Saturday, February 20, 2016

Top 10 Tarantino characters.

 Top 10 Tarantino characters.

In keeping with the Tarantino theme, I decided to make a list of my personal favorite characters from his films. Which are yours and why?

10) Lt. Archie Hicox.
- Many may scratch their heads at this choice. But Michael Fassbender's stellar performance as Lt. Archie Hicox in my option is one of the huge reasons why this film was Tarantino's masterpiece. Fassbender was sorta an "unknown" here in the states at the time, and it wasn't until his breakout performance in this epic WW11 adventure that women from all over the world uttered the same word. "Sup?". Even if he is only in three scenes in the entire movie, his charming good looks, killer cheeky British accent, and being fluent in the film's main German language completely make the character what it is. If anyone asked me what one of my all time favorite scenes in a Tarantino movie is, hands down I would say the basement scene from Inglorious Bastards. The tension in this scene makes any audience member have a complete panic attack as they await what happens. Fassbender's epic delivery of his final lines has honestly never made drinking scotch look so good. 

9) The Bride.
- As a tribute to so many revenge films from the past, Tarantino made one of cinema's most powerful ass kicking female characters in his sweeping epic Kill Bill. Split into two volumes, it tells the tale of Beatrix Kiddo, a female assassin who is part of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Being the prized pet and lover of the squad's leader Bill, she discovers she's pregnant and decides this isn't the sort of life she wants to raise her unborn daughter in. Faking her death and fleeing, she attempts to start a new life in the states under a new name and marrying a local. It isn't until Bill and the other members of the squad find her, making her wedding rehearsal a complete bloody massacre. As she lays beaten and bleeding, Beatrix tells Bill the baby she is in fact carrying is his own. sadly, she says this one second too late as Bill fires a bullet right into her skull. Lucky for her, and very unlucky for the other squad members the bullet doesn't kill her but sends her into almost a five year coma. Once she awakes, she sets her sights on killing every Deadly Viper member before finding Bill. As over the top as these films are, The Bride is a sympathetic character who is tough as nails, and in fact a woman overcome by the loss of not only her fiancé' and fiends, but her unborn child as well. Uma's performance as The Bride is a colorful thrill ride and the last shot of her driving in the credits always brings a smile to my face.

8) Stuntman Mike.
- To say Death Proof was a disappointment would be the understatement of the century. I feel a huge reason behind my thoughts on this certain movie is the fact there were SO many unlikeable female characters. Luckily, this film had one Hell of a villain, one that wasn't your typical killer. As a tribute to 1970's and 80's car films and slasher movies, this killer didn't use a knife to kill his victims. No, he used his car. Stuntman Mike was by far the coolest thing to come out of Tarantino's part of Grindhouse. At first playing an odd, somewhat off but likable older gentleman, he sits at a local bar where our female characters are, eating nachos, drinking water, and enjoying the company of all the colorful characters who pass him by. You really can't help but like the guy, mostly when he explains the films he's worked on as a stuntman to the woman he volunteers to drive home at the end of the night. Playfully teasing and flirting with our lead Butterfly (I still can't believe that was her name) Mike even wins himself a lap dance after he tells her she's a chicken shit. It isn't until he drives poor Pam home, and here he utters his most famous line about how his car is 100% death proof, but to get the full benefit, you really gotta be sitting in his seat. Lurking, almost like a wolf, Mike shows his true colors mid way thru the movie and is responsible for one of the most graphic car crashes ever seen in a film before. It isn't until he meets his match in the second half of the movie when he sets his sights on slighter stronger female who won't put up with any of his bullshit. One of the most laughable moments have to be when he gets shot in the shoulder and legit screams and cries for a solid five minutes. As much as they made Mike into a pussy at the end, I feel his creative way of terrorizing his victims with his car is beyond brilliant.

7) Budd.
- I know, I know whoever is reading this is going "Really?" Well here is where I'm about to prove you wrong. Michael Madsen teamed up with Quentin over a decade later, this time playing Bill's younger brother Budd. The only other male member of the Deadly Vipers. Only briefly being shown in Vol. 1, he utters one of my personal favorite lines "This woman deserves her revenge...and we deserve to die." In the gritty Western outlook Vol. 2 gave, we're shown that there has been some bad blood between both brothers and the one deadly assassin is now living in a run down trailer in the middle of nowhere working as a bouncer at a strip club. Many fans have a theory that Budd was one of the only Squad members who regretted their actions the day of the Two Pine Massacre and had a falling out with his brother. His overall attitude over Bill's warnings of the Bride are pretty awesome. He feels whatever he's got coming to him he deserves, but the Bride wasn't no saint either for running away from Bill like she did, so if they fight they fight. One of my favorite scenes is Budd leaving the strip club after being chewed a new one by his boss (what makes me laugh is little does his boss know this man could honestly kill him.) he returns back to his trailer and looks around. Instantly after taking his hat off he looks as if he knows something the audience doesn't and goes into his trailer. When The Bride attacks he's ready and he's the only Squad members that actually takes her down. Another huge theory between fans if that Budd actually wanted The Bride to escape the Texas Funeral and that's why he showed pity towards her giving her the flashlight and maybe even being the one who put the razor into her boot (Not that sure of the later, but hey who knows...) In fact, The Bride doesn't even kill Budd since Ellie Driver is the woman responsible for his death. If you ask me, The Bride met her match with Budd. If he hadn't been for his greed I honestly think he could have taken her. 

6) Jackie Brown.
- A character based off a wonderful novel, Jackie Brown is yet another ass kicking female character. She isn't an assassin, superhero, or villain. She's a middle aged flight attendant with a shady past. Sadly for her, after getting caught up with the wrong people, she's arrested for transporting money into the states, as well as having drugs on her person that she was unaware of. Being brought in by the FBI they know she's working for a dangerous criminal named Ordell. Taking a stand, and not allowing herself to be his next victim, Jackie is three steps ahead of everyone making sure her own ass is covered to make a deal so she can finally be set for the rest of her life. As an African American forty-something year old woman, Jackie shows how strong she is by outwitting everyone, and staying strong when it meant the most. Between her uber cool personality, her romance with Max Cherry, and how bad ass she looks with a gun it only makes you wish this character could have come back again. My favorite shot of the entire movie is her with the opening credits playing as she walks through the airport to work looking like a complete boss.

5) Vincent Vega.
- By far one of Tarantino's most realistic and funniest characters to date. Originally supposed to be played by Michael Madsen, Vincent Vega ended up being the reason why Mr. John Travolta had the comeback he did. Brilliantly played by him, Vincent is one of the film's main characters and you can't help despite the fact he's a junkie and cold blooded killer to like him. Between him "accidentally" shooting Marvin in the face, how cool he still looked in a banana slugs T-shirt, him questioning ordering a 5 dollar shake, and his funky dance moves makes him a huge highlight in this awesome movie. One thing I always loved about this character was how whenever he spoke, it was like it was the audience talking. His panic when Mia starts to OD, him shouting for a magic marker, or even him telling Julies if he gives Honey Bunny the money from his wallet he'll shoot him on general principle. I'm sure I wasn't the only person that was beyond bummed when Bruce Willis shot him. "Sigh..."

4) Sheriff Chris Mannix. 
- "Ole Mary Todd...that's a nice touch." I down right adored The Hateful Eight. A huge reason behind my love for this movie was it's wonderful cast. One of the best performances had to be by Walton Goggins as "Sheriff" Chris Mannix. I enjoyed Walton's bit part in Django Unchained, but it was in this role he truly stole the show. Playing a sneaky, racist, over the top man who claims to be the new sheriff in town, he steals every scene he's in. I loved when he stumbles in after breaking down the door and goes over and throws a blanket on him before yelling "Navajo!" Chris quickly changes his outlook of Major Marcus Warren shortly after he almost drinks some tainted coffee and suddenly sees that one, or maybe two of these men inside this cabin aren't what they say they are. I down right adored his scenes with Sam Jackson. I love the look of shock on his face when John Ruth tells him not to drink the coffee, or his childish glee when the person who admits to poisoning the coffee comes forward. With some of the best lines in the movie, Chris Mannix is a likable bastard who's last scene with Warren is touching and sad. I hope Tarantino reuses him again soon!

3) Jules. 

- How could I include Vincent and not add on Jules. These two honestly were my favorite part of Pulp Fiction and Jules first comes across as this super intense scary hitman who rambles off his biblical speech before emptying his entire gun into a screaming victim. He isn't seen again until the second half of the movie where he sadly is with Vincent when he "hits a bump" causing Vincent to accidentally shoot Marvin in the face. His reactions with Vincent following are legit some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen on film. "Just take it to a friendly place!" His little pep talk with Vincent in Jimmy's bathroom, or him commenting on how good Jimmy's coffee is. I love the exchange between Vincent and him as it dawns on Jules on why he's in the backseat scooping up pieces of brain and skull. Jules truly shines in his final scene at the diner where he talks Honey Bunny from stealing the mysterious suitcase from him. In one of the most calm and settle ways, he pretty much tells the audience that he will kill Honey Bunny if he doesn't listen to him. I always loved the final shot of him and Vincent leaving the diner and walking out as if nothing happened.

2) Hans Landa.
- One of the most chilling and terrifying performances ever in a Tarantino film. When I first saw Inglorious Bastards I had zero idea who Christoph Waltz was. Sadly as much as I hate to say it, he's pretty much played the same character since then. I enjoyed him in Django, but this is the role I believe he was born to play and totally deserved the Oscar win this time around. With his intense thick accent, his sinister features, and his friendly and charming shark like smile you can't help but feel completely terrerfied of him. The worst is when Shosanna is sitting down to lunch when we hear "Ah Landa!" With the same music playing from The Entity, you can't help but feel as if you are in her shoes, freezing and sinking into your seat as he smiles. What's most terrifying is his sudden change of heart at the last part of the movie being over the top and cheeky just after he strangles one of the film's leads. Scary stuff...

1) Mr. Blond. 
- Can you tell I have a thing for Michael Madsen? In Tarantino's first film, the character of Vic Vega aka Mr. Blond is one the coolest and scariest characters in the whole movie. After a heist gone wrong, we learn that Mr. Blond went on a rampage gunning down several people without even blinking an eye. When he returns to the hideout he leans against the pole, calm as ever sipping his soda looking as if nothing is wrong at all. What's so scary about Mr. Blond is the fact that he's honestly the only character in the whole film that keeps his calm never losing it. He even explains that the people he murdered deserved what they got since they didn't listen to him. In a flashback scene we learn that Vic is actually a good friend of Nice Guy Eddie and his father Joseph after serving four years in prison for them. Here we understand his deep hate for the police and how he really is a mad man in hiding. It isn't until he's left alone with a tied up police officer that they have held hostage that you witness one of the most disturbing scenes of all time. Dancing to "Stuck in the middle with you." Blond hacks off the screaming police officer's ear before drenching him with gas ready to burn him alive. Unlucky for him Mr. Orange awakes from his pool of blood only to gun him down and reveal that he is in fact a cop.

So which ones are yours and why?

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