Sunday, December 30, 2012

The signature is really a scribble

Writer -Director Tarantino jumps from genre to genre, I think, to disguise the fact that his interests are limited and that he is , in truth, making the same movie over and over. Some directors are stylish and have the skills to apply their particular signature touches to films without smothering the narrative in an excess of director personality, but QT isn't one of them.

 His last three films, "Death Proof", "Inglorious Basterds" and now "Django Unchained" don't even rate as examples of Excessive Stylization; they seem, rather, to be successive durations of "signature touches". He reminds of myself as a kid when I bought the new Marvel or DC comic and skipped all exposition pages and skipped straight to the fight scenes and the inevitable destruction of Manhattan as heros and villains slugged it out. Skipping ahead, though, sacrificed coherence and grace, keystones to creating narratives, visual or otherwise.

 Tarantino's flaws are compounded by having too much "good stuff" he wants to get to. We have nothing compelling, enticing, even vaguely interesting here. Despite some good scenes and the occasional flair for comic situations--QT's talent are for smaller, funnier, tighter scenes, not epic revisions of durable genres-- you anticipate not plot developments or character conflict but wonder when the next "signature touch" is going to bludgeon you with it's ham handed homage to directors who took their work far less seriously.

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