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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarentino's Frist - Possibly His Best...
I recently read Tarantino's original screenplay to "True Romance". Apart from the change in narrative structure (non-chronological), it hints to a bleaker, grittier urban drama, with a tragic ending. It would have been very interesting to see the final film in Tarantino's vision.
Tony Scott's sugar-coated adaptation works wonders though. It was made very clear in the...
Published on June 28 2004 by George Annessa

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars CONTRIVED BUT WATCHABLE TARANTINO CONTRAPTION.
This is Tarantino and you know it about 40 minutes into the movie. Which is not as quick as one would want, the movie begins with a really drippy "romance" between a floozie and a (pathetically mis-cast) Christian Slater. Based on the idea of the underclass conquering the powerful bigshots the film sees two nobodies dice with death, to find their dream in...
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by Shashank Tripathi


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarentino's Frist - Possibly His Best..., June 28 2004
I recently read Tarantino's original screenplay to "True Romance". Apart from the change in narrative structure (non-chronological), it hints to a bleaker, grittier urban drama, with a tragic ending. It would have been very interesting to see the final film in Tarantino's vision.
Tony Scott's sugar-coated adaptation works wonders though. It was made very clear in the script that the relationship between the two leads was very strong. Scott took this unison and gave the film a fairy-tale tone. The villains in the film are very colourful, contributing to the feel that Scott has established. Hans Zimmer's score does nothing better, than to enforce this vision.
The cast is one of the most impressive line-ups I've ever seen. Much of the film rests on the shoulders of Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, both characters come off very likable with clear, clean, simple motives. These are career performances. Dennis Hopper gives good in his limited screen-time as Christian's ex-cop, ex-alcoholic father. It is in his time shared with Christopher Walken (being a one-scene wonder, like in "Pulp Fiction"), that he comes off at his best. The Sicilian scene is Walken's most intense since "Deer Hunter". Gary Oldman also gives another deliciously evil and memorable performance, the man is a chameleon, he is yet to unimpress me.
But one of my favourite things about the cast is seeing then-relative-unknowns Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini in small, but memorable roles. A real shame that Jackson's performance was cut down heavily from the script, some of the dialogue in his one scene was very amusing, if maybe a little offensive to some.
"True Romance" is a brilliant crime drama, and a perfect (if phased) introduction to Tarantino's work, it is probably the most accessible film he's penned. People will always ponder over whether or not Tarantino's directorial version would have been better, but they can always rest-assure that Scott has given a wonderful adaptation, supported by a very strong cast. It could have been much, much worse.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Christian makes me quiver, May 29 2004
By 
Amber (OakBrook, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This is one of my favorite movies of all time!!!! I can watch certain scenes over and over. The chemistry between Patricia and Christian is some of the best chemistry between two actors I've seen on the big screen (as it always is when two stars actually date. Check out Christian and Samantha Mathis' chemistry in Pump up the Volume) All the other characters are insane as well. One of the best cast films of all time. The scene between Christopher Walken and Hopper is true genius, (although I was kind of wondering why Christian or Patricia during the commentary don't mention that fact that it is racist [i guess we are just supposed to assume that just because it is Quentin Tarantino, race comments shouldn't be taken seriously? Hmmmm I haven't read Quentin's commentary yet.]) And that brown spot on Michael Rapaport's shirt after Brad Pitt (Floyd) doesn't get him toilet paper is hysterical. Maybe there is a link between those scenes or maybe not, but Tony directs the crap out of these actors and I catch something new each time I watch it. This special rated version is dope. Christian and Patricia's commentary is funny as hell. It must be weird watching a sex scene with a former lover on screen ten years later!!! And there are A LOT of great other special features. We get to see Tony Scott's storyboards. He made about 900 drawn frames, shot to shot of the movie. I learned a lot about the movie and filmmaking in general. I just hope that Christian and Tarantino can work together again. Christian's career needs just a little more twang thang shabang, and I know he can do it. He's got his kids and wife to make it happen. Christian Slater is one of the sexiest men on the screen of all time. The man literally takes my breath away everytime he is on screen. That voice? Those mannerisms? That laugh that is only one "Heh", and that crotch? GOOD GOD. Much love in your direction man, life is hard what can I say? Oh, and Patricia is a kick ass little adorable thang too.
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1.0 out of 5 stars True Torture, May 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: True Romance (VHS Tape)
(...). This movie MIGHT have been great, and I know why some enjoy it, but Slater and Arquette were one of the most annoying, self-absorbed, and incredibly stupid couple in movie history. I really wanted them (of all the characters) to die all throughout the movie! And in the end they have a son. You can tell this kid is going to end up in prison or worse by the time he is old enough to vote. But worst of all is the stupidity. Clarence, the main character, somehow manages to take $500,000 worth of cocaine after committing mass murder, but leaves his ID in a dead guy's hand--even though the ID was the reason that he blew his top in the first place? And after his wife is almost killed, Clarence chooses to put them all in even more danger... suddenly the "coke" and $200,000 has become more important to him than his wife's safety or his own... even though their "romance" was the supposed catalyst for his transformation from comic book geek to mass murderer? Not to mention the title of the movie??!? These characters are stupid, unbelievable, the embodiment of immaturity and self-absorbedness, and end up becoming the murdering drug dealers they're supposed to be up against. And they actually concieve a child! No actually there's soemthing worse than all that...its that the movie tintilates you with the possibility of one or both this nefarious couple dying as a result of their own mistakes and self-degradation as they deserve, but doesn't follow through. If this movie were true it would be a serious concern about the viability of the human race. Thank goodness it is not. And thank goodness the movie is over.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a good thing, April 25 2004
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Subtley was never Tarantino's strong suit, but in this, his earliest effort, there isn't even a touch of it in evidence. True Romance is completley over-the-top. What hinders it most is first the self-indulgence in the screen play. The main character, a comic book shop clerk, Kung Fu and Sonny Chiba enthusiast and lover of movies 'with balls,' could literally be Tarantino himself, and when he falls in love with a beautiful girl who reciprocates fully and shares his interests, it makes you kind of suspicious. The other occasional hinderance is the overwhelming star power in the movie. Rarely do you see so many big-name actors competing for screen space, and it's downright surreal if you've seen some of their other famous performances. Take a secne where Christopher Walken, improbably playing a Sicilian Mafia Don, threatens a nice-guy ex-cop played by - Dennis Hopper. It doesn't seem so much like mobster vs. cop as Christopher Walken vs. Dennis Hopper, and you can't help but think that if Dennis Hopper were in his Frank Booth persona, boy, would things be different. Meanwhile, the guy who plays Tony Soprano is standing in background, attendant to Walken. Then you have Samuel L. Jackson and the guy who plays 'Nice Guy' Eddie in Reservoir Dogs in walk-on roles, Val Kilmer is in there somewhere and Brad Pitt has ten minutes as the immobile stoner roomate who spoils everything. Granted, it's only retrospectively that some of these people are famous, but it's still distracting.
These and other factors make it impossible to take True Romance seriously, but it's still extremely entertaining. It's more violent than Kill Bill pt. 1 and more shamelessly comic than Reservoir Dogs - if you thought the climax of Reservoir Dogs was violent, watch about three times as many people die in a scene worthy of a Shakespearian tragedy. Gary Oldman provides some of the funniest moments as the pimp who 'only wishes' he were black ("He musta thought it was white boy day!...It aint white boy day, is it?"), and the romance between the two main characters, while not entirely believable, is pretty hot.
Direction by veteran Tony Scott doesn't seem to help the movie particularly; I get the feeling it might have worked better if Tarantino had directed it himself, novice though he was.
A lot of this serves to fuel the charge that Tarantino is hopelessly immature, but all aesthetic ethics aside, it really shouldn't be missed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tastes like French vanilla ice cream, April 23 2004
I've not seen a lot of Quentin Tarantino movies, this, and Pulp Fiction is the only other one. This movie comes a very close second to Pulp Fiction. The fact is, it's great. Although very violent. By the end of the film, you'll be exhausted. I was!
Christian Slater is just so cute, although after being told he's practically using Jack Nicholson as his "idol", I can totally see it now. The receding hairline, the eyebrows, the eyes - lovely! Just younger! One thing that always gets me is guys with nice eyes. And at least he isn't getting a spare tyre, like some of his peers in the acting business.
I'm not really a big fan of Patricia Arquette. She was great in Stigmata, but Lost Highway was such a pointless film (sorry), that she's not at the top of my favourite actresses list! But her & Christian (I keep going to write Christina) make a cute couple.
This film is very violent - not as much as Passion of Christ - but guns are widely used, as well as fists, and anything else you can think of. You don't really mind when it's bad guys getting blown away and beaten up, but when it's happening to a girl, it's not as great. Patricia really gets badly beaten in this, and believe me, it is NOT pleasant, you will hiding behind your hands, cushion, anything you can lay your hands on.
Basically, it's Bonnie & Clyde, but with matching his 'n' her tattoos, and lots of attitude. But still very much enjoyable.
Some of the scenes between Christian & Patricia, are really sweet, especially after they first meet and end up in bed, and then they sit holding hands! Awwwww, I think I filled up at that bit.
This film is a must have for any Christian Slater/Quentin Tarantino fan. It's a terrific movie, with packs of extras, and loads of stars (Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, Val Kilmer etc). You just have to ignore Christian "talking" to Elvis, and ignore the bad soundalike/lookalike Elvis - I could do better as Elvis!
Thank you very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You're So Cool!, April 21 2004
By 
James R. Mckinley (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
"True Romance" is a personal favorite. Watching it for the first time a decade ago, was mind-blowing. Not since I was young and saw "Star Wars", has a movie so completely transported me, and given me such an overwhelming experience. The movie was my introduction to Quentin Tarantino's world, it's an amalgam of everything I love about his work. This is a touchstone of 90's cinema, a film geek essential. This movie contains classic scene after classic scene. The awesome grand finale is the best mexican standoff since "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". I love this movie! Revisiting "True Romance" is like seeing old friends again. While the film itself is the usual Quentin Tarantino goofiness, the pace and the acting makes this film a must see. And the acting is incredible--most especially Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper. Their final confrontation scene may be one of the most amazing dialogs between two great actors ever filmed. How the director gets performances like this out of all his actors amazes me. From James Gandolfini to Tom Sizemore to Brad Pitt to Hopper and Walken, and especially Gary Olman as Drexel, well they all deliver. Christopher Walken & Dennis Hopper share a brief moment in this movie, and it is, without a doubt, the best display of passive aggressive behaviour in any movie, ever. To be honest, I never liked Christian Slater, but he is okay in this movie. The Last scene in the Producer's Hotel Suite is also fantastic. How the hell does Tarantino write such masterpieces? Simply Superb Movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I always liked you Clarence, always have, always will., March 18 2004
By 
El Satanico (Straight outta Compton) - See all my reviews
When people say that stories like Romeo and Juliet, Gone With the Wind and Sleepless in Seattle are the greatest love stories ever told then those people obviously havent seen TRUE ROMANCE yet. While I dont own the unrated DVD, I have seen this film and can obviously say that TRUE ROMANCE is one of the best and most underrated films ever made.
The story involves two people who come together and fall in love instantly, the two in question are Clarence, a comic book store clerk, and Alabama, a first time prostitute. Unfortuneatly for them they get involved in a series of nasty and complicated circumstances involving everyone from the Mafia to movie producers. To say that this film is multi layered is an understatement.
But at the heart of this film is just a simple heart warming love story between two social outcasts and their quest for happiness.
This film was always going to be good, but thanks to everyone involved in the making of this film it is awesome. Tony Scott does a fantastic job of bringing Quentin Tarantino's brilliant script to life. And the performances from the large ensemble cast is inspiring. While the film belongs to Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette special mention should also go to everyone involved for giving their all.
Put simply this film is essential if you like be immersed in your films you will like this. Buy it and cherish it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars CONTRIVED BUT WATCHABLE TARANTINO CONTRAPTION., Jan. 12 2004
By 
Shashank Tripathi (Gadabout) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is Tarantino and you know it about 40 minutes into the movie. Which is not as quick as one would want, the movie begins with a really drippy "romance" between a floozie and a (pathetically mis-cast) Christian Slater. Based on the idea of the underclass conquering the powerful bigshots the film sees two nobodies dice with death, to find their dream in paradise. Fair enough theme.
But trust QT and Tony Scott to make a wannabe mess of that theme, just in the interests of making a doozie. The movie has moments that feel like you are watching Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, which thus give you a glimmer of hope for something worthwhile to come, but that bit comes in the last 20 minutes or so of the movie when the plot finally begins -- drugs, shootouts, a zonked out Brad Pitt etc, with about 60% of the F-words completely unnecessary.
Then there are gaping WTFs. Christopher Walkern, a Sicillian honcho simply vanishes after a cooldude scene with Dennis Hopper. Difficult to see how that fit into the scheme of things other than some pseudo-cool dialogue that carries the sophistication of "your mama" jibes (literally.)
Towards the end, we are supposedly meant to enjoy the vicious beating up of Patricia Arquette at the hands of Gondolfini, much in keeping with the gore fest that Tarantino is associated with. Thank you, have a nice day. Next.
There's so much insufferably maudlin stuff about Elvis, it made the movie come perilously close to a run-of-the-mill chickflick.
Finally, Tony Scott has his photographer shoot with the usual irritating filters, back lighting and blacked out faces presumably because Jeffrey Kimball felt that if you have one photographic idea in fifteen years it's got to be worth repeating.
The point is, as it usually is in a typical QT self-contradiction, that you wouldn't want to meet these characters on the street, but these are simply created for online entertainment in our little bizarre modern fairytale. Yawn.
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3.0 out of 5 stars True love is a dangerous thing..., Dec 11 2003
By 
Eugene (Columbus, OH United States) - See all my reviews
Quentin Tarantino wrote the ultimate guy flick in the form of a romance movie, and then let Tony Scott polish it off with a bit of Hollywood sparkle. The resulting kitschy film comes off not so much a blockbuster epic, nor does it resemble a Tarantino-like piece of art. It just represents a sort of middle of the road movie that really could have been so much more, but still satisfies..
Clarence is a loser, until he meets Alabama, a young prostitute hired to show him a good time for his birthday. The two fall in love, and what starts with Clarence killing her pimp to take back her stuff, results in a cross country chase with Clarence and Alabama toting half a million dollars of cocaine in a suitcase, with the mob and the police on their tail.
The biggest draw of the movie is the star power, and more so the chemistry between certain actors and actresses in the many key scenes of the movie. Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken play their cameos to the hilt, while Gary Oldman's performance as an urbanized white pimp absolutely steals the show in the first half of the movie. Up until Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette reach California, the movie remains dark, gritty, violent, and irreverent. But once the sunshine state hits, the slapstick-like comedy takes over, resulting in a shootout ending that doesn't so much make sense as it does distort the overall tone of the movie.
You get the sense that no one really knows what the hell is going on, so each character acts their own way. This results in a strangely mesmerizing but disjointed movie experience, as the movie definitely shines and lulls in its given moments.
But still, this movie is way smarter and more enjoyable than many other summer blockbusters that get tossed out there and deserved more acclaim in its 1993 debut than it originally received.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of the 90's, Nov. 12 2003
By 
not telling (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews
Quentin Tarintino was a no-name when this movie hit the theaters. I don't remember hearing much press about it when it was released, but I rented it when it first hit the shelves and I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY. This is such a great movie.
The story starts off when Clarence (Christian Slater) and Alabama (Patricia Arquette) meet at a movie theater showing a kung-fu marathon. They spend the night together *nudge, nudge* wink, wink* and realize that they are in love with eachother and have been brought together by fate. Not a pair to let this moment pass, they get married less than 12 hours later. But, it's not quite happily ever after just yet. Alabama was a hooker (employeed for three days)and when Clarence goes to pick up some of her clothes, he gets into a fight with her pimp (Gary Oldman) and ends up killing him. He takes off (accidently leaving his drivers license behind) with a suitcase of Alabama's clothes. When he gets back to his wife - surprise! - it's not a suitcase full of clothes, it's a suitcase filled to the brim with cocaine. They decide to take advantage of the situation and drive out to LA to see Clarence's friend, Dick Richie (Micheal Rappaport)to see if he has any Hollywood connections who would buy half a million dollars worth of cocaine. Of course he does. But the plot gets more tangled as rightful owners of the cocaine (Tony Soprano, Christopher Walken, and others) want their drugs back and try to track them down & the cops are suddenly involved.
This movie is full of everything - romance, humor, action, drugs, rock-n-roll, sex. It doesn't get much better than this. Christian Slater is great & Patricia Arquette is the cutest thing ever. The movie is FULL of famous actors (those listed above plus Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer - who plays the voice of Clarence's alter-Elvis-ego, Brad Pitt)
The unrated directors cut is great because there are scenes added to the movie that weren't in the orginal - more graphic violence, drug use, language, and sex.
You will not be disappointed by this movie. It's a must-see and a must-own!
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