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VINE VOICEon 3 January 2004
Like him or not, Quentin Tarantino keeps making masterpieces. Kill Bill may have recieved poor ratings, but its still an excellently made film, and an artistic masterpiece. Pulp Fiction, possibly his most famous creation, was another cinematic landmark, with the originally hard to follow flashbacks and stories within stories. Reservoir Dogs was a masterpiece for the sheer cheek to produce a film set mainly in a warehouse, and featuring 70s cheerful music to acts of horrific violence and bloody scenes.
Then you have Jackie Brown. A forgotten gem in the Tarantino Collection, this film is my personal favourite. Its not as violent as his others, but the storyline is excellent.
Basically, the film is about Ordell (played by Samuel L Jackson) trying to smuggle half a million dollar into America from Mexico, using his friend, air stewardess Jackie Brown. Ordell is played to perfection by Jackson, and the character really comes alive, thanks to his paranoid nature, including shooting his friend for getting arrested because he thinks investigations could bring up his name.
The smuggling plot falls apart when Jackie Brown is arrested smuggling in a tester amount of £50,000 and fears for her life after Ordell visits her apartment, gun in hand, but after a while, she convinces him on her loyalty, and the plan continues, but where do Jackie's loyalities really lie, and who will survive in this tense, yet compelling tale.
The film is 2 and a half hours long, and I really couldnt turn away, and that is something I dont say about a lot of films. I simple love Samuel L Jackson's acting ability, and this is potentially his finest performance.
In short, excellent film, another true masterpiece, and probably the only Tarantino film that doesnt need 2 or 3 watches to understand and appreciate it. Ironically, you'll appreciate it so much, you'll watch it 2 or 3 times because its so damn good.
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on 2 May 2007
Being a huge fan of Tarantinos earlier efforts Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction expectations were of course high. Especially since Jackie Brown is based on the Elmore Leonard novel "Rum Punch". And Elmore Leonards stories usually fit the big screen very well, they are actually one of the rare occasions where i usually prefer the film to the novel.

Tarantino sets a different mood here compared to the more frantic and violent Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. This is more of a slow crime story that focuses more on being cool than being shocking. I think this movie works very well despite the slow pace which seems to put a lot of people off. Mainly i think it works because the actors are all giving it their best (the casting is also excellent) while Tarantino seems to handle the whole story more gently than in Pulp Fiction. He doesn't stress it, he doesn't run the risk of over-doing the "cool" parts. The end result is enjoyable but a lot more somber than what you're used to from Tarantino.

All in all i feel this movie is underrated. It's enjoyable, well made and stylish. Recommended to those not demanding all movies to head on at breakneck speed.
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on 28 October 2010
This film may not be his most famous or the biggest box office success but to me this is his best film. Absolutely love each charachter which are played amazingly well, especially Pam Grier and Robert Forster. It also has a really good soundtrack that goes well with the film. The one disappointing thing is there is no audio commentary by Tarantino himself who always gives a great insight into his films, but I wouldn`t mark it down for that.
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on 15 March 2001
This will be compared to Dogs and Pulp Fiction which is a shame. It is an excellent tale in it's own right. There are similar themes such as strong dialogue and flash back sequences, but this film should be viewed on it's own merits.
The only disappointment for the DVD is the lack of features - I think the studio must have rushed it out as quickly as possible. This is no special edition box set cram full of behind the scenes footage. It noticable for it's complete lack of features.
It is also a two sided disk - always a let down having to drag yourselve out of the armchair mid-movie.
Good picture and sound though (music being a key element in any Tarantino movie)
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on 17 March 2006
This is Quentin Tarentino's most underrated movie and probably the best.
I saw this in the cinema when it first came out and came out thinking it was brilliant. What makes this movie work so well is it's chilled out vibe. This is conveyed through the excellent sound track, derived from the blaxploitation movies of the 70s. I would say that this is the best soundtrack used yet in one of Quentins movies.
The film runs at a slow pace which can put off some viewers, but I found that there was enough going on in the plot to keep me watching. It may not have the same level of violence as most Tarentino movies, but the characters are deep and develop well over the 2.5 hours.
The dialogue, as can be expected by a Tarrentino movie is brilliant. It is rare to have a director with such talent that can make a hollywood movie, but have the ability to create this "Art House" vibe and make a movie that is different from the mainstream. Jackie Brown is the height of Tarrentinos movie making talent and I would recommed this to anyone who has a sense of style and taste, who isn't afraid of going against the flow.
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on 27 February 2015
Probably the most underrated of Tarantino's films and yet one of his best, Jackie Brown was always going to struggle to win the hearts and minds of viewers as it came on the heels of the ever-popular Pulp Fiction. Whereas the latter was super-cool and action-packed, Jackie Brown contains a more sedate pace, but one that is filled with character as the film builds to its finale.

With the likes of Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton and Robert De Nero all putting in excellent performances, there is certainly no shortage of acting talent. As with all of Tarantino's scripts, the dialogue shines and there are many amusing moments. The directing loses some of the freneticism seen in Pulp Fiction, but this is entirely suited to the different pace of this film, something we are introduced to immediately with the lingering shot of Jackie during the opening titles.

The relationship between Jackie and Max Cherry is the pivotal one within the narrative and is given depth by what goes unsaid between them. We can see how fond Max is of her, something shown in such things as him buying a tape of The Delfonics after she plays them at her apartment. The possibility that this relationship will develop, along with the tension of Jackie's relationships with illegal gun dealer Ordell Robbie and the police, creates a gripping spectacle as we watch to see if she and Max can succeed in their plan, one that will see her free of Robbie and of her job as a stewardess for a low budget airline.

Wonderfully acted, directed, scripted and paced, this is a great piece of cinema with unspoken depth.
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on 1 July 2002
Elmore Leonard's excellent novel, "Rum Punch" makes it to the screen in a sizzling black caper movie by Quinten Tarantino.
Many considered this a cinematic failure when released in 1997, however there is enough plot twists and turns and good characterisations by a splendid cast to good most people amused.
Tarantino's homage to Black movies of the 70's included a great sans towards the violence he had otherwise become known for with pictures like "Resovoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction".
Instead here, he concentrates on the intricacies of the plot by airline stewardess and bag woman Jackie (played by Blaxploitation heroine, Pam Greer), to swindle her hoodlum boss Samuel L.Jackson, himself in excellant form, from virtually all his misbegotten earnings, whiich he needs moved up from Mexico.
Style is as much a feature of this film as well as acting skill and a good script. Flashbacks, inter-twining sub-plots and a whole lot of 70's soul music all add up to make this picture a worthy addition to any collection.London, Uk
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on 11 December 2000
I may be wrong but I believe when this hit the cinema screens it didn't do as well as Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. It certainly did not have the same hype.
Its a very rewarding film however and you could even say the director has matured but thats not really the right word - I think he has gone for something different and proved he can make a good movie without flashy scenes and dialogue. He lets the actors get on with a well-written script, which concentrates on the title character. There is however an excellent robbery sequence told from various viewpoints that is a real delight. Its also shows Pam Grier as a great actress in a role that is perfect for her.
Thats the film. The DVD is ok too I guess: no special features which is always disappointing but the sound & picture are great and at ... you cant complain. Something I really didn't like though is that its split over the two sides of the DVD. Maybe there will be a Region 1 version available someday but for the moment you can only get this film in Region 2.
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on 15 January 2007
Unfortunately for Tarantino, the iconography of his first two films made him the poster boy for a certain generation, and so, he gets a lot of teenage boys with pictures of Uma on their wall (hello, 'Real metal listener')complaining that Jackie Brown is crap because it doesn't contain enough violence.

Tarantino's trick is that he has always played around with the dynamics of cliche, flatness and depth, bringing alive the 2D pulpy influences into flesh, making stock in trade characters breathe before icing the cake with his own particular, post-modern style. When I saw Jackie Brown on TV the other day, i realised it was such a shame that he went back to iconography and the pornography of violence again in Kill Bill, a film that is supposed to be porno-coke for the eyeballs. (Fair enough as a concept, but trying to shoehorn in any depth/length made it a grotesque cartoon. Tailor-made for teenage boys only, and their spiritual father, Jonathan Ross.)

In JB, everything is note perfect: the rendering of Elmore Leonard's particular atmosphere, all of the performances, the 'over-long' length, the meloncholic mid-life love story contrasted with money scams and the threat of violence etc. Concerning the violence in JB, the difference when compared to Kill Bill, is that you are scared for the characters because they seem real and sympathetic, and this is because the actors have screen time to relax into to their skins.

This is such a good film: It almost plays like a mood piece in it's pace, except with exceptional characters, acting, writing and plotting.

In short: Don't be put off by the meathead Kill Bill crew who judge a film based only on the amount of comic book violence it contains, this film kicks it into touch in every way.
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on 28 July 2004
Pam Grier, star of many blaxpoloitation films from the 1970s, has her career resurrected with force in this, Tarantino's 3rd film. She palys an over-the-hill air hostess who sometimes ferries cash to a small-time gun runner (played with expertise by Samuel L. Jackson). On one such trip (at the beginning of the film), she's caught by the ATF, and is now at the centre of a sting operation to try and catch Jackson and half a million dollars that he's earned selling pistols and army surplus to gangs and hoods. However, she wants the money for herself, and enlists the help of her bail bondsman (Robert Forster, who got nominated for his role in the film) to spirit the money away from under the noses of all concerned.
With star turns from Grier, Jackson, Forster, Michael Keaton as teh ATF agent assigned to this case, Bridget Fonda as Jackson's girlfriend, and Robert DeNiro as Jackson's partner in crime, who expertly handle a quick and funny script based on the novel Rum Punch, and Tarantino's expert direction of both the film and the 60's soundtrack that's become his trademark, this is one of the best thrillers I own. While not as violent as Reservoir Dogs, nor as cleverly written as Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown shines in it's own way, and filmly establishes Tarantino as one of the best directors to come out of the 1990s (in my view)
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