Today, March 27, 2013, Quentin Tarantino turns 50-years-old. To celebrate, I figured why not take a look back at the eight films he’s given us over the last 21 years, from Reservoir Dogs to Django Unchained, and do a quick ranking of the lot.
I actually did this Inglourious Basterds and the ranking has changed a bit, though I have to say right now, there isn’t a single Tarantino film I do not enjoy. The man has a way of tapping into exactly the kind of stories I find immensely entertaining and his visual style, use of music and affection for dialogue (as long-winded as he may be) is something I can’t help but love and look forward to whatever it is he may deliver next.
That said, let’s dive in and see what’s left on the other end…
#8 Death Proof
Tarantino himself has said that if Death Proof is the worst film he makes when all is said and done he will be happy with his career. Personally I would never use the word “worst” to describe it as I actually quite like it, I do believe had he had made it into one, 60 minute film he probably would have better served the grindhouse feel he was going for and probably delivered a better film overall.
Nevertheless, I have no problem tossing Death Proof in and giving it a watch at any moment.
#7 Kill Bill: Volume Two
I know many will disagree with me on this one, believing the second of Tarantinos’ Kill Bill films to be the superior of the two, but I prefer the glossy and more colorful blood splatter of Volume One over the sun-scorched finale. The preference is slight, however, as Kill Bill: Vol. 2 does include Michael Parks as Esteban Vihaio whom I absolutely love as a character. When he says, “The Pussy Wagon died?” it cracks me up every time.
#6 Reservoir Dogs
Enjoyable for its raw, intense nature, Reservoir Dogs serves as our first glimpse at the director and storyteller Tarantino is to become. Many look down on the film as a rip-off of Ringo Lam’s Lung fu fong (City On Fire), but at this point in his career I think it’s safe to say there are few films Tarantino hasn’t ripped off, but is “rip-off” the proper descriptor? Does Tarantino pay homage to the films he loves and those that inspire him or should it be considered ripping them off?
One of the things I love about QT’s films is his ability to open the doors to films I may otherwise never have watched. Films such as Django, Enzo G. Castellari’s The Inglorious Bastards and Toshiya Fujita’s Lady Snowblood are two that immediately come to mind.
I can understand why some may look down on him for his decision to use what he loves from the works of others and the question has been raised as to whether he pays homage or if he outright steals. You be the judge…