Fyreharticles: Ranking Tarantino (Least Favourite Film To Favourite Film)

I’ve toyed with this idea before in my head, and I’ve decided to go ahead with it. Without wasting too much of your time, I’ll dive right into this one…..after a bit of clarification anyway.

I’d like to point out that, aside from this obviously being my own personal opinion, this is only counting movies Tarantino directed; not simply wrote. As such, you won’t see True Romance (a movie I still haven’t seen regardless) or any other movies like that on this list. You also won’t see Four Rooms (another one I haven’t seen yet), as he technically only directed a section of the movie, rather than the entire thing. So, with that out of the way, let’s get on with the list.

No. 7 (aka “Least Favourite”) – Death Proof

Fairly easy pick for “least favourite” to be honest. This movie is pretty forgettable in my opinion. I know this is technically one half of a double feature, but I don’t think watching Planet Terror would improve this much. Mind you, I don’t hate the movie at all, just the ending is lame. This is one of the few movies I’ve ever seen where I thought the ending must’ve been a fake out, as I was still waiting to find out what happened to Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character. Like, what the hell Tarantino? The last time we see her, her friends have basically handed her over to a horny redneck who probably raped the living hell out of her off screen for all we know. And her friends don’t seem to give a shit either. I honestly kind of lost all sympathy for these characters when I realised that. Hell, the ending itself is very anti-climactic. It generally seems like it should go on a bit longer, but it just ends abruptly and left me thinking “……that’s it? Really?”

The acting wasn’t terrible by any means, but again, this movie is probably the only Tarantino movie I would advise you to skip if you haven’t already seen it. Not to say you shouldn’t if you’re curious. If you are, go ahead, you may like it more than I do; that’s how opinions work. But for me, this is easily my least favourite Tarantino movie, and the only easy one to really place. Well, aside from…

No. 6 – Inglorious Basterds

Now, I have no issues with this movie. In fact, the only Tarantino movie I have issues with is Death Proof; hence why it got the bottom spot. But compared to the other movies on this list, this ranks very low for one specific reason. “Rewatchability”. To me, out of the six of these that I do like, Inglorious Basterds is the one I re-watch the least amount comparatively. It’s not a bad movie, but for some reason I only really re-watch it when I’m not in the mood to watch the other five above this (Granted I don’t own Django on DVD, so I’ve only seen it about twice or so).

The performances are all solid, especially Brad Pitt, who is the funniest (and ugliest) I think I’ve ever seen him in anything. Like, wow, here’s a guy I never thought I’d see in a Tarantino movie, and it ends up working out really well. The standout performance is easily (in my opinion) Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa. Christoph seems to disappear into the character so well that I find it to be a shame I didn’t know he existed before this movie. Easily one of the best actors Tarantino’s ever worked with, which would explain why he brought him back for Django Unchained.

I honestly don’t have anything else to say about this movie, but I guess I’ll clarify again that I don’t think this movie is necessarily bad in any way, just not as good as the movies I’ve ranked higher than it on this list.

No. 5 – Reservoir Dogs

Something tells me I’m going to get negative feedback for this not cracking the top three, but that’s why personal opinion exists. I do think this is a solid movie, as is every other movie on this list (aside from Death Proof anyway), but as good as this movie is, nothing much really happens. And no, I’m not bagging the “heist movie without the heist” gist of the movie; in fact I think that’s what helps make this movie stand out so much. I guess for all the great Tarantino dialogue, the simplicity of the plot ended up hurting it a bit as far as placement in this list. And I know, simplicity is a silly thing to go by when you’re talking Tarantino plots, but still.

Again, I love this movie, but like with Inglorious Basterds I just don’t seem to want to watch it over and over again, which ended up hurting it enough to land it in fifth place. But if that isn’t enough for you to hate me yet? Oh boy, are you going to hate me when we get to number four.

No. 4 – Pulp Fiction

Told you so. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!”.


Kakashi (aka the guy being crucified): Me
The many Itatchi pictured (Everyone else): You

But please, allow me to beg your indulgence for a moment (finally, an excuse to say that). First off, yes, Pulp Fiction is a great movie, but this isn’t a list of which is the best, it is about which one I happen to like more than the others. And I can tell you right now, even if this had ended up higher, it would NOT have been number one. As good, hell, as fucking GREAT as Pulp Fiction is, I once again surprisingly don’t watch this as often as I watch the number one spot. In fact I’m rarely in the mood for Pulp Fiction, which is odd. I mean, aside from the rape stuff it’s a very enjoyable movie, so why don’t I watch it more often? God knows I currently have enough free time to watch it several times a day.

Part of it may be I purposely don’t want to overwatch it, as it may ruin the charm of the movie somehow, which could be right. There have been plenty of movies that I watched once a day when I was younger (Spaceballs being the main one), and after a while I just wouldn’t watch the movie for ages before finally watching it again. That said, as fun as the movie is, I don’t consider it to be Tarantino’s best story. And to be honest, that’s another way I ranked this; which movies’ plots interest me the most. Which leads us to number three.

No. 3 – Django Unchained

As of writing this article, this is the last movie Tarantino has released to date, and I knew practically nothing about it going in, which I think helped. It was great to see Christoph Waltz again, and basically playing the polar opposite of his character from Inglorious Basterds. If I had to pick, I’d say I prefer Christoph’s performance in this to Inglorious Basterds. I mean, sure, he’s the best thing about that movie, but in this his performance seems more real as he does appear to be a genuinely nice guy. Oh, I’ve only been talking about Christoph haven’t I? My bad, I’ll try to talk about something else.

Aside from a solid cast this movie also has one of the few romance plots I actually care about. Most usually seem tacked on, and even when they are the main focus I usually don’t like those kinds of movies. Django Unchained, however, manages to pull off the “never ending quest to save his wife” gimmick quite well. Not surprisingly, putting this story in a time period of the USA where slavery was still legal actually helps ramp up the tension; especially near the end where the ruse is figured out by Samuel L. Jackson’s character. I must admit that when I first saw this movie and it gets to the part where they’re about to castrate Django, I was on the edge of my seat. This is a Tarantino movie. That could’ve actually happened. Thank God it didn’t though, that would’ve been hard to sit through (like the rape scene in Pulp Fiction).

As far as the stand out performance goes, I’d have to go with Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin J. Candie. Anyone who can be so in-the-zone when acting that accidentally cutting up their hand doesn’t faze them, and it actually helps to make their performance even more menacing, is a great actor in my book. Goes without saying though that there wasn’t a single terrible performance in this movie. Great acting, an interesting story and a scenario you’d think Tarantino would’ve exploited long before he finally did is what mad Django Unchained move into the number three spot.

No. 2 – Jackie Brown

Huh, the “other” Tarantino Blaxploitation homage movie is also in the top three. Odd. Anyway, I honestly don’t care if you disagree with me or not, I think Jackie Brown is one of the most solid stories Tarantino has ever told on film. I’m not saying all the other movies are necessarily bad plot/story wise, but the more I think about it the more I start to realise just how underappreciated this movie must be. Before Christmas back in 2012 I had never heard of Jackie Brown. I’d at least heard of Death Proof, but I’d never EVER heard anyone talk about Jackie Brown. And after seeing it several times I only have one question. Why?

Why in the hell had I never previously heard about this movie? This is a GREAT movie, and probably the most underrated of Tarantino’s movies. That being said, me considering this to be underrated is NOT what allowed it to place so high. And no, I didn’t place it this high as a joke or to piss people off (This is my opinion remember). This placed so high because I was actually invested in what was going on. Most of the other Tarantino movies are fun, and you go along for the ride, but I’ve noticed I’m never invested in what’s going on. When Vincent dies in Pulp Fiction I really don’t care. Aside from the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs (which is still hard to watch) I don’t have any sort of emotional reaction to anything.

Jackie Brown however? I’ve found I really did become emotionally invested in what was going on the first time I watched it, and to this day it still bugs me that Max Cherry and Jackie don’t end up together. But in an odd way I do actually like that ending. It’s not entirely happy, but it’s not depressing either. It actually seems like a very realistic ending. They essentially admit they have a thing for each other, but Max doesn’t get the chance to run away with Jackie because she leaves before he makes up his mind. I like to think he went after her anyway or they met up again when she gets back from Spain, but still, as far as the movie goes they don’t end up together.

Aside from nit-picky stuff I won’t bother to mention (well, aside from the “they don’t end up together” thing) this movie is pretty much perfect. A great cast coupled with arguably the second best story Quentin Tarantino has ever produced. It almost makes me want to see Tarantino make more adaptations.

No. 1 – Kill Bill (Vol. I & II)

No matter where everything else was placed, Kill Bill was easily going to be in the top spot. It never occurred to me to separate both volumes on this list by the way. Had I done so, this list wouldn’t have changed much. “Kill Bill Vol. I” would’ve been in the number two spot, and “Kill Bill Vol. II” would’ve been in the number one spot (thereby pushing everything else down a spot), and that’s it. Kill Bill gets the number one spot for several reasons. For one thing, Kill Bill is legitimately my favourite thing Quentin Tarantino has ever done. Secondly, I didn’t just become emotionally invested in these movies, I became completely immersed in the story’s universe. I’ve watched these movies more times than any of the other Tarantino films combined.

I’m never not in the mood to watch these movies, and I always feel that once I watch Vol. I, I have to watch Vol. II, whether that’s immediately after the movie ends or the next day. Kill Bill Vol. II HAS to be the next movie I watch. If that’s not enough, Kill Bill has actually influenced me to want to write my own revenge story. There are other influences, but Kill Bill is easily the main one. If it ever saw the light of day I would never deny that Kill Bill was an influence because I’d be lying through my teeth.

On top of everything the cast is perfect. No, not just great, the cast of Kill Bill is perfect in my eyes. The best example of this is how Michael Parks plays two completely different characters in both movies, and I never noticed until watching a “Making Of” extra on the Kill Bill Vol. II DVD. In film one, Michaels Parks played the Texas Ranger Earl McGraw. In film two he played Esteban Vihaio, the retired Mexican pimp. It’s still hard to believe that that’s true, as I honestly couldn’t tell Esteban was being played by a white guy in heavy makeup. I really did believe the actor legitimately had some sort of Latino heritage. I’ll stop now so I don’t go on for days, but long story short I absolutely LOVE every single thing about the Kill Bill movies, and that’s why they get the number one spot.

So, what do you guys think? Would your list be similar to mine? Exactly the same? Completely different? Please let me know in the comments, as I am genuinely intrigued as to how other people would rank the Tarantino movies.

Fyreharticles – My (Current) Top Ten Favourite Anime Opening Themes

Ah yes, anime. From my humble beginnings watching Sailor Moon & Pokémon as a kid, to watching the likes of Hellsing, Trigun & Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki as I got older, it seems like I’ve always had some sort of interest in anime, even before I knew what I was watching was called anime. That said, I may not have the most extensive list when it comes to anime I’ve seen, but regardless I think I’ve seen enough to warrant a list like this. Plus, I wisely threw “current” in the title for a reason, as this list could easily change when I start to watch some anime I haven’t previously seen.

Before I start, two things. First is that, as the name of this implies, this is just purely my opinion on what I liked the most at the moment. This isn’t one of those “these are the best anime opening themes ever” lists, as I think lists like that are bullshit (Specifically when they non-sarcastically try to make their opinion come across as fact ). Second, I was originally going to limit myself to one theme per show, but I ended up with two from the same franchise anyway, so I decided to drop that. Not that it would matter, I could make a list ranking Naruto themes alone there are so many, but I doubt most of them would make the cut anyway.

Well, I think I’ve bored you all enough, now time to actually get to the list! Which, by the way, is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Hence the lack of numbers.

A World For Us All (Digimon Frontier English Opening Theme)

I may get a bit of hate for liking this, but I don’t care. This is honestly the best English dub Digimon theme I’ve ever heard. Helps that it was the first NOT to use a version of the original Digimon dub theme, but even then it’s still a good intro song in my eyes. The energy is great, the lyrics are catchy and stick in your head, and it legitimately used to get me pumped to watch the show back when it aired. It was rare that an anime theme could do that for me as a kid, to the point I think it may only have been this and Rock The Dragon that ever actually managed to get me pumped up.

Sadly some people will overlook this because they didn’t like the anime, but whether you liked it or not, I say give it a listen. I’ll also add that you should give the show itself a fair go. I mean, kids who turn into Digimon? Sounds like a cool concept to me.

H.T. (Trigun opening theme)

If I was actually ranking these, this would most likely be at the top. I mean, holy crap. This may be one of the best guitar riffs ever, let alone in something used by/made for an anime. It’s honestly hard to describe why I like this so much. Everything about it just works, and it’s easily one of the most badass anime theme songs in existence. In my opinion anyway.

Kimi Wa Majutsushi (Orphen 2nd Opening Theme)

Good lord, Orphen; that brings back memories. Funnily enough I actually forgot Orphen had a second theme at first. Then when watching it back after finding the series on DVD, it suddenly all came back to me when I got to the first episode to use this theme. I honestly used to prefer the first theme (Ai Just On My Love), but over time I’ve been drawn more to the second theme. I’d even argue the tone fits the anime more than Ai Just On My Love, but both work in their own ways.

If you want to hear the full version of the song, here’s the music video for the song the band that performed it (SHARAM Q) did. Bit of a warning though, they keep randomly cutting back to some muscle dude in speedos posing for like no reason. So if that would put off watching something, my suggestion is just listen to the song and not pay attention to the video itself. You aren’t missing much by only listening to the video anyway.

Hyadain no Kakakata Kataomoi – C (Nichijou 1st opening)

God damn it Nichijou! Why the hell is your first opening theme so damn cute and catchy? Seriously this song alone got me to actually watch the anime….and I had previously NEVER watched an anime before it got dubbed before. That’s how much I liked that song. Well, and this one clip on YouTube where some character continuously says “EEEEEEEEEH?” but still. Only downside to this song I can think of is it doesn’t seem random enough for a show like Nichijou, which seems to be the bastard child of Azumanga Daioh and Pani Poni Dash. For an anime called My Ordinary Life, this is anything but, so you’d think the theme would kind of reflect that. Nope. Unless it does, but the language barrier prevents me from realising it. Which could easily be the case.

One more thing to point out. This song was apparently sung purely by a guy, as in a guy did both the male and female parts of this song. Just a fun fact I found out that I thought I’d share with you.

If you want to hear the full version of the song, please for the love of God drop everything and watch this video. Seriously, just watch it.

Haruka Kanata (Naruto 2nd Opening Theme)

I know this is usually quite a generic pick when it comes to Naruto themes, but Haruka Kanata is honestly my favourite of all the Naruto themes, with GO!!! by FLOW being a close second. I can’t explain it very well, but this theme just basically seems to fit the show the best. But I guess when your show is over 200 episodes long, you’ll want to change up the music every once in a while to keep things interesting.

If you want to hear the full song, I found yet another “people who did the song having done a live-action music video” music videos, so here you go.

Inner Universe (Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex Opening Theme)

I’ve honestly seen barely anything of GITS: SAC, but I can say this much. This may be one of the most unique anime opening themes I’ve ever had the privilege to hear. A Japanese woman singing in three different languages, and none of them are Japanese (English, Russian & Latin were apparently the languages used)? Yeah, that sounds pretty unique to me. I do mean it when I say this has unique feel to it by the way; I’ve honestly never heard another song like it period. It’s actually part of the reason I got so interested in trying to watch the show when it used to air in Australia. I’ve been meaning to buy the anime on DVD actually, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet (partially due to lack of income).

As before, if you want to listen to the full version, here’s a link to it.

The World (Death Note 1st Opening Theme)

I’m going to go on the record and say that, in my opinion, I think this song is a MUCH better fit for Death Note than What’s Up People by Maximum The Hormone. Don’t get me wrong fellow Death Note fans, I like What’s Up People, but it just doesn’t fit the tone the anime has as well as The World does in my eyes. I’d delve deeper into why I think that, but I may hold off on that to be its own article. I will admit this is another case of me liking the song that seems to be the more popular choice, then gradually changing my mind as time goes on and I hear the song more.

Want to hear the full thing? Got you covered with another “the band that did it” music video.

CRUSH GEAR FIGHT! (Crush Gear Turbo Opening Theme)

Oddly enough, the English dub of Crush Gear Turbo (at least as aired in Australia) could never make up it’s mind which version of the song to use. Sometimes they used the inferior English dub version of the song that felt like there was crap all energy behind it most of the time, or they’d use the high energy Japanese version, which I grew to absolutely love, to the point I’d find myself singing along at points recently, mumbling when I couldn’t catch on to whatever they were saying in Japanese, and probably butchering what Japanese I could get right.

I actually may have only properly heard the Japanese version of Crush Gear Fight due to attempting (and failing) to find the English version, giving in and just growing to love the awesomeness that is the original version of the song.

Want to hear the whole thing? I got your back.

Butter-Fly (Digimon Adventure 01 Japanese Opening Theme)

And thus you see why I went against picking one theme per show. I mean, technically since we’re talking about two completely different Digimon seasons/shows I could’ve just gone with the rule and said this was fine, but I decided to just drop the rule so I didn’t have to make the old “ok I cheated” gag. I honestly have only heard this a few times, but majority of those few times I got chills somehow. That alone bumped this up to almost immediately being one of my favourites; hence it’s in this top ten list. I would honestly much prefer to listen to this over the English dub theme for Digimon Adventure 01 (or 02 for that matter, since they don’t really change the English dub theme much for that).

I’m not entirely sure why, but I get a very clear vibe of the Japanese DBZ theme Cha-La Head-Cha-La from this song at certain points, to the point I started switching between the two when I got this song stuck in my head. That’s not a knock on the song though; anything that gets Cha-La Head-Cha-La stuck in my head is good in my book.

Once again, if you want to hear the full version of the song, here it is.

Soramimi Cake (Azumanga Daioh opening theme)

Thank God I specified this is in no particular order. Considering some of the themes on this list, if this was legit the #1 I may get lynched. Anyway, like the Nichijou theme earlier, this is another case of a song being just too damn cute for its own good. If you aren’t convinced, the band who performed this is apparently called Oranges And Lemons……..Oranges And Lemons people, how much cuter do you get? I mean damn, the song is cute enough already without that little factoid.

I’ve honestly always enjoyed the Azumanga Daioh theme since I first heard it, despite how blatantly “Bubble gum Pop” it sounds. But hey, I liked the English dub Cardcaptors theme as a kid, so go figure. Basically, this theme is what it is. An innocent song for a seemingly-innocent-but-not-really anime.

That’s all for now folks, but if you want to hear the full version of Soramimi Cake (and I know you do), then here’s one last link for those who want it.