From the Chicago Reader (October 10, 2003). — J.R.
Quentin Tarantino’s lively and show-offy 2003 tribute to the Asian martial-arts flicks, bloody anime, and spaghetti westerns he soaked up as a teenager is even more gory and adolescent than its models, which explains both the fun and the unpleasantness of this globe-trotting romp. It’s split into two parts, and I assume the idea of volumes reflects the mind-set of a former video-store clerk who thinks in terms of shelf life. This is essentially 111 minutes of mayhem, with hyperbolic revenge plots and phallic Amazonian women behaving like nine-year-old boys; the dialogue, less spiky than usual, uses bitch as often as his earlier films used nigger, and most of the stereotypes are now Asian rather than black. If Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog was a response of sorts to Tarantino, then Tarantino returns the compliment here with RZA’s music and the mixture of Japanese and Italian genre elements. With Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Sonny Chiba, Daryl Hannah, Julie Dreyfuss, and Chiaki Kuriyama. R. (JR)
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From The Soho News (June 11, 1980). Note: The “Hollywood assistant” quoted below was Meredith Brody, working at the time for A-Team. – J.R.
A film by Eric Mitchell
St. Mark’s Cinema, midnight
“Sometimes I think most of the ’70s is being spent in
cars, discussing remakes,” a Hollywood assistant once
woefully remarked to me. She didn’t know how lucky she
was. Sometimes, in my less happy moods, I think that
most of the 80s will be spent in theaters, watching the
same remakes that were being discussed in the ’70s.
Willie & Phil -- Paul Mazursky’s remake of Jules and
Jim, set in the American ’70s — isn’t opening for a couple
of months yet. John Carpenter’s The Fog and several
other recent quickies have already remade Carpenter’s
Halloween, which was itself a partial remake of The Thing
(which Carpenter is now planning to remake more directly).
And to round off this minisurvey of new, original
thinking (if you want to exalt the conventional, call it
classical), the new Eric Mitchell film, the l6mm
Underground U.S.A., which already sounds like a remake
of Sam Fuller’s Underworld U.S.A. — is actually
described in its own pressbook as a remake of a remake:
“Taking the classic theme of Sunset Boulevard seen
through Heat,” Underground U.S.A.… Read more »