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True Romance (DVD, 2007, Unrated)
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True Romance: You're an Eggplant!
Feb 1, 2004 (Updated Feb 3, 2004)
Review by George Chabot
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Stylish, witty action with a bevy of stars!
The Bottom Line: TRUE ROMANCE will be the film everybody cites as a reference twenty or thirty years from now. See it!
I like you Clarence. Always have, always will. The King
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True Romance is one of those movies that is difficult to stick into a nice neat pigeonhole. Rumored to be the script that Quentin Tarantino sold in order to finance his first film, Reservoir Dogs, it is probably his best work, as Tony Scott directed it, keeping the quirky dialog but adding a sense of style to the film that Quentins own directorial efforts have thus far mostly lacked. Loaded with stars, it is almost impossible to keep track of how many big names show up in this film. And most of the performances are creditable and some cross over to pure greatness.
In brief, True Romance is the story of a Detroit geek, Clarence (Christian Slater) who loves comic books and kung fu movies and Elvis. Out of the blue, a beautiful girl falls for him, meeting him at a Sonny Chiba kung fu film marathon. Alabama (Patricia Arquette) is a hooker and has been hired by Slaters boss to come on to him but she really falls in love and comes clean. They marry and Slater goes to settle scores with Arquettes erstwhile pimp (Gary Oldman). After the smoke clears Oldman is dead and Slater brings home a suitcase thinking its Alabamas clothes. Its not; its full of cocaine and Alabama and Clarence jump in his 76 Cadillac convertible and drive out to Hollywood to see his friend Dick (Im not making this up!). Surely Dick will know how to market a suitcase full of cocaine
If there is one thing about Quentin Tarantino, he quotes from pretty much every segment of pop culture, pretty much all the time. The main theme of the film is pirated from Badlands, a forgettable film, but it used a pair of young lovers/killers on the run as the protagonists, the young woman doing voiceovers from her diary. So does Alabama in True Romance. Both films share the same theme song, also. Trust me, even though it derives some ideas from Badlands, True Romance is far and away the better film.
Probably one reason the film is not better known is the dorky title. Rest assured, True Romance is action packed and keeps you interested. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette do a fine job as the two protagonists, supported by such names as Brad Pitt, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, James Gandolfini, Samuel L. Jackson, Val Kilmer, Saul Rubinek, the list goes on.
True Romance has a number of superb scenes, three of which cross over to as good as anything ever put on celluloid. One concerns the confrontation between Clarence and Drexl the pimp. The second concerns a discussion between Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken. The third concerns a fight between Patricia Arquette and James Gandolfini. I will not go into the details as these scenes must be seen. They are equivalent to Humphrey Bogart and Claude Raines work in the brilliant finale to Casablanca.
The 1993 film is presented by Warner Bros. DVD in 2.35: 1 widescreen format. The DVD case proclaims: Directors Cut - features footage not seen in theaters. You cant prove by me as I didnt see the film in the theater, but wish I had.
Quentin Tarantino films are a little bit like Chinese food. They say you eat it and an hour later youre hungry again. Well, maybe so, but if you want a change of pace film with plenty of action and lots of style, give True Romance a try.
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