Author Topic: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 438874 times)

skjerva

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9448
  • I'm your audience.
1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« on: October 07, 2007, 01:17:05 AM »
I reckon our feedback should be in the spoiler thread...

Clerks. (Kevin Smith, 1994, 92 min)
vs.
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994, 154 min)


It is hard to believe both Pulp Fiction and Clerks. were released in 1994.  I remember the excitement of being in the theatre during the opening credits of Pulp Fiction that carried for the film’s duration; I also remember the screening of Clerks. in a University Film Society, a near-full house of excitement, though I don’t remember feeling it.  In the past 10+ years, I’ve seen Pulp Fiction a handful of times and it never gets old, I’m not sure I’ve watched Clerks more than once in the interim. 

At a fairly tight 154 minutes, Pulp grooves with solid acting, snappy dialogue, a great soundtrack, very nice production values, and a fun elliptical construction.  Clerks. wallows in its poor acting, frequently obnoxious script, and sometimes poor construction.  That said, Tarantino’s stories are hip while being seemingly devoid of substance, filled with characters tossing slurs, typically reveling in drugs and violence.  Not that there is anything with the drugs and violence, I just can’t figure out what is going on with it.

Clerks. is filled with Smith’s typical sex and relationship banter, and loaded with various homosocial relationships.  Smith explores friendships and community, nicely positing the Quick Stop as a public square where social and political issues are debated between employees, friends and customers.  Of equal interest is that Dante and Randal have appropriated their places of work for their own purposes.  They make their own hours, share the inventory with others while developing the previously mentioned publics.  The film posits clerking as a life choice of social value against being trapped in the typical routines of “achievement” and social mobility.  All of that along with credit for the DIY aesthetic

I’m totally surprised to be sending Clerks. onto the next round over Pulp Fiction.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 07:22:23 PM by pixote »
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

Basil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9510
  • Entrepreneur, spiritualist, healer.
    • Forced Perspective
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2007, 08:16:25 AM »

Im totally surprised to be sending Clerks. onto the next round over Pulp Fiction.


I think this little competition just lost all credibility. Wow. I hate Clerks.
I'm like Cold Stone: you either like me, love me, or gotta have me.

skjerva

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9448
  • I'm your audience.
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2007, 10:39:29 AM »
Yeah, I totally surprised myself as well, I thought it was a foregone conclusion.  I started with Clerks. and a few minutes in I'm thinking "well, that was easy", a bit later I was for some reason giving it a chance and beginning to appreciate it.  I thought about what was going on with Clerks. like I never had before, probably because I previously easily dismissed it.  Flipside, when forced to think about Pulp Fiction, I didn't come away with much more than a well crafted vehicle for racial slurs and lots of violence.  After I wrote my response I also thought about all the vapid Tarantino emulators we have been forced to suffer through, I don't know of anyone that has followed in Smith's path (aside from maybe the Mumblecore folks  ;)  Anyway, these are also supposed to spur discussion, so spit out some thoughts on why I am wrong.

That said, sdedalus has been enlisted as a safety valve to protect us against ourselves.  When fools like me make the wrong choice, Sean has the power to rule back in a few films that have been kicked out by no-knothing movie-watchers. 

The specifics have not been settled on, but here is the current idea.  The thought is after the first round, with the 32 losers, Sean will rule 4 back in.  They will head-to-head until one remains, that one film will then go against a random winner of the first round for its slot, then that winner onto the next round.  The second round, with 16 losers will play out the same way.  The third round with 8 losers will get only two ruled back in; the fourth round only one.  The quarter finals on we will all participate on the remaining films and settle those winners by vote.
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

Basil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9510
  • Entrepreneur, spiritualist, healer.
    • Forced Perspective
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2007, 11:25:35 AM »
At a fairly tight 154 minutes, Pulp grooves with solid acting, snappy dialogue, a great soundtrack, very nice production values, and a fun elliptical construction.  Clerks. wallows in its poor acting, frequently obnoxious script, and sometimes poor construction. 

You pretty much said it all right there. Now I've only seen Clerks once, at home, but for good reason. I never get sick of Pulp Fiction.
I'm like Cold Stone: you either like me, love me, or gotta have me.

skjerva

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9448
  • I'm your audience.
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2007, 10:52:41 PM »
At a fairly tight 154 minutes, Pulp grooves with solid acting, snappy dialogue, a great soundtrack, very nice production values, and a fun elliptical construction.  Clerks. wallows in its poor acting, frequently obnoxious script, and sometimes poor construction.

You pretty much said it all right there. Now I've only seen Clerks once, at home, but for good reason. I never get sick of Pulp Fiction.

But what do you think about the rest of what I wrote?  That bit was basically stating the very obvious, the rest that I wrote is still pretty obvious, I just thought more meaningful.  Pulp Fiction could be about selling a Big Kahuna burger as far as I'm concerned, there is just nothing going on with it. 
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

Basil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9510
  • Entrepreneur, spiritualist, healer.
    • Forced Perspective
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 01:22:04 PM »
Honestly, I can't say that the rest of what you said is wrong. I know I haven't had that experience with Pulp Fiction; the sentence I quoted is exactly how I feel about both films. I don't think Tarantino will claim to making a really important film with Pulp Fiction. I think he's all about the adrenaline rush, and at that he succeeds.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 03:10:43 PM by solafekxela »
I'm like Cold Stone: you either like me, love me, or gotta have me.

karlwinslow

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3661
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2007, 02:57:36 PM »
I don't think Tarantino will claim to making a really important film with Pulp Fiction. I think he's all about the adrenaline rush, and at that it succeds.

That's all of QT's films.  That's what makes them great.

JoshuaOst

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2007, 07:35:46 PM »
I like Clerks and Pulp Fiction but I have to say that Pulp Fiction is a much more solid film.
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Basil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9510
  • Entrepreneur, spiritualist, healer.
    • Forced Perspective
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 09:33:03 PM »
Ok, I caught part of Dazed on tv the other night, and it confirmed what I was already convinced of.  My battle, hands down, goes to Dazed & Confused.

Quiz Show had great style, it flowed like cold Dr. Pepper rushing out of the fountain, but ultimately had very little to say that was either relevant or interesting or new.  Instead, it was an interesting examination of the mood of America in the 1950s with one-note characters and a simply annoying ending.  Redford should have known that anyone could have deduced what he ultimately had to say just by reading the back cover.

Dazed & Confused, I expect, will outlast quite a few films in the bracket. It is one of the ultimate ensemble movies, high school movies, and movies that take place over one day and night.  Every character is completely defined and true-to-life; I doubt there is a film high schoolers can enjoy more over and over again.  If I had the time, I would definitely watch it through one more time this week, and probably every week, for that matter. And though it, too, doesn't say much that is particularly unconventional, Linklater acknowledges that and doesn't try to tell us something incredibly profound about the human condition.

In the end, mine was a simple battle of style vs. substance.
I'm like Cold Stone: you either like me, love me, or gotta have me.

Junior

  • Bert Macklin, FBI
  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 27202
  • What's the rumpus?
    • Benefits of a Classical Education
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2007, 04:08:12 PM »
Last of the Mohicans vs. Silence of the Lambs

Some history: I have watched Silence of the Lambs at least 3 times in the past 7 years or so, but I have only watched Last of the Mohicans once and I was very young.

Last of the Mohicans wins it for me. It was very close until the last 15 minutes of LotM, which is one of the most thrilling and emotionally charged scenes I have seen in a very long time. The final speech in LotM made me cry, especially "Once, we were here." While Silence of the Lambs is a very scary movie, it did not have the power that Last of the Mohicans had. Also, Daniel Day Lewis is one of the best actors ever. Look at the difference between his character in LotM and Gangs of New York. They are completely different but exceptionally acted.
Check out my blog of many topics

Im not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!