Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater, DVD and March 2013, 1 Sep 2014 and 28 Nov 2018)
Brief Synopsis – Anthology of a day in the life of two L.A. Hitmen as they meet up with a boxer, their boss’ wife and two robbers in a coffee shop.
My Take on it – As a fan of anthology films, this one is among the very best ever made.
Quentin Tarantino is able to tell a modern day gangster story using so many great techniques to put it all together so well.
The film in told in a non-linear fashion and there are so many overlaps between the various stories, one needs to pat close attention in order to catch it all.
The cast is expertly chosen and we get so many great actors in important roles here.
The standouts are Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta and Bruce Willis.
Tarantino knows how to write such amazing dialogue that it’s such a pleasure listening to the conversations of the characters because they feel so realistic.
Who else would have hitmen discussing McDonald’s on the way to work.
In scope, this is Tarantino’s best film even if I personality think Reservoir Dogs (1992) might be slightly better due to the simplicity of it all.
Regardless, this is the film that propelled him to the top of the Hollywood elite largely due to his unique film style which was fresh at the time, yet has been copied so much ever since.. mostly unsuccessfully.
Bottom Line – Superb anthology of modern gangster stories. Tarantino does an amazing job putting it all together. The non-linear aspects of this film are done amazingly and if one pays close attention you can find multiple connections between the various stories being told. The cast is perfectly chosen with Jackson and Travolta as the stand outs. The dialogue is such a pleasure to listen to and its clear that Tarantino knows how to keep things interesting and realistic throughout. Who else would think of having two hitmen discuss McDonald’s. This is Tarantino’s best film in scope even if Reservoir Dogs (1992) is also superb due to its simplicity. This is the film that propelled Tarantino to the very top and made him one of the elite’s in Hollywood because his style is so very different from everyone else. Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Speculation abounds as to the nature of the mysterious glowing contents of the case (which Tarantino said was simply a MacGuffin plot device): Could it be Elvis’ gold suit, seen worn by Val Kilmer (as Elvis) in True Romance (1993)? The most persistent theory is that it is Marcellus Wallace’s soul. The story goes that when the Devil takes a person’s soul, it is removed through the back of the head. When we see the back of Marcellus’ head he has a Band-Aid covering the precise spot indicated by tradition for soul removal. Perhaps Marcellus sold his soul to the devil which would also explain why the combination to open the briefcase is 666. Quentin Tarantino has said that the band-aid on the back of Marsellus Wallace’s neck had nothing to do with an allusion to the Devil stealing Marsellus’ soul, but that Ving Rhames had cut himself shaving, and used the band-aid to cover the cut. According to Roger Avary, who co-wrote the script with Quentin Tarantino, the original plan was to have the briefcase contain diamonds (urban legend has it that they were the diamonds from Resevoir Dogs (1992)). This seemed neither exciting nor original, so Avary and Tarantino decided to have the briefcase’s contents never appear on-screen; this way, each film-goer could mentally “fill in the blank” with whatever struck his or her imagination as best fitting the description “so beautiful”. The orange light bulb (projecting shimmering light onto the actors’ faces) was a last-minute decision and added a completely unintended fantastic element. In a radio interview with Howard Stern in late 2003, Quentin Tarantino was asked by a caller the contents of the briefcase, and he answered, “It’s whatever the viewer wants it to be.” (From IMDB)
Rating –Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)
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