JACKIE BROWN (1997) 

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Pam Grier
Sameul L. Jackson
Robert Forster
Bridget Fonda
Robert De Niro
Michael Keaton
Chris Tucker
Michael Bowen

Quentin Tarantino




Time: 151 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Drama/Crime/Caper

Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Forster).

I think I know what Quentin was trying to do...make a black comedy about a strong woman who gets the better of all the men in her life by stealing all her boss's money and getting away with it. However, maybe if her little sting operation didn't feel like it happened in real time (the film takes place over a week) JACKIE BROWN would have been more enjoyable. This movie was about 2 and a half hours long, which is way overboard for a simple heist pic. Since it was adapted from an Elmore Leonard book, which are not known for their length or depth of description, this film should have been about 90-100 minutes long. If it was it would have been at least half entertaining – the boring half being cut out.

I know Quentin loves his characters and likes his audience to get under their skin, which is fine, but I don't want to live there. Though I felt for Jackie, played perfectly by Pam Grier, and wanted her to successfully steal the money, she was the only character I felt even remotely interested in. Everybody else was a straight cookie cutter character. I'd seen them all before and they were so unlikeable I didn't want to spend time with any of them again. Except for Robert Forster, who was also pitch perfect.

The last hour of the film, where the heist actually takes place, is tense and involving. You're just not sure what's really taking place and whether or not Jackie's going to be able to pull it off. The exchange of the money is shown from various characters points-of-view (a Quentin trademark) which I really liked and gave the film some dynamism it was sorely lacking up to this point. When you see the scene through Jackie's eyes, you believe she's left the money, but you just don't know for sure.

Of course, in all Quentin movies you're left to wonder through most of the film who's going to make it until the end...he's never timid about killing off major stars in the middle of his movies. However, the characters are generally such deadbeat lowlifes, I was practically cheering when a few of them made early exits. Again, the music was great, but so what. He definitely knows how to make good movies, he just needs an editor who will cut them into great ones. JACKIE BROWN is not a total waste of time, if you have 3 hours of your life to give, but it's not a film I would rush out to see either. Wait until it comes to you...it'll go down better if you know you didn't pay to see it.

"My ass may be dumb, but I ain't no dumbass."

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