Monday, April 1, 2013
PULP FICTION (1994)
I have looked back at all the movies I have posted a blog on (Be it one word or 18 pages) and have seen a lack of posts of movies from the 1990’s. Perhaps that's because 90’s movies aren’t really current anymore, but they aren’t old enough to really be have reached a point of nostalgia with me. I’m sure there are people in their early 20’s who talk about Forrest Gump as a popular movie from their childhood, but that’s not me. I'm more of a Love Story and Airport as popular movies from my childhood kind of guy. Anyway, I’m going to try for 30 posts on movies from the 90’s this month just to give my “films I’ve gone through list” a little more balance on the back end of the timeline.
30 from the 90’s month (Post 1 of 30)
I remember how big this movie hit when it came out. Who was this Quentin Tarantino fella? He had already done Reservoir Dogs, but I didn’t see that one until after Pulp Fiction made a splash. Seeing Pulp Fiction again, for probably the seventh or eighth time, it may no longer be in my imaginary top ten favorite list, but it’s certainly in my top twenty. I’m not sure what to say about it, so I’ll just list five things I still like about Pulp Fiction.
1. The Dialogue from Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary-The best known example is probably the famous royale with cheese scene between John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, but other examples of memorable dialogue include Christopher Walken’s monlogue on the watch, Marcellus Wallace's (Ving Rames) speech to Butch (Bruce Willis)on being a washed up fighter and the histrionic interactions right before the needle is plunged into Uma Thurman’s chest.
2. More nostalgic references-There are plenty of these in any Tarantino movie. The most obvious example from Pulp Fiction is the 50’s themed restaurant Jack Rabbit Slims, where the waiter is Buddy Holly, your host is Ed Sullivan, your waitress is Jayne Mansfield and you dance to Chuck Berry songs. Even having John Travolta dancing to Berry is actually a nostalgic 70’s reference to Travolta's dancing from Saturday Night Fever. I guess you could label this as a crossover 70’s reference within a 50’s reference.
3. Plot Twists and Mysteries to Ponder- Just when you thought Vincent (Travota) might sleep with Mia (Uma) and get in trouble with Marcellus, the movie has Mia overdose instead. And who would would have thought that the battle between Butch and Marcellus would lead to an S & M rape scene?
Additional mysteries to ponder: What’s in the stolen case? And just who the hell is The Gimp?
4. Perfomances-Sam Jackson as Jules clearly steals the show, but the movie also really benefits from the addition of Travolta. But really everyone is good here, even in the smaller roles played by Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Ving Rhames, etc. I could basically just list the whole cast here. An additional bonus might be the casting of Travolta and Bruce Willis may have saved us from an additional Look Who’s Talking movie.
5. Plot Construction I love the way the story is presented. Here is the order it comes to us in the movie.
1. Scene 1-Ringo and Hunny Bunny in the Dinner
2. Scene 2-Jules and Vincent retrieve the case
3. Scene 3-Marcellus Wallace advises Butch to throw the fight
4. Scene 4-Vincent buys drugs and has a date with Mia Wallace.
5. Scene 5-Flashback to the Officer giving the young Butch the watch
6. Scene 6-Butch throws the fight, encounters Marcellus
7. Scene 7-Return to the second half of Jules and Vincent retrieving the case
If this had been presented chronologically, this would be the order:
Scene 5 would be first
Scene 2 would be second
Scene 7 would be third,
But is simultaneous with Scene 1, so they are both third
Scene 3 would be fifth
Scene 4 would be sixth
Scene 6 would be seventh
So chronologically the last line of the film should be, “Zed’s dead baby, Zed’s dead.”
I think I have this right, but I may have missed something. Anyway, the chronology works like a charm.
After listing all the positives, I’ve decided to put Pulp Fiction back into my top ten list. What the hell, the list is imaginary anyway.