Past Movie Review: Pulp Fiction

The movie “Pulp Fiction” is considered a classic and is without a doubt the film in 1994 that turned Quentin Tarantino from an up and coming director into someone who is considered a movie making genius. The reason for this is because of the groundbreaking way the story was told – which was -“it all started at the end”. When I saw this movie start at the end and then circle back to the beginning and then end at the beginning scene I remember thinking at the time, why hasn’t anybody else done this before? I then remember thinking that this is sheer screenwriting genius. This movie is insane, violent and unlike anything that has ever been done before or since.

After Pulp Fiction, many other movies over the years have tried to duplicate the storytelling genius of this movie and have mostly failed. Nothing that I can remember in any movie I have seen in the last 30 years has been as unusual as Pulp Fiction was in 1994. This movie also resurrected the dead career of John Travolta, who after years of bad movies and the Let’s Who’s Talking franchise had a movie career that was in a downward spiral. In the very tough and fickle business of movie making the Travolta resurrection in this movie is a great example of how much anyone in this field who is successful owes someone else. I am sure that Travolta would be the first to agree that he owes his success to the genius of Tarantino and this great screenwriting achievement. Without one brilliant script that probably took Tarantino well over a year to write and re-write, a brilliant movie like Pulp Fiction would never exist and Travolta’s movie career would have ended in 1994. Samuel L. Jackson has never been better in any movie he has ever been in and some of the speeches he gave in this movie are now considered classics. Once again, without Tarantino’s brilliant dialogue great acting parts like those in Pulp Fiction would never exist in the first place.

This film has some gruesome action scenes, several murders, a great deal of foul language and a rape scene that was very disturbing. But it also has a scene where Uma Thurman dances with John Travolta which is also considered another movie classic. Pulp Fiction has an 8.9 rating on IMDB, which ranks it near the top of all-time movie list. If you have not already seen Pulp Fiction it is a must see classic movie.

Movie Review: The Girl on the Train

The worst case scenario. This is mostly what this story is about. The worst case example of alcoholism and having blackouts, marrying the wrong person and the aftermath of a divorce. With this complex story, the aftermath of the central character Jennifer played well by Emily Blunt’s divorce is watching her x-husband get married again and have a baby with another woman as she falls deeper into alcoholism to the point of having blackouts where she cannot even remember important incidents that have happened for days.

This film is a story that is told in unusual ways with at first, broad overviews of what is happening or what has happened and then very frequent flashbacks to scenes that have happened in the near of distant past. The overall story and plot behind this complex film are not that unique but what is unique and watchable is how the story is told which is mostly not like any other movies I have seen before. I have not read the book The Girl on the Train yet but I assume that the book is about the same as the movie, where the story is told in little pieces where plot lines are slowly added in using frequent flashbacks. What is good about this movie is that this complex way of telling a story was done well enough in that it did not become too difficult to follow and in the end, this movie was an effective thriller that did work overall.

Justin Theroux plays Jennifer’s x-husband in one of the few leading roles I can remember seeing him in as he as mostly been a writer. Newcomer Haley Bennet is very effective as the other woman in this film and she also appeared in the recent remake of the Magnificent Seven, also reviewed in this blog. It is rare to see an actress like this in two major releases in a row within a few weeks. Rebecca Ferguson plays Theroux’s wife in the film and is also very good in her role.

There are some people who will probably not follow or not like the unusual way this story was told, but I think that in movie making, trying to do something that has never been done before or being unique and groundbreaking is a good thing. One downside with this film would be the constant depression Blunt’s character is always in, despite the understandable circumstances. I thought this was a good movie and I do recommend it.