Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

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Alex79uk
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Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Alex79uk » November 12th, 2018, 4:02 pm

I know how much Cane & Rinse loves a good list... :lol: ...so including only Tarantino directed full length feature films, how would you rank them?

Unfortunately films like True Romance and Dusk Till Dawn cannot be included because he didn't direct them (although both would be high on my list)

The films to include are as follows (and correct me if I miss any!), and I rank them thusly:

1. Inglorious Basterds
I think this one has the best narrative, and as Ksub mentions, there are two exceptional scenes in the opening and the tavern. I'll be honest, 4 or 5 of these films could easily take the number one spot, but right now I'm going with this one. Waltz is incredible, and plays a far more interesting character than in Django.

2. Kill Bill
When I think of Tarantino I think of two things - sharp lines and ultraviolence, and Kill Bill seems like a laboratory distillation of those. The ultimate revenge flick, some brilliant characters and more blood than Dracula's wine celler. I'm counting this as one film. Feel free to split it if you so wish.


3. The Hateful Eight
I never got around to watching this until it came on Netflix, despite being hyped about it for years prior to release, so I was very aware of a lot of negative chatter before I saw it. When I watched it, I honestly couldn't understand where that had come from. A brilliantly tense, claustrophobic, paranoid masterpiece. I love films where you're second guessing everyone, and the script, characters and cinematography blew me away.

4. Pulp Fiction
I saw this aged around 15 when it was first released on the home video rental market. People at school had already been bigging it up, and I got my dad to rent it for me. The first viewing left me confused. I think this may have been the first film I'd ever seen in which the story was told in a non linear fashion. It made very little sense, and it wasn't until the final scene that I realised what was going on. I watched it twice more on that rental, and over the last 25 years have come to appreciate it for the absolute genius it is.

5. Reservoir Dogs
I honestly can't remember whether I saw this after or before Pulp Fiction, but I bloody loved it. Still do. Such a tight piece of work, from the opening scene in the diner to the Mexican standoff, just amazing writing, and such a great film. For a long time I preferred it to Pulp.

6. Django Unchained
I really liked this when it first came out - I still do - but I don't think it's a film that stands up to repeated viewings as well as some of his others. Some brilliant characters, but at times it seems to veer towards almost being a pastiche of a Tarantino film. Not to take anything away from it though, it's still excellent.

7. Death Proof
I like this movie a whole lot more than almost anyone else I know, I thought it was great. Probably the closest he's come to making a traditional thriller, I thought Kurt Russel was incredible.

8. Jackie Brown
I've not watched this film in a long time, but I remember never really enjoying it as much as his other stuff. I need to watch it again soon.

I'm looking forward to his new film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, due out next summer. A film based on the Manson murders with Leo DeCaprio and Bradley Pitts. Should be good.

Making this list has made me want to go and watch them all again now!

What say you?

EDIT: Added some thoughts on the films.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by KSubzero1000 » November 12th, 2018, 5:17 pm

Ooh, now that's my kind of thread. Don't mind if I do. :)


1. Pulp Fiction - The best. One of the few "classics" that I think completely deserve their reputation. Brilliant writing, structure, performances. The kind of film that holds up on every re-watch for me. Every single scene matters.

2. Reservoir Dogs - So raw and powerful. I was 20 when I first saw it and Mr. Blonde scared me more than any Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers-type clown ever could. Timeless ending.

3. Jackie Brown - Not the most popular pick, but I think it deserves credit for being a more restrained and slow-paced character piece than what he's usually known for. It may not be the most loud and violent movie on the list, but it does have a fantastic script and plenty of interesting, understated character moments. Pam Grier makes for a fantastic protagonist, the NRA scene is legendary, the trunk scene is an incredible mood whiplash, and it probably marks the last time De Niro truly gave a fuck. Literally.

4. Inglourious Basterds - One of his very best scripts, which is saying something. The opening scene at the farmhouse is often cited as the film's standout moment (and for good reason), but my vote goes to the cleverly written, impeccably acted, insanely suspenseful undercover tavern scene. I'm lucky enough to be able to follow all three main languages used in the movie and to appreciate all the little details that emerge from the linguistic back-and-forth, but that also means that I can't really look past some of the french dialogue that was clearly not written by a native speaker. Pitt and Waltz are irreplaceable.

I think there's quite a noticeable quality gap at this point. For the record, I would totally put True Romance up there as well, which is one of the greatest films of all time in my opinion.

5. Kill Bill - Great visuals and filled to the brim with personality. Superman speech is golden. But the core premise is a bit thin and the action scenes are uneven. Plenty of great actors chewing the scenery and having the times of their lives, however. If I had to choose, I'd say I favour Vol.2 over Vol.1, but I prefer to think of it as one movie as well.

6. The Hateful Eight - Very uneven. Great cinematography. Hit-and-miss costumes. I like the premise of a low-scale, slow-burning, paranoia-inducing mexican standoff very much, but the script feels awkwardly cobbled together at times. Walton Goggins and Jennifer Jason Leigh are excellent, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen are wasted, Kurt Russell is hilarious.

7. Django Unchained - Even more than in Kill Bill, the core premise of "Hero enacts righteous vengeance upon irredeemable Villain" feels very basic and unfulfilling. The structure is also a mess (the first act has very little to do with the other two), which is probably due to the unfortunate absence of Tarantino's late longtime collaborator Sally Menke in the editing room. But it does take a completely unflinching approach to its subject matter and has some of the greatest performances of the last decade. Lots of unforgettable moments, but the connective tissue is somewhat lacking.

8. Death Proof - Definitely watchable, but doesn't really have the panache or staying power as the others. Kurt Russell is still hilarious.


Overall, I'd say Tarantino has gotten better as a filmmaker but worse as a writer over the years. His recent films do have great photography and production values, but they don't quite reach the same level of raw writing power as his early stuff. Still one of the best and most consistent writer-directors in Hollywood for my money.

Definitely looking forward to Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, too!

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by ratsoalbion » November 12th, 2018, 5:31 pm

For me (favourite to least favourite):

Reservoir Dogs
Pulp Fiction
Jackie Brown
His half of From Dusk Till Dawn
Django Unchained
The Hateful Eight
Inglorious Basterds
Kill Bill
Death Proof
His scene in Sin City
His segment of Four Rooms

Not sure where his episode of ER should go.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Combine Hunter » November 12th, 2018, 7:29 pm

Favourite to least favourite:

Pulp Fiction
Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2
Jackie Brown
Reservoir Dogs
Inglorious Basterds
Django Unchained
.
.
.
.
.
The Hateful Eight (Kind of hate this movie)

Haven't seen the others.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by KissMammal » November 14th, 2018, 1:04 am

Based solely on which one I'd choose to watch right now, in order.

1. Basterds (endlessly rewatchable - cannot get enough of it. Everyone goes on about the admittedly great opening scene, but it has so many scenes equally as memorable, such as the unbearably tense cellar/bar game scene)
2. Django (again, it's just so entertaining and rewatchable. Easily Tarantino's funniest film and infinitely funnier than most modern so-called comedies)
3. Pulp Fiction
4. Hateful Eight (overlong, but improved greatly for me on a rewatch)
5. Dogs
6. KB #1
7. Jackie Brown (seems to be the trendy thing recently to claim Jackie Brown is his best, and it's certainly his most 'mature' movie, but I just find it a bit dull, personally, and has very little of the tension and excitement his other films do)
8. KB #2 (has some really great stuff but is bogged down by several interminable dialogue scenes and imo a damp squib of a finale)

Never got around to seeing Death Proof.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » November 14th, 2018, 3:06 am

Hmmm...

1. Pulp Fiction - for the sake of picking a number 1, I can't really go past Pulp Fiction. It's structured and paced so very well, with the main downside being the endless copycat movies from that mid-90's era. It's also a very funny movie!

2. Reservoir Dogs - because, well just because. Maybe this is more a reflection of my VHS movie binging years.

3. Kill Bill 1 & 2 - I'm lumping together. Part of it was that I got to see part one when I was in England, in London, all those many years ago, so that is part of the tourist/movie experience for me. Plus, I'm a film nerd, and this is a pretty nerdy series of films.

3. Inglorious Basterds - because why can't they kill Hitler? It's all fiction anyway.

4. Hateful Eight - mainly because it's fresher in my mind than number 5. And I saw the 70mm print.

5. Django Unchained - like Hateful Eight, I've only seen it once. Will have to really put some time aside and re-watch both.

6. Jackie Brown - There comes a point in these lists where we're really starting to split hairs. Pretty fantastic.

7. Death Proof - Yeah, it's alright. Mediocre Tarantino films are still way, way better than most stuff out there.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Alex79uk » November 14th, 2018, 10:41 am

Watched The Hateful Eight again last night, that film should be higher than number 3 for me, I think. Its just so good.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by duskvstweak » November 26th, 2018, 9:14 pm

I haven't seen them all, but I think I can add my two cents! My list is ranked, but I found it interesting that my bottom four didn't just equal ones I liked LESS than the others, but the one's I just don't like.

1. Reservoir Dogs
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Kill Bill: Volume 1
4. Django Unchained

5. Kill Bill: Volume 2
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Inglourious Basterds
8. Death Proof

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » November 26th, 2018, 11:21 pm

Just a quick, relevant link to the Phil LaMarr episode of I Was There Too, talking about his experiences as Marvin in Pulp Fiction.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by bixer » November 27th, 2018, 9:53 am

I think I'd have to go...

1. Pulp Fiction
2. Inglourious Basterds
3. Reservoir Dogs
4. Django Unchained
5. Jackie Brown
6. Kill Bill

I've not yet seen The Hateful Eight or Death Proof, the former from reluctance after hearing from a majority of reviews that it's overly long.


The only real tricky decision here is which of Pulp Fiction or Inglourious Basterds deserves top spot. If I were to watch both for the first time today I think I'd have to give it to Inglourious, but Pulp Fiction just has that extra nostalgia factor I think.


This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I didn't care for either of the Kill Bill films at all.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by ThirdMan » December 1st, 2018, 4:41 pm

I''m not a huge Tarantino fan (although I've watched them all apart from Death Proof) but I just thought I'd offer another vote of confidence in Jackie Brown. As mentioned above, it's become 'trendy' to consider it his best, however I'd still prefer that over fawning over Django Unchained as a modern masterpiece.

In Jackie Brown Tarantino delivers up his usual plethora of interesting characters, but he trusts the subtlety of his own writing and the actors that he's cherry-picked. It's superb.

Also, an honourable mention for The Hateful Eight. A three-hour epic Western squeezed into that most loathed of forms, the bottle-episode. An outrageous idea. I'm still not sure how he pulled it off.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by ratsoalbion » December 1st, 2018, 5:59 pm

The thing about Jackie Brown is, it’s not his characters and his writing (admittedly Tarantino adapted it for screen), it’s Elmore Leonard’s, hence the whole piece is so much more nuanced and restrained.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by ThirdMan » December 2nd, 2018, 8:03 am

ratsoalbion wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 5:59 pm
The thing about Jackie Brown is, it’s not his characters and his writing (admittedly Tarantino adapted it for screen), it’s Elmore Leonard’s, hence the whole piece is so much more nuanced and restrained.
Very good point, Leon. To be honest, I only recognise Leonard's name from Get Shorty. I didn't realise Jackie Brown was an adaptation! Or if I did, I'd forgotten. Oddly enough I think that makes it even more intriguing. I've long been fascinated by directors that can take a literary source and fashion something individual with it, while still remaining true to the original work. Kurosawa's Shakespeare adapataions spring to mind. Ditto David Lean's finest work.

Have you read Leonard's novel? I'm curious as to just how much of Tarantino made it into those characters. Sam Jackson's and Pam Grier's definitely feel like they contain a lot of his writing. Incidentally, Get Shorty always felt like a Tarantino rip-off, but now I'm wondering if it's Leonard that's the real link between that film and Tarantino's early work. It's a fascinating little circle of influence.

It's difficult to imagine Tarantino, in 2018, curbing his natural instincts as he did in Jackie Brown. Even his Star Trek project (assuming it's not some elaborate practical joke) appears to be his usual brand of craziness. But who knows. My own pet theory is that his upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be a much more subdued affair than his recent work might suggest.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Bloody Initiate » April 25th, 2019, 9:38 pm

"If you're gonna compare a Hanzo sword.. ...you compare it to every other sword ever made - wasn't made - by Hattori Hanzo."

If you're gonna compare Tarantino films, you compare them to films by other filmmakers. The only comparison you can make amongst Tarantino films is... they're all better than Jackie Brown.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by ratsoalbion » April 25th, 2019, 9:49 pm

Six people above you disagree.
😉

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Bloody Initiate » April 25th, 2019, 11:06 pm

I'm terrible at picking favorites though, or rating things, because I am addicted to variety wherever I can get it.

So for me within the format used thus far, the ratings are:
#1: All of Tarantino's movies other than Jackie Brown, including some that he didn't officially direct like From Dusk Til Dawn, some movies that he had nothing to do with like Out of Sight, and even some of his work that I haven't seen yet (I don't know what True Romance is, for example)
#6,904,247: Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown just sucks.

Tarantino certainly likes doing certain things more than once: For example he loves locking murderers in tight circumstances with each other. He exaggerates violence to keep it ridiculous instead of realistic. He likes his dialogue to have a certain flow to it which people describe as having a "style" but actually I think he just loves language and wants to hear more of it. He doesn't do these things in ALL of his movies but they're present in several.

And I think, for example, that when it comes to bloody vengeance, Kill Bill Vol. 1 does it better than Djangjo Unchained. But I just watched Django unchained again, and there's not actually a ton of bloody vengeance. The shoot outs are gory and absurd but there's only about two of them. It's more about the cramming murderers close together and people putting on a face other than their own in order to get what they want. Django is actually the best pretender in the film, which is important. It's also vengeance on participants in an institution instead of the specific villains who did wrong to Django. In Kill Bill the Bride has a list, and the people on that list had presented themselves for her retribution, she would have stopped after getting through them.

Kill Bill Vol 1. is basically a feature-length preview for Kill Bill Vol 2, and they're both awesome, but they aren't really anything alike in terms of genre (Unless the genre is "Tarantino"). I think I liked Kill Bill 2 better at the time, but that's because I was interested in what it was trying to do more.

Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds probably have more in common due to their telling a story with an ensemble cast and lots of different perspectives, so structurally I feel they are more alike than most of the others... but watching one feels nothing like watching the other.

That's the theme for me in rating things: One doesn't feel like the other. I want unique experiences, and I rate them on how different they are from each other, not best to worst. I rate NOTHING "best to worst" because I find nothing fits that box. It's either on my list, or it's not, and what I want on my list changes.

Reservoir Dogs has a lot of themes that get recycled later in Tarantino's movies, but it does those themes on a much lower budget and so has to lean much more heavily on its performances and writing. That may be better in some people's eyes, but what happens when I want to watch Nazis get slaughtered in a festive manner? Sometimes I just want katanas and/or machine guns, other times I want to feel claustrophobia.

Death Proof, especially the extended version (which I saw before the release cut), exhausted some people with how long it took to get to the point. Luckily the first time I watched it I had the patience, for whatever reason, to let Tarantino waste my time so that he could surprise me later. I don't think I need to watch the extended version ever again, but I liked it better than the release cut when I did watch it. It's the same way with a lot of slower movies. I am very glad I saw them once, I don't really ever need to again.

Hateful Eight is probably in a similar category. By the end of that movie I was really pleased, but it was sorta gross getting there. I also was interested in the progress of the characters. Which is what I didn't like about Jackie Brown.

I have a very hard time with narratives about people who I don't care at all about. I'm not talking about liking them exactly, because obviously most of the characters in these movies are monsters, but I want to care what happens to them.

In Reservoir Dogs you watch the rapid construction of a relationship, and even if you don't care about the people in that relationship I cared about the relationship.

In Pulp Fiction you watch the story of some entertaining scumbags. They're entertaining to me because of how they speak and behave so I want to know what happens with them.

In Kill Bill you watch a lot of really impressive murderers doing their best to murder each other. They do it in an entertaining way with really nice choreography and cinematography. Who gets murdered? How good does it look when they do? That's worth watching.

In Inglorious Basterds you get to watch a plot hatched. A caper! There's a ruthless predator on the tracks of the clever good guys! Will he catch them before they succeed in their noble plot?

Instead of going through all of them, I'll cut my post short and say there's nothing worth investing in for me in Jackie Brown. I don't care about anyone in the movie. I don't care what happens to them. I don't know what's coming next, and I don't care if I ever find out. I'm not trying to sound bitter, re-reading the paragraph if you begin enough sentences with "I don't care" it starts sounding like a meaner tone than I intend.

All of his other movies succeed in that basic task of getting the audience - me in this case - to CARE. They intrigue me with one or more elements. I just didn't find anyone or anything in Jackie Brown especially intriguing or entertaining. It's been so long since I watched it that I feel a bit bad trying to judge it completely, but perhaps I didn't find Pam Grier capable of carrying the movie? I didn't care what she did. I didn't care what Samuel J. did. Bobby D was an anti-charismatic lump who I didn't like either.

I wasn't aware of the connection via Elmore Leonard. I enjoyed Get Shorty and Out of Sight a lot more than I enjoyed Jackie Brown. I've also had "Justified" recommended to me very strongly by my father, who I share a lot of tastes with. I'll have to check out more of these things. I will check out many new things before I ever feel inclined to watch Jackie Brown again.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Alex79uk » April 26th, 2019, 6:18 am

I can only suggest you go to your room right now and watch True Romance. Take a day off sick if you have to.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by clippa » April 28th, 2019, 12:45 am

Pulp Fiction
Reservoir Dogs
Django Unchained
Inglourious Basterds
The Hateful Eight
Jackie Brown
Kill Bill
Death Proof
Sexy Feet
Stunt Casting
Revenge Boner: Part 2
Exciting N Word

He's got a good sense of humour, I reckon, yer lad Tarantino, often sends himself up. I'd say Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds are joyous self parody.

Might be low ranking Jackie Brown and high ranking reservoir dogs a bit since I can't really remember, I'm just going with the vague memories of feelings I might have had at the time.

Inglorious Basterds I remember loving at the time but everyone I spoke to disliked it.
It played out like a vibrant, dialled up to the 9s cartoony revenge porn "boy's own" adventure comic for young Jewish boys.
Utterly ridiculous and brilliantly fun.

I remember people saying when it came out that Lynch wasn't too happy with "being an influence"/"being ripped off" and set out to out-Tarantino him in this scene in Mulholland Drive. Don't know how true any of that is, but it's a fun idea.


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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by Alex79uk » April 28th, 2019, 1:57 pm

I'm surprised Tarantino has ever been compared to or indeed speaks of being inspired by him. I've never seen anything particularly Lynch-ian in any of his films.

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Re: Let's rank Tarantino films, for no reason whatsoever...

Post by clippa » April 28th, 2019, 2:46 pm

He's a bit of a magpie, innee? Plucking little bits from here and there, some of his "homages" play like direct lifts.



I wouldn't be suprised, but yeah, I'd never made the connection until I heard it mentioned, though I suppose I hadn't been looking for it. Probably a bit of a stretch.

You can read David Foster Wallaces "Lynch Keeps His Head" essay here if you're interested, makes a good case - https://www.scribd.com/doc/27992934/Dav ... s-His-Head
the long, self-consciously mundane dialogues on pork, foot massages, TV pilots, etc. that punctuate Pulp Fiction's violence, a violence whose creepy/comic stylization is also resoundingly Lynchian. The peculiar narrative tone of Tarantino's films - the thing that makes them seem at once strident and obscure, not-quite-clear in a haunting way - is Lynch's tone; Lynch invented this tone. It seems to me fair to say that the commercial Hollywood phenomenon that is Mr. Quentin Tarantino would not exist without David Lynch as a touchstone, a set of allusive codes and contexts in the viewer's deep-brain core. In a way, what Tarantino's done with the French New Wave and with Lynch is what Pat Boone did with Little Richard and Fats Domino: he's found (rather ingeniously) a way to take what is ragged and distinctive and menacing about their work and homogenize it, churn it until it's smooth and cool and hygienic enough for mass consumption. Reservoir Dogs, for example, with its comically banal lunch-chatter, creepily otiose code names, and intrusive soundtrack of campy pop from decades past, is Lynch made commercial, i.e. faster, linearer, and with what was idiosyncratically surreal now made fashionably (i.e. "hiply") surreal.

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