Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: Learning to Love “A Royale with cheese”

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Since this film opened in the United States 17 years ago on this date, I thought it only appropriate to single it out for another post in this set. As well, the Blu-ray Disc of the film was released last week (finally), and two blogging colleagues highlighted this seminal work with a pair of timely and enjoyable articles this year. Darren wrote an excellent examination back in May, and themovieblog8 covered his first-time with the film in his post this week. Plus, I needed to confess something.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home and have a heart attack.”


Theatre

The Marina Del Rey Six:


Movie

Time

October 22, 1994: a year before children would enter the life my wife and I had to that point, the film Pulp Fiction arrived. I’d read or seen a number of positive reviews for the film at the time of its release, in print and on television. My younger brother (who was nicknamed the ‘mountain lion’ by me because he’s rarely seen in this habitat, though we know he exists) was hanging out with us for a short period back then.

On this Saturday, I asked him to join me on one more segue to another film in what is a long line of them. My wife did not enlist for this excursion as by this time, more than five years into our marriage, she knew all too well that my taste in cinema was not hers. What can I say? I married a smart woman. The old standby of the Marina Del Rey Six beckoned (the same place where I first saw Aliens).

A long time back, my brother and I would go to movies together as kids fairly regularly — being a year and eight months older bought me chaperone duty from time-to-time. Still, great to come together once more as such ventures became rare for us when we reached our teens. As my mother’s only surviving sons, we weren’t raised like brothers. More or less brought up like cousins since we were in two different households for a good part of our lives growing up.

Anyhow, going to a movie theater like we had made for a distinctly pleasant memory. No surprise this compact venue was crammed with movie-goers on the film’s second weekend of release. And we were lucky to get two seats by the aisle (somewhat in the middle) in the largest movie hall at this small multiplex.

Here’s the confession… I hated this film when I first saw it. A visceral dislike pretty much describes my reaction (my brother enjoyed it way better than I, btw). There, I said it. The fact that I did a complete 180° on this was in no small part that I couldn’t get the film out of my head for weeks afterwards. Finally, when the first VHS of the film hit the market almost a year later, I snapped it up and began the first of many re-screenings.

Even flowcharted its sequences to see how they worked in real-time, as opposed to its now famous non-linear structure. To me, it’s still one of the best films of the ’90s. Personal trivia: by the time we got to ’00s, I had to produce a small web tutorial on the Pico text editor for work. I used a portion of Pulp Fiction‘s own dialogue — some of the most quotable and profane interchanges around — to show the editor on the web page.

Naturally, I had to clean it up a bit ;-). [recreated below, click to enlarge]

pulp-fiction-conversation

The entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

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19 Responses to “TMT: Learning to Love “A Royale with cheese””

  1. Naomi Johnson

    Too funny. I’m glad I’m not the only one who started out disliking this movie. At the point Travolta and Thurman are dancing, I was thinking, “shoot me now.” By the end of the movie, I was having plenty good time. And yet — regardless of the PULP INK antho — not a film I want to rerun often.

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  2. Ted S.

    I feel the same when I first saw Pulp Fiction, I thought it was just weird and I didn’t get it at all. I was in 11th grade when the film opened in theater. A year later I decided to give it another shot and to my surprise I truly enjoyed the film. It’s now one of my favorite films ever, can’t wait to get the BD.

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    • le0pard13

      Pulp Fiction was such a success on its release that I thought me not initially ‘getting it’ meant I really missed the boat. Good to know others experienced similar with it. Some friends are coming over to watch the PF Blu-ray with me this evening, in fact. If you lived closer, I’d have invited you over for this, Ted :-). Hope you get to pick up the BD soon. Thanks, my friend.

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  3. themovieblog8

    Great post! It’s interesting that you didn’t like it the first time. There are plenty of movies that I’ve changed my mind on over time. Thanks for the mention!

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    • le0pard13

      Thank you very much, my friend. It was great reading your first experience with this extraordinary. You’re more than welcome on the mention.

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  4. Herb

    and I still don’t like PF. I have seen most of Tarrintio’s blockbusters and usually want to find a priest and confess and I’m a reformed baptist. I don’t like what I see, but can’t look away.

    As always, enjoy your post.

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    • le0pard13

      Ha! Great line, Herb. QT is not everyone’s cup of tea and I understand this. Always happy to hear your thoughts, my friend. Thanks.

      p.s., you guys have certainly been traveling to great places, of late. Always glad to check out your pix.

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  5. Novroz

    I really like reading about you and your family. I am close with my younger brother than my older. Before he got married, we often went soemwhere together.

    Now for the movie…Hehehe I haven’t watched it yet. Since the day I saw the trailer, I didn’t have any interest at all toward the movie…till this day, you can’t find any trance of me being curious with the movie even though people always said it was a good movie.

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  6. 3guys1movie

    Nice post, This film certainly left an impression on me when I first saw it. I also like your blog set up with the theaters being included its very cool. Looking forward to watching this film on the Bluray my brother picked up.

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    • le0pard13

      Thank you very much for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the theater segment of the series — I’ve been lucky to come across a number of great old movie palaces so showcasing them seemed the way to go with this. I think you’ll enjoy this in Blu-ray as it’s loaded with extras and offers a wonderful HD print (watched it just last Saturday, in fact).

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  7. Kevin (Col Mortimer)

    Wow, I feel old. I remember discovering Reservoir Dogs late in its theatrical run, and obsessively watching it and True Romance on VHS in the summer leading up to Pulp Fiction release, and how seeing it opening night lived up and probably exceeded all my lofty expectations.

    Fun fact, I worked at a movie theatre during my freshman year of college, I started there in November 1994, when Pulp was already a month old, and it played there until April 1995.

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    • le0pard13

      That’s a great set of films to watch as a lead up to Pulp Fiction. I ended up watching them on VHS only after my PF screening. So cool you went to work at a movie theater with this film on its phenomenal run there. And I complained about projecting Jaws for six weeks! Thanks for adding to this, Kevin.

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