This is yet another page from CALAMITY and my own personal favorite so far.
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It’s my day off. I’m hanging out, playing with my re-animated laptop, and listening to the soundtrack from Jackie Brown.
I saw the movie a year or two ago, but I got the DVD set out from library last week, and I’ve watched it three times since then. The acting is fantastic, the soundtrack kicks ass, the characters are warm and living and breathing. Quentin Tarantino’s best movie, hands down.
It’s based on Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch, and just like any Elmore Leonard plot, as Martin Amis has noted, there’s a big bag full of money and everybody’s trying to get at it. Within this framework, the characters come alive. It’s a simple, genius formula.
Here’s a bit from Elmore Leonard’s website:
When Quentin Tarantino was a kid, he stole a copy of Elmore Leonard’s The Switch and got caught. Unrepentent, he later went back to the same store and stole the book again. Elmore Leonard was a beacon in the direction that he would soon head in his films. He wrote a movie directed by Tony Scott called True Romance which he said was “an Elmore Leonard novel that he didn’t write.” It certainly is an homage; it even opens in Detroit. After Reservoir Dogs came out, Elmore wrote Rum Punch which reprises the three main characters from The Switch. Tarantino read it and wanted to buy it but didn’t have the money. Elmore and his agent Michael Siegel offered to hold it for him. When he did acquire the book, Tarantino did not contact Elmore Leonard for a long time. When he did he said he was afraid to call. Elmore said, “Why because you changed the name of my book and cast Pam Greir in the lead? He said, “That’s Ok, just make a good movie.”
Dutch has said that he thought it was by far the best adaptation of his work. The DVD set includes some great interview with Leonard. (It also includes the hilarious, “Chicks Who Love Guns,” which QT wrote and directed specifically for the film.)
Anyways, if you haven’t seen Jackie Brown or read Leonard, you’re in for a treat.