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8 Reasons Why Jackie Brown Beats Pulp Fiction

"The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every ---- in the room, accept no substitutes."

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

May 4, 2012 - 12:57 pm
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Last month PJ Media’s Washington, D.C., editor, Bridget Johnson, served up another tasty helping of Gen X ’90s nostalgia with “10 Reasons Why Pulp Fiction Is Still Cooler Than a $5 Milkshake.”

Bridget and I may be a decade apart but we still shared most of the same pop culture. Just from different angles.

For example, here’s my cinematic provocation: 1997′s Jackie Brown is a much better picture than Pulp Fiction, the most overrated film of the ’90s.

To make my case I first present three of Pulp’s flaws that should inspire the film’s cultists to question their loyalty to this false god. Then I’ll present 5 reasons why you should instead join my pop culture cult of Jackie Brown worship, as the true divine revelation from the Cinema Prophet Quentin Tarantino.

Most Overrated Performance of the 1990s?

3. Only A Handful of the Characters Are Likable.

The factor that gets me watching films more than once? I want to visit old friends. Give me characters I’d actually want to spend time with for a few hours.

Of Pulp‘s shining cast of characters (Wikipedia picks 12) there’s only 3 that I’d ever want to have a beer with:

  • Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield
  • Harvey Keitel as The Wolf. Bridget nailed it:

    The Wolf is like the Yoda of Pulp Fiction — all wise and commanding respect. Plus, we’re in awe of his seemingly magical ability to get through San Fernando Valley traffic as quickly as he does. “It’s 30 minutes away. I’ll be there in 10.”

  • Christopher Walken as Captain Koons

Every other character in the film is either too annoying, whiny, immature, or evil to earn our sympathy. Am I the only one who can’t stand the spoiled cokehead Mia Wallace? Uma Thurman is one of her generation’s greatest actresses but she didn’t have a role from QT worthy of her talent until Kill Bill. (And even then, for as much fun as Kill Bill is, it’s still just an action movie. They could do better. I expect them to.)

If one of those three characters isn’t in the scene (and a weapon is not being selected) then at this point I’ve seen Pulp enough times that I’ll just fast forward to my favorite parts. Almost as though the film were a bag of skittles and now the reds are the only ones worth eating.

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