Double Bill #04: Jackie Brown & Out of Sight

Both based on novels by the famous crime author Elmore Leonard and made roughly around the same time (Jackie Brown by Quentin Tarantino in 1997 and Out of Sight by Steven Soderbergh in 1998), the movies have a lot in common. They are both light hearted crime stories with not so much violence, especially compared to Tarantino’s other movies. They also both feature a romantic story about a love that doesn’t entirely come to fruition. Stewardess Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) tries to bond with bond bailsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster), but despite him being in awe of her, he doesn’t go for it for somewhat mysterious reasons. US Marshal Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) and convicted bank robber Jack Foley (George Clooney) fall in love after he holds her hostage in the trunk of a car after a jailbreak, but because of their chosen professions, they cannot be together. Both movies also revolve around a big score (a half a million in cash and five million worth of uncut diamonds) that several parties try to get their hands on. And in both cases, the relative ‘good guys’ prevail and the badder (and stupider) ones meet their demise. As can be expected from the fantastic writer Leonard, the characters are top notch and the dialogues are both smart and funny. One character crosses over from one story to the next; Ray Nicolette, and Tarantino and Soderbergh cleverly casted the same actor for the role: Michael Keaton. Out of Sight also features quite a few actors from Pulp Fiction, which was one of the defining movies of the era: Ving Rhames, Paul Calderon and – in a surprise appearance at the end: Samuel L. Jackson. The better movie of the two? Jackie Brown for the brilliant screen adaptation by Tarantino and the unforgettable performances of Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro as stupid criminal duo Ordell Robie and Louis Gara. Not to forget a superb Grier and Forster! But both movies are great and together form an ideal double feature.

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