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 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 10:02 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Last year about this time I started (re)watching "Q's" films as well as the numerous knockoffs subsequently "inspired by" Pulp Fiction during the 1995-1999 period. Fast forward one year to now, and I'm watching those films yet again!

I watch the Would-Be Quentin Tarantino Efforts more than I do Q's films. I guess I find that mid-to-late-'90s period interesting because of just how influential Pulp Fiction and to a lesser extent, Reservoir Dogs, were on all those "hip crime films" that proliferated during the post-1994 period. Obviously, some films fare better than others, with the worst ones being much more watered down compared to the Tarantino films. I find the quirky characters more interesting than the non-linear plots.

Some of my favorites of the knockoffs include:

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995): Tarantino veterans Christopher Walken and Steve Buscemi are the most notable characters in this film though underrated Treat Williams is also memorable.

2 Days in the Valley (1996): Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, Paul Mazursky, James Spader, and Charlize Theron are among the many noteworthy performers in a film that deserves a small, dedicated cult following. This film is also noteworthy for jettisoning Jerry Goldsmith's Chinatown rehash score for a contemporary effort from Anthony Marinelli and the inclusion of numerous "retro" pop and soul songs.

Out of Sight (1998): It's more Elmore Leonard and Steven Soderbergh but with more than a touch of Tarantino. George Clooney proves he has "it" and is about as charismatic as it gets.

The Limey (1999): Another fine effort from Soderbergh, and it's even better than "Out of Sight." This is Soderbergh's "Point Blank." Tarantino touches include a memorable turn by Nicky Katt as a glib, philosophical hit man, Peter Fonda as a 1960s sellout, and Luis Guzmán as Terence Stamp's ally. One of my favorite '90s films.

 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 11:58 AM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

I pretty much ignored the Tarantino rip-offs in the 1990s mainly because I wasn't even interested in QT's stuff until ten years later.

But I'm always amused by one critic who jokingly speculated, in late 1997-early 1998, that Tarantino and the Coen brothers had seemingly "switched" scripts for their current projects: Tarantino's relatively sober JACKIE BROWN (from an Elmore Leonard novel) and the Coens' zany THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 12:34 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

Tarantino touches include a memorable turn by Nicky Katt as a glib, philosophical hit man, Peter Fonda as a 1960s sellout, and Jose Guzman as Terence Stamp's ally.

Luis Guzman.

 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 12:47 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Tarantino touches include a memorable turn by Nicky Katt as a glib, philosophical hit man, Peter Fonda as a 1960s sellout, and Jose Guzman as Terence Stamp's ally.

Luis Guzman.


Luis Guzmán. It took three posts to get one guy's name right, but we did it.

 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 12:50 PM   
 By:   BornOfAJackal   (Member)

Truth or Consequences, N.M.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 12:57 PM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Last year about this time I started (re)watching "Q's" films as well as the numerous knockoffs subsequently "inspired by" Pulp Fiction during the 1995-1999 period. Fast forward one year to now, and I'm watching those films yet again!

I watch the Would-Be Quentin Tarantino Efforts more than I do Q's films. I guess I find that mid-to-late-'90s period interesting because of just how influential Pulp Fiction and to a lesser extent, Reservoir Dogs, were on all those "hip crime films" that proliferated in the post-1994 period. Obviously, some films fare better than others, with the worst ones being much more watered down when compared to the Tarantino films. I find that the quirky characters are more interesting than the non-linear plots.

Some of my favorites of the knockoffs include:

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995): Tarantino veterans Christopher Walken and Steve Buscemi are the most notable characters in this film though underrated Treat Williams is also memorable.

2 Days in the Valley (1996): Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, Paul Mazursky, James Spader, and Charlize Theron are among the many noteworthy performers in a film that deserves a small, dedicated cult following. This film is also noteworthy for jettisoning Jerry Goldsmith's Chinatown rehash score for a contemporary effort from Anthony Marinelli and the inclusion of numerous "retro" pop and soul songs.

Out of Sight (1998): It's more Elmore Leonard and Steven Soderbergh but with more than a touch of Tarantino. George Clooney proves he has "it" and is about as charismatic as it gets.

The Limey (1999): Another fine effort from Soderbergh, and it's even better than "Out of Sight." This is Soderbergh's "Point Blank." Tarantino touches include a memorable turn by Nicky Katt as a glib, philosophical hit man, Peter Fonda as a 1960s sellout, and Luis Guzmán as Terence Stamp's ally. One of my favorite '90s films.



I agree that The Limey is an excellent film, a lots of people have never seen it, and sadly, it is not on bluray. It is one of Soderbergh's best films, along with the also very underwatched King of the Hill.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 1:02 PM   
 By:   lars.blondeel   (Member)

Don't remember much about it, but wasn't 'Killing Zoe' Tarantino-esque ?

 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 4:46 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

Off the timeline BAD TIMES...ROYALLE was much.better than PULP FICTION , a film I never liked.

 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 4:47 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

KING OF THE.HILL is wonderful!

 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 4:48 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

I pretty much ignored the Tarantino rip-offs in the 1990s mainly because I wasn't even interested in QT's stuff until ten years later.

But I'm always amused by one critic who jokingly speculated, in late 1997-early 1998, that Tarantino and the Coen brothers had seemingly "switched" scripts for their current projects: Tarantino's relatively sober JACKIE BROWN (from an Elmore Leonard novel) and the Coens' zany THE BIG LEBOWSKI.


Interesting thesis!

 
 Posted:   Apr 24, 2019 - 5:05 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Phoenix (1998)

Directed by Danny Cannon.

"After superstitious cop Harry Collins (Ray Liotta) racks up significant gambling debts, he is given the option of killing an informant. Collins decides to instead rob a loan shark (Giancarlo Esposito) in order to pay off his bookie (Tom Noonan), so he can run off with bartender Leila (Anjelica Huston). He is aided by his rough partner, Mike (Anthony LaPaglia), as well as corrupt officers James (Daniel Baldwin) and Fred (Jeremy Piven), and the robbery quickly becomes more than Harry anticipated."

This is another favorite of mine in the same way that I rate it highly like. ebec/The Wanderer adores A View to a Kill. Phoenix is the perfect late-night flick after a long night out, maybe something one chases down with an episode of the 1997 low-budget Stacy Keach Mike Hammer series.

Ray Liotta, Anthony LaPaglia, a Baldwin Brother, and a short balding guy as Phoenix Arizona detectives. Also in the cast: Angelica Huston and that tragic pretty young thing who died about ten years ago...Brittany Murphy. Tom Noonan and Giancarlo Esposito have memorable roles, as well. Lots of Tarantinoesque dialogue such as pop culture references, scientific babble, and literary talk. It doesn't approach The Limey in terms of artistry, but I love this friggin' film as one might enjoy a huge cheeseburger.

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2019 - 4:14 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I agree that The Limey is an excellent film, a lots of people have never seen it, and sadly, it is not on bluray. It is one of Soderbergh's best films, along with the also very underwatched King of the Hill.

I've quoted Peter Fonda's "The Sixties" monologue at this forum several times over the years; it's one of my favorites, if not *the* favorite of all movie quotes. It's read by a legitimate 1960s icon--so much gravitas; it's "stunt casting" working to perfection. I wish Peter Fonda had enjoyed a more fruitful career though I've always enjoyed the guy's better efforts. His Terry Valentine character is *the* quintessential 1960s Boomer sellout character. Soderbergh knew what he was doing by casting Fonda.

I like the anecdote that the director was initially skeptical of even using Fonda for the film, but was charmed by him at one of those Hollywood lunches we often often hear about in those cringey, soul-crushing junkets.

I've never been disappointed by a Soderbergh film though I wish he hadn't wasted so much of his talent on those tepid--yet mildly amusing--"Ocean's" films.

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2019 - 5:18 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

City of Industry (1997)

Another of those resident late-night cable offerings. The film is more a throwback to 1970s minimalism, so it's strictly "guilt by association" for having been made during the mid-'90s Tarantino window. This film's stunt casting would include Timothy Hutton as a heist planner, an uncredited Elliot Gould as a nightclub owner/loan shark, and Famke Janssen as the unglamorous wife of a convict. The Techno music soundtrack simultaneously makes City of Industry pioneering but at the same time dates the film, not that either of those are a bad thing. Harvey Keitel's onscreen power and John Irvin's superb direction are the main reasons to watch.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2019 - 7:59 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

I agree that The Limey is an excellent film, a lots of people have never seen it, and sadly, it is not on bluray. It is one of Soderbergh's best films, along with the also very underwatched King of the Hill.

I've quoted Peter Fonda's "The Sixties" monologue at this forum several times over the years; it's one of my favorites, if not *the* favorite of all movie quotes. It's read by a legitimate 1960s icon--so much gravitas; it's "stunt casting" working to perfection. I wish Peter Fonda had enjoyed a more fruitful career though I've always enjoyed the guy's better efforts. His Terry Valentine character is *the* quintessential 1960s Boomer sellout character. Soderbergh knew what he was doing by casting Fonda.

I like the anecdote that the director was initially skeptical of even using Fonda for the film, but was charmed by him at one of those Hollywood lunches we often often hear about in those cringey, soul-crushing junkets.

I've never been disappointed by a Soderbergh film though I wish he hadn't wasted so much of his talent on those tepid--yet mildly amusing--"Ocean's" films.


I am with you on this Jim

 
 Posted:   May 2, 2019 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

City of Industry (1997)

While Electronica is generally not my kind of music, I do enjoy the smoother, quieter sounds of its Ambient/Trip Hop sub genre. The City of Industry soundtrack is mostly the latter, and not only do the songs complement the onscreen imagery, they also succeed at creating a great late night-early morning mellow out vibe, like when Mr. Haga has passed out after a night spent inside a beer tank.

Oh, and speaking of "City of Industry"--as if we actually were--an individual on the 'Tube wrote some interesting things regarding the film's Ambient/Techno soundtrack:

"Think about Harvey Keitel. Think about what kinds of songs you'd pick to put in his movie. The result is, most assuredly, everything included on the City of Industry soundtrack. As a trip-hopped compilation, the album is without fault. As an indicator of just how far "underground" dance music had seeped into the mainstream by 1997, it's massive. And as a mirror of the darkness that percolated through the film, City of Industry is perfect. It's a rare success, concocting a blend of tracks that not only reflect the action onscreen, but also work together out of the cinema and long after the fact. This set does both with ease.

"The artists included read like a Who's Who of the late-'90s dance industry: Massive Attack, Bomb the Bass, and Tricky represent trip-hop's holy trinity with "Three," "Bug Powder Dust," and "Overcome," respectively.

"But that's just the beginning. What made this particular soundtrack so vital at the time of its release was that many of the tracks culled for the disc were new to ears in the U.S. Lush's "Last Night" could initially only be heard as a promo B-side; both "Walking on Water" (Palm Skin Productions) and "Rocco Sings for a Drink" (Death in Vegas) were import-only; and Mr. Jones' "Red" was a vinyl compilation track -- great if you were one of the few people who still owned a record player in 1997, but infuriating for the rest. Butter 08's "Degobrah," meanwhile, was remixed specially for the OST.

"This is a timeless collection; it grooves, it rocks, and it's creepy to boot. The songs get under your skin; the sounds are ethereal and sweet, raucous and menacing. And it's never once watered down for those not in the know."

 
 Posted:   May 2, 2019 - 7:46 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Calling Deputy Riley! The 1990s need your expertise!

 
 
 Posted:   May 2, 2019 - 10:32 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Calling Deputy Riley! The 1990s need your expertise!

Reading that music review you posted in Patrick Bateman's or Alan Partridge's voice really works.

 
 Posted:   May 2, 2019 - 1:41 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Reading that music review you posted in Patrick Bateman's or Alan Partridge's voice really works.

I'll take that as a compliment, you brain-bleedin' (and hopefully on the mend) bastard.

 
 Posted:   May 2, 2019 - 1:48 PM   
 By:   BornOfAJackal   (Member)

Anyone here remember John Sayles' City of Hope from 1991?

Not directly related to Pulp Fiction, but it just seems to me that Tarantino imbibed some of the Sayles grit into his own stuff.

Take a look, if you can, at the conversation between the two black-and-white unit cops about "p---y", to see what I mean; it could have been John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson doing the same scene.

https://www.villagevoice.com/2016/10/13/at-25-john-sayles-city-of-hope-stands-as-stellar-pre-wire-urban-portraiture/

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/city-of-hope-1991

The director of photography was Robert Richardson, who did great work for Oliver Stone, Scorsese, and all of Tarantino's later stuff.

 
 Posted:   May 2, 2019 - 4:03 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Reading that music review you posted in Patrick Bateman's or Alan Partridge's voice really works.

So you've never watched City of Industry? You should. You owe it to Harvey Keitel (and to a much lesser degree, Stephen Dorff).

Remember when you and I went on that eating tour of Europe and had those Tarantinoesque pop culture-riddled conversations?

 
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