Sunday, 28 February 2010


“Children will watch anything, and when a broadcaster uses crime and violence and other shoddy devices to monopolize a child's attention, it's worse than taking candy from a baby. It is taking precious time from the process of growing up.” - Newton N. Minow

Last weekend we saw Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film “Reservoir Dogs”, which was another of these movies that we had bought ages ago and did not want to watch until we were “in the right mood”. It proved to be the wrong day to watch it as it was a very bad experience. This is a movie that we did not enjoy seeing, and there is hardly anything good that I can say about it. Tarantino has been hailed as a genius in film-making, but I must say, his “work” is not my cup of tea. It is the cinema of a degenerate society in free-fall and his films highlight the decline of civilisation as we know it. The bad thing about his films is that they seemingly glorify this decline. Maybe it is irony and sarcasm, but it is lost on me as I refuse to be part of such a decline.

The “Kill Bill” duet (about to become a terrible trio with “Kill Bill III” announced for release in 2014) was equally distasteful to me. “Pulp Fiction” was another disappointment, as was “Death-Proof”. “Inglorious Basterds” is yet another such trashy offering pandering to the tastes of the lowest common denominator. I am not a fan of Quentin Tarantino, I think you have guessed…

Let me explain myself, perhaps in the context of “Reservoir Dogs”. The film tries to be “modern” and pushes all the “cinema nouveau” buttons (you know the ones, flash-backs, flash-forwards, flash-nowheres, flash-and-trash-because-this-story-is-not-interesting-enough-to-be-presented-linearly; it uses “unconventional” characters, it uses smarmy directorial tricks; it has foul language in every line of dialogue, etc, etc). It uses some big name actors who have jumped at the opportunity to be in a “cult-classic” by a young and up-coming writer-director (yes, Tarantino wrote the bloody thing as well!). It uses violence to shock and was planned to be controversial from its inception: “Let’s shock the viewing public into submission!” The trouble is that this trash won eight awards and six nominations…

It is a trite tale, that has been told again and again in a numerous other films (with less blood and violence and with not as much foul language). Apparently, this film is a copy of Chow Yun Fat’s “City On Fire”. A group of strangers, unknown to each other and all criminals, is assembled by a master-mind who plans a jewellery heist. It goes terribly wrong and there is a bloody aftermath. All of the criminals manage to kill each other or be killed by police; many police are killed and there is much needless, on-screen bloody violence. In the end, the moral of the story is that “crime pays” (at least for one criminal).

We loathed this offensive and disgusting film and saw it as a landmark of the decline of cinema as an art form. This was a pornographic film targetted towards sadists. Senseless violence for the sake of violence masquerading as “art” reminded me yet again of the tale of the “Emperor’s New Clothes”. I do not recommend you watch this movie, unless you are a sadist and love to see senseless violence because it turns you on. This was a pitiful, mind-rotting, inane waste of time that left a terrible taste in my mouth and made me shudder. The attempts at humour throughout fall flat and are in terrible taste. If this is what our society awards prizes to, pity us! It is the decline and fall of the Roman Empire all over again!


  1. It seems silly to comment that I agree with you, and then say 'I have not seen any of the films named' - but the reasons I have not, are those you listed.
    I read reviews, and watch Pomeranz & Stratton's TV review, so get a fair idea to judge by.
    I have seen Uma dancing in that $600 white shirt with Vinny Barbarino, and that will do thanks.
    It's The Popcorn Scale -
    I find myself at movies where the cinema's carpet is clean at the end.
    If Quent is an Emperor, then do please recall that Rome fell during one emperor's reign.

  2. I'll give this one a miss! Thanks for the warning, Nic!!!

  3. hey i liked this movie
    was meant to be a satire

  4. I wanted to like this film as so many people I know liked it. But my reaction was the same as yours. And the same for Pulp Fiction (I haven't seen any of the Kill Bills). Now that I've heard Inglorious Basterds is of the same ilk, I'll pass on that one too.

    Violence on the screen elicits an involuntary and extremely unpleasant reaction in me (probably everyone) that feels too real. Knowing that, I avoid deliberately viewing violence unless it is essential to the story and is not glamorized (even then I will often look away). For me, violence in life is horrible and tragic enough, and it sometimes happens. But it is never wonderful to view and it is not with the frequency and spectacle celebrated in such movies. I agree it is degenerate form of "entertainment".

    Give me slice of life movies. Last night I watched "In Good Company", a quiet little movie about some elderly women who get lost in the woods while on a bus vacation together. There was not a single heart-stopping moment in the film, and yet it held my interest, made me smile, made me think, and at the end, made me feel satisfied at a truly lovely little story. That's my idea of a good film.

  5. ... great review, Nick. You realise I didn't think anything related to Tarantino could make me grin - but your review does. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts, always :-)