I’m a big fan of Quentin Tarantino, there’s no denying it. The man knows how to make a film, and has yet to deliver a disappointment. From “Kill Bill” to “Inglorious Basterds,” Tarantino can spin a fine story for his audience like no other while reveling in the magic of film and the power of pop culture.
Since his breakout hit “Pulp Fiction” debuted in theaters, endless indie and up-and-coming filmmakers have aped the storytelling style of Tarantino to no end. Some have even managed to get away with it and have used it to fuel their careers. Tarantino is a man who admittedly apes his directorial style from other directors who influenced him, so in the end it doesn’t make a lot of sense to mimic Tarantino. But lo and behold, many have and still do to this day, delivering films that are almost Tarantino but not quite.
These are ten films clearly influenced by Quentin and in some cases are love letters to him but that Quentin himself never directed.
10. Smokin’ Aces
Joe Carnahan’s guilty pleasure “Smokin’ Aces” apes the style and narrative structure of a Tarantino film while also trying to mimic the spastic energy of a Guy Ritchie crime thriller. For the most part he pulls it off but it’s a film that never quite has a style all of its own. It’s either a film mimicking Tarantino or Ritchie and straddles that thin line throughout the entire run time.
Featuring a slew of character actors in major and minor roles (Ben Affleck has a blink and you’ll miss it role), “Smokin’ Aces” is your typical ensemble picture that spotlights a slew of despicable mercenaries and criminals, all in an effort to assassinate a local magician who has become a mafia informant. Ryan Reynolds plays his assigned protector, while much of the film is devoted to centering in on these criminals, all of whom have their own sub-plots, back stories, gruesome fates, and extended monologues. There’s also a twist ending where it all “comes together” while Carnahan delivers a solid film.
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This article was first posted on July 1, 2012