johnlink ranks TRUE ROMANCE (1993)

Here is a movie which has been in our queue for awhile. One I’ve seen, but many of my movie night friends have not. I was probably right around 19 or 20 when I last saw this, so there was a small hint of worry that it was not as good of a film as my collegiate mind had remembered it to be. But, it was.

TRUE ROMANCE is the violent and gritty story of to young lovers (Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette) trying to make their instant fortune.

I watched TRUE ROMANCE (1993) on 10.15.09. It was my fourth viewing of the film, and first since the early part of the millennium.

NOTE: THIS RANKING UTILIZES THIS SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE WRITING METHOD. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE RANKINGS WERE ARRIVED AT, HOWEVER, REMAIN THE SAME.

FILM

This is a Tony Scott (ENEMY OF THE STATE, MAN ON FIRE) film based on a Tarantino (hopefully I don’t need to provide example titles) screenplay. It is interesting in that it is one of the very few examples of another director tackling Tarantino’s script. Ultimately, I put this in my top 3 Tarantino, slightly behind PULP FICTION, and slighlty ahead of RESERVOIR DOGS.

There is a brutality to this film, which is not glorified or exploitative. There are just some mean fuckers in this film, doing mean things (the worst of which is probably James Gandolfini). TRUE ROMANCE provides numerous memorable scenes including the Christian Slater/Gary Oldman encounter, the Dennis Hopper/Chris Walken standoff, the Bronson Pinchot cocaine in a car scene, the Chris Penn/Tom Sizemore cop scenes, and the final climactic battle. This is not a light fare movie, it is darkly funny and always gritty. SCORE: 8

MOVIE

I suppose I could just re-list the scenes above here and call it a day for explaining the entertainment value of this movie. But I will say that the first twenty or thirty minutes of this film are unusual, to say the least, if you don’t know what you are going into. Not bad in any way, but certainly different. We see the QT mark right away when we learn Christian Slater loves Elvis and Sonny Chiba. As soon as Walken shows up, we know what we are in for. And from there on forward, it never relents. SCORE: 8

ACTING

It is ironic that I watched this the day after lamenting the many empty cameos of SCREAM 2. TRUE ROMANCE is a film where you have huge names for a scene or two, and they all chew it up and spit it out. There are roles here which will forever be the top five of some guys like Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, and James Ganolfini. Then we get solid stuff from more names like Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Hopper, Michael Rappaport (who steals about every scene he is in), Bronson Pinchot (not a typo), Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore, and Saul Rubinek. But it is Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, neither of which are in my canon of great actors, who hold this movie together with their tenacity and energy. Without perfect performances from all of the above, we don’t arrive at that very rare perfect acting score. SCORE: 10

WRITING

A brilliant script. I don’t begrudge it the unusual first act because it is a unique start to a film which quickly becomes a true modern classic. Tarantino is working in pre PULP FICTION ways here. We get the intersecting stories on their way to a big conclusion, but we get them in order and mostly from one perspective. What QT is always smart about doing is remembering that the bad guys and the henchmen should be every bit as memorable and important as his leads. The dialogue, of course, is sharp and witty. It all works together very well. SCORE: 9

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 8; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 10; WRITING: 9

8+8+10+9+0=35

FINAL SCORE: 8.75

Advertisements

~ by johnlink00 on October 16, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: