In My Opinion: Ranking the Films of Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino on the set of Inglourious Basterds
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

After my not-to-difficult-to-figure-out clues in my Inglourious Basterds because I am not yet ready to weigh in with an official opinion on that one just yet and plan on catching a midnight screening this Thursday before even writing my review. Also, since you guys haven’t seen it yet what fun is it really in including it?

So, after re-watching all of Tarantino’s movies this weekend, here we have my personal ranking of his films with a favorite clip or two from each for your enjoyment. Hope you enjoy and hope you are ready for a week that will be filled with plenty of Tarantino goodies as you have probably already assumed with this column as well as my earlier “Quentin Tarantino Lists His Top 20 Films of the Last 17 Years” post. What can I say? I’m a pretty big fan of the guy’s work.

Let’s get started.

A Few Not Included
Obviously including the two-part episode of “C.S.I.” Tarantino directed wouldn’t be warranted an addition on a list of his top films, but I felt while I was listing a couple others that weren’t getting mention why not throw it in the mix. After all, I thought it was the best part of the fifth season of the popular crime drama. As for his “ER” episode, I don’t remember it although I did watch it.

I mentioned Four Rooms in my What I Watched column on Sunday morning, and as I said there, it’s nothing more than a mildly entertaining diversion. Directing a quarter of the film with Robert Rodriguez, Allison Anders and Alexandre Rockwell Four Rooms is broken up into four segments with Tim Roth playing a hapless bellboy in a once-luxurious hotel. The film, obviously, takes place in four of the rooms in that hotel. Tarantino’s portion of the story comes at the end and isn’t all that bad with an uncredited cameo of Bruce Willis and Jennifer Beals making a second appearance as the super sexy Angela. However, the best part of that film, for me, was Rodriguez’s segment, but I will say Roth gives an entertaining over-the-top performance and the mere mention of the Jerry Lewis film The Bellboy reminded me I need to make a point to watch some of his films one of these days. Tarantino’s segment also mentioned “Alfred Hitchock Presents,” which is a series I have never seen a minute of. Fortunately, all three seasons are available on Netflix Instant Play. Going to make for good before-bed watching.

Sin City is a film Tarantino had even less involvement in shooting only one scene. It’s a decent enough scene (and I included it directly below) but isn’t worth much more of a mention.

Kill Bill: Volume Two (2004)
I mentioned this in my review of the Kill Bill Blu-rays last year that Kill Bill: Volume Two just wasn’t holding up all that well for me as time goes by. For those of you that read my recent G.P.A. article you remember I gave this film an “A+” when it hit theaters, but that’s how these things work out as you see films more and more. They either reinforce their ability to entertain you or slightly dip a little. Don’t get me wrong, I still really like this film and like a lot of things about it, but as a complete work it isn’t able to hold my attention for 2 hours and 14 minutes as it once did.

In choosing what clips to preview I originally was going to go with just the Michael Parks scene as Esteban Vihaio. When he says, “The pussy died,” with such concern it cracks me up every time. But then I thought some of you may want a little action to preview so I couldn’t leave out the Elle vs. The Bride battle. Daryl Hannah is in her element when a scene actually calls for hammy acting.

Action for the Action Fans

Chatter for the Chit-Chat Fans
Death Proof (2007)
I love this film as a pure form of mindless entertainment, and it actually bounced back-and-forth with my #4 selection, which has a small story to it as well. Had it not been for Tarantino’s Death Proof I’m not sure I would have been as high on the Grindhouse double-feature as Rodriguez’s Planet Terror segment entertained me but just sort of lost its wheels as it continued on and on. Death Proof, however, is enjoyable to me from minute one and only gets better. I would argue the second half of this film is some of Tarantino’s most entertaining cinema to date. Tracie Thoms is simply brilliant and I love, love, loved Zoe Bell in this movie. And the ultimate finale… well… there was no other clip I ever would have wanted to include here. Kurt Russell screaming like a little girl as he’s hanging out of his ride in this clip is priceless.

Jackie Brown (1997)
When I watched this over the weekend it was only my second time ever seeing this movie and that’s only because the first time I saw it (sorry, I can’t remember when that was) I got zero enjoyment out of it. None. Nada. Why? I have no idea. Maybe I was in a bad mood or maybe I wasn’t up for watching a Tarantino movie that night, but something about it rubbed me all the wrong ways. So, it was with a little bit of trepidation that I decided to revisit it, but I am glad I did and I can’t wait until Miramax puts this title back on the Blu-ray schedule as it was supposed to have already hit shelves, but got pushed along with the expected Blu-ray release of Pulp Fiction. I have a feeling the next time I watch this movie it will sit even better and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ultimately moved into my top three.

The clip I included for this one speaks for itself. There is another clip from this film I will be featuring tomorrow in a special little Tarantino retrospective I am putting together, but for now I am sure this will suffice. Tell me, how damn sexy is Pam Grier… Gorgeous woman.

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Weekend: Oct. 24, 2019, Oct. 27, 2019

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