Sunday, April 26, 2009

An Unnecessary Evil

After watching Reservoir Dogs, it is going to be difficult to find something similar in modern media, because quite honestly I have never seen anything like it. It’s not my type of movie, so we will see how well on do on these comparisons.

If the grotesque, unnecessary violence in Reservoir Dogs is what makes it cool, then I must not be cool. This explains why I often don’t like rap music. It’s use of sexually explicit lyrics and curse words to get a violent message across is completely unnecessary to me. If rap music is cool, then I am not. I don’t see the point in singing about violence and “gettin’ it” from a different woman every night. Some examples are: "you need to think about the future before I shoot your ass and dilute your blood with lead from my hollow tips, I'll send you to an early grave" (Outkast); "I tote guns, I make number runs, I give emcees the runs drippin when I throw my clip in the AK, I slay from far away. Everybody hit the DECK" (Notorious BIG); "Grabbed her by the throat, it's murder she wrote. You barely heard a word as she choked. It wasn't nuttin' for her to be smoked, but I slammed her on her back 'til her vertebrae broke" (Eminem).

Even in every day conversation, curse words seem unnecessary to me. You can get your point across just as effectively without cursing as you can with it. Some may argue with me, but this is my opinion. Perhaps this is why I love the eloquent speech found in novels of the 1800s. The characters could be furious, but relay that information in speech without marring the point with useless explicatives. Also, lyrics can express anger and pain with out cursing. In their song “Blue and Yellow”, the lead singer of The Used (a favorite band of mine) expresses his frustration with a situation but unwillingness to leave when he says, “Shoulda done something, but I’ve done it enough. By the way your hands were shaking, rather waste my time with you. Shoulda said something, but I’ve said it enough. By way my words were faded, rather waste some time with you.” Angst, angst, angst…yet not a trace of a cuss word in this song.

Quentin Tarantino chose to shoot Reservoir Dogs in a 1970s retro style. And it fits. We discussed in class how a new model of a Kia just wouldn’t fit in with the storyline. There are some movies that just require being set during a certain time period. This applies to movie creations of novels, as well. I just can’t imagine Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice being set in 2000. Some movies have attempted to modernize classics. The remake of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet attempted to retell the story in modern times; it wasn’t very well received. Is this because some stories just can’t be translated into modern times? Or is the public so set in its ways that it refuses to welcome any modernization of the good ole classics? Conversely, some movies just couldn’t be set back in any other time but the present.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome use of rap. You really hit one something there. The rap culture is totally violent and sexist. It is funny. I have known people (well, girls) who have hated many movies because of the violence but have been able to belt out gansta rap with mad skills.

    Plenty of stories translate well into modern times. Pride and Prejudice was turned into Bridget Jones's Diary, Emma was turned into Clueless, and even Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew was turned into Ten Things I Hate About You. Any story can be updated. Some English majors will even tell you that every story is a ripoff of Shakespeare. While I don't agree with this, it can make a good argument in some hands.

    Anyway, I don't think that Tarantino had to use a 70s feel, but he chose to for a specific cool reason...