Back when Pulp Fiction came out, Quentin Tarantino began publishing lists of his favorite movies in various interviews. To a film buff, these were something of a small revelation. Tarantino had not been so much influenced by the usual Citizen Kane or Hitchcock as he was by a plethora of semi-forgotten, underappreciated trash movies. Suddenly movies like Brian De Palma's Blow Out (1981), Jack Hill's Coffy (1973) and Jim McBride's remake of Breathless (1983) gained in respectability; they had influenced a new American classic, and so there must be hidden greatness within their second-rate frames. Likewise, Tarantino helped breathe new life into already established classics like Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday (1940) and Jean-Luc Godard's Band of Outsiders (1964). He created a film-buff smorgasbord.
Flash forward 13 years to 2007. Tarantino has a new movie out, the bottom half of Grindhouse, in which he sings the praises of a cult road movie called Vanishing Point (1971) among other titles. And yet, for some reason, I had absolutely no urge to rent that movie when Grindhouse had finished up. Perhaps it's because Tarantino's passion had turned into something a little more dutiful. Rather, my cinematic slaverings had turned elsewhere, to a relative newcomer that had been recently initiated into the Tarantino camp with the inclusion of his Grindhouse trailer: Edgar Wright. His exciting, hilarious, and enthusiastic Hot Fuzz (164 screens) had got me thinking about the veiled merits of its buddy cop double bill: Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break (1991) and Michael Bay's Bad Boys II (2003).