FIVE STAR FILMS #19: Pulp Fiction (1994)

Quentin Tarantino’s PULP FICTION avails us a wickedly fast paced hurdy-gurdy look inside the seedy world of the L.A. underworld through the eyes of two seasoned “hit-men” and a past-his-prime boxer. With an ensemble cast and an Academy Award winning screenplay we’re lead pied piper style into a maze of violent deals gone wrong, pancakes, bacon with a side of armed robbery and a mystery briefcase that people do “literally” kill to get their hands, with so much to ingest it may be hard to find just 5 things which makes it such a masterpiece but here goes.

 

1. John Travolta: Vincent Vega

Some believe its the best resurrection since a certain fellow from Nazareth, but Travolta is ultra-cool personified, one scene in particular resonates: when Vincent meets Butch for the 1st time, its the the way he dismisses him, calls him “punchy” & “palooka”, its conceited, rude but still so f*#king cool. Not to mention seeing him back on the dance floor, he may have aged & added a “few” pounds but he’s still got the moves!

2. Samuel L Jackson: Jules Winnfield

“It’s the one with Bad Mother F*#ker on it”, has there been anyone more deserved of a wallet carry that insignia? Jackson is the perfect vessel for Tarantino’s razor-sharp hip dialogue, his delivery of Ezekiel 25:17, his masterful conversation with Honey Bunny, Jules speaks with all the subtly of a sledge-hammer but the wisdom of a pop culture sage.

 3. Bruce Willis: Butch Coolidge

Everyone loves an underdog.. even if he’s a double crossing “pug” who shows no remorse and has a feather trigger temper. Willis embodies a true “noir” hero, you wouldn’t put a effigy him on your mantle-piece but you’d want him on your side, just don’t misplace his watch.. or leave the keys to your chopper lying around!

4. Harvey Keitel: Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe

Although Keitel’s on screen time is minimal, its effect is long lasting, as the hired hand sent to fix problems, The Wolf talks fast, thinks fast and drives fast. Amongst a processsion of dominating performances its the reserved, polished Winston Wolfe that exudes smooth & makes everything “Kool and the Gang”…

5. Christopher Walken: Captain Koons

Do I need a reason other than its Walken? In true scene stealing fashion (True Romance), Captain Koons delivers a chilling tale of a uncomfortable chunk of metal stuck up his arse with such aplomb its impossible to look away & not re-adjust your seating a little. An uneasy & yet mesmerising manner that only a Walken character can unload.

Dave Grenfell – follow Dave on Twitter here: @nowshowinghigh