Excellent, Underated and Often Unfairly Overlooked
Mr. N. Carnegie | Kirkcaldy, Scotland, UK. | 11/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"True Romance is one of those great films that was rather unfairly and bizarrely largely ignored on it's original theatrical release but it's really hard to know why. It's not because of the script/screenplay, that was written by the great Quentin Tarantino, with all the trademark flourishes you'd expect, with witty dialogue and great set-pieces that leave you quoting them for weeks. It's not because it's got a poor cast or poor acting. Apart from the leads, Christian Slater and the wonderful Patricia Arquette (in undoubtedly their greatest screen performances), this movie has a cast list like a whose who of great screen actors; Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman and Christopher Walken. It also boasts a great cameo performance from Brad Pitt and a superb supporting performance from (the then not so famous) James Gandolfino. Val Kilmer and Samuel L. Jackson even turn up too in blink and you'll miss it performances.This is a great movie, a cool movie, a funny movie and an action movie. Directed by Tony Scott, one of the best (if not the best) action movie directors around, True Romance is the story of Alabama (Arquette) and Clarence (Slater) young newlywed lovers on the run with a stolen suitcase full of $5m worth of the mafia's coke, which they intend to sell. But as the old saying goes, the path to true love never runs smooth and a battle of wits ensues between Clarence, the police and the mob leading to a classic finale in this action packed film. As a whole, this movie works beautifully but on DVD it's even better because you can access all your favourite classic scenes that unmistakeably bare Tarantino's hallmark again and again. Such as the opening scene where the heterosexual Clarence (Slater) states that he'd sleep with Elvis if he were still alive, or the showdown between Clarence and dreadlocked gangster (Oldman). Or the showdown between the mob boss (Walken) and Clarence's Dad (Hopper). Classic scenes indeed, particularly the one with Walken and Hopper. It's hard to believe this movie was made back in 1993 because it's still as fresh, still as cool and still looks as enjoyable as it was back then. I just love this movie and if you haven't seen it yet I hope you will too."
"Hey, get some beer, and some....cleaning products."
Ghenghis | Monvolia | 11/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really wish Brad Pitt would consider reprising his role as the stoner Floyd someday cause he absolutely stole the show-he's hysterical. Some of the classic Tarantino lines of all time, several adlibs, and phenomenal scenes that are way outside the edge of reality, but it works. A better ensemble cast than anything else you're liable to find. Was this Gandolfini's first "sensitive hitman" role? Patricia Arquette is yummy, Hopper is in rare form, Walken is as menacing as he is weird, Oldman makes a great pimp, we find out about Samuel L's sexual preferences, and Slater manages to turn in a credible understated but high energy performance. A monument to the Nintendo generation I suppose but a great movie worth watching over and over again. Oh yeah, if you're quick to scream "ripoff" when you see a road movie that resembles True Romance, NBK, Freeway, Love and a 45, etc then pick up a copy of Badlands with Martin Sheen. Tarantino makes better movies than his predecessors but he's borrowed an idea or two along the way. 5 Snorts.Now, the new "Unrated" Director's Cut. well, they really can't call it unrated since not one single change was made from the original release. The sound and picture are far superior to the original DVD however, and there are a few extras rabid fans will enjoy. Especially the commentary by Michael Rappaport and Brad Pitt. The 'deleted' scenes aren't worth talking about. Sad actually. And the alternate ending.....thank god they didn't go with that one. If you don't already own the DVD then this one is for you. If you are thinking about getting this one for the added content you may want to think twice. The extras just aren't worth it."
Alabama , Where's the Coke? I Dont Know About No COke But th
Michael D. | Miami, FL | 08/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Off beat and Over the Top. The Dialogue is Quick and Sharp, the only way Quentin knows how. I loved Patrica Arquette in this character and Bronson Pinchot is Hilarious. THis Unrated version contains a longer cut of the scene in the hotel room where one of the mafia guys ( James Gondofini) comes to find the drugs, to find Patricia's Character alone and helpless not say a word and be brutally beaten only to repay the same to her attacker. I have the original On DVD and the unrated 2 disc version is not much longer just more intense."
Trust me, I should know...I'm part Sicilian
Michael J. Tresca | Fairfield, CT USA | 09/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"True Romance has Quentin Tarantino's fingerprints all over it, although it was actually directed by Tony Scott. It has everything, from a Mexican standoff, to the rat-a-tat dialogue, to the same obsession with 70s flicks that are common in many of Tarantino's films. The only thing it's missing is Uma Thurman.
The story is almost beside the point: a comic book nerd named Clarence Worley (Christian Slater, were we all to suffer his lot in life!) hooks up with a prostitute, Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) with a heart of gold. What could have been a traumatic experience for the both of them blossoms into a passionate romance. It's not long before the two get married.
Unlike say, Pretty Woman, True Romance reminds us that being a prostitute is not fun. Part of the unglamorous side of Alabama's life is her abusive pimp, Drexl Spivey (Gary Oldman, fantastic as always). Clarence decides to get Alabama's possessions back from the pimp and settle the score. The plot spirals from there, but it involves a huge amount of cocaine that's so expensive, just possessing it is a liability.
On Clarence's side is his big doofus of a friend, Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport), an aspiring actor that's particularly Joey-esque. For some reason, Brad Pitt plays Floyd, Dick's stoner roommate. Clarence also looks for help from his dad, Clifford (the always amusing Dennis Hopper). Guiding (if you can call it that) Clarence through life is his illusionary mentor, Elvis (wouldja believe, Val Kilmer?). No, seriously. It doesn't take long before Dick hooks Clarence up with a buyer. That buyer is Eliot Blitzer, representing the famous Hollywood director Lee Donowitz (played by Bronson Pinchot and Saul Rubinek respectively).
The cocaine belongs to the Mob, of course, led by Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken) and his thug Virgil (James Gandolfini), two of the most philosophical Mobsters you'll ever meet. The dialogue between Walken and Hopper is worth the price of admission alone. Also on the trail of the coke are the police, led by Cody Nicholson (Tom Sizemore) and his partner Nicky Dimes (Chris Penn). They almost sound more like the Mob than the Mob does. Which is perhaps the point.
True Romance isn't just about romance. It's about passion, the kind of passion that binds people together in ways they can't even understand: lovers (Clarence and Alabama), fandom (Clarence and Elvis), and even murder (Vincenzo and Clifford). Our hero perseveres because he believes in the power of love and, once he finds it, will do anything to keep it alive. It's that passion that propels the plot forward, such that even those who only peripherally experience the romance between Clarence and Alabama are willing to sacrifice everything for them. But True Romance reserves its passion most for the love between father and son. It can be a love worth dying for (Clarence and Clifford), or a hatred so intense that it's self destructive (Lee and Eliot).
This is one star-studded cast that actually lives up to expectations. Don't be fooled: True Romance is as passionate and foul-mouthed as anything Tarantino has written. But it's a love letter to lovers, celebrating what brings out the best and worst in humanity.
Watch it, if only to see two pros (Hopper and Walken) at the top of their game. Trust me, I should know...I'm part Sicilian."
Greatest "American" Movie of the 90s?
Shea K. Robison | Tucson, AZ USA | 04/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am sure my title for this review will generate more than a few cyber-eyerolls, but I mean it in all seriousness (kind of). This movie is chock full of all the American pop-culture references you can handle. These range from Christian Slater-as-Clarence's comic book store ("Heros for Sale"), to his predilection for 70s kung-fu movies, to Clarence's invocation of himself as Steve McQueen: "We now return to Bullitt already in progress...", to the Elvis figure that actually haunts him and directs him at key moments in his life (an Elvis that is played in a sort of cameo by Val Kilmer). It also has some of the best, and oddest, performances of pretty much everyone involved: Val Kilmer (as Elvis mentioned above), Dennis Hopper IS Clarence's ultimately wise but washed-out security guard father living in a trailer by the railroad tracks, Brad Pitt has a great small role as "Floyd" the good-natured stoner (another one of his great "grimy" characters), James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) makes what might be his film debut(?) as a sadistic hit-man, Gary Oldman is perfect as the gloriously pimped-out and evil "Drexel", and how could anyone forget Patricia Arquette as the jiggly "Alabama"?
As an example, one of the best scenes in this movie, and one of my all-time favorites, is the "interview" between the Mafia-envoy played to cold perfection by Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper. This pairing alone makes this movie worth the [money]. The key moment is when Dennis Hopper realizes there is no good way out of this for him, so he tries to goad Walken into killing him before he is forced to give away the whereabouts of his son. To accomplish this, he gives Walken and all the other hit-men packed into his trailer a little history lesson on the genetic roots of their distinctive Sicilian phenotype.
Throw this all together with the pacing and camera work of "Top Gun" (thanks to director Tony Scott) and a typically-brilliant script provided by Tarantino, and that is why I would tentatively nominate "True Romance" as my "Best American Movie of the early-90s".P.S.
Some other great performers that I didn't get a chance to mention in my review, and that make this movie as entertaining as it is, are: Michael Rappaport as the dopy aspiring actor (auditioning, of all things, for a one-time role as Crook #2 for an episode of "T.J. Hooker" that is set to co-star Peter Breck!), Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore as over-zealous narc squad partners, and Bronson Pinchot is wonderfully whiny as a movie producer's whipping boy and go-fer named Elliot. This is a great movie!"