December is Tarantino Month here at SOS, and in the weeks leading up to the Christmas release of Django Unchained, we’ll be tackling the man’s entire career. Love him or hate him, the American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor has created some of the most iconic and memorable movie moments since he burst into the scene in 1992 with the Sundance hit Reservoir Dogs. Site contributors Tressa Eckermann, Edgar Chaput and Editor-in-Chief Ricky D have decided to put together a list of his greatest moments as both a screenwriter and director.
[callout]#22: Kill Bill Vol. 2: Bill meets Bud[/callout]
Kill Bill Vol. 2 was originally intended to be the back half of a single movie, and you can tell where Tarantino has stretched the material to fit the new running time. There’s less action, and a lot more talking, but luckily many of these conversations showoff the rhythm to Tarantino’s dialogue we’ve come to love. Some scenes can easily be cut out while others work as a legitimate effort to build the characters. A prime example of the latter, is the scene featuring the meeting between Bud and his bother Bill.
– Ricky D
[callout]#23: Kill Bill Vol. 2: Bud vs. The Bride[/callout]
Uma Thurman was great in Kill Bill Vol. 1 as an avenging angel, but she’s better in Kill Bill Vol.2. Whereas Kill Bill Vol. 1 made her Bride seem unstoppable, Kill Bill Vol. 2 raises the stakes by placing her against a worthy foe: Bud gets a jump on The Bride before she even has a chance to enter into his home.
– Ricky D
[callout]#24: Kill Bill Vol. 2: Duel with Pai Mei[/callout]
In Kill Bill, Tarantino has fun aping the conventions of ’70s Shaw Brothers kung fu epics, specifically in the flashbacks to the Bride’s martial arts training, under the ancient master Pai Mei. Gordon Liu, a veteran Chinese actor, has a standout role lampooning the traditional kung-fu master with a flowing white beard and long white eyebrows. Working with d.p. Robert Richardson, Tarantino is able to recapture the look and feel of those classic martial arts films. The duel between The Bride and Pai Mei is not only wonderfully choreographed but shot with the same colour schemes and quick zooms of those earlier films.
– Ricky D
[callout]#25: Kill Bill Vol. 2: Rising from the dead[/callout]
In a chapter entitled “The Lonely Journey of Paula Schultz,” Budd (Michael Madsen), who lives in a mobile trailer home in the middle of some desert near Barstow, California, manages to turn the tables on the Bride and subject her to a fate worse than death: He buries her alive. To suggest the claustrophobia of being buried, Tarantino compresses the widescreen frame to the classic 4×3 screen ratio before turning the picture to pitch black altogether. Rarely as any Tarantino film been so terrifying than when you’re sitting in a pitch-black theater. The result conveys the terror of Uma Thurman’s Bride who finds herself locked in a tight wooden casket with only the sounds of dirt dumped on top of it.
– Ricky D
[callout]#26: Kill Bill Vol. 2: Black Mamba[/callout]
After Elle Driver lets loose a black mamba snake on Bud, she reads from her wikipedia notes, what the snake’s deadly powers are and how the toxin effects the central nervous system.
– Ricky D
[callout]#27: Kill Bill Vol. 2: Trailer home trash[/callout]
The scene in which the The Bride and Elle settle their differences is a virtuoso celebration of fight choreography and creative mayhem. The sequence which pretty much leaves the trailer park home completely demolished in the process, is downright dirty, raw and ecstatic.
– Ricky D
[callout]#28: Death Proof: Stuntman Mike kills the first four girls [/callout]
Death Proof’s first half is an effortlessly fun and campy send up to drive in car chase flicks. There isn’t much chase but we do get some of the best Tarantino dialogue ever. Stuntman Mike’s brutal vehicular homicide of the four girls (set to the boppy, deceptively fun “Hold Tight”) is the moment that the entire first half of the film is leading up to. The sense of dread is there from the beginning and in one explosive, bone crunching, metal twisting moment everything comes to a head.
[callout]#29: Death Proof: Car chase scene [/callout]
The culmination of an entire movie filled with terror. Tarantino’s known for his obsessive detail and knowledge of older films, and this chase scene seems to be the result of all his obsessions. Mind numbingly fast paced and crushingly violent it still manages to hold the wit that had built up over the course of the movie.
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