Quentin Tarantino may be a genius, but the dude’s got weird taste; witness, for example, his video list of the best films of the 1990s, which included the Woody Allen/Jason Biggs movie Anything Else (a flick that even Woody’s fans didn’t like, and we’re a tolerant bunch). And who knows, maybe his oddball sense of what’s good and what’s bad has led to his distinctive voice and style as a filmmaker; soaking up all those bad kung-fu movies and grindhouse epics was, no doubt, part of why he is this director he is. So, y’know, we’ve cut the guy some slack over the years for his weirdo advocacy.
You’ve got to draw a line somewhere, though. And we’re drawing it at his “Best of 2011” list.
Take a look, via “the Quentin Tarantino Archives”:
Quentin Tarantino’s official Top Eleven of 2011 1. Midnight In Paris 2. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes 3. Moneyball 4. The Skin I Live In 5. X-Men: First Class 6. Young Adult 7. Attack The Block 8. Red State 9. Warrior 10. The Artist / Our Idiot Brother (tie) 11. The Three Musketeers
Okay, look. That top 10, while a little peculiar, makes some sense; sure, most people weren’t quite as nuts about Rise of the Planet of the Apes or X-Men: First Class or Our Idiot Brother as Mr. Tarantino apparently was, but they got some good reviews (as did the divisive Red State). It’s at number 11 where our troll alarm went off.
The Three Musketeers? The reviled 3-D adaptation of The Three Musketeers with Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich, from the director of the Resident Evil movies? That one? That was one of your favorite movies, QT? Ranking above all of these movies?:
Others he liked (no particular order) 50/50 Beginners Hugo The Iron Lady Carnage Green Hornet Green Lantern Captain America The Descendants My Week With Marilyn Fast Five Tree Of Life The Hangover Part II Mission Impossible 4 The Beaver Contagion The Sitter War Horse
So, to Mr. Tarantino’s eyes, The Three Musketeers was a better film than Beginners, Hugo, Carnage, The Descendants, Tree of Life, and Contagion. Really?
No, not really. The telltale sign is the fact that it’s #11 (after tying two movies for #10); he put it in his “best movies of 2011” list, if you’ll pardon the indelicate phrasing, to fuck with us. Ha ha, he presumably thought. This’ll make me look subversive and nonconformist! I’m edgy! I like stuff no one else likes! (This is the Internet commenter in him.)
I’d like to think that’s the same reason that Green Lantern, Fast Five, and The Hangover Part II are on the “others he liked” list, but who knows, maybe he genuinely enjoyed that swill; he’s always championed popcorn flicks, and as we decided last week (and keep reminding ourselves), there is no such thing as a universal taste. If the director of films as unique and unpredictable as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs genuinely enjoyed the scene-for-scene remake that was the Hangover sequel, who are we to second guess him?
What’s problematic is the smugly-titled “Nice Try Award” category. To wit:
Nice Try Award Drive Hanna Drive Angry Real Steel
Yeah, Drive. NICE TRY. Nice try at making a cooled-out, homage-heavy, violent yet intellectual crime picture. You just go sit over there with the 3D Nicolas Cage mess and the Hugh Jackman boxing robots movie. Wait, what?
(Could it be — and we’re just spitballing here — that Tarantino realizes that not only is Drive stepping into his territory, but he’s maybe a wee bit peeved that Drive is better than any film he’s made since Jackie Brown? Or, from a tough-girls-kicking-ass perspective, that Hanna does in two hours what Kill Bill barely managed to do in four? Just a theory…)
Tarantino also made comparatively predictable choices for director and screenplay; those are available on the Tarantino Archive. What’s not on there is his “Worst Films” list, which was pulled after the post’s original appearance, though the fine folks at the Playlist grabbed it while it was up:
Worst Films Sucker Punch Potiche (Trophy Wife) Miral Insidious Rampart Straw Dogs Paranormal Activity 3 Meek’s Cutoff
That’s right, Meek’s Cutoff. I’ll tell you what that movie needed: A big 3-D zeppelin pirate ship sequence.