Film & Water #134 – Jackie Brown


Episode 134: JACKIE BROWN

Semi-regular co-host David “Ace” Gutierrez returns to discuss one of his and Rob’s favorite films, Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 masterpiece JACKIE BROWN!

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21 responses to “Film & Water #134 – Jackie Brown

  1. I should’ve known Rob loved this movie when he sang my praises for dropping “Across 110th Street” on an episode of Secret Origins Podcast.

    I love this movie, and the biggest shock for me as a listener was that I agreed with both of you guys on every point you brought up. Like Rob, I saw this movie in the theater fully expecting another PULP FICTION, and I was a little disappointed. If it was hard for Rob to connect with the middle-agedness of the characters when he was twenty-five, imagine me at fifteen trying to do the same. But within a couple years, I was totally on the movie’s wavelength, its pacing, its flow, and yes, I think it’s Tarantino’s best (though I haven’t seen HATEFUL EIGHT yet).

    I think what finally impressed the movie’s brilliance upon me was after Max Cherry goes to Jackie’s apartment and hears “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind That Time?” we see him, a few scenes later, going to the mall to buy the Delphonics album. He wants to listen to the music she listens to! If that’s not the purest, most authentic displays of infatuation–that a teenager can most definitely relate to! And it culminates in what probably is my favorite moment in the film, that you guys brought up, when Ordell forces Max at gunpoint to drive him to see Jackie, and when the car starts, Ordell recognizes the music and does a double-take. “I didn’t know you liked the Delphonics.” “They’re pretty good.”

    I also agreed with everything David said about Elmore Leonard. I got into his novels in my late teens/early twenties and was reading a ton of whacky crime fiction from Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, and James Ellroy (admittedly less whacky and more abrasive). Favorite Leonard book: mmmaybe FREAKY DEAKY. I haven’t seen the movie adaptation of it, so don’t hold me to that.

    Great episode, guys! Come back, David, to talk OUT OF SIGHT.

    1. Will do! Well, not up to me, really, but I’m down to do it.

      You must have been around 13 years old when Pulp Fiction came out. How did you see it at that age? Where are your parents? Did it even resonate? For shame, Ryan’s parents!

      Have you read any Eugene Izzi crime fiction? He’s a big influence on Frank Miller from what I recall. Died early. Good stuff, though.

  2. I’m ready to take my lumps as I haven’t seen this movie, and I am not exactly a Tarantino guy. I admit as much in tomorrow’s JLUCast when Pulp Fiction is brought up. BUT, having said that, this was a film I always wanted to get around to seeing, and since you guys have praised it so glowingly, and it has such a phenomenal cast, AND it’s on Netflix, I’m going to rectify that situation shortly.

    Great episode. And yes, I too loved the Video Store show, and would love a sequel!


    1. I’m guessing it took the Luthor-Tessmacher-Otis comparison to get you to watch this. That’s okay, so long as you watch this masterpiece of awesome.

  3. This and the Hateful Eight are the two Tarantino movies that I’ve never seen. In fact, from everyone I know that’s seen it, I’ve always heard such bad things about Jackie Brown that I’d never bothered trying. In Hateful Eight’s case, I’d just heard such lukewarm reactions that it didn’t seem worth the time investment.

      1. Three people that I normally trust as far as movie reviews go. Two of them don’t use Facebook, so you can see why I trust their judgment over my own. As for names, no way am I giving names to this group of rowdy brigands and howling marauders!

  4. For some reason, I’ve never been a huge Tarantino fan. I saw Pulp Fiction when it came out and could not understand why everyone in the theater (except me) seemed to think it was an instant classic. I specifically recall being shocked by that killing in the car. The entire audience (except me) laughed and cheered while I was horrified by it. I do appreciate some of QT’s work when I see it, but I’m never compelled to see them again. I tend to think his violence does lean toward the gratuitous and his style is a bit self-indulgent.

    What I like about F&W is that you’re discussions force me to reevaluate my perceptions/prejudices about certain filmmakers. I just may give Jackie Brown another once-over.

    Are there any directors whose entire filmography you’ve seen?

    1. Tarantino
      David Mamet
      Zack Snyder (just happened that way)
      John Patrick Shanley
      Russel Mulcahey (not all his TV credits, however)
      Coen Brothers (almost)
      Joss Whedon

      Small list, sadly

        1. For me the list includes:
          Woody Allen
          Christopher Nolan
          Bryan Singer
          Martin Scorsese
          David FIncher
          Coen Bros.

          Have you ever been the only person in the theater at a screening?
          Ed Wood
          Bottle Rocket
          Hudsucker Proxy

          Have you ever walked out of a movie?
          Van Helsing
          Ocean’s 12
          Life Aquatic
          Wolf of Wall Street ( I did go back and loved it the second time)

          When I ask my undergrad students if they ever cried at a movie: the guys only admit to tearing up at Toy Story 3 of all things. A close second is Marley and Me.

  5. Like others, I expected Jackie Brown to be Pulp Fiction 2: Pulp Fictioner. The 1997 marketing certainly painted it as such (down to the font used on the poster).

  6. The discussion about this being middle-agey makes me think I need to rewatch it as I have only seen it once and it was long ago. Perhaps now that I am a beaten down shell of a man it will resonate more.

    I will say I am a huuuuuuggggee Bridget Fonda fan. So another reason to rewatch.

    For me, Reservoir Dogs will always be Tarantino’s best film, raw but just relentless. Parts of Pulp Fiction worked well, but not all. And others, as Rob says, meander a bit too much for my tastes.

    1. My favorite BFonda flicks: Point of No Return, SWF, Aria, Leather Jackets, Singles, Bodies Rest and Motion. She’d have made a great Kara Zor-El.

      1. She has that smile that looks like she is getting ready to bite you.

        Point of no return and Singles are my faves. Also like A Simple Plan, her Lady Macbeth role.

        She’d have made a great Lightning Lass.

        1. A Simple Plan! Dammit, I can’t believe I missed that one in my list. And yes, a great Ayla. Great anyone, really.

  7. Definitely agree that this is by far the best Tarantino film, but then again, I’m not really a big fan of Tarantino’s – I like most of his films well enough, but I just don’t think that they’re these amazing cinematic masterworks that so many other people seem to think they are.
    Jackie Brown is the sole exception for me. It is truly a fantastic movie in every sense: great story and great performances by every actor involved (but esp. the triad of Greer, Forster and Jackson). And I definitely agree with Rob’s point about the underlying theme of middle age and all of the uncertainties and anxieties that entails as being central to what makes this film so compelling.

  8. Woke up early and watched it today. It is a very solid movie, very enjoyable, and yes more relevant for me today as a middle aged guy.

    For me the most last image of the movie is Tarantino blurring our Cherry at the very end. Jackie asks him to join her. He says now. I am convinced it aide he is either scared to thinks that she is out of his league and he’ll be hurt. I lean towards the latter. But then, he second guesses himself asking the lady in the phone to call back. But it is too late, Jackie has driven off. As he walks into his office, the camera goes out of focus. He’d been comfortable for years doing what he does. His life, which had been clear, written in solid lines is suddenly unsteady, his rules in question; he’s unsure. I bet he is going to question this moment a lot … shou,d he have gone.

    And that is life when you are that old. Do you break from something stable and comfortable and take a chance on a better life knowing it isn’t easy to restart if you’re wrong.

    That one decision, blurring out the scene, struck me. Genius.

  9. My first Tarantino film was Pulp Fiction, which came out when I was in college. I loved it, and remember seeing it multiple times in the theater with my friends. I really wanted to see Jackie Brown when it came out, but, for reasons that I can’t recall, never did. Thank you for giving me a second chance at what sounds like a really interesting film.

    1. I urge you to give it a try, Brian Linton. I urge you to give True Romance a shot, a real masterpiece in its own right.

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