Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Directors Ranked: Quentin Tarantino

[A series in which I rank the films I've seen of a particular director in order of my preference from least to greatest.]


Quentin TarantinoQuentin Tarantino (born 1963) is a filmmaker with influences ranging from Sergio Leone and Corbucci to Jean-Luc Godard all the way to Jack Hill. His films maintain a grindhouse aesthetic and nearly all his films find major influences from 70s exploitation films. Known for his long takes and great dialogue and violence, he is no stranger to controversy. He's never gave in though and he continues to make the pictures that he wants to make. 

Quentin Tarantino is as frequently loved as he is hated. Considered by many film buffs to be an unoriginal filmmaker and is often looked at as a favorite director only to those who know little about cinema. Is Tarantino the most original filmmaker? Not by any means. Is he often praised by those who know little about film, just because he's the "cool thing" to like? Yes. Is Tarantino my favorite director? Far from it. I think Tarantino deserves just as much hate as he does love. However, all that being said, I'm still very fond of him and love many of his works. Here are his films in order of my preference from least favorite to favorite; the films I think are Tarantino's best.  

Note: I did not include My Best Friend's Birthday (his partially lost amateur film), Four Rooms (an anthology film of which he directed one fourth of and which even he himself doesn't recognize as part of his filmography), nor did I include any films which he has written but not directed. 


#7 - Death Proof
Death Proof poster

Meh. It can be pretty enjoyable. Kurt Russell definitely steals the show (just too bad he doesn't get much screen time). It has it's good parts but it also has some of the most insufferable scenes I've ever seen. Tarantino himself even calls this his worst film. 

Click here to see my full review >>
Purchase Death Proof on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream


#6 - Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown poster

Splendid film. The only adaptation Tarantino has ever done, but he did it well. It does kind of feel as if it's only half a Tarantino movie though. Which is good, I suppose, since the other half feels like Elmore Leonard; so I guess he struck a pretty nice balance between source material feel and new feel. This film at the time, though still of the crime genre, was a pretty big change of pace for QT. His directing is obviously different here compared to Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction

Click here to see my full review >>
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#5 - Django Unchained
Django Unchained poster

QT's latest film. Not quite as great as Inglorious Basterds, much better than Death Proof, and only barely better than Jackie Brown. Incredibly enjoyable movie, though lacking some of the substance Inglorious Basterds had.

Click here to see my full review >>
Purchase Django Unchained on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Soundtrack


#4 - Reservoir Dogs
Reservoir Dogs poster

Great addition to the Crime genre. One of the best heist-gone-wrong or gangster tragedy films ever. Most of the film's greatness comes from the superb performances by Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, and Michael Madsen. Good plot (though pretty much completely stolen from 龍虎風雲 [City on Fire]). 

Click here to see my full review >>
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#3 - Inglorious Basterds
Inglorious Basterds poster

Damn good film, got even better upon numerous viewings. Fabulous cast and performances. Just short of achieving equal magic as Pulp Fiction, but, in many ways, it's even better. 

Click here to see my full review >>
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#2 - Kill Bill (Vol. 1 & 2)
Kill Bill poster

Should be noted that I consider Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 as one film. Is is the best Tarantino film? Not quite. Is it my favorite Tarantino film? Most definitely. A truly amazing revenge epic. My reasoning behind loving this film is extremely subjective so take it as it is. 

Click here to see my full review >>
Purchase Kill Bill Vol. 1 on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream - Vol. 1 & 2 Double Feature


#1 - Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction poster

I guess it's pretty cliche to rank Pulp Fiction as the best, but damn is it just an incredibly enjoyable, memorable and quotable film. Arrogant and overrated? Yeah, pretty much. But still one of my all-time biggest guilty pleasures. 

Click here to see my full review >>
Purchase Pulp Fiction on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream - Tarantino Collection - VHS - Soundtrack

How would you rank Tarantino's films? Let me know in the comments. 
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