Movie Review: Jackie Brown (1997)

I don’t have any clever thing to put here as the intro. I just felt like watching this movie as it’s been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. So now I’m finally getting to it.

Ladies and gents… “Jackie Brown”.

The story follows Jackie Brown (Pam Grier), a stewardess who gets caught with smuggling money for an arms dealer (Samuel L. Jackson). And shortly after that she finds herself involved in a complex plot featuring said arms dealer, the ATF, a bail bonds agent (Robert Forster), and half a million dollars. So now we have our crazy crime story. And it’s good. While the plot in itself is interesting and even quite a bit of fun at times, I feel like it is a bit overstuffed sometimes. I’m not against a movie having more than one thread, I welcome that kinds of shit, but in this case it doesn’t always fully work. Again, it’s a good plot, but the threads here get a little tangled and create something that is, like I said, a bit overstuffed. It’s simple enough to follow, but it is also quite cluttered. But with that said, it’s far from bad, it’s still a highly enjoyable crime plot.

The characters in this are layered, colorful, and overall really entertaining. First up we have the titular character of Jackie Brown, played by Pam Grier. She’s a tough lady who takes no shit from anyone, but she’s not some impossible badass as she does show a more vulnerable side from time to time, giving her some extra layers. And Grier is great in the role. Next we have Samuel L. Jackson as arms dealer Ordell Robbie. He’s basically the Samuel L. Jackson archetype, easy to anger, charming when he needs to, says motherfucker at a good rate. But that character never fails to entertain. And Jackson is of course damn good in the role. Next we have Robert Forster as Max Cherry, the aforementioned bail bonds agent that gets entangled in the entire plot. He’s probably the closest we get to a good guy in this story, as most characters in this are kind of dicks. But he’s still a layered and interesting character. And Forster is great in the role. Then we have Michael Keaton as Ray Nicolette, an ATF agent that Jackie interacts with throughout the story. And I’m not gonna say too much as his entertaining self is better left experienced. And Keaton is damn good in the role. Then we get some solid supporting work from people like Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Chris Tucker, Michael Bowen, and more. Sorry that I’m keeping it vague, but this section is already getting a little too long, and I don’t wanna keep you stuck here for too long. But I do think this is a well acted movie.

There were some tracks composed for this by James Newton Howard and they worked well I guess, though it’s hard to find info on which specific ones he did. Then there were a ton of licensed music throughout from a load of different artists. And all of the music here is used very well in their respective scenes, helping sell the very unique mood that the movie and director is going for. The soundtrack is in general also catchy as all hell.

Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, this movie was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. And of course he did a damn good job here. His dialogue is snappy, fun, and as interesting as it ever was. And his direction was really good too, always keeping me on edge with a good flow, a decent sprinkling of suspense, and all the fun Tarantinian shots that you can expect from his movies.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie was nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actor (Forster).

While not Tarantino’s best, “Jackie Brown” is still a damn good crime movie. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great direction. As previously mentioned, it is brought down a bit by the plot feeling a bit overstuffed. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Jackie Brown” is an 8,84/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Jackie Brown” is now completed.

Pam Grier really knows how to rock a suit.

Movie Review: Bone Tomahawk (2015)

bone_tomawhawk

Here’s a good question for you to think about: what’s the most peculiar mix of genres you have ever experienced in a movie? And what movie was that? I am asking because the movie I am reviewing today has a weird (to say the least) blend of genres. And I guess that’s one of the reasons I wanted to check it out.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Bone Tomahawk”.

This movie follows a very unlikely group of gunslingers; a sheriff (Kurt Russell), an old assistant deputy (Richard Jenkins), a crippled cowboy (Patrick Wilson) and a well-dressed gentleman (Matthew Fox) as they go out into the wild west to rescue a bunch of people who have been kidnapped by cave-dwelling, inbred, cannibalistic savages… yeah, you figure out how they came up with that. But do you see now what I meant by peculiar mix of genres? The movie decided to try to combine western with horror. And how did it turn out? Actually, it was quite good. The story is told in a very slow moving and suspenseful way which I honestly think worked to the movie’s advantage. Like I said, the movie moves a bit slower than most western so if you don’t have a good amount of patience, you might not enjoy it… but I did. Also, the suspense is really good in this movie.

The characters in this movie all feel very realistic and fleshed out thanks to some good writing and some damn fine performances. Kurt Russell gives a terrific performance in this movie as the sheriff who has sworn to go out and save the kidnapped people. I would even dare say that he gave one of the best performances of his career. Patrick Wilson plays like I said earlier, a crippled cowboy who is coming along because one of the people who got kidnapped was his wife. And Wilson was great in his role. Matthew Fox was a very well-dressed and well-educated man in this movie, but he was also a douchebag… and he did a great job. And Richard Jenkins as the elderly “assistant deputy” was pretty damn great in the movie too. Everybody was really good in the movie. What’s sad though is that both Jennifer Carpenter and Timothy Olyphant were rumored to have important roles in this movie… how awesome wouldn’t that have been?

The score for the movie was provided by Jeff Herriott and S. Craig Zahler (Sidenote: The director of the movie). And it’s pretty great. It’s slow-building, beautiful and tense, in other words perfect for the movie. It’s not huge and extravagant, but it never needed to be.

Seeing as this is a western and me not being able to change, I guess I have to talk about the shooty-bang-bang bits in it’s own separate segment… here we go. The shootouts are fine in the movie. There’s never really any conflict in the movie that requires two or more people to shoot at eachother. But when Kurt Russell or any of the other guys have to shoot at someone or something, it is pretty satisfying.

As previously stated, the movie was directed by S. Craig Zahler and as a little fun fact, this is his directorial debut. And does he make an impressive debut? Yeah, he does. This movie is very well directed and everything looks terrific. Sure, it’s not perfectly directed, but since this is a debut I guess I can kind of look past it.

This movie has been pretty well received even though it hasn’t been seen by too many people. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating (100% if you go by “Top Critics” only) and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Bone Tomahawk” is an impressive directorial debut from S. Craig Zahler featuring a really good plot, great acting, great music, good shootouts and great directing. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Bone Tomahawk” is a 9,83/10. That means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Bone Tomahawk” is now reviewed.

Remember the question I asked at the beginning of this? Please leave an answer in the comments.