New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 19, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Tarantino deserves an Oscar
Never sugary or spoon fed, his films are funny, disturbing, and well worth the effort to digest
By Richard Ashton
Copley News Service_
Although MPulp Fiction” was overlooked at Oscar time in favor of the user-friendly film HForrest Gump,” it still stands out as the most provocative, stunning, shocking, hilarious, engaging and disgusting film of last year. The small-budget $8 million movie swept America, and broke all box--office records for “art” films, raking in over $100 million.
Whether you liked it or not, you couldn’t ignore the brouhaha surrounding “Pulp Fiction.” And at long last it has arrived on home video.
Miramax Home Video has released two versions of the film on tape — one in the TV “pan-and-scan" aspect ratio and another deluxe wide-screen version. The wide-screen edition is a major coup to film fans as director Quentin Tarantino makes full use of his Panavision screen.
But there is a double dose of Tarantino being served up because he also stars in “Destiny Turns on the Radio,” being released by HBO Home Video.
Tarantino’s career soared into the stratosphere with the release of “Pulp Fiction." His multiple-sto-ry line film won top honors at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994 before being released in the United States.
Despite a number of Oscar nominations, Tarantino walked away with a shared Oscar with writing partner Roger Avery for best screenplay.
Taraptino’s first foray into films was as an actor with a small part in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1987 adaptation of “King Lear" (which co-starred Woody Allen). He spent the next few years working as a clerk in a Los Angeles video store. Inspired by many of the cult films that he loved, he wrote his first feature, “Reservoir Dogs."
When Harvey Keitel read the script he agreed to star in the film, which boosted its minuscule budget. The heist film that was heavy on violence and quirky dialogue was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival and turned a decent profit — which paved the way for “Pulp Fiction.”
Tarantino’s talents have been on display in other films, too. He has made cameo appearances in “Desperado," starring Antonio Banderas, and “Sleep With Me,” starring Erie Stoltz, in which he unleashes a discourse on how “Top Gun” is really about homosexuality. His writing talents beefed up the screenplay for the submarine thriller “Crimson Tide," and he also wrote the films “Natural Born Killers” and “True Romance.”
His next feature will be “Four Rooms.” which highlights four stories directed by four different directors.
In the meantime, you will have to make do with Tarantino films already available.
• “Pulp Fiction” starring Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Walken and Quentin Tarantino. Directed by Quentin Tarantino.. 1994 (Miramax Home Video — IM minutes).
“Three stories about one story" is how the screenplay describes this film. Trpvolta and Jackson star as a pair of hoods working for a Los Angeles crime lord. While escorting his boss’s wife (Thurman) for the evening, Travolta's life spins out of control when she suffers a drug overdose. Meanwhile, down-and-out boxer Willis is on the run after refusing to throw a fight. Tarantino's film is at once exhilarating and disgusting, forcing audiences to laugh while being repulsed. It is as fresh as it is shocking, and definitely not for the squeamish.
Quentin Tarantino. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. 1987 As unlikely an adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy as you are likely to see. Norman Mailer wrote the screenplay for Godard, who turns this into a grunge Shakespeare. Often difficult to follow, it is notable more for those who participated as actors, including Allen and an undiscovered Tarantino.
o "True Romance” starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken and Samuel L. Jackson. Directed by Tony Scott. 1993 Slater is given a night with hooker Arquette. They fall in love and Slater decides to free her from her pimp (Oldman). After killing the pimp, the two lovers escape with her belongings, except that they have stolen a suitcase of cocaine by mistake. Now every low-life gangster in Los Angeles is chasing them down.
Like “Pulp Fiction,” this film is very violent but has a disarming undercurrent of hilarious dialogue written bv Tarantino.
DY JOE GROSS
Ah-Ha! Chewing your cud in class again Well, young man,
I hope you brought enough for everyone!
• “Reservoir Dogs” starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney and Quentin Tarantino.
Directed by Quentin Tarantino 1992 (Live Home Video — 99 minutes). *
Set entirely in a warehouse, this dialogue-intensive film pointed the way for what was to come from Tarantino. After a robbery goes awry, a gang returns to their hideout. There they argue among themselves as blame for the disaster is tossed around. Meanwhile, suspicion falls on one of the gang when it turns out that one of them is a police informer.
• “Destiny Turns on the Radio” starring Quentin Tarantino, Dylan
McDermott, Nancy Travis, James Belushi and Bobcat Goldthwait. Directed by Jack Baran. 1995 (HBO Home Video — 101 minutes).
Having had his career start at the Sundance Film Festival, Tarantino returned the favor by starring in this film that was financed through the Sundance writer’s program. An escaped bank robber returns to Las Vegas to pick up his loot and his girlfriend. But when he gets there, both have gone. That’s when he meets the mysterious gambler Johnny Destiny, who has a knack for controling the odds.
• “King Lear” starring Peter Sellars. Burgess Meredith, Molly Ringwald, Jean-Luc Godard, Woody Allen, Norman Mailer and
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