Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp-Fiction

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A filmmaking goldmine.

Not too long ago, I posted a list of 250 movies I haven’t reviewed that I would someday like to. Movies with titles everyone would recognize, and one of those was Pulp Fiction. This was one of the films in the list that I haven’t actually seen. There’s a few reasons why, as well. I’ve actually been avoiding it for the same reason I’ve been avoiding reviewing Star Wars. Pulp Fiction is a highly popular and iconic film, and I’m not sure if I have the ability to give it justice in a review because I’m partial to newer movies, as well as films that make more sense for the general public. I couldn’t just not watch this movie though, I had to see what the big deal was, and why everyone just ate this film up. So here goes nothing.

I wish I could just sit here and tell you what the movie is about, but I don’t think it really works like that. I don’t think it’s really about anything. The beginning even states and defines that pulp as a soft, moist, and shapeless mass off matter. That’s what this movie is. It’s shapeless, it’s out of sequence, and the story isn’t as important or strong as any other movie you’ll watch. I don’t think anyone watches this film for the story, but rather the people, the dialogue, and how it is all stitched together. If I could give you an idea on the plot – I’d say a godfather type gangster sends people on missions for him and kills people that go against his orders and a bunch of other crap goes down.

I went in watching it trying to understand and follow the story and I was having a pretty rough time. Because it was out of order, there’s just no way to follow what’s going on, it just seems random. If you follow my reviews, it’s never good when you run into random. Sometimes it is though, so I held on. People do love this movie, so that has to be for a reason. Okay, so the next thing you’ll realize is there is a lot of dialogue in this movie. It is dialogue-heavy like nothing else. It might even remind you of a theatre production there is so much talking. Normally, I’m also not a huge fan of that, but the way these conversations are written…it’s just brilliant. They transform these random characters following a random story into very unique and loveable characters.

There is no main character, which is again an element I usually hate within movies, but somehow Quentin Tarantino did it again and made me invested in everything that was actually happening throughout. In short – the movie is cut into three main structured acts that very much differ from each other, but are also connected in other ways. Each one has very subtle but strong themes that pretty much define the human species to a T.

The Good:

Alright, so this is a bit complicated, and I’ll try to be as clear as possible. Pulp Fiction is filled to the brim with filmmaking techniques that I absolutely hate. Things like an unclear plot, no main character, too much talking, jumbled up plot points, a very clear and pointless McGuffin, and a ton of others – but….they were done somehow brilliantly…in a way that I could actually love. This is a cult hit because there is literally nothing like it out there today. It is bold, but for the most part…everything people say about it is absolutely true.

The Bad:

Even though Tarantino did his job well by taking things I hate and turning them into things I love…it was still filled with things I hate to see in film. I can’t forgive that. I still think it’s a wonderful and unique film that is filmmaking gold, though. Filmmakers, watch this film, just look at how they did the camerawork, the sound editing, how they wrote it, how they stitched it together. It’s amazing. Now…the general public doesn’t have the eyes of a filmmaker and can’t appreciate the same things. When they watch a movie, they simply want to do just that. Watch a movie with a beginning, middle, and end with a solid plot. This is a complicated film which I don’t think everyone can appreciate because of those things I mentioned before about what I hate in film. I could get over them because of my history in filmmaking. Not everyone can.

Memorable Quote:

(practically everything said in the movie)

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5 thoughts on “Pulp Fiction (1994)

    • from a technical standpoint, I can see myself agreeing with that assessment, but when I watch movies, I need to connect with them in order to call anything a favorite. I need to see myself in this character or that.

      Believe me, very few movies do I call favorites. Inception is one of my favorites because it’s just so amazing to look at and think about…it’s just so epic and fun. Dan in Real Life, I see more of myself in that guy than any other movie…ever. The Matrix – also about having a lot of fun, but these movies gave me inspiration to make my own fight choreography for film, which is insanely fun.

      These movies are favorites because they inspire me and paint a picture collectively of who I am as a person, even if it’s not complete. Pulp Fiction is a masterpiece in terms of filmmaking, but I don’t connect with it on any level, nor do I the characters. I highly respect the way it was done, though.

  1. Wow, you got to that fast. I love how conflicted you seem to be, lol. It’s not my all time fave but I do hold it in very high regard. Tarantino just did lots of things that are pure genius. It is also highly influential. So many directors borrowed elements from this movie and some just flat out tried to emulate QT. I’ll stop here because I could go on all day. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Great write up Dave. I agree, the characters and dialogue are what drive this movie – my favourite segment being that between Travolta and Uma Thurman’s characters. The performances are stellar. I think you could go on forever trying to unpick what it’s about and what’s in the bag but for me that’s what makes it great – everyone can make up their own mind. I’m not a massive Tarantino fan but this one is just brilliant.

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