Crime thriller based upon Elmore Leonard's novel is rich with dialogue and forgotten music gems since it is directed and adapted by Quentin Tarantino. It gave well-deserved new recognition to cult faves Pam Grier and Robert Forster as is as cool as anything else that these damn motherfuckers did in the 1970s.
Same split-screen shots, over-saturated soundtrack, shots of women's feet; same precocious cinematic referentiality; same edgy highschooler's penchant for cussin up a twister & 'witty banter'; same violence against women with more punchline than thoughtful meditation; same convoluted, Scorsese-drunk plots...the difference? this one's good fun.
After reading "Rum Punch" I lost a great deal of respect for Tarantino as a person. He blatantly claims that he wrote the majority of the dialogue when in fact 98% of it is in the novel by Elmore Leonard. The characters are quite different from the ones in the novel aside from Ordell whom Jackson quite emulated. It was decently directed but I take offense to him claiming he wrote the dialogue, that is total bullshit
Tarantino's most humane and relaxed film, a sparkling thriller with a lazy atmosphere all it's own. Lacking his usual stylistics, this displays his more underrated traits as a director: he's a brilliant director of actors (Grier, Forster and especially Jackson are all superb), the soundtrack is among his best, and it's understated end is heartbreaking.
Probably the best film to date from this Director with a minimising of the jibby swagger, curated pop-art ephemera and too-knowing aesthetic that clutter much of his output. Instead a decent character and morality play, expertly played with sensitivity by Greer (who certainly overcomes her somewhat stunt casting with a lovely warm performance) and Forster. Tangy if overlong stuff.
Tarantino' said most straight forward and mature film, which gets overlooked because it doesn't have the flashiness of his other output. Despite this, the film is wildly entertaining, packed with great moments and strong performances all round. Almost a shame that Tarantino has regressed into movie geekiness and pastiche after Jackie Brown, because here he shows great characters and set up is enough.
"If I was a 44 year old black woman -" Ah but, Officer Stupid, that's the rub isn't it. Even I dismissed this sublime film for years because it was about an older woman but this woman has got IT and in ways I think she never had before. We are witnessing a woman coming into her prime whilst on the brink of it all, and somehow the system finally bends to her will and grace as if to repay her for a lifetime of trouble.