Thursday, August 15, 2019

One Hot Take Deserves Another

In 2003 Gary Ellis' first and only feature film, the grifter/drifter carnival noir Tough Luck did an inverse magic trick by disappearing and then never re-materialzing. At least not until nobody was watching any longer. It starred Norman Reedus, Armand Assante and Dagmara Dominczyk as the three points of a lust/trust geometrical disaster and they made a sharp team in my lonely opinion.

Over at Daily Grindhouse I wrote about the film and I hope you'll give it a chance.

And if my after fourteen years knee-jerk take stokes your thirst for one with more heat allow me to direct you toward One Heat Minute podcast creator/host Blake Howard's new venture; a new film podcast called The Take (check out this teaser of Blake telling Vincent Hannah all about it).

The first episode is up and features Blake with guests Lindsey Romain from The Nerdist and Sarah Ward of Trespass Magazine discussing Once Upon a Time Hollywood and all things Quentin Tarantino. The film has been the subject of more think pieces and scorching hot takes than any in recent memory and I'd like to thank everybody for participating in the rush to gush and hush that's been so damned entertaining to observe these last few weeks.

I saw it! I liked it fine, but I suspect it will grow in my estimation with revisits the same way works by many of my favorite film makers do. The guests on The Take rank their top 5 QT movies and since no one's asking I'll give you mine for the moment:

5) Pulp Fiction - I worked in a movie theater when this one came out. Saw it four times in the first week and a more intense corporate experience of held-breath suspense followed by explosive laughter than during the overdose sequence. Even the fourth time that week I was on edge during that sequence.

4) Inglourious Basterds - Not at all what I'd anticipated for years with rumors of a Tarantino WWII movie, and honestly, upon first viewing, a bit of a let down, but it's grown steadily in my estimation thanks in large part to the many films within the film structure, and the hilariously messy collision of all the parts coming together in the climax.

3) Kill Bill vol. 1 - Not going to cheat and put both volumes together Volume 1 really towers over the second part for me for the House of Blue Leaves chapter alone.

2) Jackie Brown - As a crime fan first I always lament what could have been with more of his career dedicated to the genre, but hawt damn, we'll always have this perfection to savor.

1) Reservoir Dogs - Came out when I was still in high school and the impact was pretty instantaneous. Enough so that I was eager for it to be released on VHS while still in the dark about the subject matter. What I saw alternately beguiled, horrified and thrilled me enough that I bought my own copy and watched it over and over just trying to figure out why it pushed my buttons so hard. Totally sympathize with people who hate it and I believe he's grown as a filmmaker (and probably as a human being) since making this one, but there's not doubt it's the one that made the biggest impact on me and helped me define what I was looking for.

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