Tag Archives: John Travolta

The Set of 400: #4 – My Favorite $5 Milkshake

Today! Because personality goes a long way –

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Directed by Quentin Tarantino (x6)

Starring John Travolta (x3), Samuel L. Jackson (x13), Uma Thurman (x2), Bruce Willis (x6), Christopher Walken (x4), Harvey Keitel (x5), Eric Stoltz, Tim Roth (x2), Amanda Plummer (x2), Ving Rhames (x4), Frank Whaley (x3), Steve Buscemi (x5), Roseanna Arquette, Maria de Medeiros, Phil LaMarr, Angela Jones, Quentin Tarantino (x3), Julia Sweeney (x2), Kathy Griffin (x2), Paul Calderon (x2), Bronagh Gallagher, Peter Greene, Duane Whitaker

As I’ve stated numerous times, I didn’t really discover good movies existed until roughly 1992. Up until that point, what Leonard Maltin said was about the only barometer I had – we didn’t have Twitter reactions or Rotten Tomatoes, Cinemascore or IMDB rankings, Metacritic or the late, great Epinions. It was The Scranton Times movie reviews – culled from other newspapers, largely, as I recall, and Siskel & Ebert at the Movies, when I could remember to catch it. But come 1992, it appears my parents gave up on restricting us from R rated films, and by early 1993 I had subscribed to the magazine love of my life – Entertainment Weekly. No joke! It wasn’t the glossy, People-esque nonsense that appears on newsstands today! Or maybe it was, and I just wasn’t discerning. But these events coupled together quickly advanced movie appreciation for young Joey Joe Joseph. And the pinnacle of this was the glorious 1994 movie calendar – one of the best years in film history, featuring the most transformative film of the generation, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

Anyone who lived through the era and doesn’t agree with the above statement is not to be trusted. Disregard their opinions at your leisure.

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The Set of 400: #35 – My Favorite Rio Bravo Confusion

Today! Because what’s the point of living in L.A. if you’re not in the movie business?

Get Shorty (1995)

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (x2)

Starring John Travolta (x2), Rene Russo (x2), Gene Hackman (x3), Danny DeVito (x6), Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini (x3), Dennis Farina (x2), Bette Midler, Jon Gries (x3), David Paymer (x4), Renee Props, Martin Ferrero (x3), Miguel Sandoval (x3), Jacob Vargas, Linda Hart, Bobby Slayton, Harvey Keitel (x4), Penny Marshall, Alex Rocco

Ah, movies about movies! Plus, Elmore Leonard! Plus, everyone’s favorite Travolta – the mid-’90s, gigantic star variant! Get out of here with your Vinnie Barbarino! Plus, mobsters! This is a movie I have a huge blindspot on – I’ve had this on the high end of my favorite movies lists for years, and I honestly don’t know if anyone watches or thinks about it anymore.

Figure, the post Pulp Fiction Travolta oeuvre included a bunch of hits, but seriously, when was the last time you watched Phenomenon? Or Michael? Or Broken Arrow? Thankfully he made Battlefield Earth and put an end to this stretch of illogical success, or we might be getting huge Travolta vehicles to this day!

Instead, we now get things like this

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The Set of 400: #330 – My Favorite Dioscuri Homage

Today! Because I’m ready! Ready for the big ride, baby!

Face/Off (1997)

Directed by John Woo

Starring John Travolta, Nicholas Cage, Joan Allen, Gina Gershon, Dominique Swain, Alessandro Nivola, Colm Feore, Nick Cassavetes, John Carroll Lynch, CCH Pounder, Margaret Cho, Thomas Jane, Danny Masterson, Steve Hytner, Harve Presnell, Robert Wisdom

A ludicrously over-the-top action thriller, Face/Off is almost non-stop style over substance, explosions and gunfights over science, acting dialed up to 15, and doves – oh, so many doves. John Woo, baby! 1997 was reaching the end of this sort of action movie, a staple of the decade. An extension of ’80s action films, which mostly focused on blood and bullets and pointing a camera at it, the ’90s brought us slow-motion battles and vibrant fireballs and interspersed doves. Well, okay, that is just a Woo thing.

Film MVPs

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The Set of 400: #Whoops! The First in a Multi-Part Series

So what the hell is this now?

Here’s the rundown. During the course of writing this series, I’ve found myself reminded of films I wished I’d included originally, but couldn’t possibly go through the hassle of reworking and reediting what I’ve already done in order to jam them in. Figure, while I allotted about two months to rewatch films and order the initial list in the summer of ’18, I was bound to forget some things, and the subsequent writing process was bound to trigger memories of forgotten films. Hell, it’s not like I’ve got a list of all the films I’ve ever seen handy!

Okay, it’s not a list per se, but I do pay more attention to my IMDB ratings than I care to admit.

So, from time to time, I’m going to throw together a quick write-up for one of these overlooked favorites, and where basically it might have been included. First up! Continue reading

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