In the midst of the new Tarantino movie “The Hateful Eight”. I watched The Hateful Eight and below features a ranked list of my favorite Tarantino movies. Enjoy
*This list does not feature Jackie Brown
7. Reservoir Dogs
Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs was his first installment in what is now an eight movie filmography. Although it is his directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs displayed what Tarantino movies are all about, and what fans of his work would soon love; sharp dialogue, use of profanity and a large dose of violence. Reservoir Dogs is possibly the best movie on this list but it did not resonate with me as strongly as the other 7 films have.
6. Inglorious Basterds
Inglorious Basterds was Tarantino’s take at retelling and reshaping the events of the world’s history. Inglorious Basterds undoubtedly one of my favorite period pieces (I believe it can still be called that) and displays one of my favorite movie sequences (*the scenes of the burning theater*).
5. Death Proof
Many fans may not agree with my choice of Death Proof ranked at number 5. However, I believe that it is the most underrated Tarantino film which deserves more respect than it has earned. Some may find the movie to be boring due to the heavy dialogue and little action. But as a Tarantino fan, I always found myself fascinated at how real the dialogue was at times. I did not feel scripted and the dialogue never lured you to upcoming sequences. The story somehow, yet cohesively, found itself at an interesting arc (I still do not understand how Tarantino does that). I loved how this movie avoided cliches and had strong female characters (*unfortunately they are not too prevalent in modern cinema*), which is why I rank Death Proof at number 5.
4. The Hateful Eight
Unfortunately I did not view this movie in the jaw dropping 70mm Roadshow release but I wish I did. After 20+ years of Tarantino it is easy to say that The Hateful Eight is the quintessential Tarantino movie. You can expect violence, gore and of course sharp dialogue. Some fans believed that the use of 70mm was wasted as the movie’s setting primarily took place in a cabin. Although I did not watch it in theaters I believe that I would have enjoyed the 70mm experience. Not because it would be my first time but because I can imagine that the close ups would look beautiful. The close up was also used quite effectively in this film and even created a somewhat meta experience where some of the character’s actions mirrored the direction of the story. An example is when Samuel L. Jackson’s Major Warren says “we gonna take this real slow” and the pace of the film slows down in the succeeding sequences. The gif above (coming soon) also establishes and awkward, yet new directing choice for Tarantino, audience character relationship where Warren is talking to General Smithers yet it is shot as if he is talking to us. I would also like to highlight the great score of Ennio Morricone which won him his first Oscar for Best Original Score.
3. Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2
If you are know a lot about Tarantino you probably know that he considers Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 as one big movie; if you did not know that you just learned something new. Kill Bill Volume 1 was the first Tarantino movie that I ever watched and I think it is what made me a Tarantino fan. Needless to say that I have nothing but praise for the “Crazy 88” but what I really admire from Volumes 1 & 2 is how Tarantino captures every single idiosyncrasy of the individual and can mirror this cinematically. All films on this list do this but both Kill Bills possibly stress this Tarantino trait the most. People who find Kill Bill to be a “stupid movie” have neglected Tarantino as an auteur. The non-linear narrative parallels how we (in reality) tell stories, the cheesy (I dislike that word) dialogue is a reflection of how we speak amongst our peers. The exchange of the phrase “Silly rabbit tricks are for kids” between The Bride and O-Ren is a perfect example. Yes it is borrowed from Trix Cereal but it expands the story of The Bride further. The importance of this phrase is not highlighted and its not explored again but viewers get the sense that there is a history behind that phrase. That there is a rich history between The Bride and O-Ren. Tarantino, as a good writer , allows the imagination of viewers to explore what that exchange meant. Yet before too much time is given the Crazy 88 pull up!
2. Django Unchained
Django Unchained is Tarantino’s second period piece which displays some of the dark truths of racist America during the 19th century. The great performances by Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio are possibly the best in any of Tarantino’s work. Tarantino once again displays his ability to create some “I did not see that coming” scenes countless time in the film and of course write a truly unique screenplay that subtly moves the story forward. The violence in this movie is explicit ,even for Tarantino, and the shootout scenes resemble that of old Westerns. DiCaprio’s performance especially is why I rank this movie at number 2, and why it is also in my top 100 (list coming soon).
Pulp Fiction is my favorite Tarantino film by far, even one of my favorite films ever. I really enjoy the non-linear storyline in Pulp Fiction and enjoyed it even more when we finally understood how each of the character’s stories are connected with each other. The dialogue is very “Tarantinoed” and there are plenty violent scenes (not as much as Django Unchained) which Tarantino fans have grown to love. This movie would soon be known to consists of some the most iconic dialogue and moments in cinema history.
The influence of film on pop culture is on reason why I love cinema and I would like to highlight that the phrases “Zeds dead baby, zeds dead” and “Be cool Yolanda. Be cool.” Both inspired the names of artists such as, you guessed it, Zeds Dead and Yolanda Be Cool.