Tag Archives: 1997

QUENTIN TARANTINO’S JACKIE BROWN — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Jackie Brown is the most mature film from Quentin Tarantino to date. It’s the Quentin Tarantino film that’s safe to show your parents. And I don’t mean that in an negative way – all of QT’s stylistic and narrative flourishes from his previous films were still on display, except this time, rather than being obsessed with guns and the messy violence that bullets can create, he was even more interested in his usual and extra-special brand of vulgar, beautiful poetry, this time stemming from the pages of Elmore Leonard’s classic novel Rum Punch. Resurrecting old movie stars has always been QT’s favorite thing to do, and here, he brought back both Pam Grier (lovely and clearly enjoying every moment of being front and center at that stage in her career) and Robert Forster (who gives what amounts to my favorite performance from any actor in any QT film – period) from the dust-bins of the 70’s movie graveyard, and gave them tons of room to shine with an amazing supporting casting including Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, and Michael Keaton giving them tons of colorful back-up. Chris Tucker’s cameo is an all-timer, the visual texture resembles something old and tea-stained, and the funkadelic soundtrack grooves to a fantastic beat all-throughout. When it was released, the film received plenty of critical support, but looking back on it, I feel that people were more muted than they should have been. Expectations are inevitable, and sometimes dangerous, and the fact that Jackie Brown was not necessarily a logical follow-up to Pulp Fiction might have initially thrown some people for a loop. But over time, it’s become clear that QT was up to something very special with this piece of work, which feels both cut from his moving-loving-heart and the conventions of the crime drama, with enough to satisfy everyone on both sides of the coin.

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