Pulp Fiction - ???????
Updating the hard-boiled crime film with postmodern aplomb, and twisting movie time as adroitly as Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick, Tarantino weaves a morality play through a pop culture fun house drawn from sources as disparate as 1950s and 1970s kitsch, Jean-Luc Godard, Howard Hawks, boxing flicks, Hong Kong action movies, and Kiss Me Deadly (1955). The surreal yet realistic atmosphere, long takes, and wittily pop-literate non-stop dialogue emotionally engage the viewer in the minutiae of the characters' experience even as the film also comments on their status as pulp creations, rendering the moments of shockingly baroque violence simultaneously humorous and ghastly.Well I don't get it. In Citizen Kane Welles twisted time because the story was about a reporter asking different people about Kane and so the scenes had to follow these peoples' stories - in other words, it made sense, while the "time-twisting" seems to have no justification other that to have critics (rapturously) comment on it. Welles's other good films - The Stranger, The Lady from Shanghai, and Touch of Evil - had beginnings, middles and ends, like normal movies. Kubrick? He made some whacked movies but I don't get the "time-twisting" reference with him, unless it refers to 2001 which was clearly intended to be accompanied by the copious consumption of cannabis. As far as drawing from disparate sources, isn't that another way of saying it's derivative? "Surreal yet realistic" - in other words, street characters behaving unrealistically and real-life situations unfolding preposterously. And what's the deal with 'long takes' - yeah, the opening sequence of Touch of Evil is pretty cool, given the technology of the late 50's, but who gives a fuck how often the director yells "cut" during filming? "Wittily pop-literate" - gangsters talking like English majors - the joke soon wears thin - "non-stop dialogue" - very thin. And I can't make heads or tails of the rest of the review. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the film wasn't entertaining - it was - I'd put it on a par with, say, "Die Hard" in that regard.
Related: John Simon's review.