Tag Archives: pulp fiction
Troy Duffy, director of a ‘cool’, albeit awful, movie.
‘Coolness’ is hard to define, as it should be. I suspect it’s difficult because coolness is an X factor. It’s the swagger generated by the totality of a bunch of compartmentalized variants or something. It’s also because coolness is not a science, it’s a feeling. However, like most things, although it can’t be defined, it can be explained. And, contrary to popular belief, explaining it is fun. It doesn’t ‘kill it’ as so many pseudo-smart, sanctimonious anti-thought peddlers would have you believe.
Promised Land (2012)
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Screenplay by John Krasinski & Matt Damon
Story by Dave Eggers
Promised Land is a good movie. And Gus Van Sant is a good director. And Matt Damon and John Krasinski are good actors and writers.
This is a movie that nobody saw last year. It’s a small movie, the kind that still gets made by mega celebrities like Matt Damon but that nobody sees because the market is pretty well taken over by other kinds of movies like Taken 2 and The Vow. But I’m not here to wax pretentiously about lowest common denominato, fluff that ‘Hollywood’ is so ‘evil’ for churning out. (The hipsters have that market well cornered.) I’m here, rather, to talk about Promised Land. But first, about Gus Van Sant.
When I was in junior high school, Scarface was the most talked about movie in the hallways. It was 2000, and those hallways were a reflection of the culture at large. One time a kid asked me, “Who directed Scarface, Scorsese?” He had never heard of Brian De Palma.
There’s a popular book called Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. It’s a gossipy, oral history of 60s and 70s American movies. In the back of the book, they summarize the directors integral to the movement and give a filmography for each. Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, and Malick are featured, but not Brian De Palma—despite being mentioned heavily in the book. You’d think the guy that gave Robert De Niro his first on-screen appearance (The Wedding Party, 1969) and gave him steady work way before Scorsese ever did, would be important enough to mention.
Look, I’m not saying that Django Unchained is a bad movie. Or that Pulp Fiction is either. They’re both good movies. Tarantino has never made a bad movie. The good parts of any one of his films always seem to outweigh the bad—the two with the strongest good-to-bad-part ratios being Inglourious Basterds and Jackie Brown. Those two are damn near perfect. All the others are either ‘very good’ (Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, From Dusk Till Dawn, True Romance) or just ‘good’ (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Death Proof, Django Unchained). And Death Proof is a bit more solid than Django in my opinion, therefore, Django is his worst since Pulp Fiction.