Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jackie Brown: Movie Review

Slick characters and slick dealings in one perfectly executed film.

I never thought that I would actually like a Quentin Tarantino movie, let alone think that it's a brilliant film that should be revered. "Pulp Fiction" (1994) was entertaining but most of his other violent, ridiculous "artistry" I couldn't even sit through. "Jackie Brown" though, gives us some powerful characters to connect to, a drug and money plot which for the most part makes sense, and relatively, very little violence.   1997

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Screenplay by: Quentin Tarantino
Based on the novel by Elmore Leonard

Starring: Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson

The eponymous Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is a 44 year-old black woman, but I can't describe her using Samuel L. Jackson's words because they are all expletives. I am hoping that I'm allowed to laugh at Jackson's many racial, blasphemous, and offensive declarations because they were hilarious.

The majority of the comedy is when we are being introduced to all the characters at the beginning of the film. Once we establish that Ordell (Jackson) is a very ruthless, rich arms-dealer, then we establish that Jackie Brown might be more like the opposite of him, a hard-working stewardess trying to make right in society. But they're friends and she's caught with his money and cocaine.

After giving us some rich characters, we then get a plot. A plot which involves some very shady connections, and under-handing and double-crossing. But we're given everything we need to know so it's easy to follow, and then we get to guess who is actually working for whom and who is defrauding whom. And every single one of these potentially-suspicious characters is played by a great actor in a role seemingly made for them.

"Jackie Brown" is filmmaking at its best with these vibrant characters, engaging story and the detailed use of style, song choice, and framing of shots to keep all of the connections alive. Who would have known that Tarantino knew how to write for, and dress, a woman so well?


Hanna (2011) - Female empowerment in a teenaged super assassin.

Suicide Kings (1997) - A dark comedy of crimes with well written characters.