Siskel & Ebert's take on 'Pulp Fiction' when it first hit theaters (1994)


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/29/siskel-eberts-take-on.html


#2

#3

Still one of my favorite movies.


#4

I quite enjoy Tarantino movies. Pulp Fiction works really well and is masterful, Reservoir Dogs is up there and Hateful Eight i loved for the stageplay feel and incredible camera work.

My least favorite thing about his movies can often be the dialogue in certain key scenes. That and his desire to insert himself in movies, though his cameo in Pulp Fiction works well.


#5

As I was saying in a thread the other day, the Winston Wolf sequence is also a surprisingly accurate summation of a certain type of freelance consultant’s work. For all that Tarantino is accused of wallowing in gore and gratuitous violence in his films, I’ve noted a lot of serious and involved thought on a variety of matters underlying it.

Related: the Grauniad just named “Pulp Fiction” one of the best films of the 1990s.


#6

It’s like Stephen King. Both are excellent storytellers but sometimes the dialogue becomes just a tad too “obvious” for lack of a better term. King Speak or Tarantino Speak. Though nothing is worse than when the latter puts himself in a scene. He’s s terrible actor. Great filmmaker otherwise.


#7

I still prefer Jackie Brown.


#8

Pulp Fiction is probably my third favourite Tarantino movie, which, as it turns out, means it’s a hell of a movie.


#9

I miss Gene and Roger, and their dynamic together. RIP, fellas.


#10

Me, too. Without Siskel and Ebert, I would not have been aware of many films that simply didn’t get much play in Kansas.
Not for lack of trying, though. I remember The Last Temptation of Christ being heavily picketed at my neighborhood movie theater, and I think it was closed out prematurely. It would be easy to get play for a film like Scanners, but a Bergman film would be a tough sell.


#11

Although I do like several of Tarantino’s films from 'Dogs to Death Proof, I also have major issues with his dialogue in pretty much all of them.

He tries too hard to be perpetually slick, probably due to his blaxploitation movie fetish, which is evident from his penchant for having his characters casually throw slurs like the word “nïgger” around, willy-nilly.

And then there’s the man himself; his “acting” is abysmal.


#12

But his monologue on Top Gun is classic!


#13

Apparently it was in a movie called “Sleep With Me.

Haven’t seen it.


#14

Once you get over the completely unnecessary and uncomfortable “dead nigger storage” monologue. He’s defended this in the past by taking a Patti Smith-like view on recontextualizing the word but it comes off as gratuitous to me. I don’t believe he’s actually racist but I am definitely not comfortable with his cavalierness here.

As much as I loved Pulp Fiction there’s some really rough parts (like the entirely too long taxi ride scene).


#15

Tarantino has the bad habit of being too heavy handed, and whatever the complete opposite might be for subtle. Some might like his movies because of that, i feel that his bad habits always threaten to derail his movies into being unwatchable. Thank goodness his movies work in spite of his attempts at being slick or clever.

Hateful Eight has a long scene that i don’t care to get into but that is unnecessarily vulgar. The point of the scene i 100% understand was to provoke another character, but in execution it seemed more as an excuse to shock the viewer than to move the plot forward. Did not care for that, and Tarantino loves to do this and it kind of drives me crazy. It’s not clever or edgy.


#16

#17

There always seems to be at least one scene in his films meant to do this (the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs, the rape scene in Pulp Fiction).

He’s really the master at amazing dialogues and character development, though. The opening to Inglorious Basterds for example - I remember being in awe of just about everything about it. And it’s a very understated and deliberately composed scene.


#18

I watched this same Siskel & Ebert clip recently-- you can really fall down a youtube rabbit hole looking at all their old clips.

“Pulp Fiction” hasn’t held up for me over the years. It’s interesting, it’s put together really well, and there are a lot of memorable scenes-- I will grant that it’s a good movie but I find I don’t have the urge to watch it again. Maybe I should force myself to watch it again and see how I feel.


#19

I don’t mind as a viewer being challenged, but he’s often a frustrating director for me because i don’t think he has much of a point when he goes overboard in certain scenes in certain movies.


#20

Controversial statement: Kill Bill is awful and overrated. So is Uma Thurman. She dedicates at least 20 minutes to the first movie talking about her life to her god awful feet.