If you were to take this film, and compare it to Tarantino's earlier work, you'd never guess they came from the same director and yes baby he did a great job with "Jackie." This is one of those films which is strange but yet captivating. You'll definitely feel as though you are watching a "Blaxploitation" flick to the point that you'll be wondering what corner Richard Roundtree was hiding behind.
Tarantino slows down a little and shows his skill at plotting an entertaining tale that doesn't tax your patience. In here, you do get less blood and more characterizations than usual and is unlike either of his first 2 movies. In Jackie Brown, Tarantino takes us for a ride as we follow Jackie Brown (Pam Grier), a flight attendant helping an arms dealer named Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) get money where it needs to be. After a flight, she is pull aside by two cops, one being Ray Nicolet (Michael Keaton), who find the cash she is smuggling in for Ordell. Now she faces jail time and Ordell must get rid of somebody who might snitch. What happens now is the bail bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster) and Brown team up to mess with Ordell and his two pot smoking companions, Melanie (Bridget Fonda) and Louis Gara (Robert De Niro). Now it's a nice plot of how Ordell wants the half a million dollars he has coming to him with these arms deals and how Jackie Brown is the only connection between Ordell and the police and Cherry.
This movie received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Robert Forster) and many good reviews. Forster isn't the only one giving a great performance. De Niro, Fonda, Jackson, Grier, Keaton, even Chris Tucker who is in the movie for probably less than five or ten minutes gives a notable performance. The whole ensemble is incredibly well casted and deserves to be recognized.
However, this movie is uniquely Quentin T. and exhibits his versatile film making style. When he directs he allows his imagination free rein to experiment and explore. Each of his directorial efforts has been unique, and "Jackie Brown" is another successful experiment. This movie does have great dialogue. Not surprising considering this WAS an Elmore Leonard book with Tarantino doing the scripting. Both men have quite a talent for what they do. It is also clear that Tarantino loves what he does, sometimes a little too much.
I have the soundtrack and just loved it. If you own it you will see how great the songs fit in and the dialogue. Loved the scene when they're all going to the mall at the end, and DeNiro's car is playing "Midnight Confession," and Forster's car is playing the Delfonics, "Didn't I Blow Your Mind" (a song that desperately needed re-discovery, thank you Quentin), and Jackie's car is playing "Street life!" and when Robert Forster first meets Jackie as he's bailing her out and "Natural High" comes on!!!!. Yes, QT is BRILLIANT when it comes to the use of music in his films and soundtracks. At the end of this, all the adventures and bizarre paths taken by these characters converge into a great film. What more can I say but to highly recommended this film along with the soundtrack.
Tarantino did a great job with Jackie Brown. This is one of those films which is strange but yet captivating. You'll definitely feel as though you are watching a "Blaxploitation" flick from the 1970's. Almost to the point that you'll be wondering what corner Richard Roundtree was hiding behind.
Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Michael Keaton and De Niro are all stellar as the extreme characters they play in this movie which focuses on lost drug money. Tarantino slows down a little and shows his skill at plotting an entertaining tale that doesn't tax your patience. In here, you do get less blood and more characterizations than usual and is unlike either of his first 2 movies.
However, this movie is uniquely Quentin T. and exhibits his versatile film making style. When he directs he allows his imagination free rein to experiment and explore. Each of his directorial efforts has been unique, and "Jackie Brown" is another successful experiment. This movie does have a very good dialogue. Not surprising considering this WAS an Elmore Leonard book with Tarantino doing the scripting. Both men have quite a talent for what they do. It is also clear that Tarantino loves what he does, sometimes a little too much.
At the end of this, all the adventures and bizarre paths taken by these characters converge into a great film. Highly recommended along with the soundtrack.
on June 18, 2004
I love Quentin Tarantino. You watch him speak about his art in interviews, and while I realize what I'm responding to might simply be a cleverly-wrought public persona, his energy and enthusiasm for his craft is just so infectious that one cannot help but be energized too. That energy certainly carries over into his movies, and while he may not be the most thrillingly visual director, his undeniable gift for dialogue more than compensates in his films.
PULP FICTION, as of now, is my favorite movie; the dialogue sparkles with wit, and I could hear those lines over and over again without ever getting tired of them. JACKIE BROWN, his follow-up to PF, is just as good as PF, if not quite its superior. Many complained upon its release that this movie was too sluggish and slow-moving (the above Editorial Review calls it "decaffeinated"). Sure, the plot of this movie certainly could become a taut, exciting thriller under another director's hands. But clearly writer-director Tarantino isn't aiming merely for action-movie thrills. He is also focused on his characters, particularly with the two older characters, Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) and Max Cherry (Robert Forster), two characters who have an unspoken attraction to each other that brings an intriguing undertone to a majority of the crime story. If Tarantino takes his time developing his characters and laying out the plot...well, the characters' dialogue is consistently full of life; the characters are interesting (and the performances terrific across the board, particuarly Forster's); and the convoluted plot, when it kicks into high gear, is a source of fascination as well. Watching it, I hardly ever felt that it was too slow for its own good: I was too fascinated by what I was seeing and hearing to notice any possible deficiencies in pacing. (Another Elmore Leonard adaptation, Steven Soderbergh's OUT OF SIGHT, took a similarly leisurely approach to its crime plot, and it worked just as well in that film, too.)
In short, JACKIE BROWN is an underrated Tarantino masterpiece. It may not be quite the film PULP FICTION is (since it had a more palpably energetic feel to it, despite both films' running 154 minutes), but it is certainly a worthy follow-up.
on June 17, 2004
Jackie Brown is the third film from Quentein Tarantino. The pop cultre master has made another perfect film, and put simply this guy is the man.
Jackie Brown(Grier) is a flight attendant for the worst air line in the U.S.. She doesn't like her job alot, but it pays her bills and lets her work. Ordell(Jackson) is a guns dealer. He sells guns to whoever will buy them and he's not shy about it. He has $500,000 in Mexico and he's slowly smuggling it into the U.S. with Jackie bringing in some on each of her trips. Ordell has just had one of his old prison buddies Louis(De Niro) get out of jail and the ex-con starts working for him. He meets Ordells' stoned out beach bunny girl friend Melanie(Fonda) who knows a lot about Ordell and about his plans.
After Beaumont(Tucker) gets arrested Ordell goes to bail him out. He uses Max Cherry(Forester) as the bails bondman to get Beaumont out. Ordell gets him out and quickly kills him before to much can be said about their link together. The next day Jackie is arrested outside the airport by ATF officers Ray(Keaton) and Mark(Bowen). They know she has the money on her from the tip from Beaumont and they take her to jail. Ordell bails her out using Cherry again.
Cherry goes to get Jackie out and almost instantly falls in love with her. He offers to help her in any way that he can. Jackie being the smart woman she is knows Ordell wants her dead. After she stops his attempt at it thye cut a deal on how to get his money back into the U.S. where neither will have to go to jail. The plot quickly turns into a race where everybody is involved in getting the $500,000. Who is playing who and who will end up with the money. That's the master tail of Jackie Brown.
This movie has the perfect cast in it. Once again Tarantino puts the perfects cast there and everyone shines. They all hold their own with each other and they all give a memorable performance. Tarantion has written the perfect script and the dialouge in the movie is perfect.
Samuel L. Jackson is the man. I laughed so hard watching his performance. His character Ordell might be my favorite one that he has ever played. You just have to love it.
Robert Forrester gives the most memorable performance of the film. He deserved his Oscar nomination and should have one it. He is the odd ball in the movie. Somebody described him as the guy you know you've seen in a movie, you just can't remember what movie it was. That holds true in this. You just love his performance. You can read the sadness in his eyes in one scene, then see the absolute joy in them in another. He should have one the Oscar and this is one of the best performances I've ever seen in a movie.
The rest of the cast is great. Pam Grier rocks in the lead role as the sassy middle aged black woman. I like Grier a lot and this is her at her best. De Niro's performance isn't quite what you'd expect from him. You can argue him as the greatest living actor, but his character and performance doesn't add to that statement. He isn't bad, it's just not memorable like so many of his other movies.
The DVD specials are great. I loved the Chicks with Guns video. All the specials on the making are great. Tarantino had a blast making it, and the interviews are great with him. There are a ton of extras. This is one of the best DVDs that I've ever viewed.
If you like Tarantino you have to pick this one up. Don't compare it Pulp Fiction or Resvoir Dogs because if you do you won't enjoy it as much. It's a different kind of movie from Tarantino. This is an influential movie, and without it I don't think we'd have some of the crime robbery thrillers that have been popular the last couple of years. Buy this movie and prepare yourself for a great ride.
on May 31, 2004
I happened to watch this movie in an un-cut version and I must admit that I was bothered by the overwelming use of vulgar profanity. OK, I didn't turn it off but I spent the whole movie with the sound down hoping that no one would wake up and hear what I was listening to. I have come to understand that this is part of the stock in trade for a Quentin Tarantino movie. Too bad, I have seen some of his work that I thought was very good (except for...). "Jackie Brown" turned out to be an excellent movie with a plot that moved along quick enough to keep our interest and slow enough so as to follow the plot line and character development. There is a lot of good acting in this movie. Samuel L. Jackson does his standard delivery that commands the screen, Robert DeNiro actually seems to deliver a rare, sub-par preformance, Pam Grier does very well in her title role and others help out effectively as well. However, when the movie is over, the lasting impression is the role of the bail bondsman played by Robert Forster. This is an actor we recognize but we can't remember from where. I saw this after the acadamy awards came out in 1998 and I couldn't believe that Forster didn't win the award (especially in light of the dismal preformance that DID win the award). See it for yourself and see if you agree. The movie is worth watching as well for its' intricate plot development as well
I have a suggestion for viewing this movie; watch it on regular TV after the censors have done their duty. I caught it the other night in just such a format. I'm not saying that the movie would be good for the whole family. However, at least you won't have to turn the sound down.
on May 17, 2004
I am a huge fan of Elmore Leonard, the author of "Rum Punch," the novel on which this movie was based, so naturally, I had high expectations. I was not disappointed. Robert Forster is EXCELLENT, deserving of the Oscar nomination. Samuel L. Jackson once again steals the show, he dominates every scene. I cannot think of anyone else who could play Ordell Robbie than Jackson. I read "Rum Punch" about a year before the movie came out, and I actually envisioned Jackson as Robbie as I was reading. And who better to direct this Leonard classic than Tarantino? Every scene sizzles, the music is PERFECT, the camera angles are brilliant, and the dialogue is a non-stop assault that held me spellbound. I can't understand why people compare this to "Pulp Fiction" and "Reservoir Dogs" and critisize it so harshly. If Tarantino put out one movie a year and had 12 or 15 or 20 movies, then I could understand putting it up against "his best." Fortunately, Tarantino only has 4 movies (if you count "Kill Bill vols. 1 and 2 as one movie.) and all four movies are treasures, each as enjoyable to me as the others. I don't have a favorite Tarantino movie. On another note, I'd like to see Tarantiono make another Leonard novel into a movie. "Pronto" is one of my favorites and it would make a spectacular movie, since over half of the story takes place in Italy on the Meditteranean. I'll keep my fingers crossed. (let's just hope the next Leonard novel brought to the silver screen is not a disappointment, "The Big Bounce" was one of my favorite Leonard books, his first crime novel, but it was recently butchered on screen. I am aware that "Be Cool," the sequel to "Get Shorty" will be out soon and, while "Be Cool" is among my least favorite Leonard novels (I have read 26 of them) I am expecting a good movie.
on April 28, 2004
"Jackie Brown," I am sorry to say, is a clunker. Coming three years after "Pulp Fiction" (an intolerably long wait for fans of Tarantino), this Pam Grier vehicle simply does not have a compelling enough story to justify its running time. I have absolutely nothing against long movies, but when you can feel the length of a 2.5-hour movie, there is a problem, and such is the case with "Jackie Brown."
Tarantino apparently felt the need to prove he could make a "hang-out" movie like "Rio Bravo," in which the characters take a long time to recite lots of dialogue and basically sit around doing a whole lot of nothing. Frankly, after the "Citizen Kane"-like genius on display in "PF," I for one did not need to know that QT could make a hang-out movie.
Here Tarantino is basically directing a made-for-TV movie, utilizing many of the stock filmmaking techniques that he shunned in "PF." (Character talks. Cut to the other character. He talks. Cut back to the other character. Close-up. Medium close-up. Two shot.) Tarantino's dialogue is great, and he's one of the best directors who ever lived, but scene after scene in which two people are smoking cigarettes and talking in a rather bland and boring office remind me more of a Movie of the Week than Tarantino.
The story is quite miniscule but is stretched out over a long, long time. This is coupled with the unfortunate fact that Pam Grier -- sorry -- cannot act. She's almost there in some scenes, but time and again she demonstrates a complete inability to carry a movie convincingly. Samuel L. Jackson grates a nerve as Ordell, and Michael Keaton, though enjoyable, is sadly wasted (he has maybe seven total minutes of screen time). Talk about wasted -- Robert De Niro is here in a Tarantino film, and he's the most underused actor in the entire movie.
Robert Forster provides the only saving grace. He's solid as Max Cherry and deserved his Oscar nomination. Too bad the movie wasn't a big enough success to launch his career into the stratosphere where it belongs.
So, "Jackie Brown" disappoints. But that's OK. QT resurrected himself with the dazzling "Kill Bill," the epic that makes even "Pulp Fiction" look like child's play. No harm, no foul.
on April 25, 2004
Its about a 44-year old airline hostess Jackie Brown who's followed by the police for transporting money and drugs for Ordell Robbie, a guns and drugs trafficker. Robert Forster is Max Cherry, a bail bondsman who's done business with Ordell twice (once for Beaumont, who worked for Ordell but got killed by Ordell for being unreliable). Ordell has a million dollars stashed away in Mexico (dirty money he made), and relies on Jackie to smuggle it back to him in the US every time she flies. When the police found her out, needless to say, Ordell had no scruples about killing her, unless she came up with a plan around the situation, which she did. Anyway, Jackie's plan was ingenious and she manages to screw up both the police and Ordell and takes all the money for herself in the end, with the help of Max who actually developed a fondness for her. Like many Tarantino movies, there's a bit of love, lots of violence and swearing, and a twist in every plot. This is a good one because the plan Jackie came up with was so clever and so risky. At the end of the movie, I had to watch it again and the clever-ness of it all became even clearer. No doubt it will get the thumbs-up from women everywhere who will say "Thanks to Jackie Brown, who proved that older women can be attractive and smarter than everyone else..." or people who say "Thanks to Jackie Brown, who is yet another example of a black american women that kicked ass", etc.. Whatever you say about this movie, you have to admit, its really Tarantino's masterpiece. I'm going to watch Kill Bill 2 next!
on April 20, 2004
and that's a good thing. I can understand how people expecting a "Tarantino movie" were dissapointed with the film. It lacks the excessive over the top violence, pop-culture references, and dark humor that fill his other films. However for those expecting a well scripted (though it does drag in some moments) and well-acted film; this definitely would fit the bill. It contains all the great dialogue of an Elmore Leonard novel, and the greatest "sounds of the 70's" music since Reservior Dogs.
The best description I could manage for the movie for this film is "Out of Sight" without the excessive gloss. It plays out like any Elmore Leonard movie, but Tarantino's style made it look and feel like it belonged in the same era that gave us "Foxy Brown", or "Dirty Harry." Speaking of "Foxy Brown," Pam Grier gives what has to be her best performance ever in this film. While Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro continue to show us how why they are great actors; Robert Foster as the wise, but smitten, Max Cherry makes this movie great. If you want a "Tarantino film", this isn't for you. However if you want a well-made Elmore Leonard movie, made by a great director who loves the 70's as much as he does making good movies, this is for you.
on March 15, 2004
This is my favorite Quentin Tarantino movie, and it is the best of all the film versions of an Elmore Leonard novel.
Quickly put, the move and novel are about a stewardess, Jackie Brown, who has been flying in from the Bahamas the illegal profits of Ordell Robbie, who sells guns for a living (by the way, Amazon Reviews got it wrong. Tarantino does not change Ordell's race in the movie. In the book, he is described as a light skinned black man). The Feds want Ordell and they try to use Jackie Brown to get him. Jackie Brown has ideas of her own, though.
Tarantino strikes the exact right tone to capture the smart, realistic writing of Leonard. And, as is often the case with Tarantino, the film could not have been better cast. So many great actors got their due in this film, and justly so, primarily the great Pam Grier, playing Jackie Brown. I have always loved Pam Grier (who doesn't?), and she has never, ever been used to better effect. It was also great to see Robert Forester, who turns in a performance so subtle and assured it makes you grieve he doesn't get more work. One of Tarantino's great strengths as a filmmaker is his shrewd casting of under appreciated actors and putting them in perfect roles where they shine. He did it for John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, and he does it again with both forester and Grier.
In lesser roles, but no less interesting, Michael Keaton displayed great control and reserve as a very convincing ATF Agent, and Bridget Fonda was perfect as Melanie, a girl with a lot of attitude and none of it good. As for Samuel L. Jackson, suffice to say that one of the greatest character actors in film history turns in another gem.
This film came as a surprise to fans, as this film does have a much different pace and style than Tarantino's better-loved films - much less violent and splashy. But I think the criticisms of the film (too slow, too sluggish) are just flat wrong. As the filmmaker himself has said, he wished to make a film for grown ups. He certainly has.