments from Vol 2 featuring Budd and Elle Driver before the film concludes with Bill’s line “Is she aware that her daughter is still alive?” It is an emotional gut punch of a cliffhanger and gives the second volume some needed dramatic tension with the audience knowing something about her fated appointment with Bill that the Bride does not. Unfortunately, it is to the second half of the Whole Bloody Affair’s detriment that this dramatic tension is lost, as it is absence weakens a film that is already not as tightly focused as Vol 1.

Thematically, the two halves of the story are still dissimilar enough that if The Whole Bloody Affair played straight through it would still be somewhat jarring. Tarantino must have realized this as well and drops an intermission right at the break between Vol 1 and 2, though I feel that this was done more as a conceit to the Cannes audience rather than it being his original intention.

There is one unexpected upside to the two films being viewed as one, however. When taken separately, Vol 1’s opening song, Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang, Bang” and its repeated refrain “My baby shot me down,” only serves as a direct reference to Bride’s point of view that her “baby”/lover Bill has shot her down, leaving her for dead. But in the Whole Bloody Affair, the song is still strong in the audience’s mind when the Bride bursts into Bill’s Mexican hotel suite to find her child very much alive and pointing a toy gun in her direction. As little B.B. cries out “Bang! Bang!” the Bride falls to floor playing along with her baby who has shot her down, a musical foreshadowing lost in the two film version.


Ultimately, Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair is an interesting curio for a Tarantino fan to see, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table that couldn’t be found by importing the Japanese DVD version of Vol 1. If anything, it serves to highlight that the decision to split the project into two films was ultimately the correct one.

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Weekend Read: Sex, Screenplays, Tarantino And Zeppo

Posted on 30 March 2013 by Rich Drees

Let’s start off this edition of the Weekend Read with a question – Are audiences becoming more prudish about sex scenes in movies? That’s what is explored in Nerve’s article The Demise of the Hollywood Sex Scene. Turns out that the answer probably lies more in the simultaneous rise of the home theater and unrestricted-by-network-censorship cable series like Californication and Game Of Thrones. Stimulating reading, nonetheless.

As movies move through development they often pass through the hands of a number of writers, each trying to contribute whatever the developing producer or director want in the screenplay. But not every writer who contributes something to a script gets their name on the final product. The process of determining who does get final screen credit (and the years’ worth of residuals that accompany a screen credit) is administered by the Writers Guild of America. As I discovered when researching something once, the WGA does not publicly comment on the arbitration process. But Die Hard 2 and Bad Boys writer Doug Richardson gives us a peek behind-the-scenes at the nasty fight over how the credits were determined for his 2005 Hostage, which he had adapted from a novel by Robert Crais, turned out to be. (And check out the rest of Richardson’s blog for more strange-but-true stories from the trenches of Hollywood.)

But not all stories involving novel writers and film adaptations of their work are as contentious. In fact, sometimes authors are thrilled with the final product, especially with whatever star is chosen to play their favorite character. The Atlantic talked to several big name novelists about the big screen adaptations they are most happy with.

One of the directors in the Atlantic article who delivered what a novelist thought was a faithful adaptation of his work despite a number of changes, was Quentin Tarantino with his translation of Elmore Leonard’s crime novel Rum Punch into Jackie Brown. It just so happens that this past week saw the iconic director’s 50th birthday, for which London’s The Guardian compiled this list of five reasons to be thankful for from the director’s career.

We end this week’s installment with an appreciation of the sometimes forgotten Marx Brother Zeppo, and how he sartorially influenced one young actor by the name of Archibald Leach, though you may know him as Cary Grant.

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Tarantino To Cameo In Enzo Castellari’s Latest Spaghetti Western

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Rich Drees

DjangoTarantinoDirector Quentin Tarantino will be making a cameo appearance in Italian director Enzo G. Castellari’s upcoming spaghetti western Badlands. The director has told Italian journalists (via Hollywood Reporter) that he has set aside a small role for Tarantino and Franco Nero, the actor who starred in the iconic 1966 spaghetti western Django.

Castellari stated that the role was a thank you for helping to revive interest in the spaghetti western genre with his recent blockbuster Django Unchained.

Nero previously starred in Castellari’s 1976 western Keoma.

Among the many films on Castellari’s resume is The Inglorious Bastards, the 1978 World War Two men-on-a-mission film that was one of the inspirations for Tarantino’s film of the same name.

Although he took a few acting roles in the first few years of fame after the release of Pulp Fiction, Tarantino has restricted his acting to appearances in hisonly a few movies, including 2007′s Sukiyaki Western Django, a spaghetti western filtered through the sensibilities of Japanese genre director Takashi Miike.

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New Releases: December 25, 2012

Posted on 24 December 2012 by William Gatevackes

django-unchained-movie-poster 1. Django Unchained (Weinstein Company, @3,010 Theaters, 165 Minutes, Rated R): I, for one, admire Quentin Tarantino. He is one of the few directors who career developed right when I became interested in film, and I have been a fan from the very beginning. He is never afraid to wear his influences on his sleeve (and, his critics say, lift entire sequences from them to put in his films), and he weaves completely new works stitched together from genres and styles he likes.

This film is Tarantino’s take on the western, with a blaxploitation twisted added on to it. Jamie Foxx plays Django, a slave turned bounty hunter, who tries to rescue his wife from her owner, the vicious Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

les-mis-poster-2442. Les Miserables (Universal, @2,807 Theaters, 157 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Now, I have never read the book or seen the Broadway musical adapted from it, but from what I see of this film, it seems like the title is truth in advertising.

You have people starving. You have people thrown in jail. You have women selling their bodies to survive. You have corruption. You have revolution. You have turmoil. What you don’t have, at least in the ads I saw, is much happiness.

That’s just what you want to see over Christmas. Here’s something relentlessly bleak and gloomy! Happy holidays!

parental-guidance-poster3. Parental Guidance (Fox, Wide Release, 104 Minutes, Rated PG): I have t0 say this. It might not be cool or hip, but I am a Billy Crystal fan, dating all the way back to his days as a stand-up comedian.

That being said, it is weird to see him in this role, his first starring role in a decade. I mean, Harry from When Harry Met Sally  and Mitch from City Slickers in a wacky family comedy? Man, that really makes me feel old. It probably doesn’t make Crystal feel young either, as he is playing a grandfather in this.

The plot, well, it’s about grandparents watching their grandkids, and having their approach to parenting not jiving with their kids approach to parenting. I just hope Crystal can bring something more to the rather formulaic plot.

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Sweet Christmas! Tarantino Thought About Making A LUKE CAGE Movie!

Posted on 18 December 2012 by Rich Drees

Luke_CageQuentin Tarantino likes to talk about projects he is considering, even though many of them never come to fruition, so it comes as somewhat of a surprise to hear about a potential film he was interested in making that had never been discussed before. Even more surprising is that film would have been a comic book adaptation.

In an interview with MTV while out flogging his new film Django Unchained, Tarantino reveals that he had been thinking about doing a film based on a popular Marvel Comics character and had even approached Lawrence Fishburne about starring in it.

After Reservoir Dogs, I had considered doing a Luke Cage, Hero For Hire movie. Ed Pressman owned the rights at that time, and we talked about it. I talked to Larry Fish about being Luke Cage, and he really liked that idea. Then I ended up writing Pulp Fiction.

Well, I guess what was Fishburne and comic book movie fans’ loss turned out to be John Travolta and indie film fans’ gain.

The idea of Tarantino directing a Luke Cage movie certainly sends the imagination reeling. The comic, created by writer Archie Goodwin and artist John Romita in 1972, was an attempt to create a superhero character in the mold of heroes in the then-popular Blaxploitation film craze and, as is very obvious, Tarantino is very much a fan of that genre. If there was ever a comics character suited for Tarantino’s film sensibilities it is Luke Cage.

More recently director John Singleton was developing a Luke Cage movie with Marvel Studios with a by screenwriter Ben Ramsey in 2004, but as there has been no news on the project in several years it has presumably died in development hell.

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Tarantino Down To Wire On Editing DJANGO UNCHAINED

Posted on 27 November 2012 by Rich Drees

Yesterday we had a production video from The Hobbit showing how the crew was working frantically down to the last minute to ensure that the film was ready for its premier. Given that its first public screening was scheduled for today in New Zealand, I sure hope they made it.

Another film that is still being worked on with while its premier rapidly approaches is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. According to In Contention’s Kris Tapley, the director is toiling away in an editing bay to bring the film into shape.

Django Unchained is the first film that Tarantino finds himself without longtime collaborators editor Sally Menke and producer Lawrence Binder and he might be having a problem dealing with the loss of the two voices he has relied on in the past.

With Tarantino probably just days away from having to turn in the completed film, I will admit that this is a bit worrying. Is Tarantino trying to trim the film for time or has he had a last minute inspiration on how to better layout the film’s narrative?

Django Unchained is scheduled for theaters on Christmas Day.

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Spielberg, Abrams, Tarantino And Snyder Take Themselves Out Of Running For STAR WARS 7 Directing Gig

Posted on 12 November 2012 by Rich Drees

There’s been lots of talk and speculation as to who may eventually wind up with the rather daunting gig of directing Star Wars: Episode VII. And while posts about alleged studio short lists and wish lists have certainly burned up much bandwidth, there are a few of those choices who have already pulled themselves out of consideration.

The biggest name of those who would pass at the chance of directing a Star Wars film is George Lucas’s longtime friend and collaborator on the Indiana Jones franchise – Steven Spielberg. Although scuttlebutt has it that the director is one of the few who should be getting a copy of Michael Arndt’s script crossing his desk sometime soon, he told Access Hollywood that he isn’t even considering the idea of treading into his friend’s territory -

No! No! It’s not my genre, it’s my best friend George’s genre.

J. J. Abrams has earned a lot of cred with movie fans for his reinvention of Paramount’s Star Trek franchise. But as he told the folks at Hollywood Life, it’s because of how he approached his work on the final frontier that he won’t be traveling to a galaxy far, far away –

“Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time,” J.J. gushed. He added, “I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”

EW caught up with Quentin Tarantino on the subject, and perhaps because of his long friendship with the Weinsteins who have had their own problems with the studio, he seems less than enthused about the idea of Disney-produced Star Wars films.

I could so care less…Especially if Disney’s going to do it. I’m not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars.

For his part, 300 and Watchmen director Zack Snyder doesn’t envision himself tackling the new trilogy either. As he told the LA Times

I don’t think I’d be interested in [directing it]… I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic. I just think doing episodes seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort.

We’ve said before that the job would truly be a daunting task for anyone to undertake and I think it says something that big name directors such as these are all at least hesitant about the gig. This begss the question – What combination of courage and hubris will be needed to step up to the plate?

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RESERVOIR DOGS And PULP FICTION Heading To Theaters For Night Only Screenings

Posted on 23 October 2012 by Rich Drees

This fall is shaping into a good month for Quentin tarantino fans. On November 20th we have the arrival of the Tarantino XX: 8 Film Collection on blu-ray which celebrates the director’s two deacde career so far. Folloning that on Christmas we have the release of his latest film, the spaghetti-western/revenge film mashup Django Unchained. But if that’s not enough Tarantino for you, you will now be able to see two of his most seminal films in theaters for one night only each.

Miramax and Fathom are teaming up to present Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction in theaters on December 4th and 6th respectively. Now these will be presented digitally, probably with Fathom’s usual 1080i compressed picture, so the quality won’t be as good as the standard digital prints that most theaters project. Still, in addition to the films there will also be “a special feature showcasing Tarantino’s 20-year career and a selection of hand-picked movie trailers from films that inspired him as a filmmaker.” I would guess that at least one or two of those trailers will be for movies that directly inspired Django Unchained.

You can find information on which theaters will be histing the screenings and ticket information at Fathom Events or Miramax’s website for the Tarantino XX blur-ray release.

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New DJANGO UNCHAINED Trailer Makes Me Curious

Posted on 11 October 2012 by Rich Drees

There’s a new trailer out for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and if it doesn’t have you anticipating this Christmas release, you might want to check your pulse. You may be dead.

The new two-and-a-half minute clip gives us a bit more overview of the story of freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) teaming up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to free his wife (Kerry Washington) from the evil clutches of plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). We also get our first look at Jonah Hill in the film.

Appropriately, this gift of a new film opens on Christmas Day.

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