True Romance

If there's one thing this last week has taught me, it's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * * )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * * )

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Before Tarantino was filling plastic video tape boxes at a Blockbuster and writing up one of the greatest crime love stories ever done. True Romance is a simple story, though lacking in moral direction, that follows two very likable characters as they embark on a journey to make their world a better place. True Romance may perhaps be Tarantino's greatest story, and it is one of my favorite movies.

Half way through the movie the lovable Alabama Worly (Dennis Hopper) and right away we know this guy is comfortable negotiating with a chain saw in a bathtub.

Virgil is but one of about two dozen secondary characters that are given such great dialog, mannerism, costumes, and acting talent, that the movie feels full. Each tiny role is given more detail than most of the main characters in today's Hollywood trash. Give me a 10 minute take with Christopher Walken's character, Vincenzo Coccotti, over the two hour paper thin characters in "Bandits".

"What's a Drexel?" "He's my pimp." Drexel the drug lord (Gary Oldman), has a scar deeper than the grand canyon on his face and a blind eye that stares down Clarance on their first meeting. His ability to dissect an enemy by their reaction to the offering of a egg-roll is only outmatched by his mad-dog attack. He's given about ten minutes of screen time, but the character cannot be forgotten.

All of Tarantino's movies have been re-released on DVD recently and this includes a new collectors edition of True Romance. This cut offers a 16x9 enhanced 1.85 to 1 transfer and both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS soundtracks. There are multiple commentary tracks including a rare commentary by Tarantino himself. It is a reference level DVD of a great movie. This disc is one to be respected and defines good taste in every dvd collection.

True Romance is a movie of details. From the Sonny Chiba triple feature where our couple meets to the way Clarence talks to his guardian angel, Elvis, in the bathroom just before a drug deal goes bad. No detail is too small and all of it builds one of the thickest and richest gangster movies put on film. Regardless of the graphic content, True Romance is a love story and by the end all you can do is smile.