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PULP FICTION (1994 - R)
A hamburger-afficionado hit man (Travolta), his meditative partner (Jackson), a gangster's squeeze (Thurman) and a has-been boxer (Willis) are just some of the colorful characters on display in Quentin Tarantino's freewheeling and intensely quirky 1994 crime comedy that memorably throws traditional linear narrative out the window. Digressive and lurid, its hard sometimes to see the points to the four story threads winding through it, but they're so richly textured and entertaining you end up not caring. The journey is the reward.
Perhaps the best crime drama ever.
The sparkling cast includes: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Maria de Medeiros, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, and Christopher Walken.
#95 on the AFI Top 100.
PULP FICTION was nominated for the Best Picture award.
Director Quentin Tarantino's, "Pulp Fiction," is a lurid, profane and highly entertaining look at both pop culture and societies' low-lifes. Tarantino received a nomination for best directing.
Promotional Lines: "I don't smile for pictures."
"You won't know the facts until you've seen the fiction."
"Girls like me don't make invitations like this to just anyone!"
The basic story is actually three interrelated stories: Two hit men kill two guys on purpose and one guy by accident; One of the hit men escorts his boss's wife on date with nearly disastrous results; A boxer refuses to throw a "fixed" fight, then runs for his life.
"Pulp Fiction" is a great film because it is original, exciting and highly entertaining. While those who don't like violence or profanity will be put off, less sensitive people will be entertained.
This is the film that saved Travolta's career. While he is obviously past his "Saturday Night Fever," "Grease" physical prime, he is the embodiment of cool whether he's doing the twist, killing, or explaining the differences between European and American fast food.
Samuel L. Jackson is a revelation as the Bible- quoting, burger munching partner of Travolta's. Jackson's character undergoes an extreme character arc in the course of the film. This is made convincing by Jackson's riveting performance, aided by a strong script and Tarentino's bold direction.
Bruce Willis is terrific as an aging boxer making one last dash for the gold. With few lines, and little of his trademark smirking, Willis etches a memorable screen character.
Uma Thurman gives a fascinating performance as Travolta's bad news date. Her character is a cross between a little girl and a brain- damaged drug user,which is more interesting than the usual icy beauties Thurman tends to play.
The film's soundtrack is filled with fun oldies and electric guitar rifts. Karyn Rachtman is credited with music supervision.
The film's clever screenplay, (it won Best Original Screenplay), was written by Tarentino, who co-wrote the story with Roger Avery. It's gimmick is that the interrelated stories are not all presented in chronological order. As a result, a main character is killed during the movie and yet is alive at the end. While this kind of gimmick has its limitations, it works here.
My favorite scene involves a confrontation between Willis and Travolta which happens at Willis' apartment. It's probably the first time in film history that pop tarts played a key role in a homicide. It's a brief yet tasty scene indeed.
Since its release, to commercial and critical success, "Pulp Fiction" has posed a big problem for its director. It's a great film, but Tarentino has delivered it early in his career. Now he has to top himself, or at least equal its greatness. It's been five years now, and while "Jackie Brown" was well regarded critically, it remains to be seen whether Tarentino has another GREAT film in him. We'll see.
Rated R: for strong language, violence and adult situations.