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CLASSIC REVIEW: Pulp Fiction (1994)

Is it just me or do newer Quentin Tarantino films feel like they’re always trying to live up to this masterpiece? The new films look great, but lack the realness and raw dialogue of Pulp Fiction. (Inglorious Bastards came close though.)

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I saw Pulp Fiction in 1995 when I was 15 and I thought it was like a documentary on life in LA. I was only a few years away from manhood and knew I had a lot of growing up to do to be half as cool as these characters. Now that I’m 40, I can confidently confirm that I never came close.

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It’s one of the few films that get better each time you watch it, especially if you’re much older when you do. I highly doubt my kids have seen it. They’re old enough to watch it now, and the next time they complain too much, I’m going to make them watch it and tell them that it was what life was like when I was a kid and they should be happy with things today.

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Anytime someone is searching for me on any kind of list, I always tell them I’m the one that’s labeled, bad motherfucker. Only one out of about 10 people will get it, the rest look at me like I’m insane. I always forget that not everyone has seen this gem.

Main Characters

If you’ve never seen Pulp Fiction before, then I don’t want to ruin anything, so I will just show the three main characters in some of my favorite scenes without spoilers.

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Butch is a boxer.

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He’s loves an old watch that his dad wanted him to have.

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Vincent is a hitman who just came back from a European vacation.

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Jules

Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Jules, really steals the show. Pulp Fiction is what shot Mr. Jackson into the stratosphere and his performance alone is enough reason to see this.

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Pulp Fiction is remembered as one of the greatest films ever and most consider it Tarantino’s best. It won many accolades including an Academy Award for Best Orginal Screenplay. It boosted many of these actors into stardom as well.

Spoilers and Unanswered Questions

If you have not yet seen Pulp Fiction, please stop now and just let me say this film is a five out of five, a masterpiece, a must watch before you die, and one of my favorite movies of all time. The film still leaves you with questions though.

  • What is inside the briefcase?
  • How did Vincent and Jules survive the gunfight?
  • How did they get rid of the body?
  • What does Marsellus Wallace look like?

CLASSIC REVIEW: The Bridge on the River Kwai

If you’ve never seen or heard of this film it maybe because it was released in 1957. The only person you are likely to recognize is Obi-Wan Kenobi himself or a 42-year-old Alec Guinness.

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How good are your Roman numerals reading skills? I remember being bored to death as a kid during Catholic Mass looking at these strange ancient numbers and self-taught myself how to read them. MCMLVII is 1957.

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This is a fictional story based on true events. The Japanese had allied prisoners they put to work connecting Thailand to Burma. Alec Guinness as Colonel Nicholson refuses to put his officers to work based on the international laws of the Geneva Convention while Colonel Saito has his Japanese honor at stake and a deadline to finish the bridge.

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Colonel Nicholson is a true British soldier through and through. He stands tall in defiance of his Japanese captors even when about to be shot down with a machine gun.

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Lieutenant Commander Shears is the only American in the film. I love what Colonel Nicholson says about him, “Queer bird… even for an American.”

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They called it the Death Railway because so many POWs died working on it. You can visit the bridge today in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. The graves are still there and they have a museum to commemorate the poor soldiers who died there.

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The British send a special team of soldiers to find and blow up the bridge. The Japanese took all of the Siamese men from the village so they use local women to carry the gear.

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I know they are going on a secret mission and need to camouflage themselves, but did they need to use blackface?

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This is still a great film six decades later. I saw it the first time in 1999 on VHS and never forgot about it. It won 8 Academy Awards including best picture. I embedded the Amazon link below, but you can easily find it on torrent sites too. Amazon will sell anything to make a buck, but if people feel that this needs to be shared on torrents even today, it’s a sign that it’s a quality film.

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I can still do the whistling of the British soldiers as they marched. It’s a catchy tune. Thanks for looking back at this classic film with me today. Remember that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

RETRO GAMING: Doom

My friend Mike and I agreed that this was the greatest game to ever be made and there would never be anything better than this after clearing it our first time. We were both 15 in 1995, but he was way more grown up than me. Some kids at 15 look like they’re in their twenties while some look 12. I was the later and really looked up to Mike. He had already had many girlfriends and gave me my first hit of the reefer. I usually forget who I’ve watched movies with, but I’ll always remember who I cleared epic games with.

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This digital art may look crude today, but we thought it was awesome back then. This game was released in 1993, so this was probably done on Microsoft Paint or a very early Photoshop. I spent so many hours attempting to draw on Microsoft Paint that it’s still the easiest for me to use today.

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A few people played Doom‘s daddy, Wolfenstein 3D, but Doom was the first 3D game that EVERYONE played. You had to shut down Windows and boot this game from DOS. Not all PCs had speakers so a lot of us played without sound.

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I was lucky and went to good public schools which always bought new IBM PCs and Macs so we could sneak install Doom onto some of the school’s computers. I think it was Doomand Mortal Kombat that started to give gaming a bad name blaming it on youth violence and our academic failures.

The Map

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Doom was the first time I remember using a map. It was very difficult for me to remember the 3D game in my mind while reading a 2D map. I developed the, Always Turn Left, technique in Wolfenstein 3D whenever I got lost and brought the same lazy minded bad habbit to Doom, but it didn’t always work because it was a complex 3D world with stairs and different floors.

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The demons in Doom got scarier as you progressed. Luckily for the player, the weapons got better as well.

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By the end of the game you’ll have the BFG. We never did figure out what that acronym meant.

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Gaming History

Doom will be remembered as a grandfather of many things…

  • 3D gaming techniques
  • online sales
  • online gaming
  • modding
  • FPS horror
  • expansion packs
  • turning games into movies

Thanks for looking back on this 3D and FPS granddaddy with me today. Have you tried the modern Doom games? I think this will be a great VR game and the Doom franchise will continue to scare and amaze us.

3 Reasons Why YOU Should Watch THE OLD GUARD

Action

This movie has an interesting story, but the action scenes really help you forget the B movie feel. It’s fast paced with fresh fight scenes and lots of gun action.

Charlize Theron

She’s the shit in this movie and looking great after 40. She must have trained a lot because her fighting and shooting look pro. I think as an actor it would be very difficult to play someone of an ancient age. How would someone hundreds or thousands of years old walk or talk?

What if?

Since it wasn’t all CGI in your face, this movie seemed to draw me more into the characters and really gave me that “What if you were Wolverine?” feeling. The Old Gaurd is easy to find. It’s on Netflix and is a popular download on The Pirate Bay.

Resources

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-old-guard-movie-review-2020
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