Movie Review: Pulp Fiction
April 14, 2008

This fact is going to make some of you scratch your heads, but I'll say it anyway: until last week, I had never seen "Pulp Fiction." I know that's incredible, what with me being a heterosexual male over 20, but there you have it.

Finally, the hype got to me. I think I've mentioned that I'm going through the list of top movies ever made on IMDB, and it came time to view "Pulp Fiction."

I waited until the perfect time to watch the movie, I'd say, because I really enjoyed it. Mostly, that's because I really appreciated the characters.

I'm not a huge John Travolta fan, but in "Pulp Fiction" he played a truly likeable character. He wasn't sickeningly sweet (like in "Look Who's Talking"), he wasn't entirely sympathetic, and yet I found myself caring what happened to him more than I've cared for a lot of characters in similar movies. His discussion with Samuel L. Jackson near the beginning of the movie was what did it for me, I think. They were talking about a guy that was supposedly thrown out a window because he gave his boss's lovely wife a foot massage.

That conversation at the start of the movie might strike some people as dead air, but to me it was a great early moment in the movie. It was humorous, it was insightful and it gave the two people engaged in the discussion a certain humanity that carried them right through to the end.

Most of the moments I liked in the movie, not surprisingly, centered around those two characters. There were other unique events too, though, mostly based on the exploits of Bruce Willis. I didn't care for his character as much as Travolta's--he was almost dull to me, despite the surprising story of his father's watch as related by Christopher Walken in a characteristically great cameo--and the tension between the two of them eventually erupted in a way that disappointed me a great deal.

When you get right down to it, there were only a few things I didn't like about the film. Mostly, they were related to Bruce Willis. Late in the movie, there was a span of what felt like 15 or 20 minutes that was quite bizarre but, somehow, rather boring. My wife was watching the movie with me and she couldn't believe that I had picked another "weird" movie. She seems to have this notion that I never watch anything worthwhile.

In any event, I'm avoiding spoilers like a mofo and there's not much more I can say about the movie without deviating from that course. Also, though I didn't appreciate the volume of the profanity, I was relieved at least to find that it was nowhere near as pervasive as in "Running Scared," which you might recall I reviewed awhile back. The difference in the levels was obvious to me. "Pulp Fiction" uses profanity to add color. "Running Scared" uses it to repel.

Wow. Remind me not to write another blog entry/review after spending days coding. But, uh... anyone want to discuss "Pulp Fiction" now? We can even go into spoiler territory, if you like!

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

shotgunnova shotgunnova - April 14, 2008 (09:34 AM)
Going through the top IMDB movies? Plenty of westerns to enjoy there! Haha... Pulp Fiction's a petty dang good movie, and it's appealing to any scenester or normal guy. As far as requotability, it's up there with Office Space and Big Lebowski. I agree that Willis' character doesn't have as much flair as the hitmen, but I didn't mind his section that much. Did I mention his girlfriend is a total baberaham lincoln? Yeah, 'cause it's true.

I think most people would probably agree the parts surrounding the hitmen are the best. Bible-spouting Jackson and smooth criminal Vega are just cool customers, and their story's interesting to boot. What I like about Tarantino is the dialogue is crisp enough that it can force the movie forward even when there's nothing of interest going on, and that it's not completely action-reliant like some of his other flicks. Casting is impeccable, too -- Buscemi as the waiter at Slim's was awesome.

Despite all the things I like about it, I'm not much of a Tarantinohead (although Reservoir Dogs is superb, too). He hasn't really recaptured the same blend of suaveness and banter in any movie since, really, and it's hard to throw lavish praise at him for bland cuts like the Kill Bill series.

Anywho, have fun with the IMDB list. Now that I look at some of the top movies, I notice I've never seen Goodfellas (in full) or Memento. Saw Empire Strikes Back again yesterday and don't think it's really deserving of a #8 slot, really. =p
daff daff - April 14, 2008 (10:58 AM)
I remember convincing my dad to take my friend and I to Pulp Fiction in the Theater. I was in 7th or 8th grade and I couldn't believe my dad only made one little comment about the crazy amount of swearing in the movie.
Aquas Aquas - April 14, 2008 (11:24 AM)
I likey dat movie. Each viewing seems fresh...
Genj Genj - April 14, 2008 (04:06 PM)
I remember the first time I saw Pulp Fiction I was that was with a bunch of friends Freshmen (so I'd be about 15) year of high school during new years. The next day one of my friends' dad got really pissed that his son saw it because he thought the movie "glorifies drug use." My parents didn't care because they thought I was mature enough (heh, I think I saw Robocop for the first time when I was like 9 or 10). In fact, really none of the content phased me in the slightest. I never even thought "Gee, this is a lot of swearing."

Great movie though. My favorite even.
honestgamer honestgamer - April 14, 2008 (10:46 PM)
I would say that in a sense it did glorify drug use, but only if the person watches it thinks "Yeah, I'd like to screw up my life in that fashion." After all, the moments the characters were taking drugs weren't entirely glamorous. Even Travolta's expression as he drove his car after taking heroine was so dopey that it seems like something anyone with half a brain would choose to avoid.

The only other movie from Terantino that I've seen is the first of the "Kill Bill" duo (which I bought on DVD), and I would happily watch the second. There were some things about them that felt similar, definitely. He's a decent filmmaker alright...

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