bill bodkin is down with jackie brown…
In honor of the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, we look at a lost classic.
Release Date: 1997
First Saw It: My Dad and I picked this one up from the now defunct Easy Video on Inman Avenue in Edison, New Jersey back in 1998.
What Drew Me To See It: As a fan of Quentin Tarantino and caper films, I was immediately drawn to it.
Starring: Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Robert DeNiro, Bridget Fonda
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Thank God They Weren’t Cast: Sylvester Stallone wanted to play the role of the ex-con Louis, which Robert DeNiro ended up playing. While this might’ve worked today, 1997 was the the start of Stallone’s decline in Hollywood and this probably would’ve been a disaster.
Why is This ‘Lost?’: Jackie Brown was the follow-up to Pulp Fiction and was released during the Christmas season of ’97, just in time for Oscar contention. Honestly, there was no possible way this film could’ve lived up to the hype it was receiving nor the legendary praise Pulp Fiction received.
The Best Performance: Robert Forster as bail bondsman Max Cherry. He’s the picture of someone content with his life — from his close-to-retirement clothing, to his neat and organized way of being, Max Cherry is the perfect character to have his life turned on its head. When he first meets Jackie Brown, he’s immediately taken by her beauty and personality and is drawn into her tangled web of a criminal life. It’s absolutely engrossing to watch the buttoned up yet tough Max fall for Jackie Brown. It’s one of the sweeter romances in a Tarantino’s canon.
The Supporting Scene-Stealer: Samuel L. Jackson as the long-haired arms dealer Ordell Robbie. He’s Samuel L. — do we need to explain?
The Moment to Remember: The scene that gets me every time when I was a kid, and still does to this day is when Ishmael takes a dump in the urinal while reading the paper. What’s even stranger are the people in the urinals next to him who don’t even react to this. It doesn’t get any funnier than that.
The Memorable Quote:
Ordell Robbie: Now that there is the Tec-9, a crappy spray gun from South Miami. This gun is advertised as the most popular gun in American crime. Do you believe that shit? It actually says that in the little book that comes with it: the most popular gun in American crime. Like they’re actually proud of that shit.
The Groan Moment: Robert DeNiro and surfer-girl stoner Bridget Fonda have sex…awkward.
Why I Can’t Stop Watching It: Jackie Brown is a fantastically constructed crime drama in style of the old school film noir. It takes its time in setting up a complicated confidence scheme — who can you trust? Who will come out on top? Watching it unfold in a way only Quentin Tarantino can tell it is wonderful.