The best thing Pulp Fiction has going for it are its flashy characters and the things they say. Quentin Tarantino, the movie’s writer and director, has a knack for creating interesting people. With John Travolta and Samuel Jackson on set to bring them to life, it’s just a matter of putting them in the right situations.
Vincent and Jules are contract killers who probably wouldn’t be hanging around each other if there weren’t “work” involved. They have contradicting personalities. Vincent is cool. He knows when to keep his mouth shut. Jules is a loudmouth who recites Bible passages to his victims before killing them.
A day or two in the life of a couple of hitmen is only part of the story, the worn pages of which also feature Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge; a crooked boxer on the run with his girlfriend; and Uma Thurman as the wife of the notorious mob boss Vincent and Jules work for. At one point, he’s butt-raped by a man.
Pulp Fiction is mostly a series of flashbacks. One character is shot to death in the middle of the movie, comes back in the next scene and stays alive to the end. Other scenes are cut short and continued later. It’s a style of storytelling that’s somewhat confusing but also quite clever and entertaining.
my rating : 4 of 5
The Guys this movie centers around are old crime buddies reunited after one, Val, is released from a 28-year prison stay, so the plot comes across as an epilogue. Their most thrilling days are far behind them, but still they manage to get into plenty of mischief in just a matter of hours. The gist is that Doc has been ordered by his crime boss to kill Val by 10-AM, something he’s only reluctantly going along with in order to save his own life. Val killed the boss’s son before going to prison, and the boss wants revenge, so if Doc backs out, he too will be killed.
That revelation brings with it a certain level of underlying tension, despite the fact that Doc immediately admits to Val what’s going on the moment he gets suspicious enough to ask about it. And tension, however weak, is a good thing. The problem is that the plot, which often runs in real time, has nowhere to go from there. 10-AM is the deadline and Doc makes it obvious he’s going to wait until then to do it, but the random things they do in the meanwhile; this movie is much better at drama than comedy; only strains the plausibility of the plot.
my rating : 3 of 5
Seven Psychopaths isn’t so much a movie about seven psychopaths as it is a movie about a movie about seven psychopaths. That is if merely being a brutal murderer qualifies a person as such. I’d argue that, outside of the pop-based pseudoscience known as psychology, it doesn’t. But that semantic debate is beside the point.
The plot reels you in from the start with two mob-style killers engaging in an interesting dialogue and never really gets boring from there. It never really gets particularly enjoyable neither, let alone as clever as it aims to be. Billy Bickle, a source of comic relief in a movie that would do better without it, is annoying. The dog is adorable.
my rating : 3 of 5