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Plot: Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega are two hitmen who are out to retrieve a suitcase stolen from their employer, mob boss Marsellus Wallace. Wallace has also asked Vincent to take his wife Mia out a few days later when Wallace himself will be out of town. Butch Coolidge is an aging boxer who is paid by Wallace to lose his next fight. The lives of these seemingly unrelated people are woven together comprising of a series of funny, bizarre and uncalled-for incidents. Runtime: 154 mins Release Date: 13 Oct 1994
One of the early scenes in "Pulp Fiction" features two hit-men discussing what a Big Mac is called in other countries. Their dialogue is witty and entertaining, and it's also disarming, because it makes these two thugs seem all too normal. If you didn't know better, you might assume these were regular guys having chit-chat on their way to work. Other than the comic payoff at the end of the scene, in which they use parts of this conversation to taunt their victims, their talk has no relevance to anything in the film, or to anything else, for that matter. Yet without such <more>
scenes, "Pulp Fiction" wouldn't be "Pulp Fiction." I get the sense that Tarantino put into the film whatever struck his fancy, and somehow the final product is not only coherent but wonderfully textured.It's no wonder that fans spend so much time debating what was in the suitcase, reading far more into the story than Tarantino probably intended. The film is so intricately structured, with so many astonishing details, many of which you won't pick up on the first viewing, that it seems to cry out for some deeper explanation. But there is no deeper explanation. "Pulp Fiction," is, as the title indicates, purely an exercise in technique and style, albeit a brilliant and layered one. Containing numerous references to other films, it is like a great work of abstract art, or "art about art." It has all the characteristics we associate with great movies: fine writing, first-rate acting, unforgettable characters, and one of the most well-constructed narratives I've ever seen in a film. But to what end? The self-contained story does not seem to have bearing on anything but itself.The movie becomes a bit easier to understand once you realize that it's essentially a black comedy dressed up as a crime drama. Each of the three main story threads begins with a situation that could easily form the subplot of any standard gangster movie. But something always goes wrong, some small unexpected accident that causes the whole situation to come tumbling down, leading the increasingly desperate characters to absurd measures. Tarantino's originality stems from his ability to focus on small details and follow them where they lead, even if they move the story away from conventional plot developments.Perhaps no screenplay has ever found a better use for digressions. Indeed, the whole film seems to consist of digressions. No character ever says anything in a simple, straightforward manner. Jules could have simply told Yolanda, "Be cool and no one's going to get hurt," which is just the type of line you'd find in a generic, run-of-the-mill action flick. Instead, he goes off on a tangent about what Fonzie is like. Tarantino savors every word of his characters, finding a potential wisecrack in every statement and infusing the dialogue with clever pop culture references. But the lines aren't just witty; they are full of intelligent observations about human behavior. Think of Mia's statement to Vincent, "That's when you know you've found somebody special: when you can just shut the f--- up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence."What is the movie's purpose exactly? I'm not sure, but it does deal a lot with the theme of power. Marsellus is the sort of character who looms over the entire film while being invisible most of the time. The whole point of the big date sequence, which happens to be my favorite section of the film, is the power that Marsellus has over his men without even being present. This power is what gets Vincent to act in ways you would not ordinarily expect from a dumb, stoned gangster faced with an attractive woman whose husband has gone away. The power theme also helps explain one of the more controversial aspects of the film, its liberal use of the N-word. In this film, the word isn't just used as an epithet to describe blacks: Jules, for instance, at one point applies the term to Vincent. It has more to do with power than with race. The powerful characters utter the word to express their dominance over weaker characters. Most of these gangsters are not racist in practice. Indeed, they are intermingled racially, and have achieved a level of equality that surpasses the habits of many law-abiding citizens in our society. They resort to racial epithets because it's a patter that establishes their separateness from the non-criminal world.There's a nice moral progression to the stories. We presume that Vincent hesitates to sleep with Mia out of fear rather than loyalty. Later, Butch's act of heroism could be motivated by honor, but we're never sure. The film ends, however, with Jules making a clear moral choice. Thus, the movie seems to be exploring whether violent outlaws can act other than for self-preservation.Still, it's hard to find much of a larger meaning tying together these eccentric set of stories. None of the stories are really "about" anything. They certainly are not about hit-men pontificating about burgers. Nor is the film really a satire or a farce, although it contains elements of both. At times, it feels like a tale that didn't need to be told, but for whatever reason this movie tells it and does a better job than most films of its kind, or of any other kind.
To put this in context, I am 34 years old and I have to say that this is the best film I have seen without doubt and I don't expect it will be beaten as far as I am concerned. Obviously times move on, and I acknowledge that due to its violence and one particularly uncomfortable scene this film is not for everyone, but I still remember watching it for the first time, and it blew me away. Anyone who watches it now has to remember that it actually changed the history of cinema. In context- it followed a decade or more of action films that always ended with a chase sequence where the hero <more>
saved the day - you could have written those films yourself. Pulp had you gripped and credited the audience with intelligence. There is not a line of wasted dialogue and the movie incorporates a number of complexities that are not immediately obvious. It also resurrected the career of Grease icon John Travolta and highlighted the acting talent of Samuel L Jackson. There are many films now that are edited out of sequence and have multiple plots etc but this is the one they all want to be, or all want to beat, but never will.
Pulp Fiction may be the single best film ever made, and quite appropriately it is by one of the most creative directors of all time, Quentin Tarantino. This movie is amazing from the beginning definition of pulp to the end credits and boasts one of the best casts ever assembled with the likes of Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and Christopher Walken. The dialog is surprisingly humorous for this type of film, and I think that's what has made it so successful. Wrongfully denied the many Oscars it was nominated for, Pulp Fiction is by far <more>
the best film of the 90s and no Tarantino film has surpassed the quality of this movie although Kill Bill came close . As far as I'm concerned this is the top film of all-time and definitely deserves a watch if you haven't seen it.
Violence and Redemption Underscore "Pulp Fiction" (by DaveDiggler)
"Pulp Fiction" is considered Quentin Tarantino' masterpiece; both as a writer and director. Although it's not a perfect film and has a couple flaws, "Pulp Fiction" has one of the greatest scripts that changed the way films were made. The film opens with a conversation between "Pumpkin" and "Honey Bunny" as they chat about their new plans to rob restaurants instead of banks and liquor stores. Eventually this scene will end the film as it doubles back on itself. Often times- and we're seeing the case more and more with Tarantino- he'll <more>
drive a film on dialogue instead of plot and substitute plot for senseless dialogue. That happens here, but it works most of the time. Lately it hasn't been working on the level of "Pulp Fiction." Uma Thurman plays Marcellus Wallace's Ving Rhames wife, Mia, and her only importance to film is to be entertained by Vincent Vega John Travolta on a date that's not quite a date. I feel as if these scenes are supposed to entertain us since it has nothing to do with the plot that is extremely thin compared to its run time 154 minutes . Travolta, for me, is the real stand out. When he's on screen his scenes, whether Jackson is next to him or not, are full of energy and pulp. He does a lot of listening, some dancing, a lot of arguing and/or debating, and offers up a lot of great comedic moments. His best scenes are with Uma Thurman when they go to Jackrabbit Slims. This little date, where they talk about nothing of much importance as far plot is concerned, is funny, engrossing and entertaining. I don't know why it never gets old, but it doesn't. The acting between the two is great and both were worthy of their Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively. This section of the film is one of the strongest of the three along with "The Bonnie Situation." The writing and acting is superb in both sections. This date leads to an overdose as Mia takes a line of Vincent's heroine. The direction here is much in the mold of a graphic Hitchcock film. To add to the suspense the owner of the house counts to three Something that happens quite a bit in the film . As he slowly counts to three we see all the nervously waiting faces in the entire room. We get a close-up shot on the needle that's cocked back and ready to strike. We get a close-up on the red dot where the needle needs to hit. It slowly builds the scene and the suspense. Tarantino handles this scene and all the others with a ton of precision and a lot of confidence. Tarantino makes huge strides as a director since his previous film, "Reservoir Dogs," and a lot has to do with his confidence as a director. The older Tarantino is too confident in his abilities. The majority of "Pulp Fiction" has a lot of energy and snap to it. If you watch closely to the opening scene in "Reservoir Dogs" you won't see that same kind of crisp, confident direction from Tarantino. There are a lot of pauses throughout that conversation and it doesn't quite flow like a Tarantino film that we've become used to. To his credit he was working with some B-list Some C or D-list actors. He's not working with much more here, but the majority of his major role players are all acted out terrifically with the exception of one: Bruce Willis- through not fault of Tarantino; Bruce is just a bad actor. The section of the film that really drags, and is noticeably behind compared to the other two sections, is "The Gold Watch" section. This section is incapable of greatness since Bruce Willis single handedly ruins it with his "Die Hard" facial expressions, especially when they're not needed. The writing here is also the worst and, at times, puts the actors in very difficult situations. This section becomes annoying as we hear Bruce Willis call his girlfriend- that we won't care at all about- Lemon Pie, Sugar Pie, and retard. When he calls her a retard it's pretty funny, but other than that this lacks the punch that Travolta and Thurman provided minutes earlier. This section is bloated with dialogue, bad acting, and uninteresting characters. "The Gold Watch" has its moments and definitely picks up when we meet the gimp and the crazy world that we fall into. It just takes too long getting there. Christopher Walken provides a very interesting and hilarious story of the watch that has been passed down anally from generation to generation of the Coolidge family. "The Bonnie Situation" may very well be the strongest section of the film. This is where we meet "The Wolf" Harvey Keitel as he cleans up a mess made by Vincent Vega in a hilarious scene where he accidentally "shot Marvin the face." "The Bonnie Situation" offers up quite a bit of laughs, some great acting, and a very strong ending. The film ends where it started with Jules Jackson talking about changing his life around as he "walks the earth." Thankfully Gods interventionist-like hand, that saved him hours earlier, doesn't make him walk too far as He has sent him a weak person for the transitional Jules to save. The film ends on Jules changing or turning against everything he has ever done or known. Instead of being a bad - and killing "Pumpkin" Tim Roth , he gives him some money, out of his own wallet, for a chance to start fresh and redeem himself. This might actually be "Pumpkin" and "Honey Bunny's" last heist, and they have Jules to thank for the chance at redemption and changing their ways.
several unusual tales going on all at the same time (by helpless_dancer)
I loved this madcap yarn about 2 hitmen for the mob, a mobster's nutty girlfriend, a punch drunk boxer, and 2 ineffective bandits. The story was told in flashback form, a technique that I have always found interesting. The lives of all the players criss-cross with each other forming a collection a mini-stories guaranteed to captivate the viewer. Unusually done film, very entertaining.
A violent, vicious and egregious movie (by krips-from-iit-kgp)
There are movies that open you up, and make you feel relaxed. Some of the movies can give you strength and make you feel hopeful. They are full of messages. But there are some movies, which are just the opposite. They cause a violent feeling within you. After watching those movies you may say to yourself 'shit! what did I see?' 'That is so vicious!' or something similar.It is obvious that I am referring to Pulp Fiction to the second type. I am sure everyone must be shocked by the way the film progressed. The executions, drug consumption, the lifestyles of thugs, conversations <more>
etc. are shown in such a raw way that it will make you think for days about the movie and make you say to yourself 'shit! what did I see?'. The movie gave no explicit messages and just had shown lifestyles of certain kind of people. But this no-message story, is shown in such raw and real way that it will make you see and think about this movie again and again. Hats off to direction.That's why the name :"Pulp Fiction"
Highly Overrated..Suppose to be a Gangster film??? (by Li_85)
Pulp Fiction is the most overrated movie I've ever seen. Reservior Dogs had released and was the talk of the town. Average movie that talks a lot and is set in mainly one place. Pulp Fiction is another movie that talks a lot, and doesn't do much else. It is a 2 in a half hour long movie and calls itself a action gangster movie. There is hardly any violence in this movie, its just talking talking and more talking. No where near comparable then Goodfellas, Scarface, Godfather or Casino. Only a few jokes like Bruce Willas and Ving Rhames in their worst nightmare. This is more of a comedy <more>
gangster related movie like Lock Stock and two smoking barrels. That was funny.
I cannot believe that this movie was liked by anyone. (by macphersont)
Pointless, violent drivel. I have heard this called the best movie of the 90's... sad sad commentary about the state of movies in the 90's. Pure crap. If you want to see a similar movie with at least some redemption watch the Usual Suspects, at least it had a point.
Quentin Tarantino's second strike. (by MovieAddict2016)
Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" is the quintessential example of great movie making, assorted using various constructive techniques that elevate the film to the highest possible level, stretching the boundaries and pushing upwards. Like all great directors, Q.T. lets the film and its subsidiaries stand on their own. A lesser director might employ cheap gimmicks and plot devices to move the story onwards at a brisk pace, but "Pulp Fiction" is a dark action, comedy, and/or drama that clocks in at two hours and thirty-four minutes. And not a single minute is wasted on <more>
material we think could have been shortened or cut. It's one of those rare motion pictures that leaves you wanting more, which only welcomes another immediate viewing to let everything sink in a second, third, or even fourth time.A lesser director than Tarantino might also force his characters into saying things they would not normally say, or into actions they would not normally act out in real life. Instead, Tarantino does something brilliant and seldom executed: He actually lets his characters evolve on-screen, and actually engage in every day conversations. Most critics interpret this as Quentin stopping to insert unnecessary albeit entertaining dialogue segments. They're wrong. The dialogue is strong, but it's there for a purpose. The difference is that dialogue in a movie such as "The Presidio" isn't real at all. The characters enter, move the plot forwards through speaking or acting, then proceed to repeat this in following instances, as if they're following the back of a mouth wash bottle "rinse, spit, repeat" . Quentin does something else, by eavesdropping on his characters when their dialogue does mean something. No doubt Jules and Vincent have much to say about many things, but most of the time it is not relevant to the story. One must keep in mind that we actually hear little about Jules and Vincent, and even less talk between them. But when we do hear these things, it's strikingly true and purposeful. And this is what so many people miss when viewing "Pulp Fiction" -- the witty dialogue has become universally regarded as the strongest ever written, and while that may very well be correct, the idea that it is pointless is absurd. Quentin is subtle in the way he introduces his speeches; when Jules Samuel L. Jackson and Vincent John Travolta spend some two or three minutes discussing how the French translate the term "Quarter Pounder with Cheese" due to the metric system, it is amazingly deliberate: Quentin later uses this same reference for Jules before he and Vincent assassinate a group of young crooks who have stolen a briefcase from Marsellus Wallace Ving Rhames , one of the town's major kingpins. There are essentially three stories in "Pulp Fiction," intertwined between one another. It opens with Honey Bunny Amanda Plummer and her boyfriend Tim Roth hatching a plan to rob a restaurant. By their reasoning, no one ever bothers with restaurants, just banks, so why not take advantage of them "with their pants down"? The stick-up proceeds, which is when the famous titles roar forward and we find ourselves following Jules and Vincent, who work for Marsellus, who has paid championship boxer Butch Bruce Willis to fall in his upcoming match. But Butch has a better plan: Bet loads of money on himself, beat the other guy to a bloody pulp, and run away with his money. He almost gets away with it when he accidentally crosses paths with Marsellus once more, resulting in a rape scene to rival that in "Deliverance."Back to the dialogue. It is the driving force of the film, complementing the plot and allowing its characters to grow on us in ways we never imagined they would. It's the way in which the dialogue is deliberated that varies from most other examples of deliberation. For example, is it coincidence that we just so happen to overhear Jules and Vincent discussing the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese? No. But our instincts tell us that it seems very real, as if Tarantino went around filming real people, then edited together scenes where the dialogue could bear some sort of importance to the plot. There are different levels of dialogue -- plot-driven, and realistic -- but all dialogue is in service of its plot, just as all of what we say to our friends or family has a deeper meaning and will no doubt relate to the matter at hand. All dialogue relates to a larger scheme, and so does the dialogue in "Pulp Fiction." It's just more casual and subtle than most movies. It's not pointless, but it's not deliberate, which is a fine line to try and balance on. Quentin does so successfully, crossing the finish line with enthusiasm, which is no doubt part of what elevates "Pulp Fiction" above so many other motion pictures of its genre.5/5.