The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pulp Fiction

"Pulp Fiction" is considered Quentin Tarantino' masterpiece; both as a writer and director. It is a now legendary screenplay that changed the way films were written. The film opens with a conversation between "Pumpkin" and "Honey Bunny" as they chat about their new plans to rob restaurants instead of banks and liquor stores. Eventually this scene will end the film as it bookends on itself.

Uma Thurman plays Marcellus Wallace's wife, Mia, and her only importance to film is to be entertained by Vincent Vega (John Travolta) on a date that's not quite a date. Travolta, for me, is the real stand out. When he's on screen his scenes, whether Jackson is next to him or not, are full of energy and pulp. He does a lot of listening, some dancing, a lot of arguing and/or debating, and offers up a lot of great comedic moments. His best scenes are with Uma Thurman when they go to Jackrabbit Slims. This little date, where they talk about nothing of much importance as far plot is concerned, is funny, engrossing and entertaining. I don't know why it never gets old, but it doesn't. The acting between the two is great and both were worthy of their Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively. This section of the film is one of the strongest of the three along with "The Bonnie Situation." The writing and acting is superb in both sections. This date leads to an overdose as Mia takes a line of Vincent's heroine. The direction here is much in the mold of a graphic Hitchcock film. To add to the suspense the owner of the house counts to three, we see all the nervously waiting faces in the entire room. We get a close-up shot on the needle that's cocked back and ready to strike. We get a closeup on the red dot where the needle needs to hit. It slowly builds the scene and the suspense. Tarantino handles this scene and all the others with a ton of precision and a lot of confidence.

"The Bonnie Situation" may very well be the strongest section of the film. This is where we meet "The Wolf" (Harvey Keitel) as he cleans up a mess made by Vincent Vega in a hilarious scene where he accidentally "shot Marvin the face." "The Bonnie Situation" offers up quite a bit of laughs, some great acting, and a very strong ending. The film ends where it started with Jules (Jackson) talking about changing his life around as he "walks the earth." The film ends on Jules changing or turning against everything he has ever known. Instead of being a bad and killing "Pumpkin" (Tim Roth), he gives him some money, out of his own wallet, for a chance to start fresh and redeem himself. This might actually be "Pumpkin" and "Honey Bunny's" last heist, and they have Jules to thank for the chance at redemption and changing their ways.


  1. Personally, I think I liked the Bruce Willis plot best. I loved how he went through all the trouble of breaking back into his house to get his watch, succeeds against all odds, and then just happens to run into Wallace by dumb luck. Then again, the gimp stuff is kind of weird. Also, do you think Jules's giving money to the robber and letting him go was a deliberate reference to Les Miserables?

    1. It's a good section, I just don't like it as much as the other two.

      Hmm, could be. I can't be sure, though.

  2. So I'm gussing you didn't like bruce willis's section? Can't wait for your kill bill review and I was wondering if you are going to split it in half or treat it as one big story?

    Always look forward to your posts.

    1. I like it, just not as much as the other two. That's hardly a diss.

      Kill Bill will be one post.

  3. I'll be honest: I didn't quite know what to make of this film when I first watched it, and I'm still not sure I do. All I knew for certain was that I enjoyed it.

    Interestingly, my mom hates the movie but my dad likes it. I don't think mom "got" it.