Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Perflix of the Day

I have one new addition today and some thoughts on Quentin Tarantino.  From here on out I'll be posting the cumulative list of Perflix on the bottom of each post.

Drum roll please......It's official folks I'm adding From Dusk Till Dawn as a Perflix.

 I saw this Robert Rodriquez/Quentin Tarantino collaboration when it first came out in '96 and only then by chance - I think it was the only thing playing when, with nothing better to do being a single guy on a weekend day, I wandered into a theater in Salem, Oregon.  I was blown away by this movie.  Stunned, and thrilled, to me it was groundbreaking. 

I really had no idea what it was about and then I soon realized it was a gangster movie....or not.  One minute you're following a couple of robbers (played by Clooney and Tarantino himself) with no apparent limits to their madness, the next you are thrust into a nest of Mexican vampires called The Titty Twister, whose doorman is none other than Cheech Marin.  The film shifted gears so suddenly and unexpectedly - with Salma Hayek turning, in an instant, from sexy table dancer (and I mean sexy she was in top form at the time) to flesh eater - that I'm pretty sure I audibly gasped.  Rodriquez' direction is superb, the dialogue hilarious and fun, the action non-stop (as in will make your head spin), and the acting impeccable with an all-star cast (also including Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Danny Trejo).  All in all I would characterize this film as delightful!

And I gotta say, I think this was Tarantino's best screenplay.  Not sure how much Rodriguez influenced the final result but I think he may have taken the edge off a little?  What resulted was a perfect movie that captured Tarantino's imagination but tempered his tendency, when directing, to devolve into over-the-top violence (the slugger in Inglourious Basterds comes to mind but there are many other examples...too many) that I feel detracted from his films, over-complicating things like putting too much chrome on a car - just feels like he's trying too hard.  But that is probably just a reflection of my personal taste not unlike my preference for simplicity - what can I say I like Volvo's over

Don't get me wrong, I think Tarantino is super talented and came close to Perflix with Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained - the latter two mostly on the strength of Christoph Waltz's acting in my opinion - but I always have a slight sense of dissatisfaction with his films.  Maybe it's just me.  I have not seen Grindhouse (probably won't) and am not a big fan of Kill Bill.  As you may guess I'm not a big fan of in-your-face violence and I find it hard to watch and it makes me feel bad.  But, I may give Tarantino another chance - need to set some time aside to go back through his work.

Next up: Perflix candidate American Beauty plus reviews of Moon (thumbs up) and Blue Jasmine (meh...).

The Official Perflix List:
  1. Alien
  2. Top Gun
  3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  4. The Road
  5. Warm Bodies
  6. The Shining
  7. School of Rock
  8. Say Anything
  9. High Fidelity
  10. Fight Club
  11. Risky Business
  12. Star Wars
  13. Brokeback Mountain
  14. Animal House
  15. Jerry McGuire
  16. Silver Linings Playbook
  17. Dallas Buyers Club
  18. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  19. No Country for Old Men
  20. Tangled
  21. Children of Men
  22. War Games
  23. 28 Days Later
  24. The Graduate
  25. From Dusk Till Dawn

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