We started this last year and then got a bit off-track, but I’d like to pick up our monthly examination of the Top 250 films on IMDB. To review, so far we’ve looked at:
1. Shawshank Redemption
2. The Godfather
3. The Godfather Part 2
4. The Dark Knight
Which brings us to #5: Pulp Fiction. Now, the first four films in the IMDB 250, I revere. I, quite frankly, don’t think Pulp Fiction is even the fifth best film from 1994, let alone of all-time. I think it’s incredibly overrated. To me, it’s a good film that showed the promise Tarantino would fulfill later with Inglorious Bastards, but not the apex of his career. I think the film has a great beginning and a great end, but the 90 minutes inbetween are largely forgettable (or memorable only for being REALLY disturbing). I think the writing is lazy. Scripts that drop the F-bomb every other word bore me. I don’t hate the film. Whenever we’re with Jules and Vincent, I fricking love it, but again that’s pretty much the first half-hour and last half-hour. I know this is a Holy Grail movie to some people, so I’m going to stop my criticism and single out my favorite scenes . It goes without saying (yet I’m still going to warn) that there is an extreme violence and potty mouth warning on this column.
1. Ezekiel 25:17
Easily the movie’s best scene is Samuel L. Jackson’s hamburger tasting/Bible quoting show of force. This six minutes is worth watching the whole movie. Whatever issues I have with the film as a whole, I could watch this piece a million times and never get bored.
2. Poor Marvin
How big are the squibs Tarantino uses? I have to think they’re like nine times the size of a normal squib. The shoot-out in Django Unchained is like people are sacks of raspberry jam bulging at the seams. This is a shocker the first time you see it and darkly hilarious in subsequent watchings. Poor Marvin, really.
3. Divine Intervention
Jump to the end of the film when Jules and Vincent get stuck in volleyball clothes following Marvin’s…explosion. Jules ponders the meaning behind their survival and concludes it was a case of Divine Intervention.
4. The Gold Watch
This is how good Christopher Walken is. He has, literally, one scene in the entire film and it’s a monologue about how he’s kept a watch up his butt for years and it is MESMERIZING. Definitely a case of tell being better than show. If only that could’ve held true in the pawn shop basement….yeesh.
5. Royale With Cheese
Probably the two most iconic scenes from the film are this one and the dance contest, likely because they’re the easiest scenes in the film to edit for broadcast television. Your introduction to Jules and Vincent, the scene is memorable for a reason even if it’s been repeated and mocked to death.