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View Full Version : Quentin Tarantino - Overrated



Kiester
06-18-2010, 02:32 PM
I just had a debate with a mate of mine, who is completely convinced that Quentin Tarantino is one of the greatest filmmakers ever. I couldn't disagree more.

In my own opinion, Tarantino is a bad director. The 'style' which he employs is simply the plagarism of lesser-known film works, combined with massive pop culture references at every turn. His writing, on the other hand, is alright. However, that was severely let down by Death Proof. (I have never wanted all of the characters to die so soon in a film. Seriously).

The only two films that Tarantino has made which I would consider to be good is Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Acting in those films were superb, the characters were brilliant. However, the directing style was mediocre.

I know that people consider him to be a homage director, and he is inspired by his backgrounds, but, in a sense, he really has not developed his own discernable style of filmmaking. Sure, other directors are influenced by other directors all the time, but in most cases, they don't directly lift the idea, like Tarantino.

He isn't a Kubrick, A Lean, A Bunuel, A Goddard or a Marker. And I'm pretty annoyed that people think this.

(Sorry for the rant, but I'm a passionate film student. Lol. So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree?)

Paul
06-18-2010, 03:21 PM
Well can't see too many agreeing with you, but will be interesting to see.

The achille's heel for critics of Tarantino tends to be the blatant cultural / film ref / rip-offs, which can be viewed many different ways. but for me his genius (that's right genius) lies in what he can get from actors.
The ultimate example is Robert De Niro in Jackie Brown. I've never really seen De Niro act without an undercurrent of menacing intelligence - even as Jake Le Mota in raging bull (hardly an intellectual figure) or the gangster in Analyse This. But as the petty, genuinely dumb, criminal character in JB, he was utterly convincing - and that takes a genius director - esp with De niro's high bad guy, always in control profile. No other director to my knowledge had facilitated such a re-invention of such an essentially typecast actor.*** Travolta is of course another example.

Despite all his other talents, that is the genius versus talented director litmus test for me.

***to qualify - I mean De Niro specifically! (of course other directors have done similar)

CaroGirl
06-18-2010, 03:27 PM
IMO, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were masterful films and, for those alone, Tarantino deserves accolades. He does have a distinctive style, even if his inspiration is in the form of homage.

I agree he is, however, a hit and miss director.

Noah Body
06-18-2010, 04:08 PM
I think Tarantino is mostly overrated as well, though he does have some great moments. But after all, he's about the only guy who can rip off another product, only to have the rest of the industry proclaim he's done a wonderful homage.

Mr Flibble
06-18-2010, 04:28 PM
Hit and miss for me too. He's done a few great films, and some utter pants.

AVS
06-18-2010, 04:45 PM
I loved Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. However, for Kill Bill, Death Proof and Inglorious the homage slips into overactive comic book and ceases in some way (for me) to be real.

seun
06-18-2010, 04:52 PM
Overrated for me, too. Always thought so.

Shadow_Ferret
06-18-2010, 05:53 PM
Can't think of a movie he's made that I've enjoyed. They're all pretty Meh to me.

BenPanced
06-18-2010, 09:09 PM
I've tried watching Pulp Fiction and got turned off not only by the sheer number of f-bombs but the lack of empathy for anybody in the movie. I didn't like any of the characters and didn't really care what their motivations were in the stories. I switched it off after about 25 minutes, coming to the conclusion he's not even half as clever as he thinks.

maestrowork
06-18-2010, 11:05 PM
I can't stand his movies. Some films are good in spite of him, but he's just not my cup of tea. That's a taste issue. But "greatest director" of our generation? I have to, objectively, disagree.

Elaine Margarett
06-18-2010, 11:11 PM
I don't like Quentin Tarantino. The only movie I've watch in it's entirety is Reservoir Dogs. Got as far in Pulp Fiction where the Geek (Bruce Willis) comes on scene. I told my huband "I won't watch this s**t." (Or somthing to that effect) Saw about ten minutes of the middle of KB2. When Uma Thurman snatches the remaining eye from whoever that was.

I abhor violent movies and violence in general as a means of entertainment, always have. I don't understand the appeal although I know it's broad.

DeleyanLee
06-18-2010, 11:12 PM
but for me his genius (that's right genius) lies in what he can get from actors.

To me, that's a mark of a genius director also.

However, I've yet to make it 10 minutes into any of his movies so I can't judge for myself.

Individuals I respect say that he can do it. There are times I wish he would do it in a movie that wasn't insipid, moronic or insulting so I could see for myself, but I trust the reports I've had that he can do it.

Thus, I don't have an opinion of my own on Torentino and I certainly don't spend my money on anything he's made.

KTC
06-18-2010, 11:14 PM
for me, overrated was Kubrick. i'm surprised he was able to see---what with his head being so far up his own arse.

Elaine Margarett
06-18-2010, 11:19 PM
for me, overrated was Kubrick. i'm surprised he was able to see---what with his head being so far up his own arse.

Yes. Another purveyor/promoter of violence. I remember seeing A Clockwork Orange when it came out. Everyone loved it except me.

DeleyanLee
06-18-2010, 11:23 PM
Yes. Another purveyor/promoter of violence. I remember seeing A Clockwork Orange when it came out. Everyone loved it except me.

The extra violence was probably to make sure people didn't snore through it like they did with 2001: A Space Odyessy

maestrowork
06-18-2010, 11:24 PM
Or Woody Allen. I've yet to see his appeal. The only movie he directed that I enjoyed was Match Point and it was precisely because it was very un-Woody Allen.

maestrowork
06-18-2010, 11:26 PM
Tarantino and Kubrick are from two extreme ends of the spectrum. Tarantino is profane and low brow, and Kubrick was way too high-brow. Both are/were narcissists..

KTC
06-18-2010, 11:27 PM
Or Woody Allen. I've yet to see his appeal. The only movie he directed that I enjoyed was Match Point and it was precisely because it was very un-Woody Allen.


lol. see. there is beauty in taste. i love that everybody has unique taste. i salivate over allen movies. my eyes glue to the screen and i become not myself for the entire length of the movie. i think i might even somehow become the camera lens. (-;

Smileycat
06-18-2010, 11:31 PM
Actually, he is overrated to some degree. He's no genius, and tends to make over-the-top violent movies, which is not necessary, or warranted, in some cases.

I think, however, that maybe he is top notch, but just hasn't shown us yet. What we need to see is him utilizing his film making ability to make a different kind of film, a non-violent film. Then he could show all of us his stuff. I think he can do it.

Jcomp
06-18-2010, 11:36 PM
Well, I think Tarantino's only "overrated" in terms of him being the "greatest director EVAH" as some of his most strident fans claim him to be. But I think his body of work is pretty solid. Not great, but solid. But how many people are still claiming he's an all-time great? In the immediate aftermath of Pulp Fiction there was a lot of that talk, but after Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Death Proof I noticed it died down considerably.

Now Kubrick... I don't even know how someone can say he's overrated, unless again we're talking about him being the absolute best ever. Even if you despise Clockwork or 2001 for whatever reasons, his earlier stuff alone pretty much merits his inclusion in the Directors Hall of Fame. Paths of Glory. The Killing. Spartacus. Dr. Strangelove. Even his near-misses have some outstanding / memorable scenes or ideas going for them. Whether from a story-telling or technical standpoint, Kubrick's résumé holds up.

mellymel
06-18-2010, 11:39 PM
Wow, guess I'll be the first to say that I love his work. I haven't seen a movie of his that I haven't enjoyed. I find his movies to be extremely witty, clever and entertaining. To each his/her own I guess.

What is your take on Robert Rodriguez? The same? Just curious.

CaroGirl
06-18-2010, 11:45 PM
Or Woody Allen. I've yet to see his appeal. The only movie he directed that I enjoyed was Match Point and it was precisely because it was very un-Woody Allen.
You didn't like Purple Rose of Cairo? I LOVE that film and he's not even in it. But, then again, I appreciate Allen in (almost) all his forms. :)

MattW
06-19-2010, 12:04 AM
I think it's easy to dismiss Tarantino as low-brow or ultra violent. It feels much like literary types who disparage genre fiction.

It's a different approach to the same medium, aimed at different audiences.

As for me, I think Woody Allen is too monotonous in his characters and plots. It can sometimes be entertaining and clever, but not when it's the same thing over and over.

I would be hard pressed to call Kubrick greatest ever, but Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket are two of my all time favorites.

gabbleandhiss
06-19-2010, 01:31 AM
I pity da fool who don't love teh Tarantino. Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill v1, Kill Bill v2, Inglourious Basterds, and Death Proof are certainly within my unofficial top 100 favorite movies of all time.

Celia Cyanide
06-19-2010, 01:57 AM
I just saw Inglourious Basterds, and I thought it was quite good. However, he still has several of his bad habits, like letting scenes and dialog go on way too long. I've always wondered why I like some of the movies that he wrote but didn't direct, when the writing in his own movies annoys me so much, and I think it's because other directors know when to cut. He doesn't. Deathproof is an extreme example of this. Other than Kurt Russell, I thought that movie was crap. I think Kill Bill has a really stupid title, but it's not bad. Jackie Brown was nice. Other than that, his films bore me to tears.

I think I've never really liked him, because I was a fan of the cinema he gives "homage" to. I like Asian action cinema and blaxploitation cinema, and grindhouse. I love Battle Royale and Switchblade Sisters. So yeah, his hispter attitude when he references this stuff is smug and irritating, at least to me.

And I HATE it when he tries to act. Sukiyaki Western Django was prefect, other than his presence.

dclary
06-19-2010, 03:47 AM
Kiester, I'm with you on this. I loved the hell out of Kill Bill vol. 1. But the vast majority of his films are too talky, too quirky... too -- shall I say "Tarantinoish"? -- for me.

Kill Bill vol. 1 was a fantastic homage to martial arts movies of the 70s. Kill Bill vol. 2 was a talky, slow-moving drama with just enough action to make you miss something cool if you went to the bathroom at the wrong time.

He relies on tricks to hide poor plot, and hides bad dialogue within profanity-laced cultural references.

dclary
06-19-2010, 03:49 AM
Or Woody Allen. I've yet to see his appeal. The only movie he directed that I enjoyed was Match Point and it was precisely because it was very un-Woody Allen.

Agree. I do not see the appeal to woody allen at all.

robeiae
06-19-2010, 03:51 AM
And I HATE it when he tries to act. Sukiyaki Western Django was prefect, other than his presence.
But what about his role in From Dusk Till Dawn?

I enjoy almost all of his movies. I think the best example of what he can do is Reservoir Dogs, followed closely by his bit in Four Rooms.

robeiae
06-19-2010, 03:54 AM
Kiester, I'm with you on this. I loved the hell out of Kill Bill vol. 1. But the vast majority of his films are too talky, too quirky... too -- shall I say "Tarantinoish"? -- for me.

Kill Bill vol. 1 was a fantastic homage to martial arts movies of the 70s. Kill Bill vol. 2 was a talky, slow-moving drama with just enough action to make you miss something cool if you went to the bathroom at the wrong time.

He relies on tricks to hide poor plot, and hides bad dialogue within profanity-laced cultural references.
Vol. 2 was worth every second, just for Carradine's Superman monologue at the end.

backslashbaby
06-19-2010, 04:31 AM
I don't know how to judge directors, but I'm not a fan. I did like Pulp Fiction overall. Some parts were very good. Reservoir Dogs was good, but I can't get into things like Kill Bill at all. I also don't give a flying fig about pop culture, so that's surely part of the problem.

Chumplet
06-19-2010, 04:57 AM
I'm not a big fan of violence, but Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill movies had me riveted. I also enjoyed the tension of Inglorius Basterds.

I like the timing of Guy Ritchie's work better, though.

I'm reminded of my sixtyish year old mother calling me a few years ago. "Dale loaned me a movie called Kill Bill. It was gross, blood everywhere!"

I responded, "Did you hate it?"

She responded with enthusiasm, "It was fantastic!"

Kiester
06-21-2010, 03:27 PM
He relies on tricks to hide poor plot, and hides bad dialogue within profanity-laced cultural references.


That's Tarantino in a nutshell.

Diana Hignutt
06-21-2010, 03:34 PM
I'm a fan. No one else can squeese the drama and tension in simple dialog like he can.

His best: the Kill Bill movies, Jackie Brown. But, Inglorious Bastards rocks... (I mean...he killed Hitler...who else could kill Hitler? Tom Cruise couldn't do it...)

Is he the greatest EVAH? No. But, I like his work anyway.

I mean who is the greatest director ever? I couldn't pick one.

Smileycat
06-21-2010, 06:02 PM
I think it's easy to dismiss Tarantino as low-brow or ultra violent. It feels much like literary types who disparage genre fiction.

It's a different approach to the same medium, aimed at different audiences.

As for me, I think Woody Allen is too monotonous in his characters and plots. It can sometimes be entertaining and clever, but not when it's the same thing over and over.

I would be hard pressed to call Kubrick greatest ever, but Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket are two of my all time favorites.

I don't think Woody Allen is so hot. Besides, he's a perv, who should have gone to jail.

As for Kubrick - he revolutionized movie-making with 2001: A Space Odyssey (no matter what you may think of it), and although I don't think there are many, if any, genius directors out there, he does deserve props for his risk-taking and his accomplishments.