I remember finding Pulp Fiction so cool when it first came out – Travolta changed from dorky disco diva into straight up gangster overnight. Samuel L Jackson was the badass with a bad mouth and some serious acting chops. I was never much of a movie buff, and actually saw the earlier Reservoir Dogs after. It was then that I started to find Tarantino’s movies actually unwatchable. It was that stuck in the middle with you chair torture scene that did it for me, just a touch too explicit, a tad too brutal, but the humor kept driving me along to watch. I suffered through Inglourious Basterds, way too long, both boring and brutal at the same time.
Jackie Brown seemed to just be a touch too much on the exploitation side of Blaxploitation and having a white man in the director’s chair just made me queasy, ditto with Django Unchained. Added to that the violence towards women in his movies, that he seems to thrive on – the rape of the unconscious Bride in Kill Bill was not inspiring for her survival, but more death and depravity porno from Tarantino, and to be frank I should have called it a day with his movies then and there, but you guys know me, I am a glutton for punishment, or at least something with STYLE, and Quentin has style.
Of course the Tarantino and racism questions have been done to the death, but it still remains: Tarantino is fond of using racial slurs, and I am uneasy watching and therefore taking part in his racial stereotyping both of black people and Asians. The final straw was watching Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with Bruce Lee getting beaten up by the Brad Pitt character. Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote:
“I was in public with Bruce several times when some random jerk would loudly challenge Bruce to a fight. He always politely declined and moved on. First rule of Bruce’s fight club was don’t fight — unless there is no other option. He felt no need to prove himself, He knew who he was and that the real fight wasn’t on the mat, it was on the screen in creating opportunities for Asians to be seen as more than grinning stereotypes. Unfortunately, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ prefers the good old ways.”
This is the trouble: Tarantino is so stylish, so amusing, so witty, that you forgive him his trespasses, you want to keep going, because those flashes of brilliance keep making it almost worth it. Almost.
I had a long involved review typed out, but deleted it in favor of saying this movie’s faults – making a movie which really revolves around the killing of Sharon Tate, but is told almost entirely from male perspectives, the racist defilement of the memory of Bruce Lee, and the bullshit of the alternate history which does little to honor the memories of those lost, and can only serve to blur the extent of Manson’s evil in the collective consciousness in a way which is totally disrespectful – outweigh any stylishness, any fine performances, or glimpses of brilliance.
I’ve decided to stop doing this to myself – I will never watch a Tarantino movie again, not that that will bother Quentin, the wierdo little misogynist that he appears to be.
PS..Quentin is such a weird little misogynist that he inspired a whole bunch of misogynist spawn to make threats to me. Proves a point really.