This is one of my all time Favorite films. Writer Quentin Tarntino calls this his most Autobiographical film.
In A Nutshell. This Quentin Tarantino scripted film uses the theme of ‘boy meets girl.’ Here, though, boy meets girl, boy kills girl’s pimp, couple takes pimp’s coke, Unknown to the blissfully happy couple, ruthless gangsters are on their tail, determined to reclaim their lost property. And Elvis is their Guardian Angel
I was obsessed with this movie before i ever saw it and i believe one of the reasons i continue to love it is it is the rare film that meets all of my expectations and more. It is a film that matches in many ways what i always imagined a romance i would have would be like at that age. Something passionate, dangerous, gritty and wild.
I saw RESEVOIR DOGS at age 11 and watched it repeatedly on home video. I grew obsessed with it’s writer director Quentin Tarantino even before the masses did. It was the simple visual flair with inspired shots, But the thing that got me hook line and sinker was the dialogue. it was so perfect funny, smart, dangerous and threatening almost like spoken poetry. Quentin Tarantino and his first three movies are one of the many reasons i not only wanted to make films, butreally dorve me to want to write them also. No matter how egocentric he has grown to become i will always look at him with admiration as he definately inspired me. So when i found out a film was coming out based on his script. I tried to get all the info i could. Now this was before the internet, So i read movie magazines to get all my information. Like Premiere, Movieline and The Hollywood Reporter (Back when they put movie stats in the magazine) I was disappointed he Wouldn’t be directing the film i still had faith in the project. The weekend it came out i even watched the E! Behind the Scenes movie special. I also kept the issue Of US Magazine when it was a monthly magazine before it became a weekly tabloid. Just to see the pictures of the premiere. When i went to see the film in theaters i saw it with my cousins Aziza and Ayana and it blew me away. This was like a Geek’s fantasy of a love story. Defining the meaning of i will do anything for you and mean it. Facing Down Pimps, Drug Dealers, The Mob, Cops and A Hollywood Mogul.
It’s interesting to watch Christian Slater in this film. For years trying to fight the stigma that he copies Jack Nicholson in mostof his movies. Here he plays the role of a less energetic Quentin Tarantino who the main character is obviously modeled on. I like the fact that the film kind of makes you wonder if Clearance is mentally stable and all there. The film even makes Bronson Pinchot less annoying as i have never been a fan of his, i only felt Mr. Pinchot has ever given very few roles where he actually was entertaining and for the record i hated the televison show he was on PERFECT STRANGERS.
Now over the years it has been disputed over who the real author of the screenplay was. Roger Avary Wrote the script with the title THE ROAD LESS TAKEN. He gave it to his co-worker at video archives quentin to punch-up as that is what the used to do for each other to hopefully sell a screenplay to a studio and whoever made it would help one another out to help the other make it. Quentin Sells the script gets solo credit but shares the money, Quentin uses the money to buy the Cherry Red corvette John Travolta Drives in PULP FICTION, but this may be too much gossip for a review. Rumors like this have palgues tarantino up until JACKIE BROWN. Whicheh wrote on his own, but adapted from a Elmore Leonard Novel. The First film Script that was supposedly all his own, Based on a original idea is KILL BILL, Whatever the case Quentin is a good screenwriter and he won’t let anyone else forget it. he is one of the last Star Auteurs whose name alone can open a film. Rare for behind the scenes talent.
The film is great. It has a cast full of actors i love. Who all seem to beenjoying themselves and the material. There are sly in jokes. Saul Rubenick’s character is supposedly based on John Silver and Olvier Stone who bought Quentin’s script and rewrote it without his consent to make NATURAL BORN KILLERS.
I was so obsessed withthis film i bought the screener copy a month before it was officially released. I really wanted it because it was the unrated version of the film with 2 extra minutes of the film. Including at the time the controversial and gory scene cout out of the screen version where PAtricia arquette kills and then keeps beating James Gandolfini to death after he tortures her and she gets the drop on him. This was before Dvd made seeing cut material common place.
Patricia Arquette is the ultimate prize in the movie She has the saint/madonna whore thing going on for her. A hooker with a heart of gold in the film. Unfortunately she was never really able to capitalize on her role from this film. She suffered what many actresses do when they get a iconic and memorable role but are hard to cast in other films because you don’t really know where there strengths and weaknesses lie (i.e: Hillary Swank)
The film is full of pop culture refrences and one of the credits of the screenplay is it gives the actors juicy roles to sink there teeth into and shine even if it isonly for a few minutes on screen most of the time. If the film were made today. I fear how it would come out and who would be cast. Now i know some people will see this as fluff, but this isa improtant powerful film for me. That is one of the jewels of my collection.
One of the few weaknesses of the film is that where it should be gritty, It’s slick. That isjust Tony Scott’s style, he tries to make the backdrops and locations look dirty and greasy, but he finds a way to make everything look shiny and slick in this film which can momentarily take you out of the film. One thing that is not distracting as you would think are the cameos in the film. Which is strange to me. Half of these cameos are by character actors most of whom weren’t noted as stars as they are now. Some play Necessary to the story, but have the feel like the film is a continuing television series and they are this weeks Special Guest star. Some are blink and you miss them cameos. Some you never get to see the actor fully to recognize them until after the film.
Films having special guest stars never made any sense to me. Is that to let us know they did a favor or only worked one day? I can see if it’s a movie series butmost films only get one shot. That is why i prefer cameos. They can be in the movie a few seconds or minutes or full fledged co-stars. It’s just youwould think as famous as they are, they wouldn’t take a small supporting role. I like to think it’s the power of the writing and the character.
Originally the film was supposed to be told in a non-liner fashion like most of tarantinos films, but tony Scott decided to make it more traditional. Clearance Was supposed to die leaving alabama a widow. She would later End up with Mr.White from RESEVOIR DOGS. Which is why her name isused in that film, When asked how Mr. White and his girl Alabama are doing. Val kilmer originally wanted to play the lead but settled for his supproting character role. Before Tony Scott Director William Lustig (Maniac) Wanted to make the film but Tarantino Doubted he could make a hit mainstream film.
If you haven’t seen this film. Drop what you are doing and goout and watch it. it is a must see.