While his constant threat of retirement continues to lurk in the shadows, the best we mortals can do is enjoy his movies every time we have a little while. ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ is the ninth, the last film of Quentin Tarantino. And as always, like every time a new work has been released, the controversy is served.
Either because of the quality of the film (something that is always above the rest of the competitors), because of the fetishistic habits of anyone involved in the work or because of the lack of decorum of a director who has continuously shown that the correction, the further the better, ‘Once upon a time in Hollywood’ is one of the buzzwords of the summer.
With a new cast of bells, something that has not been lacking even in his tiny debut, Tarantino travels to the bowels of the golden age of pre-revolutionary Hollywood to play movies in his work more meta, but also more personal. Thief, tribute, talented, genius. There is a Tarantino for each of us. Let’s sort your tapes from worst to best:
9. Django unchained
Distribution: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson
The first Oscar for best original screenplay for a solo Tarantino libretto belongs, surprisingly, to his laziest, most cumbersome and forced film. ‘Django Unchained’, his first western, gives us a wonderful moment, an endearing performance (also awarded) by Christoph Waltz and little else. Perhaps, who knows, its vaunted extended version will improve the bottom line.
8. Kill Bill
Distribution: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Chia Hui Liu, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah
Quentin Tarantino has settled the issue: “it’s a single movie.” That especially benefits the first delivery, an action toy that was doomed to age without the love that distills its second volume. Epic and dry as the bloody desert, beautiful dialogues, broken people and a Robert Richardson in its prime, stain yellow and scarlet red in a revenge that, perhaps, is not over yet.
7. Reservoir Dogs
Distribution: Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen
In the glorious nineties, with video stores in full swing, oriental action cinema at its best, and film magazines on paper as the only monthly cinematographic reference, our gurus at that time warned us of two things: that it was coming a talented guy who seemed to have drenched himself in every movie ever and for having. His musical universe also started here. ‘Reservoir Dogs’ started it all.
6. The Hateful Eight
Distribution: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern
Maybe Tarantino knew that his previous western was not quite right, so he decided to repeat genre and perfect everything that was already in Django. ‘The Hateful Eight’ is another hesitation for Tarantino, but also against his “smallest” film since “Reservoir Dogs.”
A location, a handful of characters and two clearly differentiated parts. The first, more traditional, is all mouthpiece. The second, the modern one, is a hilarious outrage. Few drawbacks can be put to a movie that jokes you with its own mistakes. Fabulous Morricone, fabulous Richardson and fabulous Nicotero and Berger. Tarantino’s first horror movie is also one of the funniest.
5. Once upon a time in … Hollywood
Distribution: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Timothy Olyphant
His new movie is a perfect summary of the reasons why has created his own universe: to stay and live in it and remember its glory days when it is a blind old man. To remember your Hollywood. This was once in Hollywood, but in Tarantino’s.
Despite the fact that a lot of familiar faces are resurrected to create atmosphere, none comes to have more depth or importance than two of the most finely written characters of his career. Rick and Cliff are the most endearing and beloved characters in their careers since the days of ‘Jackie Brown,’ a film as melancholic as this but almost earthy. His new movie is not, but as a justification for the existence of a universe where you can feel comfortable and safe, it’s perfect.
4. Damn bastards
Distribution: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Brühl, Eli Roth
The only way to improve this shameless epic, halfway between the exploits of war and the cinema of Enzo G. Castellari from which it borrows the title, would have been Adam Sandler’s ok to play the role that ended up in the hands of Eli Roth. . Ambitious, uncomfortable, violent and, as always, hilarious. ‘Damn bastards’ is, among other things, the home of which, according to the director himself, is the best character he ever created: Hans Landa.
3. Pulp Fiction
Distribution:John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, María de Medeiros, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Walken
Watching ‘Pulp Fiction’ now, after so many years, is like when you come home for parties and have a few drinks with colleagues. In those cases there is always a lot to talk about after such a long time, because you have married, you have bought a car or you have learned a new language, but in the end you always end up remembering the two or three stories that forged that friendship maintained for so long. And you end up toasting the same old stories.
2. Jackie Brown
Distribution: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton
Tarantino’s only non-original script becomes his maturity movie. So much so that it still continues as such more than twenty years later. The best characters, those most loved by the director, came out of the pages of an Elmore Leonard novel known in Spain as’ Explosive Cocktail ‘during the good old days of the Readers’ Circle. With as much bile as heart, and the best musical selection of his cinema, ‘Jackie Brown’ is an indisputable masterpiece.
1. Death Proof
Distribution: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Zoe Bell, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Rose McGowan, Tracie Thoms, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Tarantino gets frisky, and in full fashion to bring back the grindhouse and exploitation movies, he decides to team up with Robert Rodríguez (and friends) and bet on winning horse with a spectacular double program. If ‘Planet Terror’ turned out to be Rodriguez’s best film, Tarantino’s move is a wild throwback to the glory days of the finest eurotrash.
Like more than half of her filmography, a movie about tough girls putting the gangsters around them to their feet. ‘Death Proof’ is pure unrepeatable and extra-cinematic magic.