Winning streak: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill: Vol.1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), Grindhouse: Death Proof (2007), Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The common criticism against Quentin Tarantino's movies is that they're all pastiches, not wholly unique visions. And the self-proclaimed fanatic of all fringe cinema (exploitation, obscure horror, spaghetti westerns) is the first to admit that his films incorporate multiple influences at a time, right down to audio scores lifted directly out of scenes from his favorite flicks. Our question is, what's the problem with that?
For our money, as well as the bucks of Tarantino's millions of loyal, cinema-savvy fans, the prolific writer-director's penchant for melding together various genres into his own singular kind of moviegoing experience is always a breath of fresh air amidst the safer, cut-and-dry work coming from most of his peers. To make those claims is also to shortchange the multilayered characters and dizzyingly snappy and robust dialogue tucked into each of his projects.
From Reservoir Dogs' Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) to Pulp Fiction's Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Inglourious Basterds' Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), Tarantino's colorful, unpredictable, and combustible characters are scene-stealers that only he could write. Behind the camera, he's just as wildly in command. Scenes like The Bride's black-and-white, one-against-88 throwdown at the end of Kill Bill: Vol. 1, or the four-POV, gruesome car crash in Grindhouse: Death Proof, are exactly why any new Quentin Tarantino production is cause for both celebration and feverish anticipation. And as his perfect track record indicates, he has yet to disappoint.
Now, can somebody whip up a magic calendar (preferably not a Mayan one) so we can skip ahead to Christmas, grab some overpriced popcorn, and watch the hell out of his next one, Django Unchained? Let's make that happen.