Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Pulp Fiction" review

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino Roger Avary

John Travolta ... Vincent Vega
Samuel L. Jackson ... Jules Winnfield
Tim Roth ... Pumpkin - Ringo
Amanda Plummer ... Honey Bunny - Yolanda
Eric Stoltz ... Lance
Bruce Willis ... Butch Coolidge
Ving Rhames ... Marsellus Wallace
Phil LaMarr ... Marvin
Maria de Medeiros ... Fabienne
Rosanna Arquette ... Jody
Peter Greene ... Zed
Uma Thurman ... Mia Wallace
Quentin Tarantino... Jimmie Dimmick
Harvey Keitel... Winston 'The Wolf' Wolfe

I received an email from a fellow movie review blogger who wanted to know if I wanted to do a guest post for her blog. Mermaid Heather is having a blog anniversary and is seeing what her favorite bloggers consider their favorite movies. Glad to know I fall in her favorite bloggers category. The timing is good for me because I needed a little break from bashing painful movies and was in the mood to heap some praise on a good film. So for my guest post, (and a review on my blog), I've chosen one of my favorite movies. "Pulp Fiction".

"Pulp Fiction" is three interwoven tales of drugs, blood, crime, dates with married junkies, fixed boxing matches, dead body disposals, and movie references galore. The first story has hitman Vincent Vega, (Travolta), taking out his bosses wife, (Uma Thurman), on a drug fueled "date". The second story follows Butch (Bruce Willis), and his quest to get his beloved watch back from gangsters and survive the day in hellish L.A. The last story goes back in time to follow Vincent and Jules, (Jackson), as they go about their business and handle the stress of having to dispose of a dead body.

"Pulp Fiction" starts off with hitmen Vincent (Travolta) and Jules (Jackson) paying a visit to some neglectful employees of Marcellus Wallace. Vincent nonchalantly informs Jules that he has been picked to babysit Mia Wallace while Marcellus is out of town. "You going to be taking Mia Wallace out on a date?" Vincent doesn't understand what the big deal is until he meets Mia. It turns out that she is even more in love with drugs than he is. The date goes well until Mia snorts up too much white powder. The rest of the story has Vincent scrambling to make sure Mia doesn't ruin the date by dying on him.

The second story has Bruce Willis obsessing over his gold watch. He has to leave town after a rigged boxing match but can't bear to part with his watch that his father left him. His decision to return into the heart of L.A. to retrieve it will cost him a heavy price as hitmen and other freaks are lying in wait for him.

The last story goes back in time to show what happened between Jules and Vincent's rendezvous with the wayward employees of Marcellus and Vincent's date with Mia. Vincent accidently blows a guy's head off in the back of the car while discussing the merits of divine intervention. They are so frazzled by having the guy's brain's splatter all over them that they need to call in an expert on body disposals. The Wolf, (Harvey Keitel), shows up to school them on the proper way to clean a blood soaked car.

"Pulp Fiction" is a near perfect movie. There are so many good elements to this movie it's hard to know where to start. From the writing, to the acting, to the direction, "Pulp Fiction" exceeds your expectations of what a crime movie is supposed to deliver. Samuel Jackson should have won an Oscar for his performance as Jules Winnfield. Why he didn't is a true injustice. John Travolta was also amazing as Vincent Vega. "Pulp Fiction" is Tarantino's best movie so far. It has inspired countless imitators but none have even come close to being as potent as "Pulp Fiction".

But for me, Uma Thurman was the highlight of "Pulp Fiction". If you don't fall in love with Uma Thurman after watching "Pulp Fiction" you are not human. Although I don't obsess over Uma's feet like Tarantino does, it's easy to see how men can fall under her spell. Her "date" with Travolta is a classic scene. Tarantino films her as if he is completely smitten with her and it's hard not to agree with him. Every look and gesture she portrays makes you a believer in her seductive charm.

"Pulp Fiction" is a must see movie. It has everything you could possibly want from a movie. It excels as entertainment and as cinema.

SCORE: 4 out of 4 Mia Wallace dates
You're gonna be takin' Mia Wallace out on a date?
It ain't a date. It's like when you and your buddy's wife go to a movie or somethin'. It's just... you know... good company. It's not a date.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Biohazard: The Alien Force" review

Biohazard: The Alien Force (1995)

Director: Steve Latshaw
Writer: Patrick Moran

James L. Miles ... The BioMonster
John Alexander ... Det. Morley
Dorothy Best ... Caitlan Palmer
Robin Chapman ... Newspaper Editor
Katherine Culliver ... Shana Alexander
Trevor David ... Donner
Tom Ferguson ... Quint
Susan Fronsoe ... Nicki Carstairs

An evil corporation, (is there any other kind?), is conducting an experiment to see if they can create a monster to wreck some cheap havoc. Their dastardly plan comes to fruition as an outrageously cheesy monster breaks free and runs wild. The beast wants to kill anyone who recklessly donated their DNA to help speed along his existence. Many fools will pay the ultimate price for daring to mess with mother nature and playing B-movie gods.

Monster on a rampage. It escapes from a lab. It wants to kill people. You know the drill. But while the monster is certainly a biohazard, he wasn't actually an alien force. Although in this instance, the filmmakers may be referring to the ecology definition of alien which states that its "An organism, especially a plant or animal, that occurs in or is naturalized in a region to which it is not native." Or maybe they were just trying to ripoff better Sci-fi movies. Or perhaps I'm thinking too much about this.

At any rate, the monster in "Biohazard: The Alien Force" was made out of the finest rubber money can buy. It was one of the few things I enjoyed about this movie. I was concerned the thing was going to catch on fire and release deadly toxins into the air. That would have been the real biohazard. That's how he should have threatened his victims: "One more step and my scales get torched. RARRRRRR!!!"

If you've seen one rubber suited alien bust out of a lab movie, you've seen them all. I keep thinking I've seen them all and yet there always seems to be one more B-movie biohazard waiting to strike. "Biohazard: The Alien Force" is from the same writer/director team that gave us "Dark Universe" or the "Monster in a marsh" movie. They believe in no-frills, straight ahead B-movie making. Monster, victims, death, the end. It gets the job done. That's not to say the job was done well mind you. Just done.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 biohazardous aliens