Yes, I use Netflix, and I’m guessing that every single student at Springfield College has used it at least once. Legendary movie director Quentin Tarantino does not use Netflix, however. I recently read an article by Peter Sciretta on his movie blog “/Film” (slashfilm.com) about a new book released last month by author Tom Roston titled, “I Lost It at the Video Store: A Filmmakers’ Oral History of a Vanished Era.” The article goes on to explain that the book is a look at how movies have progressively gone from being viewed exclusively in theatres, then to hard copies like VHS tapes and DVDs, and now to instant streaming.
Tarantino, along with a few other prominent directors, are quoted in the book describing how much they dislike Netflix and the concept of streaming movies. There’s a trailer for “I Lost It at the Video Store” attached to the /Film article that is pretty cool, and you can hear snippets of interviews with Tarantino and “Clerks” director Kevin Smith bashing Netflix users.
I find it ironic considering Tarantino has eight movies on Netflix right now. He must have had to give permission for the movies to be placed on the Netflix streaming list. Nevertheless, in honor of Tarantino and his efforts to revive film stores while simultaneously promoting Netflix at the same time, I look into his top three movies currently streaming on Netflix.
- Pulp Fiction (1994) – Tarantino’s second release is probably his most well-known. This crime flick follows multiple story lines around Los Angeles out of chronological order, making for a sometimes disorienting feeling. Main characters include Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), a boxer pursued after throwing a fight and murdering his opponent in the ring. Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), wife of crime boss Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames), and two of Marsellus’s men, Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta). Although “Pulp Fiction” is all over the place with its story, the dialogue is entertaining, the action is constant, and the fact that everything takes place within a 48-hour period is remarkable. The character development really makes this one. One of my all-time favorites, a must-see. (9.5/10)
- Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Set in Germany during World War II, Tarantino tells the fictional story of Jewish-American soldiers recruited by leader “Aldo the Apache” (Brad Pitt) to kill Nazis across Europe. This film is one of Tarantino’s quirkier ones but still one of the best. The film displays his signature style of writing, loading the script with extended scenes filled with dialogue. The opening scene in the film features actor Christoph Waltz, playing an SS officer interrogating a French man who was accused of hiding Jews in his house. Twenty straight minutes of conversation at the man’s dining room table later, the film finally changes scenes. “Inglourious Basterds” is conversation packed, with a good amount of humor and action mixed throughout. Actors fit their roles perfectly. (8.5/10)
- Django Unchained (2012) – Tarantino’s most recent release, “Django Unchained” tracks freed slave turned bounty hunter Django (Jamie Foxx) all across the south in the 1850s with German partner Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) in search of the most vicious plantation owners at that time. The film is straightforward and has great music to accompany it. Django faces discrimination almost everywhere he goes, and sports some stylish cowboy gear along the way. Eventually, Schultz and Django make it their mission to find Django’s wife at “Candyland,” a huge plantation in Mississippi owned by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). “Django Unchained” displays classic Tarantino action scenes with over the top violence and extreme bloodiness, similar to that of action scenes in the “Kill Bill” movies. Solid acting and a great story jumps it ahead of “Kill Bill 2” and puts it in my top three Tarantino Netflix films. (8/10)