Pulp Fiction (1994) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Rob of MovieRob. He also reviewed Saving Private Ryan HERE and The Manchurian Candidate HERE. Thanks for the reviews, Rob! 🙂 Now let’s see what he has to say about Pulp Fiction, IMDB rank 4 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE.

Also, I’ve never thought to mention it but if you’d like to add a link to your IMDB Review(s) on your own blogs, feel free to use any of the logos I’ve used at the top of any of these guest reviews. I know I’ve made a few that are specific to the movie being reviewed. I’ll also do an IMDB update post soon & will post some more logos.

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Quentin Tarantino showed the world was he was made of with his debut film Reservoir Dogs and that movie’s success led to this masterpiece getting proper funding.

His use of non-traditional methods of storytelling works extremely well here as he tells three interweaving stories in a very unconventional non-linear fashion.

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The fact that he was capable of securing so many great actors for this movie is a testament to how amazing his story and script are.

Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Harvey Keitel, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Eric Stoltz and Rosanna Arquette are all excellent.

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I love how QT has always been able to take characters in non-conventional roles and write perfect conversation dialogue totally unrelated to their current situations making the characters seem more real than we thought possible.

The idea of having two hitmen discuss fast food in Europe while on their way to ‘work’ is brilliant.

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Truth is in many ways, QT’s written dialogue is what holds his stories together.

In the twenty years since this movie came out, I have found its dialogue to be so easily quotable.

Here’s a list of some great lines from this movie. In order to try and keep this spoiler free, I will omit what characters say each line.

  • Hamburgers. The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.
  • I don’t need you to tell me how ****ing good my coffee is, okay? I’m the one who buys it. I know how good it is. When Bonnie goes shopping she buys ****. Me, I buy the gourmet expensive stuff because when I drink it I want to taste it. But you know what’s on my mind right now? It AIN’T the coffee in my kitchen, it’s the dead nigger in my garage.
  • That’s thirty minutes away. I’ll be there in ten.
  • It breaks down like this: it’s legal to buy it, it’s legal to own it, and, if you’re the proprietor of a hash bar, it’s legal to sell it. It’s legal to carry it, but that doesn’t really matter ’cause – get a load of this – if you get stopped by the cops in Amsterdam, it’s illegal for them to search you. I mean, that’s a right the cops in Amsterdam don’t have.
  • The way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He’d be damned if any slopes gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy’s birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.
  • Bring out the Gimp.
  • Nobody’s gonna hurt anybody. We’re gonna be like three little Fonzies here. And what’s Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda what’s Fonzie like?
  • That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the **** up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.
  • Are you calling me on the cellular phone? I don’t know you. Who is this? Don’t come here, I’m hanging up the phone! Prank caller, prank caller!
  • Uuummmm, this is a tasty burger
  • Mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down with?
  • What now? Let me tell you what now. I’ma call a coupla hard, pipe-hittin’ niggers, who’ll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin’, hillbilly boy? I ain’t through with you by a damn sight. I’ma get medieval on your ass.

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1994 was a very strong Oscar year and although this movie got 7 nominations including Best Picture, it only was able to win 1 award (Best Screenplay).

It’s hard to say if this is a better overall movie than Forrest Gump or Shawshank but it is clear that this movie has grown in appreciation over the last two decades.

This movie is currently #5 (but #4 when Mutant first started her list)  on the IMDB Top 250 and is definitely worthy of such a lofty position.

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Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes, once again, from Rob of Movie Rob. Thanks, Rob! He liked Pretty In Pink after just recently watching it for the first time so let’s now hear his thoughts on Some Kind Of Wonderful. 🙂

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“Keith… you’re losing it. And when it’s lost, all you are is a loser.” – Watts

Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (Theater in 1987, cable, video and 12 Mar 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A poor kid who falls in love with a rich girl is helped by his tomboy friend in order to win her over. Little does he know, that she is in love with him too.

My Take on it – What would you do if you were one of the most successful filmmakers of 1980’s teen films and the studio forced you to change the ending of your movie?

You’d do what John Hughes did.. Remake the movie with slightly different characters and keep the ending you always wanted.

I use to love this movie as a teen because it showed that sometimes as a teen you don’t know what’s right for you and are willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want. And then in a moment of clarity, you realize that you made a mistake and are able to rectify that mistake.

Wouldn’t it be great if life was so simple?

That statement is both allegorical to this movie and to the situation Hughes was in himself when he chose to make this movie.

Hughes was so adamant at making everyone know about his frustration that he ever wanted to cast Molly Ringwald in the Main female part. She declined and was never asked to be in another John Hughes movie ever again.

In her stead, Hughes hired Lea Thompson who ended up falling in love with the director of the movie Howard Deutch and they have been married ever since.

Besides Thompson, this movie features Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson (who I still have a strong crush on to this day).

The themes and situations of this movie and Pretty in Pink (1986) are so blatant that you would have to be a complete idiot to not realize that they are basically the same movie but with different happy endings.

Having only watched Pretty in Pink (1986) very recently, I actually think the opposite. In my mind, this movie is the original with the correct ending and the other is the “remake” with the wrong ending. 🙂

Bottom Line – Great “remake” of Pretty in Pink (1986) that actually has the proper ending. Excellent cast.
Recommended!

Rating – Globe Worthy

Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987) Review

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Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987) by ME again!

Directed by Howard Deutch

Produced & Written by John Hughes

Starring:
Eric Stoltz
Mary Stuart Masterson
Lea Thompson
Craig Sheffer
John Ashton
Elias Koteas
Molly Hagan
Maddie Corman
Jane Elliot
Candace Cameron Bure
Chynna Phillips
Scott Coffey
Carmine Caridi
Lee Garlington
Pamela Anderson

Running time: 95 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Pretty In Pink. But better in some ways.

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My Opinion:

I’ll keep this review short as I’ve already reviewed Pretty In Pink (review HERE) and, for those who don’t know much about John Hughes films, this is basically a remake of that but with the roles reversed (Eric Stoltz is Molly Ringwald – you can figure out the rest if you watch them as I try to stay spoiler-free for Hughes-newbies). Which one is the better film? Pretty In Pink. Which one do I like more? Probably Some Kind Of Wonderful.

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I think it’s a shame that Some Kind Of Wonderful seems to get forgotten while Pretty In Pink gets all the attention. I won’t go into Pretty In Pink much as I’ve already reviewed it but the things it really has going for it are two very strong characters (Duckie & Iona) and some classic Hughes-style quotable lines. I think the script is stronger and, as I said, it’s a better film overall. However, I really couldn’t relate to any of the characters in Pretty In Pink. In Some Kind Of Wonderful, I found them much more realistic & they felt more like people who actually would have been in my high school. Plus Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) is a great female character. I prefer the tough tomboy thing to Molly Ringwald’s usual girly roles in the Hughes movies. Watts still gets a little “silly” over a boy but, hey – she’s a teenage girl. Her character feels very genuine in the movie plus her friendship with Stoltz is totally believable and I bought into it more than Andie & Duckie’s in Pretty In Pink.

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Eric Stoltz does a decent enough job in the movie & you do find yourself wanting things to work out for him. Lea Thompson is a little… Empty. But so was the character who was her equivalent in Pretty In Pink. Elias Koteas is the “Skinhead” in this and is a very enjoyable character in the way that Iona was great in Pretty In Pink. The “bitches” are less bitchy than in Pretty In Pink but are more believable. Craig Sheffer is, well, a low-budget James Spader – anyone could have played his role. He’s the equivalent of Michael Ironside being the low-budget Jack Nicholson. But the important thing is that the two main characters, Stoltz & Masterson, are very strong and, for me, more likeable and realistic than in Pretty In Pink. Especially Watts.

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Summary:

Sorry for basically just comparing this to Pretty In Pink but it would be impossible not to. If you haven’t seen either film, I’d recommend both if you like slightly-dramatic 80’s teen movies and especially if you like John Hughes as these are both very much “him”. It’s hard to say which one you’ll like more – some prefer one and some prefer the other. If you’ve seen (and like) Pretty In Pink, you MUST watch Some Kind Of Wonderful as well! It’s good. You may even find you end up liking it more than Pretty In Pink. Okay – Yeah, I like it more too. It just wins out over Pretty In Pink thanks to the characters feeling more real. Some Kind Of Wonderful deserves more recognition than it seems to get compared to the other Hughes teen movies.

My Rating: 8/10

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Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987) Guest Review

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This guest review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Cara of Silver Screen Serenade. Thanks for being a part of this blogathon, Cara! She’s going to tell us what she thought of Some Kind Of Wonderful. 🙂

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Just wanted to quickly say thanks to Table 9 Mutant for being so awesome as to pull this blogathon together! It was a great idea, and I’m thrilled to be taking part. Also, T9M, thanks for pretty much picking my movie for me. I suck at decisions. Lol. Anyway, review time!

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

Directed by Howard Deutch

Starring:
Eric Stoltz
Mary Stuart Masterson
Lea Thompson
Craig Sheffer
John Ashton

Music by Stephen Hague & John Musser

Running time: 95 minutes

Plot synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film is set against the strict social hierarchy of an American public high school. The tomboyish Watts (Masterson) has always considered working class misfit Keith Nelson (Stoltz) her best friend. But when Keith asks out the most popular girl in school, Amanda Jones (Thompson), Watts realizes she feels something much deeper for him.

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What I liked:

• The cool, very 1980s opening. Dramatic music! Drums! Fixing cars! Teenagers making out! Yeah this film is DOIN’ STUFF!
• Dreamy Eric Stoltz. Those blue eyes and that ginger hair…YEP.
• Elias Koteas as the film’s tough guy. He doesn’t have a huge role in this, but he’s still pretty awesome as Keith’s bully-turned-buddy, Duncan. I could see why Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wanted him to play Casey Jones a few years later.
• Mary Stuart Masterson as tomboy Watts. She plays tough yet insecure very well, and she’s got some great lines in this. For example, when Watts and Keith are talking about Amanda—Keith: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Watts: “Yeah, but you can tell how much it’s gonna cost.” You tell ‘im, sassy lady.
• Keith and Watts’ relationship. Stoltz and Masterson portray their chemistry well, and their dialogue is fun and natural.
• The detention scenes. Particularly one in which Keith and Duncan show each other their respective “artwork.” Very funny.
• Watts’ speech confessing to Keith how much he means to her. It could’ve easily come off as corny, but it’s actually one of the best moments of the film.
• Amanda is not a flat character. It’s easy to make the popular girl into a generic villain, but you actually end up admiring her by the end up the film. She has to deal with some stuff, and she grows from it.
• Duncan and co. showing up at the end of the film. Awesome. Just awesome.

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What I didn’t like:

• Keith is VERY stalkery with Amanda. I realize he’s got a serious case of puppy love, but he goes too far. He always seems to know where she is, and we only ever see him drawing/painting her. Plus, when he finally takes her out on a date, he blows almost all of his money on too much too soon. Woah, boy. Rein it in. You’re making this borderline horror flick sometimes.
• Is it just me or is the “pushy father who doesn’t listen” a recurring character in John Hughes movies? I’ve encountered him in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I’ve heard tales of him in The Breakfast Club, and now here he is again in the form of Keith’s father. We get it, John—1980s teen boys had daddy issues.
• Amanda’s boyfriend, Hardy. Played by Craig Sheffer, Hardy just didn’t seem like a real person to me. He’s over the top in almost every way. I’m not buying it.
• There’s a scene where Amanda flirts with an older teacher to get out of detention. First of all, ew. Second, there is no way that would ever happen. Ever. Unless the teacher was a secret perv, and that’s getting into a can of worms too dark for a lighthearted teen movie.
• The resolution is too easy and not presented in a completely satisfying way. It’s too hard to talk about this vaguely, so SPOILERS: Yes, Keith ends up with Watts, and, yes, that’s what everybody watching wants. However, Keith had zero romantic interest in Watts (even after a steamy kiss), and all of the sudden his crush on her just kind of smacks him in the face in the last five minutes of the film, leaving poor Amanda high and dry. Plus, Keith and Watts barely get to talk about their feelings, and you don’t really get to see them as a couple. END SPOILERS.
• Random, but why is this film called “Some Kind of Wonderful?” I kept waiting for them to play the song or reference something to do with it, but I don’t think that ever happened…

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Summary:

This film is fun! It might not be as original as The Breakfast Club or as funny as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but it definitely has that John Hughes style to it so many know and love so well. As far as teen romantic comedies go, you could do far worse.

My Rating: 7.5/10 (Probably a B+ or so on my rating system)

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