Pulp Fiction - a review by Dave Fischer
This has to be one of the dumbest movies I've seen since that full-length "action" musical starring the "Kool Aid" pitcher-guy. Pointlessly quirky directing oddities cannot cover all the holes in this story.
The entire movie is a series of unrelated incidents that take place at the paper pulping factory - hence the idiotic "Pulp Fiction" name. Each sub-story in the movie is introduced by a little shoe-shine boy who gives a one sentance setup, then runs away. This is funny the first time, perhaps the first two times, and then it becomes merely tedious. The "subtle" hints that the shoeshine boy grows up to be one of the story's main characters is comes off as pointless trivia, and adds nothing to the film.
Lionel Ritchie is a professional croquet player named "Dicky Duck" who is paid by a mobster to "take the fall". The mobster, "Big Bad Fabio", reappears several times in the movie, always wearing his trademark feather boa, and matching 357s. He threatens Dicky Duck in order to get him to lose the game at the end of a big championship, in some bizarre scheme to corner the shrimp cocktail tray while no one is looking. For some reason the croquet players are ferried around the field a few feet at a time by beautifull Columbian women driving golf carts and pestering the players incessantly with bizarre Transformers questions. (This does relate to the story, but the connection is not obvious on the first viewing. The tip-off for me was that question about the transexual transformer.)
Dicky Duck wins the game, and prepares to flee the country club, as Big Bad Fabio is out for his blood. Two of his gangsters are called in to hunt Dicky Duck down: Eerie Edgar, and Soft Sam.
You might remember the actor who portrays Eerie Edgar, as "Arnold Horshack" from Welcome Back Kotter. His career has been so weak since then, that he's actually had his name legally changed twice trying to distance himself from his earlier work, and joined a mind-control cult to garner the sympathy appeal (to no avail). I'm not sure if his involvement in the current film could be considered a step up, or a step down.
Soft Sam on the other hand, is immediately recognizable from the Palmolive ads. "You're soaking in it!" We sure are! And loving every minute! He truly makes the movie come alive, with his slapstick "TOO MUCH BLEACH!!!" routine with the poodle. (Actually, if they had left the entire movie, aside from that one two-minute segment, on the cutting floor during editing, this would have been a far more successfull film.)
In one of the film's most famous scenes, Eerie Edgar and Soft Sam are driving through the ghetto, Soft Sam at the wheel talking shop, while Eerie Edgar attempts to cut up a watermelon in the back seat for an afternoon snack. They hit a bump in the road, and the watermelon explodes all over the back seat! Soft Sam is enraged at the juice stains on his tuxedo, and ignoring all traffic laws, safety concerns, and general roadway politeness, speeds immediately to their friend "The Wuss" who runs a dry cleaning service.
The next scene is pretty much ruined by the introduction of a character, whose name I don't even remember, played by Quentin Tarintino. You would think Tarantino would realize by now that he is a LOSER and no one wants to watch his fumbling antics, or listen to his incoherent blather.
I didn't really pay attention to this scene, but it has something to do with making pastries without the benefit of a properly equiped kitchen. Lame. Hey guys! If you're going to rely this heavily of pastry humour, at least hire a pastry chef for a few minutes to make sure your references are accurate! The multiple technical mistakes in this scene kill the mood of the movie for me, entirely.
The other famous scene is the clog hopping competition between Eerie Edgar and Stilethia, Big Bad Fabio's ex-wife. Eerie Edgar has just put away two bottles of nyquil and is feeling kinda half-speed, while Stilethia has a couple of espressos making her clog-hop away, double-time! An amusingly pharmecological dance scene.
There is a nicely handled bit of romantic tension after they win the competition, and we are all wondering if Eerie Edgar will snatch the forbidden fruit, when they both die in a fiery car crash, ending the film.
This movie has a few good points, but the rest of it drags it down, and the entire piece drips with pretensious directing.
If you must see it, see it while unconscious.