Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm A Big Dummy And Forgot A Title For This

Still on hiatus because of pressing issues absorbing writing time, but you may have noticed recent updates. This is of course a good thing for you, the reader, since it gives you new things to read. And if you somehow happen to be both new AND a reader, then there's quite a lot here for you to digest, you lucky devil. So take a look around, become a follower, feel free to comment on just wrong I am for not being impressed by Snatch. Go nuts.

Oh, and enjoy the trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

I know I did.

In bed.

Monday, March 29, 2010

“Come on, let's get something to eat. I'm thirsty.”

You know, there’s six Thin Man movies in total, and you and I are going on a magical adventure of crime solving and booze with the Charles’s till the bitter end. Next up is 1936’s After The Thin Man.

Plot
Picking up where we left off in the first movie, we find Nick & Nora arriving in San Francisco hoping to spend a quiet New Year’s at home. Of course it doesn’t happen and the two end up spending time with family, much to Nick’s dismay. They also get dragged into family business when Nora’s cousin, Selma, is having a nervous fit because her louse of a husband’s been missing for a few days. They find him in a Chinese nightclub and send him home, and then he ends up murdered with Selma as a likely suspect. Now Nick & Nora try to figure out whodunnit. Hilarity ensues.

Characters
Nick Charles: William Powell shines again, especially when he’s sarcastically interacting with his in-laws. Naturally, he is still the hard-drinking private eye that he was established as.

Nora Charles: Myrna Loy gets to do a bit more since Nora’s dealing with family issues. She even tries to do some sleuthing on her own which doesn’t end according to plan. Nick & Nora remain the collective badasses of the movie.

Asta: There’s a comic subplot with Asta coming home to find Mrs. Asta hasn’t been faithful to him while he was gone.

Selma Landis: Elissa Landi is Nora’s fragile-minded cousin. Sympathetic, but also kind of loopy (in the bad way), she plays the part convincingly.

Aunt Katherine Forrest: Jessie Ralph plays the complete bitch who runs the Forrest mansion. She keeps Selma under her thumb and Nick can’t stand her.

Robert Landis: Alan Marshall is Selma’s asshole husband. He’s a drunk and a cheat, carrying on an affair with a nightclub singer. Fortunately, this waste of air shuffles off his mortal coil before too long to trigger the mystery.

David Graham: James Stewart (yes, THAT Jimmy Stewart) is an old friend of Selma’s who’s carried a torch for her ever since she spurned him and married Robert. Seems like he’d do anything to try and protect her.

Polly: Penny Singleton (as Dorothy McNulty), who’s probably best known to this reading audience as the voice of Jane Jetson, is a singer in a shady nightclub and Robert’s other woman. Turns out she’s also part of a scheme to get a lot of money out of Robert.

Dr. Kammer: George Zucco is the shady doctor who Aunt Katherine has watching Selma. It’s a small role, and I only mention him because he popped up in a few of the Universal Horror films looked at during last year’s Octoverride.

“Dancer”: Joseph Calleia is the owner of said seedy Chinese nightclub. He knows the Charles’s, though its far from the friendliest interaction.

Lieutenant Abrams: Sam Levene is the local cop who investigates the murder and gladly accepts Nick’s help. Abrams is a fun character and a good, solid sidekick to Nick & Nora, at turns competent and flabbergasted.
Visuals/Effects
W.S. Van Dyke returns as the director and that same kind of fast-paced, playful visual style returns in this movie. Things move fast, there are some interesting shots and the whole film breezes by like a refreshing, uh, breeze.

Writing
Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett return to adapt a Dashiell Hammett story, and there’s not a whole lot to say that I didn’t for the first one. Dialogue is awesome, pacing is fast and the whole product is immensely entertaining. The plot does mirror the first movie a bit too much with the whole “murder, investigate, gather all the suspects for a finale,” but since its an excuse to have more Nick & Nora, I can’t really consider it a bad thing.

Sound
The original music by Herbert Stothart & Edward Ward gets the job done nicely, though it doesn’t really stand out.

Conclusion
After the Thin Man is a good, solid sequel that delivers “more of the same, only MORE!” quite successfully. The characters and dialogue are still solid. Recommended viewing.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids.”

So, if you took a detective novel written by Dashiell Hammett and adapted it to the screen in 1941, you’d get film noir classic The Maltese Falcon. If you took a detective novel written by Dashiell Hammett and adapted it to the screen in 1934, then you’d have The Thin Man, which is not at all film noir, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Plot
So there’s a scientist who’s kind of a jerk to everyone except his daughter, and he vanishes right after she announces her engagement. Some time later, shady characters he was connected to start dying and the daughter drags in a family friend who happens to be a former detective to figure out what’s going on. Oh yeah, and it’s a Christmas movie. Trust me when I say hilarity ensues.

Characters
Nick Charles: William Powell is our hero. Recently married and living the high life on his wife’s fortune, he is smart, laid back and easily the world’s most functional alcoholic. The guy is sauced from start to finish the entire movie and he rolls with martinis and cocktails, because he’s rich and beer isn’t alcoholic enough. Its not a hyperbole either. Drinking a cocktail whenever Nick does would be inadvisable for a drinking game, unless you like to see the floor from a closer vantage.

Nora Charles: Myrna Loy is the other half of the screen pair, and the chemistry they have is astoundingly good. She comes from money, but she’s no shrinking violet. She’s a spot on foil for Nick verbally and can almost keep up with his drinking. The dialog flies fast and the two are collectively the badass of the film.

Asta: The Charles’s dog/franchise mascot and often Nick’s partner in crime(solving).

Clyde Wynant: Edward Ellis is the titular Thin Man. When he goes missing, so does some money, and then his mistress ends up dead, making him the most wanted man in New York.

Dorothy Wynant: Maureen O’Sullivan is Wynant’s daughter, and aside from being the catalyst that gets the Charleses in on the case, is your standard issue 1930s secondary character.

Lieutenant John Guild: Nat Pendelton plays the New York cop who’s in charge of the investigation. He’s no match for Nick’s observations and makes a good comic sidekick for him. What he lacks in brain power, he makes up for in blunt force.

Julia Wolfe: Natalie Moorhead is Wynant’s secretary and mistress who was the last person to see him. She’s also the first corpse.

Mimi Jorgenson nee Wynant: Minna Gombell plays Wynant’s harpy of an ex-wife. She’s eager to find out where he is for money reasons.

Chris Jorgenson: Cesar Romero (Yes, THAT one) is Mimi’s younger husband, who happens to be a gigolo (the movie skirts around it, but the book’s pretty clear about it). A small role.

Gilbert: William Henry is Mimi’s headcase of a son who is morbidly fascinated with crime and dead bodies.

Herbert MacCaulay: Porter Hall is Wynant’s lawyer who’s also trying to figure out what’s going on.

Visuals/Effects
W.S. Van Dyke, a director nicknamed “One-take Woody” because of his fast shooting schedule (at least I hope that’s the reason) & James Wong Howe the director of photography made an incredibly smartly shot film for the low budget. Its not noir, that was still a good couple of years away, but the film does go into a “noir-ish” mode when Nick goes off to do some legitimate detective work.

Writing
Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett and adapted by Albert Hackett & Frances Goodrich, the story is damn near perfect in terms of juggling characters and plot. The dialogue, however, is beyond top notch. Nick & Nora spar with words the way Errol Flynn & Basil Rathbone did with swords in Robin Hood. Sure, you could criticize Nick Charles for being a Mary Sue character, but Powell just plays it all up with a wink in his eyes and you totally accept that this former guy from the streets has a banter-based marriage with a beautiful woman, money out the wazoo, the adoration of law enforcement AND petty criminals everywhere, and he solves baffling murders in his spare time while plastered. Nick Charles is living the dream. The movie is a lot more lighthearted than the book, which doesn't shy away from some of the seedy themes, but it also happens to be a lot funnier while lifting most of the good bits from the novel.

Sound
William Axt provided the score, and it works really well with the movie, balancing comedy and intrigue when necessary.

Conclusion
I love this movie. I really do. Its light and airy and ballsy with a little edge all at once. Sure, there’s fun to be had in the criminal investigation and the supporting characters, but the real draw of it is in watching Powell & Loy drink and waltz through the film effortlessly together, especially since they became the archetype for pretty much every crime-solving couple to follow.


There's just something likable about old school movie trailers that completely play around with the fourth wall

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just keeping the cobwebs out

Hey gang, sorry this isn't a real update, but I didn't want you to think I'd let these fields go totally fallow. Unfortunately time hasn't permitted me to write anything for this in preperation, so, uh... here's some filler content on trailers for upcoming movies that seem promising. In no particular order.



Yeah, I know. Hut Tub Time Machine? Yes, it could end up sucking really bad, BUT, its getting some good buzz and I like the main cast, so its one of those "cautiously optimistic" situations.


Clash of the Titans. Now, the original's got a special place in my shriveled, bitter heart because of Ray Harryhausen going to town on the effects. Despite the fact that the remake looks like its going for the "everything is brown" take on the past and that Sam Worthington bored the crap out of me in Avatar, this movie had me at "Liam Neeson is Zeus."


Kick-Ass just seems like the kind of vulgar, violent, funny independent action movie that needs to cap spring. That and director Matthew Vaughn has made some solid movies so far.


Another big budget historical epic from Ridley Scott? I don't care how brown it is or how historically inaccurate the plot may be, I'm there.


Never was a big Tron fan back in the day, but I gotta admit, Tron Legacy is looking mighty good.


Solomon Kane. Robert E. Howard's demon-slaying Puritan.


Good thing I saved the Iron Man 2 trailer for last, because now I need to change my shorts. Again.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

“You're just not thinking fourth dimensionally!”

Well, here it is, the finale of the trilogy, 1990s Back to the Future Part III. Following on directly after Part II (since they were filmed together) it wraps up the series, and gives a heaping dose of Wild West ADVENTURE!

Plot
Picking up where we left off in the last film, Marty is currently stuck in 1955 and Doc is in 1885. Marty has to go back there and save Doc’s life, so 50’s Doc sends him back and Marty promptly gets stuck in the Wild West when the DeLorean runs out of gas. So, they’ve gotta figure out a way to get the car up to 88mph before Biff Tannen’s ancestor kills the Doc. The plot is, surprisingly, less complicated than the previous installments.

Characters
Marty McFly: Michael J. Fox one last time, getting to play cowboy. The character’s pretty well defined here and no real surprises. Still doesn’t like being called chicken and still has Flea as Needles, his nemesis (for all of two minutes at the end).

Dr. Emmett Brown: Christopher Lloyd is the star of the show here, no question. He’s set himself up as the town blacksmith and all around awesome guy who’s able to use his secret knowledge from the future to…well, actually just help people out actually. He’s made an enemy of this era’s Tannen though. And in this movie, Doc Brown falls in love. He is quite badass.

Maggie McFly: Lea Thompson as Marty’s ancestor (and his mom, at the end too), she and her husband are new in town.

Seamus McFly: Michael J. Fox is the mustachioed ancestor of Marty who’s married to Maggie. When you think about it, its kind of weird.

Clara Clayton: Mary Steenburgen is a schoolteacher who’s saved from falling into a ravine by Doc, essentially altering history. She & Doc fall in love thanks in part to a mutual appreciation of Jules Verne.

Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen: Thomas F. Wilson is a lot more murderous as a desperado in the Tannen ancestry.

Visuals/Effects
Robert Zemeckis directing and Dean Cundey cinematographing worked twice before and works here too, maintaining the same level of energy and ADVENTURE! the series is known for. It also happens to be a Western (well, an homage) so it touches on a lot of visual nods to standards of the genre. Effects are still solid, especially the end of the movie, which was my very first delicious taste of steampunk. You know what I’m talking about.

Writing
Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale wrapped up everything quite nicely in this one. Dialog is great, pacing is too and the whole thing is a hell of a lot of fun.

Sound
Alan Silvestri once more brings the awesomeness, merging the iconic “Back to the Future theme” with Western flourishes that just scream ADVENTURE!

“The Power of Love” gets a callback, and ZZ Top contributed a song, “Doubleback”

Conclusion
Okay, so these movies are exemplary of the effects-driven big budget blockbusters that glut our theaters every summer, I will admit that. But there is a major difference. Back to the Future as a whole is really damn good. There’s heart to it, and some great ideas driving the madness forward, and most importantly, these movies are damn fun. These movies were popular for that reason.

And that marks an excellent place to mark my hiatus. Decided by necessity and responsibility rather than a desire to stop updating for the next couple of months. Doesn’t mean I’ll let the cobwebs build up in here though. There will probably be a couple back up features, hopefully a review on a semi-weekly basis, maybe some guest reviews, and some other stuff to try and increase audience numbers and participation.

So, I’d like to thank anyone and everyone who has helped make RMWC Reviews get this far. Honestly, without a lot of the feedback I’ve received from my offline enablers, this thing wouldn’t have made it past twenty.

Friday, March 05, 2010

“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need…roads.”

Right. So Back to the Future earned its accolades and in 1989, they decided to do it all over again with most of the people that made the first a success. So here’s Back to the Future Part II.

Plot
We pick up a minute or so before the first movie ends, with Doc Brown showing up in 1985 with a further modified DeLorean (it can fly now) and he grabs Marty and his girlfriend to deal with some trouble relating to Marty’s life in the future. So they jump to 2015 and Marty has to masquerade as his own son so as to avoid Marty Jr. from getting arrested, succeeds, but 2015 Biff Tannen sneaks a trip in the machine with an almanac, hands it off to his 50’s self, causing the timeline to change and when Marty, Doc & Jennifer get back to 1985, they find Hill Valley a dystopian nightmare ruled by Biff Tannen. So NOW they’ve got to get back to the 50’s and make foil Tannen’s rise to power after the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.

Trust me, it makes sense in context.

Mostly.

Hey, look over there! Its ADVENTURE!

Characters
Marty McFly: Michael J. Fox as his 80’s and 2010 self AND own son. Well, Marty’s still Marty, and he’s still incredibly charismatic as our hero. They did give him the new trait of going into a rage when somebody calls him chicken. He also gets a nemesis of sorts in Needles, played by Flea (yes, the bassist). Also, he gets a goddamn hoverboard in the future. This is both extremely awesome and infuriating, because its 2010 now and all we’ve got are stupid Segways.

Dr. Emmett Brown: Christopher Lloyd continues to be awesome. He knows what’s going on and what to do, but this movie is Marty’s show for the most part.

Jennifer Parker: Elisabeth Shue is Marty’s girl (and a different actress from who it was in the first movie). She’s a normal girl swept up in things, and gets hella freaked out when she meets her future self.

Biff Tannen: Thomas F. Wilson is back as the villain, and here, Old Biff is a hell of a lot more competent than his younger self, and throughout the movie, Biff engages in some first class dickery regarding the McFly family. Its kind of badass. Billy Zane remains one of his henchmen.

Griff Tannen: Thomas F. Wilson again as his cybernetics-enhanced, butthead of a descendant.

Lorraine Baines McFly: Lea Thompson is once more Marty’s mom, but she’s not as integral to the plot anymore.

George McFly: Jeffrey Weissman replaces Crispin Glover as Marty’s dad (aside from some footage carried over from the first movie). He’s an even smaller presence in the film.

Visuals/Effects
Robert Zemeckis is back as director and Dean Cundey is back as director of photography, and having both of them back helps the movie seamlessly fit in with the previous one. Effects are more central, what with all the time jumping, but the movie knows not to linger too long after its done with a particular time period. And the ending proves to be just as epic as the one in Part I.

Writing
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale again, and they tie everything together quite nicely. The movie covers a lot of ground, but to its credit, its not difficult to follow and holds its cohesion as much as you would expect a lighthearted time travel ADVENTURE! film to.

Sound
Alan Silvestri’s score picks right up where it left off: being awesome. There are some period appropriate songs, like “Mr. Sandman” for a lot of the 50s stuff (yeah, it was in the first movie too, but I forgot to mention it).

Conclusion
Its got the odd distinction of being the Back to the Future movie I’ve seen the least, but damn is it fun. Not quite as tight as Part I, Part II is still a rollicking good time.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

“I'm your density. I mean... your destiny.”


Oh God. I mean, Zardoz was just…wow. Look, I knew the risks going in, but you guys weren’t ready for this. I need to make it up to you guys before I go on an extended hiatus because of learnin’ obligations. Something from the 1980s should do nicely. Something ambitious. Something that just gleams with the bright glow of ADVENTURE!

Something where you don’t need money, don’t need fame, don’t need a credit card to ride this train.

Something like 1985’s Back To The Future!

Plot
You should know this already. BUT, for those unenlightened in the audience, here’s how it goes. An American teenager in the 1980s hangs out with a mad scientist who invents a time machine and installs it in a DeLorean. Because. While testing the machine, the scientist gets gunned down by vindictive Libyans and our Hero escapes in time to 1955 and gets stuck there. He teams up with the younger 1955 mad scientist and accidentally runs into his parents as teenagers, sort of triggering a time paradox that starts wiping his siblings (and eventually himself) from existence, so he has to make sure that his future mom & dad get together at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance so he can survive long enough for lightning to strike the town clock tower so he can get back to the future (DUN DUN DUN!) and return to his normal life. Standard stuff, really.

Characters
Marty McFly: Michael J. Fox in his most iconic role (even more so than Teen Wolf). He’s an everyman kind of hero, and its honestly refreshing seeing McFly as a well-adjusted, normal kid in High School who’s only family issues are that his parents are kind of lame. No orphans, no broken home, no clich├ęd social cripple situation for him. He’s also fairly competent when it comes to fixing the problem he created, and arguably, he’s pretty badass in this.

Dr. Emmet Brown: Christopher Lloyd plays things up big time as the friendly neighborhood mad scientist who’s invented a Flux Capacitor for time travel and installed it in a car. He’s pretty much the same in either time period, which adds to the charm of it.

Lorraine Baines McFly: Lea Thompson is Marty’s mom. Under a ton of frumpy makeup for 80’s mom, she’s herself as 50’s Lorraine, and to Marty’s unintentionally Oedipal surprise, extremely frisky.

George McFly: Crispin Glover is Marty’s dorky dad. When Marty gets to ‘55, George is revealed as, well, a shy, dorky sci-fi nut, and its Marty’s job to make sure he gets the girl.

Biff Tannen: Thomas F. Wilson is pretty much the perfect 80’s movie villain. Both 80’s and 50’s versions are just a gigantic meat headed assholes with a habit of mangling metaphors. Comical, but also dangerous enough to be taken semi-seriously. He’s also got henchmen, including one who wears 3-D glasses all the time and Billy Zane as another. Awesome.

Visuals/Effects
Robert Zemeckis in charge and Dean Cundey handled cinematography, and the two of them make the film an awesome looking event. The effects are astounding, the pacing is tense without becoming overbearing, and everything just clicks nicely.

Writing
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale take a fairly complicated plot and keep it light and moving without it seeming too derivative of anything else out there. Dialog is great and the whole movie refuses to take itself too seriously while avoiding winking at the audience all of the time.

Sound
The movie wouldn’t be half as awesome without Alan Silvestri’s absolutely EPIC score. The main fanfare just blows your hair back, and the big, sweeping flourishes throughout the movie completely sell the action. Think of the climactic clock tower scene. Wouldn’t be nearly as tense without the music treating it like the most important thing in the world.

There’s also some other songs, like a little bit of Chuck Berry and Huey Lewis (who also makes a cameo appearance as some school official in the 80s period) provided the official “Theme Song” for the movie.

Conclusion
In a lot of ways, Back To The Future is a quintessential 80’s Adventure! movie. An original concept married to ambitious visuals and delivered with shameless enthusiasm. The end result just pulses with a certain power.

And that’s the Power of Love!


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

“Zardoz speaks to you, His chosen ones.”

This marks the 100th RMWC review (not counting the 31 for Halloween and…well, it sounds better than 132, that’s why!) Let us commemorate this with parades, fanfares, beautiful women throwing flower petals from baskets, and heroic couplets!

You think I'm joking?


Let us celebrate the achievement of this worthy cause
With a film from 1974 called Zardoz!

Plot
In some nuclear ravaged future time, where many humans will be dead
There are “Exterminators” who kill in the name of a giant floating head.
Zardoz their god is named, who promotes war not love
And spits up guns for his worshippers from above.
One curious Exterminator sneaks his way inside
To find what secrets his God may have to hide.
He is transported to a “Vortex” where the Immortals dwell
Though to most of them their life is an undying hell
Will our Exterminator bring their utopia to a violent end?
And can this reviewer’s damaged sanity ever mend?

Characters
Zed: Sean Connery in a role to distance himself from James Bond,
He clearly succeeded, though of this we’re not fond.
Clad in thigh high boots and a red diaper
This hirsute Scotsman stings eyes like a viper.
His purpose is confusing, his situation surreal,
Though he is quite eager to grab breasts and feel.

Consuella: Charlotte Rampling is of the Immortal science chiefs
And Zed’s sudden appearance is enough to cause fits in her briefs.
Whether revulsion or lust is mostly unclear
His arrival both arouses and fills her with fear.

May: Sara Kestelman is another Immortal of high rank
I’m unsure of her position. She heads a think tank?
She counsels Zed somewhat, giving him information
Though her purpose for doing so I have to question.

Friend: John Alderton is Zed’s keeper, consumed by ennui
He longs for death because he is unhappy
He’s made a “Renegade” for not going to level two;
His body is aged and sent to an old people zoo.

Arthur Frayn: Niall Buggy is the man behind the head
Through twists and turns, we learn he wishes he were dead
He concocts Zardoz as a means to train those who can kill
But his marker drawn face and silly talk just makes him a pill.

Zardoz: Last is our god, the flying head of stone
After we get to Vortex 4 it flies to another zone
Gone from the film, but most certainly not forgotten
Though his pearls of wisdom are certainly rotten.
“The gun is good” and “The penis is evil”
But one thing I’ll say that is immune from upheaval:
Pretentious or not, this fake god has class
And since nobody else is, he’s the movie’s badass.



Visuals/Effects
John Boorman directed Excalibur, which is fondly regarded,
Also made this in a time where his brain must’ve farted.
While competently shot on location in Ireland
The pacing and editing were lost on that island.
Scenes will drag on and on and on interminably
Only to jump cut to some other monstrosity.
The special effects were laughable even at best,
Though admittedly, there is no shortage of breasts.

Writing
John Boorman again, and there’s something we can learn
To not do drugs, no matter how much you might yearn.
This convoluted fable of man’s fractured state was
In part based, strangely, on “The Wizard of Oz.”
The dialog is awful, the characters absurd
Its quite laughable, this pretentious turd.

Sound
David Munrow provided the original score
And it is appropriate for this cinematic chore.
Trippy and strange is the order of the day,
The soundtrack obliges in its own little way.

Conclusion
This movie is wretched in almost every way
Its images still haunt me to this very day
I advise against viewing this colossal mess
Unless you like imagining Connery in a dress
Not the most unpleasant experience I’ve had, by far,
But this is an ordeal and it WILL leave a scar.


Trust me on this, the trailer is exactly like the movie, only mercifully three minutes long.

Monday, March 01, 2010

“Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.”

Might as well make it a double feature of Tarantino films that I get weird looks for not having seen before. Here’s 1994’s Pulp Fiction, which is considered one of Tarantino’s best.

Plot
So…its complicated. We’ve got the interlacing stories that all connect to a crime boss. One story involves the misadventures of a pair of loquacious hitmen trying to get a MacGuffin in a briefcase to their boss. Another involves one of the hitmen taking the boss’s wife out on the town, and finally we get the story of a boxer who tries to cheat the crime lord by not throwing a fight and then trying to get away with it. Now take those three main storylines, and just mix them up out of order into several chapters that you have to piece together like a jigsaw.

Characters
Vincent Vega: John Travolta became a respectable actor again after this. The not-coincidentally named Vega is a pretty dumb lug who’s just back from Europe. Vincent is a (mostly) competent hitman, but he’s also incredibly sloppy, a heroin user, and has absolutely terrible trigger discipline that causes more problems.

Jules Winnfield: Samuel L. Jackson in the movie that made Samuel L. Jackson the badass he is today. Jules is the jheri curl wearing, eloquent and smarter member of the hitman duo (and its fun watching him act circles around Travolta). Jules is awesome and everything he says is awesome too. He has a religious experience that convinces him to give up his murderin’ ways.

Marsellus Wallace: Ving Rhames is our crime boss. He’s got a hot wife, a strip club, and would like to make it very clear that he does not like being treated like a bitch.

Butch Coolidge: Bruce Willis is a boxer in the twilight of his career who agreed to throw a fight for Wallace, didn’t and gets into quite a bit of trouble because of it (and because he wanted to get his watch back)

Mia Wallace: Uma Thurman is Wallace’s sexy actress wife who likes to party. Ultimately a minor character in the grand scheme of things, she and Vincent have a night out that ends badly.

Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe: Harvey Keitel is a “cleaner” who gets called in to clean up a mess Vincent made in the backseat of Jules’ car. Manages he is the badass of the film (even out-badassing Jules).

Captain Koons: Christopher Walken plays an army veteran in a flashback that brings Butch’s father’s watch back home. Is it really necessary to the story? Not really. BUT its Christopher Walken going off on a truly insane monologue, so who cares?

Ringo/Pumpkin & Yolanda/Honey Bunny: Tim Roth & Amanda Plummer are two small time crooks who try to rob a restaurant that Jules & Vincent happened to stop into.

Marvin: Phil LaMarr (a guy who’s done a TON of voice work, including Samurai Jack and Green Lantern on Justice League) is Marsellus Wallace’s inside man that Jules & Vincent meet up with. Vincent’s trigger discipline leads to the "Bonnie Situation." Tarantino must have a thing against guys named Marvin.

Visuals/Effects
Quentin Tarantino had more of a budget here, and the presentation is incredibly slick with lots of great colors and scenes. Editing is outstanding too, since it maintains coherence throughout the breaks and stops in narrative.

Writing
Quentin Tarantino (with some help from Roger Avary) keeps going with the snappy dialog and sudden twists and turns. He juggles a lot of plots in this, and succeeds in keeping them all in the air and interesting. And for those counting F-bombs, its used 265 times.

Sound
No score, but plenty of music. This time most of it is drawn from the 1950s, including some surf guitar. Everything is better with surf guitar.

Conclusion
Pulp Fiction, while it doesn’t really have much of anything to do with the pulp serial novels of the 1930s, is a hell of a ride. Slick, stylish and eminently quotable, at times it feels a little too slick for its own good, but never gets bogged down in how cool it is. It’s a great movie, though I do like Reservoir Dogs better.