• The third film from Quentin Tarantino– a very strong effort if falling short of the transcendent brilliance of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs
  • Tarantino’s first (and only to date) adaption- Elmore Leonard’s “Rum Punch”  
  • Tarantino himself compares the film to Rio Bravo praising the hangoutability or rewatchability of the film and how the best part of Hawks masterpiece is just hanging out with Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan and Ricky Nelson—and he’s right about Rio Bravo but that film has an relaxed narrative and has the four lead actors just holed up together in a room for the majority of the running time—Jackie Brown is very plotted—I don’t see the comparison
  • A great unrequited love story
  • The opening tracking shot with Pam Grier in profile against the beautifully colored backdrop at LAX is the best shot of the film—stunner—there’s 2 minutes of her being proud—then we get her running—I love the Across 110th Street  song that opens and closes the film— but this is already a great song from a solid movie (the title movie) so QT is aping more here than he does with say “The Misirlou”’s use of music over the opening titles of Pulp Fiction or even “Stuck in the Middle With You” for Reservoir Dogs.
  • Dwelling on Bridget Fonda’s feet—haha- I do like the wink by Tarantino of having her watching her father’s film on tv
  • A couple of really nice trademark Tarantino trunk shots—one of Samuel L and Chris Tucker—one late over Samuel L’s dead body up (more of just a great low-angle shot than a “trunk” shot)
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  • The writing is sublime—and the acting is incredibly strong here as are the characterizations—Grier’s Brown is weary, intelligent, desperate. Robert Forster’s character and performance are really well done, too—Samuel L may be the best. It’s smart writing and that’s so refreshing— even the dumb characters (and Robert De Niro (playing gloriously against type)’s character is very dumb) are well drawn
  • The use of the “Strawberry Letter 23” song with Samuel L sitting in the car—wonderful—then we get a nice crane shot as the camera moves up, watches his car turn one corner into a construction yard and he shoots Chris Tucker in long shot
  • We get the Wyler/Welles/De Palma depth of field shot here like his previous works—here it’s with the judge in the front right and Jackie in court in the back left
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  • The Cockatoo Inn bar—a great choice for decor and red lighting sequence
  • Tarantino’s first here- the De Palma split screen sequence here- when Forster realizes Grier’s character has taken his gun
  • Every character has back story—Fonda in Japan, Samuel L and De Niro in Detroit—Samuel L and his screwdrivers
  • Great low-angle shot of Samuel L at the bar with De Niro
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  • About half-way through the film we go into the mall sequences and the mechanisms of a very plotted narrative – we go long stretches with no interesting shots— titles with “Money Exchange: Trial run” and so in and breaking into different POV’s and the uninspired “heist” music
  • There is a clear formal focus with the reoccurring shots on Grier—many times in profile or isolation. There’s a great 360 shot of Grief after the real heist has “gone wrong”
  • Highly Recommend leaning more towards MS than R