Directed by Tony Scott
Starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette and Dennis Hopper
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
This isn't a great Blu-ray presentation. Detail is murky in places and the image is overly scrubbed. Probably 3/5.
The reason I like it is the writing. Tarantino's dialogue has a distinct feel. You either like it or you don't. I find it very funny and I love it. He wasn't at his peak here, but was establishing his voice still. There are excellent moments and some not so good.
Slater does pretty well as Clarence. Arquette's Alabama is an essential character and their relationship works.
The best scene in the movie is where Christopher Walken's character interrogates Hopper's. Just brilliant writing.
It's full of star power with big name actors playing tiny roles. It's very violent in the way of a Tarantino movie. The basic plot is very simple and could be summarized in a single paragraph, but this is more about the journey.
Humour, a Mexican standoff, blood, bizarre dialogue, it's all there.
Not in the same league as Pulp Fiction, but it felt more like a Tarantino movie than a Scott movie.
on April 6, 2003
Quentin Tarantino wrote the script for this 1993 film. It set the stage for his career in pushing the envelope a lot further than the audience ever expects. There's energy here and a fast paced story that grabbed me right from the beginning and never let up. There's also humor and lots of violence. My kind of film.
Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette are the couple at the film's center. He's an Elvis fan and comic book freak who loves martial arts films. She's been working as a call girl for only four days and is sent by his boss to show the boy a good time. However, they fall in love, get married and then he goes gunning for her pimp. All of a sudden they're in possession of a suitcase full of cocaine. Then they drive to Los Angeles where they hope to sell it and live happily every after.
Not so fast. The mob is on their trail. Christopher Walken plays the gangster who tries to get information as to the couple's whereabouts from Dennis Hopper, who is cast as Slater's father. James Gandolfini is a hit man and has a bloody scene with Patricia Arquette later. Brad Pitt has a small role as a stoned out friend of Michael Rappaport who is helping the couple sell the drugs. And Tom Sizemore is a cop. Naturally things get complicated. People get bloody and battered. But "true romance" constantly prevails between the couple.
Once I started watching this film, I literally didn't move from my seat as I was entirely focused on the screen that was exploding with action. The dialog was terrific. And so was the acting. O.K. - maybe it wasn't realistic or plausible. But who had time to stop and think about it? Certainly not me. I just relaxed and enjoyed. And isn't that what the experience of a good film is all about.
There weren't any good extras on the DVD and that was disappointing. I would have liked to learn more about this film in depth. However, "True Romance" certainly does stand alone in its own right. I give it one of my highest recommendations.
on February 6, 2003
Another masterpiece from screenwriter Quentin Tarrantino ( Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction) direcyed by Tony Scott ( The Last Boy Scout) True Rommance is a high-thrilled rommantic tale with a auwsome cast ever to be put together.
Clarence Worley (Christain Slater) a commic book clerk obsessed with Kung-Fu and John Woo films, meets a call girl Alabama (Patricia Arquete) at a movie theater, they fall in love and get married and confronts her pimp Drexl ( Gary Oldman)kills him and stills a suitecase full of cocain that belongs to the Italian mob lead by ( Christopher Walken) who shares a auwsome sceen with ( Dennis Hooper) who plays clarence's dad.
Clarence and Alabama go on a road trip to Los Angles and are relentlessly being followed by the mafia trying to reclaim their property and the cops who all get caught in the middle of a thousand smoking barrels of bullets.
There's plenty of fammiliar faces of actors in short roles, Samuel L. Jackson as a big time pimp, Bradd Pitt as a big time stoner James Gandolfini (before is stardom on the The Sopranos) as a sadistic hitman who gets into a fight with Alabama.
This has to be one of the most Tarrantino production ever made even thogh It came out a year before Pulp Fiction and a year after Resevoir Dogs.True Romance has more Hype to it and is enjoyable for beginging to end we will never see anything like this anymore.
1# Reservoir Dogs
2# True Romance
3# Pulp Fiction
on October 6, 2002
True Romance is, in certain ways, an even more accurate representation of Quentin Tarantino's works than Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, for it contains both Tarantino's strongest and weakest forts. Notably, True Romance was his first sold script, so it acts as a kind of express ticket into Tarantino style.
Director Tony Scott deserves a big round of applause because here, as in The Last Boy Scout, he is able to adapt his cinematic style to a very different kind of script. True Romance the film stays very true to the tone of the script, right down to the excessive corniness, brutal violence, and hyperkinetic energy.
The story really aims to be a love story. But I think it only succeeds half way. Tarantino has never been good at crafting female characters -- fortunately, Alabama is one of his best attempts, and she is definitely better than the whiny Fabienne and Honey Bunny from Pulp Fiction. Her relationship with Clarence (Christian Slater, in one of his best roles) is a little shallow because their initial attraction is a little too brief and riddled with Tarantino's favourite male-female device, baby talk. Sorry, I have a weak stomach for this device. But Patricia Arquette gives her all here in a fierce, brave performance that she's never quite topped; whatever problems I have with Alabama stems from the writing, not the acting. Alabama and Clarence's "connection" scenes pale visibly in comparison with the ferocious scenes with the male characters including the now legendary "Sicilian" between Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken; the scenary chomping of Gary Oldman as Drexl, a role which utilizes Oldman's over-the-top hamming better than any other; Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore's quick, machine-gun interchanges as hotheaded narcs; and the hidden jewel, a young, lean James Gandolfini -- who hints at his future greatness here with a delivery that is both sadistic and human, humorous and scary, just like his immortal turn later as Tony Soprano.
The corniness of the romance is part of the character of this film, though when it reaches critical mass levels in one or two scenes (such as the airport scene, the "what you did is so romantic" scene, and the incredibly craven final -- and official -- ending), it's painful for me. I kind of wish they could have kept the best elements from both the official and the deleted original ending (available here): The toughness and character depth of the original ending but without the pretension, and the hope for redemption of the official ending. Did they *really* need that last beach scene? I don't think so.
But enough analysis (though the film deserves it). True Romance is unique. While not as uniformly great and ambitious as Reservoir Dogs, this film takes a lot of risks and enough of them pay off so that the flaws are easily forgiven. And this double-disc rerelease's bonus materials, to me, are much more appealing than those of the recent Reservoir Dogs reissue. A key film of the '90s, and to me, Quentin Tarantino's second most important contribution to cinema.
on September 19, 2002
The tital is slightly misleading ...
Clarence Whorley (Christian Slater) is a lonely guy,working in a comic store and celebrating his birthday alone.His boss had arranged for a ...-girl named Alabama(Patricia Arquette)to spend the night with Clarence.As the night goes by Alabama finds that she has fallen in love with Clarence,she tells him and thats when it all begins.The couple get married.A trip to to get Alabama's clothes results in Clarence killing ... Drexal
(Gary Oldman)and the newly weds end up with a bag of pure [narcotics],but along with the bag comes lots of angry [persons] who want there [narcotics] back.So the couple now on the run decide to visit Clarences dad an ex-cop to find out if they are wanted by the law but everybody knows cops dont care about [Drexal].However there are STILL a [lot] of angry [persons] who won't forgive and forget.The love between Claernce and his Alabama is so stronge the it is fate that they should be together.My only advise is watch this film and you will realise what true romance is ,and if not for that Brad Pitt's in it girls what more reason to watch a film???
on June 7, 2002
This movie is an unforgettable thrill ride from start to finish. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette are phenominal as the flawed heroes. Gary Oldman is great as the inner-city pimp and drug dealer. You'd never know he's British from his accent here! In addition to being packed with action and great dialogue, this movie contains two of the best scenes ever made in Hollywood. The first is an intense showdown between Clarence (Slater) and Drexel (Oldman) as Clarence shows up at Drexel's place to retrieve his newlywed bride Alabama's (Arquette) things. He's packing heat because of a conversation he had with "Elvis" in his bathroom. This scene will leave you stupified. The second scene takes place in Clarence's father's (Dennis Hopper) trailer when a mob boss (Christopher Walken) shows up looking for Clarence. Walken introduces himself to Hopper in classic Tarantino style - "I am the antichrist. You tell the angels in Heaven that you have never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you." This is an absolute MUST own, MUST watch and rewatch. They don't make them much better than this!
on April 26, 2002
No doubt this is one of my favorite movies. I was surprised at first to discover that its director was the same guy who made "Top Gun" but it makes a certain kind of sense. The movie is kind of comic-booky, perhaps a reflection of the innocence and distorted reality of the two main characters-Clarence thinks that Elvis talks to him. Everything is larger-than-life, and Clarence and Alabama are super cool and beautiful, even-when they're in the midst of a bloodbath.
What really makes this a fantastic movie though, is the way it combines so much cool stuff into a movie without the plot becoming overly complex. The script is great, the music by Hans Zimmer is great, and all of the little supporting performances-like Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, and Bronson Pinchot-are great.
At times the love story seems a little corny, but Patricia Arquette and Christian Slater do such a good job of selling it that I can believe that they fell completely in love in one night. In their idealized, cartoony way, they have.
on April 6, 2002
I am sure my title for this review will generate more than a few cyber-eyerolls, but I mean it in all seriousness (kind of). This movie is chock full of all the American pop-culture references you can handle. These range from Christian Slater-as-Clarence's comic book store ("Heros for Sale"), to his predilection for 70s kung-fu movies, to the Elvis figure that actually haunts him and directs him at key moments in his life (an Elvis that is played in a sort of cameo by Val Kilmer). It also has some of the best and oddest performances of pretty much everyone involved: Val Kilmer (as Elvis mentioned above), Dennis Hopper as Clarence's ultimately wise but washed-out security guard father living in a trailer by the railroad tracks, Brad Pitt has a great small role as "Floyd" the good-natured stoner (another one of his great "grimy" characters), James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) makes what might be his film debut(?) as a sadistic hit-man, Gary Oldman is perfect as the gloriously pimped-out and evil "Drexel", and how could anyone forget Patricia Arquette as the jiggly "Alabama"? Throw all this together with the pacing and camera work of "Top Gun" (thanks to director Tony Scott) and the typically-brilliant script provided by Tarantino, and that is why I would tentatively nominate "True Romance" as my "Best American Movie of the early-90s".
Some other great performers that I didn't get a chance to mention in my review, and that make this movie as entertaining as it is, are: Christopher Walken as a chilling Mafia-envoy, Michael Rappaport as the dopy aspiring actor (auditioning, of all things, for a one-time role as Crook #2 for an episode of "T.J. Hooker" that was set to co-star Peter Breck!), Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore as over-zealous narc squad partners, and Bronson Pinchot is a wonderfully whiny "go-fer" named Elliot. This is a great movie!
on April 6, 2002
I am sure my title for this review will generate more than a few cyber-eyerolls, but I mean it in all seriousness (kind of). This movie is chock full of all the American pop-culture references you can handle. These range from Christian Slater-as-Clarence's comic book store ("Heros for Sale"), to his predilection for 70s kung-fu movies, to Clarence's invocation of himself as Steve McQueen: "We now return to Bullitt already in progress...", to the Elvis figure that actually haunts him and directs him at key moments in his life (an Elvis that is played in a sort of cameo by Val Kilmer). It also has some of the best, and oddest, performances of pretty much everyone involved: Val Kilmer (as Elvis mentioned above), Dennis Hopper IS Clarence's ultimately wise but washed-out security guard father living in a trailer by the railroad tracks, Brad Pitt has a great small role as "Floyd" the good-natured stoner (another one of his great "grimy" characters), James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) makes what might be his film debut(?) as a sadistic hit-man, Gary Oldman is perfect as the gloriously pimped-out and evil "Drexel", and how could anyone forget Patricia Arquette as the jiggly "Alabama"?
As an example, one of the best scenes in this movie, and one of my all-time favorites, is the "interview" between the Mafia-envoy played to cold perfection by Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper. This pairing alone makes this movie worth the [money]. The key moment is when Dennis Hopper realizes there is no good way out of this for him, so he tries to goad Walken into killing him before he is forced to give away the whereabouts of his son. To accomplish this, he gives Walken and all the other hit-men packed into his trailer a little history lesson on the genetic roots of their distinctive Sicilian phenotype.
Throw this all together with the pacing and camera work of "Top Gun" (thanks to director Tony Scott) and a typically-brilliant script provided by Tarantino, and that is why I would tentatively nominate "True Romance" as my "Best American Movie of the early-90s".
Some other great performers that I didn't get a chance to mention in my review, and that make this movie as entertaining as it is, are: Michael Rappaport as the dopy aspiring actor (auditioning, of all things, for a one-time role as Crook #2 for an episode of "T.J. Hooker" that is set to co-star Peter Breck!), Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore as over-zealous narc squad partners, and Bronson Pinchot is wonderfully whiny as a movie producer's whipping boy and go-fer named Elliot. This is a great movie!
on April 4, 2002
Director Tony Scott shows what it takes for those who have found True Love. This is a great film that proves it exists, but it requires a lot of violence to do it. Not mindless violence, mind you...no, that wouldn't do. It takes a special kind of violence, the kind that convinces the viewer that each lover is instantly willing to lay down his or her life for the other.
Cynics keep telling me that True Love exists only in the hearts of Hopeless Dreamers. Perhaps they're right. I know it's something I've been looking for all my life, but have yet to find it. However, Alabama Worley (Patricia Arquette) and her new husband, Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) succeeded, which must mean it's out there somewhere...Right?
From the first frame to the last, this film is unadulterated fun, very well done by an outstanding cast that includes Dennis Hopper and Val Kilmer. If you haven't seen it, be sure to do so...you'll love it. If you've seen it before, see it again...and this time, don't forget the popcorn and your girlfriend