My favorite thing about Sonny Chiba’s performance as master swordsmaker Hattori Hanzo is his conversation with The Bride (Uma Thurman) in his sushi bar and his arguments with his assistant (Kenji Ohba), but I also loved the instant change in character once The Bride mentions him by name and requests his services. The scene goes from light-hearted to deadly serious and never skips a beat thanks to well created characters acted out to perfection.
Before I write an official review of Inglourious Basterds I am heading to a midnight showing for a second viewing to make sure my opinion is rock solid. However, the reason I am going has nothing to do with the characters as Brad Pitt’s performance as Aldo Raine is just the first of two characters from Tarantino’s latest feature to bowl me over. One thing Inglourious Basterds is not, is lacking in character and Raine is a perfect example and it isn’t hard to see as he captures your attention in the trailers and from the first minute you see him on screen. Of course, one could argue this is a character that experiences very little, if any arc. So what, he’s entertaining as hell! As a matter of fact, there isn’t enough Aldo in Basterds to satisfy my desires. That’s right, I want more Aldo and I want to hear him say “Nat-zee” over and over again.
Picking from the cast of characters that make up Reservoir Dogs is not an easy task. So many jump out at you and it really depends on what kind of movie watcher you are. Do you connect to the more emotionally grounded characters? If so then maybe Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) would be your favorite. The more cynical characters? Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) perhaps. For me, there is nothing better than the moment “Stuck in the Middle With You” comes on and you see Mr. Blonde’s face light up with excitement as he begins his dance of torture. Had Tarantino actually shown us the ear mutilation as opposed to moving the camera away from the action perhaps I would feel differently, but as it stands I can’t get enough of this guy. Is that sadistic?
On top of that, just look at that screen capture as he blows smoke from his nose before duct taping down his soon-to-be victim.
From his scenes where he’s shopping for heroin, giving an adrenaline shot to Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), dancing at Jack Rabbit Slim’s, sipping a $5 shake and shooting Marvin in the face, Vincent is a character you simply remember. His personality traits are those typically given to supporting characters in a Tarantino film, but here John Travolta is given so much to play with in a role that seems tailor-made for the actor that rode the Pulp Fiction coat tails to a massive career revival… and for good reason… it’s a classic character not to be forgotten.