Slate Money Goes to the Movies: Jackie Brown

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S1: Hell. Ooh. Welcome to the Jackie Brown episode of Slate. Money goes to the movies where I Felix Salmon of Axios. Watch a movie with Emily Peck of Axios.

S2: Hello. Hi.

S1: And mostly, this is an excuse for us to invite on. Absolutely fabulous, awesome people. So, Ben Horowitz, welcome to the show.

S3: Thank you so much. Excited to be here.

S1: It’s very exciting. We’ve been wanting to have you on the show for a long time. Introduce yourself. Who are you?

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S3: My name is Ben Horowitz. I am one of the founding partners at Andreessen Horowitz. Before that, I was an entrepreneur and I love this movie, Jackie Brown.

S1: So we are going to talk about the movie and when you first saw it and what we think of it, the Quentin Tarantino Classic Jackie Brown coming up on Slate, the money goes to the movies. Did we all see this movie when it came out? I’m pretty sure that Emily and I did.

S3: I definitely did. I definitely it in fact, I saw it at The Dilemma Mall.

S1: Wolf, which is where?

S3: Well, the kids in Torrance, it’s the mall where what you saw.

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S1: In the mall in the movie. Yes. The largest. Is it is it the largest indoor mall in the world or whatever it says in the movie?

S3: It’s very big. I do know that, you know, I’ve been there many times.

S1: Is it the kind of place where you can definitely lose a car?

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S3: Yeah, though definitely. For somebody like me, I was very sympathetic to that scene because I always lose my car.

S2: Well, I was not because I mean, if you’re doing crimes, you should know what you parked your car like.

S3: Well, that that was Melanie’s point.

S2: Yeah, she was right. She was definitely right. I saw. Yeah. I don’t want to get ahead of things, but I saw I think it was a a Siskel and Ebert review where he referred to her as like a nagging girlfriend. And that’s why she wound up getting shot. And I was just like, no, from 2022 standards. That was she was a correct. B, not nagging.

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S1: And C, not his girlfriend.

S2: Yes. So much to unpack there. Yeah.

S1: But tell me. Tell me the story. Like you went to the mall because it was the mall in the movie. Or if you just.

S3: Go, oh, no, I had no idea. So, you know, I believe Jackie Brown followed Pulp Fiction. So as soon as it came out, I wanted to see it. And my wife’s family, you know, they actually started in Compton and moved to Carson. So two of the cities in the film and I went with them and we went to the Alamo Mall because that that’s got a great movie theater. And I’m watching the movie and I’m like, Wait a minute, this is shot in Compton and set in Carson. And now we’re in the mall. It was it was really quite something.

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S1: And and this is like right when it came out, what was what was the atmosphere in the in the cinema?

S3: Well, people were pretty excited. I mean, given all the references, I mean, there were so many things in that movie that kind of referenced not only the culture but the neighborhood and so forth, like one that’s really subtle that probably nobody else who saw it got. But when right before Adel killed Beaumont, he puts in Strawberry Letter 23 in the cassette deck, which is amazingly like one of my favorite songs of all time. But that song is is sung by the artists on the song are the brothers Johnson who are from Carson. The details that he did to make it feel like there was really impressive.

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S1: I’ve seen it described as Robert De Niro’s last great role.

S3: Yeah, he was you know, his role was so subtle. Like, you kind of had to to really get it. You almost had to be around. People had just gotten out of jail because he had that whole just got out of jail and easiness where he was trying to adapt himself to the world or adapt himself to the world. And he was really everything was a little awkward, even like, you know, when he smoked weed, he he’s coughing. He’s like, I don’t know how to smoke weed anymore after, you know, like everything was overwhelming. And of course, the big overwhelmed when he shot Melanie.

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S1: That was that was not planned.

S2: I notice that when he goes back to or Adele’s car and he and an Ordell gives him the car alarm beeping and he just stares at it like, what the hell is this? Because I guess while he was in jail is when people started using them. And he has he has to tell him Samuel L Jackson’s characters to tell them, like, okay, you press it and it makes a noise. Like, What? What? And then he does. And this is like the beauty of Quentin Tarantino’s direction, because then he does press the button and it sounds exactly like Samuel L. Jackson said it would sound, and it was just like, so perfect. And no one has to say, like any of the background, like, oh yeah, Robert De Niro’s character doesn’t know what this is or anything like that. You just get it all. It was so perfect.

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S4: Birkin’s office. Hello, this is Max. Cherry. Cherry Bale, bounce houses. Please go down. Harvey, I need you to wait in the car. All right, let’s go. We almost done it right. Good. There. Yo, yo. I need you to look up. You check out the music place. And then I think the key, which was for the car. Come right here. Use that little black thing, then turn off the alarm and lock the door. And you got to do not. Man just pointed to push the button. You hear a little I mean, the doors unlocked in the land of Guinea.

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S1: You know, it was classic misdirection. You think, oh, you know, given all of the time and effort that he’s put into sort of explaining how the the McGuffin works, I was sure that something is going to go horribly wrong.

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S2: Going to blow up or something.

S1: Yeah, we never hear about it again. It’s just like. It’s just a little grace.

S2: No, it did make. We notice later when when he’s driving the Oldsmobile, I’m like, Oh, that’s a different car. I know this because it had no work or whatever thing, you know, to turn on. And then that turns out to be important.

S1: But as you as you say, Ben, it is it is a subtle film. It’s a it’s a much quieter film than I think it’s really the quietest of all the Farentino films. A lot of the bloodshed is off screen. The the themes are like literally adult as in middle aged. I was just chatting with Emily earlier about how like neither of us really appreciated this film until we, like, rewatched it when we were old.

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S3: Oh, right, right, right. Because you kind of so much of the motivation of the characters has to do with where they are in life. Yeah. Yeah, all of them.

S2: Look like I was. I wrote down like this is a movie about securing one’s retirement savings because RDL just wants to get his money out of Mexico so he can retire. And and Jackie Brown like I’m 44. I can’t keep being a stewardess for, like, the world’s worst airline. Like, I got to get my retirement fund secured. So really, that’s all it is a movie about retirement money.

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S1: But that’s it. I mean, it really is a movie about retirement savings and and other such, you know, like boring other adult themes. Like, you know, will I ever fall in love with someone when I’m in my forties?

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S2: We should probably say what the movie is about, or at least give a little synopsis. Don’t you think.

S1: So? Yeah. The movie, the only Quentin Tarantino movie that isn’t really written by him. It was written by Elmore Leonard and was adapted by him from an Elmore Leonard book. Emily, give us the TLDR plot.

S2: Jackie Brown, played by Pam Grier, is a 44 year old flight attendant. She has something on her record for smuggling, so she has to work for Cabo Airlines making only $14,000 a year or something like that, which was even very bad in 1997 when this was made. And she smuggles money for this guy, Ordell, played by Samuel L. Jackson, another guy who works for Samuel L Jackson Ordell is Chris Tucker. He gets caught by the cops and he’s facing jail time. And so Pam Grier, Jackie Brown, she gets caught by ATF and the cops to smuggling the money. And she’s in a real bind. And everyone underestimates how she’s going to get out of this bind, which is basically by tricking both Ordell, her boss and the ATF and the police, Michael Keaton. And she kind of like basically schemes her way out of the whole thing and emerges triumphant at the at the end. So it’s the rare feminist and slightly feminist maybe, I don’t know Quentin Tarantino movie though. Of course there are still feats, there are still feat prominently displayed in the film.

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S1: Using law enforcement like that is a wonderful thing that I love to see in any movie. And Jackie Jackie Brown it’s something which only ever happens. You know, if you try to do it in real life, it would never work. But like somehow it’s glorious and it’s a wonderful Tarantino ending. And then you get, well, it’s not really the ending, because then you get that like blazingly hot kiss at the end, the sort of middle aged love.

S2: Are we going to get into this? So Jackie Brown is bailed out the first time from jail by the bail bondsman Max Cherry, which is an amazing name played by Robert Forster. And he instantly falls in love with her as she’s coming out of out of jail. It’s like this whole.

S1: Love at first sight, right?

S3: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it’s amazing because she’s, like, got out of jail so she couldn’t be more disheveled, but she’s just shovel. Pam. Pam Grier.

S2: I mean, she’s mostly wearing her flight attendant uniform throughout the movie, it seems like, except at the end when she gets that suit and she looks great in the suit, but yeah, he falls in love with her and he helps her do her scheme like he’s an important player in the scheme, although he kind of gives it away towards the end, but too late. But then they never they don’t run away together at the end. Why don’t they do that, Felix? Then do you know why?

S1: Because they’re old. They don’t have that perfect.

S3: You know, they already could see the whole rest of the movie. There is no happily ever after. So they just kept it. They kept it perfect.

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S2: You know? So they’re too busy doing something so stupid.

S3: Yeah. I mean, they knew it wasn’t going to work. I mean, she told two totally different people. But, you know, coming out of that walk when they that first scene in the car, when he tells her that Bowman is dead and Ordell killed Beaumont to her face processing that fact knowing. That she’s certainly next was so intense. Like I felt myself processing, oh my God, I’m going to get killed. What’s going to happen next? It was so it was just some amazing piece of acting, which is great because, you know, in her earlier films like Coffee and Foxy Brown, they didn’t let her act like that, like she was an action hero, that kind of thing. So you didn’t see that that side to her in that capability. And then, you know, and it sets it up so perfectly because then she sees the gun, the glove compartment, she takes the gun, he comes to strangle her. That, you know, that doesn’t.

S1: That doesn’t go well for him. Yeah.

S2: Yeah, that was great. Also, I was thinking, like, once you try and kill someone, you can’t you can’t scheme with them because they’ll never trust you like you’ve tried to murder them like that. You can’t. He should have known better, you know. He really should have or die.

S1: Well, we’re talking to Ben Horowitz here. Who’s the king of, like, you know, the Trustless economy. This is this is the entire movie as the just show, you know what I mean? The only people who can actually trust each other in this movie. It turns out, Jackie Brown and Max Cherry. But like even that, they didn’t know it until the end, until it was like all done. And they kind of look back in hindsight and go, Wow. Like, it turns out we could trust each other. Isn’t that amazing? I guess that’s love.

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S3: And that’s how you knew it was love. Yeah, that that that was what was so perfect about the. The love story.

S2: Wait, this is interesting about trust, because there’s another scene in which Ordell and talks about Melanie. He doesn’t trust her, but he knows her. So he knows what to expect from her. And that’s like kind of the way he moves through his relationships with people. But like, that completely backfires with Jackie Brown, who I assume he also thought he knew, but in the end, you know, double crosses him or whatever. So that’s not a good way to operate, right?

S1: I feel like the minute that she, you know, pulls a gun on him, he’s not going to kid himself that she’s entirely predictable.

S2: Mm. Yeah, yeah. You have to operate in some other level at that point. I don’t know what it is. Let’s talk more about the Trustless economy. Can we talk? Can Ben talk about can you talk about.

S3: That’ll take us down another road.

S1: Ben is Ben is one of the puppet masters of crypto and web3. And he and this is all based on the idea that, like, you don’t need to trust banks. All you need to do is trust the code. You don’t need to trust your counterparty.

S3: Game theoretic mathematical properties.

S2: But you still need a max cherry on your side. I don’t know.

S3: But it is a really interesting kind of point about kind of organizational theory and how do you get something done with multiple people. And it does start with trust, like how do you build trust? Because without trust then you don’t have communication. You can’t do anything very sophisticated. And this movie was really a good example of that. You know, starting with Bowman, you know, like he kind of faked head, fake Bowman into getting into the trunk.

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S4: Then you go to Roscoe taking a walk on. Think about it now. That’s gold special smothered in gravy. And I’m sad over here. Beans and rice and grains as goody man. Exactly how long I got to be in this motherfucker.

S2: Never get into the trunk.

S3: Yeah, that’s a never.

S2: Well.

S1: But also. Yeah, but this is Odell’s problem, right? If he has this criminal conspiracy and the nature of conspiracies is that you have to be able to trust each other. But he can’t find anyone to trust you. Can’t. You know he needs to. Get money across the Mexican border. He doesn’t know how to do that in a reliable way. He feels like he can probably trust his old jail buddy, his cellmate, Luis. But then, you know, clearly Luis is not well adjusted back to the real world. And isn’t that trustworthy in the real world?

S3: Well, he’s not competent. He’s his kind of trustworthy, but incompetent.

S1: He knows for a fact that Melanie, his girlfriend, isn’t trustworthy. That’s the one thing he knows for sure. So he. He needs someone around him. He needs people around him that he can rely upon. And it turns out, tragically, I suppose, from his point of view, there is literally no one he can trust in the in our movie.

S3: Yeah. And it’s kind of this interesting question of do you rule through respect or through fear or through love or whatever? And he rules entirely through fear. And the movie does a nice job of showing the limitations of that technique because everybody is terrified of him. That part worked, but that didn’t quite mean that he gave get them to do what he wanted them to do.

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S1: Except maybe for Max Cherry, who seems to have this unbelievable poise about him in the face of having, like, guns pointing point that he’s just like, yeah, okay. You know.

S3: You’re another middle age thing, right? Though he kind of lives by himself. He’s he’s kind of at peace with dying like that. That’s the way I interpreted Max Cherry was. You know, there’s not that much there for him. Like the job is a job. He does what he can. He’s kind of alone.

S2: When he was telling Jackie Brown like what he was doing later that night after he got her out of jail, and he’s like, yes, I was sitting on the couch with a stun gun waiting for this this guy to come back so I could take him to jail. And she’s like, You did that? And he’s like, It’s my job. It’s my job. Like, Yeah, that’s what I do. Like, you know, I write words. He shoots people in stun guns and puts them into handcuffs and takes them back to jail. It’s his job. No big deal. Like it’s all in a day’s work. But in terms of Ordell getting people to do what he wants through fear. I was just thinking about the hilarious when the phone rings and he he wants his girlfriend to answer it and she won’t get it. I love that.

S4: Read it for me, would you? No, it’s for you. With over €50 make me but not my foot. In ways.

S5: The AK 47 is the most popular assault rifle in the world. You could tell by the extra rhythmic running.

S2: Hello. It’s for you. I love any scene with, like, phone plotting. And it is so wonderful to me now because it’s all dated, but it’s still so great. And she picks it up and just puts it down through.

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S3: Yeah. It’s free. You.

S2: Can we talk a little bit more about Robert De Niro? Because, I mean, I guess you, too, thought he was really good. I struggled with him. I found him. So I was like, why is Robert De Niro in this movie? I just didn’t understand. Like, he really didn’t say much. I mean, I guess he’s just in it so he can, like, screw up at the end. I just. Where was like the Robert De Niro character, you know what I mean? Like he didn’t. Well, I.

S1: Mean, you saw flashes, like when he when he threatens Meloni with his fist, when he’s, like grabbing the money from her after the heist or hand off whatever you want to call it. But really, I think Ben’s right. I think I think it was just it was, you know, it goes back to Taxi Driver or the early roles where he would Raging Bull, where like he would really inhabit a role. And and this was him really inhabiting the role. And you kind of you never quite forgot you were like watching Robert De Niro, but like, this was him just being that kind of fresh out of jail, dazed and confused, not very smart guy who kind of screwed things up. And like, it’s it’s it’s a tough role to play, I think.

S3: Yeah. Did you ever see that Oprah had a series on people getting out of jail and going to their families and, like, kind of followed them their first six months out of jail? And I remember a scene from that where the guy was in like a convenience store and he got so overwhelmed by all the choices of candy and potato chips and whatnot that he had a panic attack, like right there in the convenience store. And talking to my friend Chaka, who, you know, spent a long time in jail, he said, you know, I know what that is. I’ve had those panic attacks to the point where, like my first two years out of jail, the only thing I would ever order was fries and wings, because I couldn’t deal with a menu, because you’re just so used to this very, very controlled environment in prison. And to me, the De Niro character did just such a great job of he was having so much trouble adjusting. And it felt to me like Melanie had like just sent him into a panic attack. He was already overwhelmed being in the mall and she’s late and this and that, the other, and he just couldn’t handle it. And she, you know, being the character she was, just kept poking him to the point, you know, and he’s sweating. She said, you’re sweating like weather. So and I really felt he really captured that amazingly. And it was such a character oriented movie as opposed to like the plot was good, but the characters were so, you know, marvelously developed.

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S2: Yeah, yeah. So specific. I love, like all the little weird, idiosyncratic details I think I already mentioned, or Dell’s vodka and orange juice throughout. He’s always drinking a screwdriver. Love it. I loved Melanie’s picture from Japan where she cuts out her boyfriend because she just wants to have a picture of herself in Japan on the wall. And she explains that to Robert De Niro. And I was like, okay, this is wow, this this is why Quentin Tarantino movies are actually good. It’s not to do with the things that I thought it was about, you know, when I was younger. It’s actually just like he has this all these fun, little, quirky details that are just delightful to kind of dig into, like he should ease back on the violence. A long time ago.

S3: In the opening scene of the movie on Character Development, which is an amazing scene where they’re playing, you know, across 110th Street and she’s on the people mover and Pam Grier is standing perfectly still like a statue the entire time on the people mover. And then she gets off and she runs to the gate because she’s late which to me was so much about her character and how like she she dealt with the world, you know, just like a little thing that told you right off the bat who she was.

S1: So explain this to me, because I’m someone who I have to admit, I am someone who gets annoyed by people who stand on people movies. I don’t understand why people stand on people movies that you can just just keep on walking on the people. MOVER But tell me tell me what this tells us about Jackie Brown, that she stands on a people mover and then has to run to get to where she’s going.

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S3: Well that the moment. That moment for her of like relaxation, contemplation, whatever it was, was more important than the plan to get on time. Like this is a person who lives moment to moment, and then she’ll deal with the situation when it comes. But she’s not planning this is that, you know, like that’s not how she’s living right now. She’s she’s just surviving.

S1: But she is the one who comes up with this incredibly elaborate layers upon layers scheme, right?

S3: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I, that’s why that scene in the car with her and Max Cherry is so important because. She’s like, I guess I’m going to change like, right now or I’m going to die. Like I need. I need a plan. Like, this is like it got to the most urgent moment where Beaumont got busted. He’s dead. I just got busted. Ordell is coming to see me. There’s no question I’m going to be dead. You know, it’s kind of like running at the end of the thing. It’s not like she was going to miss the flight. It was just that she wasn’t going to run until she had to. And she wasn’t on a plan until she had to. And that was the halfway point.

S2: I learned via the Amazon Prime trivia feature that that scene of her on the People Mover was copied from The Graduate because Dustin Hoffman, I guess also is stands still on a people mover as well.

S3: Oh, well, that’s a neat tribute. Also a great movie.

S1: The fact that it was set in that very specific time period of the mid-nineties is interesting to me because I feel like I am, you know, a child of the mid-nineties. I remember the mid-nineties quite vividly. This is my you know, this is my Gen-X sweet spot. But the entire movie was so steeped in nostalgia, the entire soundtrack of the movie, all of the stars of the movie. Everything about the movie felt like it was sixties and seventies rather than nineties.

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S3: And the cars the cars were also.

S1: In the.

S3: 70 seconds.

S2: So good. Every car scene had a great soundtrack to it. Like there was always a great song playing in every car ride. Max Cherry picks up on on Jackie Brown’s music, and then he and Ordell drive together.

S1: But then, yeah, then.

S3: Johnny Cash song in there. That was.

S2: Really excellent. Good driving, very L.A..

S1: But that was that. That was great. Like the the use of the music in the plot when Ordell starts driving Max Sherry’s car and he’s like, You like the Delfonics? Yeah. He’s like, You do not strike me as the kind of person who likes the Delfonics. Something is going on. Yeah.

S2: Yeah, that’s a clue for him. Yeah.

S3: That was from there when music was more segregated. Right. And it’s funny because one of the things on this in the Super Bowl halftime show was NBC put out an explainer on who Mary J. Blige was because she’s kind of in a way which is kind of which is absurd. Right. But on the other hand, like, she is far bigger, like she’s so big and black culture, it’s somebody like she’s massive. If you see her in concert, like the number of people who know every word, every song is just ridiculous. And but they felt like they had to explain it. You know, she’s kind of, in a way, one of the last big stars that didn’t that wasn’t equally big in both worlds, like Beyonce’s equally big and both worlds. And I think I feel like the Delfonics were not something that, like white people knew about at that time. And so which is changed because it used to be black music, used to get niched, you know, there was a black music section in Tower Records and you had the what do they call it, the Urban Music Department at Sony, and everything was segregated. And so it was a little bit of a throwback to that idea. Like now, like, I mean, everybody all the white fans knew exactly who Dr. Dre was and and Kendrick Lamar and all that kind of thing.

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S2: Yeah. Do not forget about dry.

S1: No. The people who didn’t know who Dr. Dre were would like, you know, the Zoomers, the kids.

S2: They relate to my kids. Yeah.

S3: Yeah. Which is funny.

S2: Man. Was yeah.

S1: But this is exactly. Yeah, right. The time difference between now and Jackie Brown is more or less the same as the time difference between Jackie Brown and. Foxy Brown or, you know, the Delfonics. And I definitely got the feeling when I watched it in 1997 that, you know, as a recent immigrant to the United States, from a country that had not been touched in any way by blaxploitation or any of that, I just didn’t bring enough cultural knowledge to the movie in order to be able to understand what the hell was going on here. That you needed. You needed to have a certain background in a certain history. And you kind of needed to know what had happened in the sixties. You needed to know who Pam Grier was. And I didn’t back then. And eventually I learned. But it did strike me that Quentin Tarantino was making a very nostalgic film.

S3: It was definitely an homage to the to the genre, the black exploitation genre, which, you know, he he loved those the two kind of kinds of movies he definitely loved from his childhood, where that whole set of films and the kung fu films. And he kind of ended up making a couple of movies based on that. You know, for those of us who who really love Foxy Brown and Coffee and Shaft and Superfly and all those films, there’s a feeling that you get when somebody finally gives them their respect. That’s that’s quite amazing. And I remember, you know, Pam Grier, I saw a documentary where she was explaining the genre and she said, you know, we named them blaxploitation movies because nobody was willing to market to the black audience. And so we were going to exploit the black market. So we called it blaxploitation. You know, it kind of it turned to mean something else to like white film critics over the years. But, you know, I really felt like what it was. One of the things he tried to do with Jackie Brown is like, this is going to be a film that I can connect to the black audience straight away, you know, through the music, through the language, through everything. I thought I thought he did a really nice job with that. Spike Lee’s comments notwithstanding. But I certainly understand it.

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S2: But the other thing I would say is, though, it’s so nostalgic, it’s very nineties. I mean, it’s just throws you right back to the nineties. I mean, Quentin Tarantino’s is the nineties director. I know he still makes movies now, but he just really.

S3: Grown at his height. Yeah, they’re. They’re not as sharp.

S1: Yeah, they’re getting a bit flabby. Yeah. I mean, it’s a long movie. It’s over 2 hours long, but it’s not flabby.

S2: No, no, it’s no wasted.

S3: No wasted dialogue. No wasted motion.

S2: Yeah. You just want to, like, spend time with everyone, and it’s fine. Like, I was upset when Melanie got shot. I was like, Oh, but we were just having fun. Like, shoot. I loved how she compliments Jackie Brown suit and everything in the dressing room. Like, just she was like she was. And I felt like she was a lot smarter than I was. Definitely.

S1: There is that scene there is that scene where she’s she’s trying to persuade Robert De Niro to, you know, basically rip off Ordell and, you know, through her pot smoking haze. She knows absolutely everything that he is up to and everything trying to keep quiet and like he and she understands his entire plan better than either.

S6: You know, or he when he went to go meet that stewardess.

S4: Present value.

S2: Please.

S4: Well, I know you. We want them to.

S6: Know I live here. He just drops in and out. Did he tell you about that half million he’s got down to Mexico? Yeah, of course he did. He tells anybody he’s going to listen. Well, that’s what him and his terrorists are doing. They’re scheming on how they can get the money over here.

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S4: And the point is.

S6: Let him and the stewardess get the money over here.

S4: And then just.

S1: Take it. So on that level, like her needling Louis in the parking lot is dumb, but she’s smart. So what was she doing? I mean, she she.

S2: There was.

S1: Something weird going on.

S2: That I don’t think she could resist what she was doing.

S3: I think that once he yelled at her for being late, she was like, you know, you’re the idiot coming. I’m the brains of this affair. Don’t tell me how to run it like it felt like she was like establishing her dominance, her kind of her superiority to him. And she didn’t expect him to, like, panic and shoot.

S1: Well, I mean, he didn’t expect him to panic. And she’s like, why was he even carrying a gun? Like, seriously?

S2: Yeah, I expected it because I didn’t really remember anything about the movie, but I felt like he was going to shoot her. And then I remembered watching it originally and feeling like you don’t want to mess with Roberts. Like, don’t taunt Robert DeNiro, obviously.

S3: Yeah, yeah. He shot a lot of people and much less confrontational situations.

S2: Yeah. And then there’s one scene early on between the two of them where she asks him what he went to jail for and he says, Bank robbery. And she’s like, impressive. And you’re like, No, it’s not. He got caught. Like, that’s not impressive. And you’re I was wondering, like, is that what she means? But what’s the money angle here, you guys? This is late. Money goes to the movie. So I’m curious. Like.

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S1: So the money the money angle is I was thinking about this actually in the in the context of the the hipster grifters who managed to steal four and a half million dollars of Bitcoin but had no ability to to spend it. But this is the same right there. O’Dell finds the easy to make the money, but he like basically, you know, it’s locked away in Mexico. He can’t access it. And the sheer body count in this movie, which is high for what, you know, for half a million dollars, which is what we’re talking about here, is entirely related not to any underlying gun trafficking crime, but really to money laundering and money trafficking and just bringing money across what has historically been pretty much the most porous border in the Americas.

S2: I didn’t realize marking bills literally just meant you take a marker and you mark them. That’s it. That’s marking bills. That’s it, you guys. I hadn’t. I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I can’t believe it. That’s doesn’t seem very sophisticated. And I can understand why there’s a case for crypto.

S1: I guess every every single bitcoin is unique.

S2: Like it’s just a a sharpie. Like, that’s the plan.

S3: You know, back to Felix’s point that these hipsters got caught is the problem with Bitcoin is you may get it, but as soon as you move it, everybody knows that was the stolen bitcoin that you moved. So moving it is very hard, much harder than moving dollars in that sense.

S2: It was sad that I mean, it was only $500,000. I mean, I was like, could he even have retired? He was going to wait for a million and retire in 97 on $1,000,000. I was like, I don’t think he would have made it very long. That’s not a long retirement, even in 97. Yeah, saying.

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S3: Yeah. Well, let’s get back to the inflation conversation.

S1: I feel like Jackie Brown is going to be able to to stretch out her 450 grand in Spain. Yeah. Find a nice move and she’ll be okay.

S3: Yeah, yeah. I’m like living on 16,000 a year plus benefits then. Yeah, that’s a that’s a lot of life even with inflation that you’d get out of $450,000.

S2: So you guys think she like she lived happily ever after and she was able to have her money and minus max charges 50,000 and it was all right.

S3: I hope so. You know, the problem with life is, you know, there’s not really a happily ever after and that you get bored with, you know, whatever it is. So you you do have the hedonic, you get used to it. Yeah, exactly.

S1: I yeah, maybe, maybe we need Quentin Tarantino to, to come out with the sequel. You know what happened to Jackie Brown 20 years later.

S2: Jackie and Max meet up again, and they have some kind of, like, a romance.

S1: You go, you can be just like before sunrise. Certainly Jackie and Max.

S2: Yeah, but Robert Forster did pass away, I think, a few years ago.

S1: He was also just an amazing like the performances in this movie because it was a more naturalistic movie, more realistic. It had its feet in the real world in a way that something like Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, which. The previous movies did not. You could identify with the characters a little bit more. It created a scope for naturalistic, realistic acting, right. Which he found actors who really could do a great job with that. As you say, like Jackie Brown’s just facial expressions when she realizes the Ordell is going to come and kill her, that kind of thing. That is rare in Tarantino movies because Tarantino movies are normally much more cartoonish, something like Inglourious Basterds. It’s just like it’s just like a cartoon.

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S3: It always felt pretty real. It was stylized at points, and they were kind of funnier than normal people would be. You know, Sam Jackson in particular was hilarious, but it all felt real and not over-the-top. Yeah. Yeah. Which was one of the reasons I loved the movie so much. Is he kind of. He restrained himself.

S1: Tarantino did?

S3: Yeah. Tarantino redeemed himself. Yeah.

S1: It was. It was, uh. Yeah, he reined himself in. Which is he? You don’t think of him as a director who reins himself in that much. But he did here and. And to great effect. So. So, Ben, is this his best movie?

S3: I think it’s my favorite Tarantino movie. Just because there’s nothing that feels wrong, like it’s almost a perfect movie. There’s no bad scene. There’s no bad dialogue. There’s no anything that seems out of place or too much. And then the acting’s amazing. And I you know, one thing that I think everybody appreciates about Tarantino is he cast people who nobody else would ever cast. He’s not looking at the Hollywood A-list. Here are the people who play roles like this. He goes through his entire encyclopedic memory of, you know, cinematic history and goes, wow, you know, well, put John Travolta in this role or won’t play that.

S1: But that’s the great thing. The really great thing is he’ll be like, he’ll go up to Robert fucking DeNiro and say, Can you play the supporting actor to Pam Greer? And then they’re just like, What? And doesn’t and does it? Yeah. Emily did this. Did this make you reconsider? Quentin Tarantino? Did you also with Ben and this is his best movie?

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S2: Well, there are a few Quentin Tarantino movies I haven’t seen, like the more recent ones, so I couldn’t say it’s his best, but I think it’s the one I like the best. I like Pulp Fiction. But I mean, this movie is so subtle and I’m just not a huge fan of, like, ultra mega violence. Like, I didn’t, like, kill Bill. It was like, stop. Like, I don’t I don’t need this in my life, this energy. But this movie kind of like pulls what I like about Quentin Tarantino all into one place. And I will say I did not really like the N-word part. It may be uncomfortable and maybe not want to talk about the movie, but I got over it, obviously. Here I am. Hello. And it’s a really good it’s a really good movie. So, yeah, I think maybe it’s it’s best that I’m aware of.

S1: Yeah, I’m inclined to agree. I think I think it’s it’s the quiet sleep, a grown up movie made by a 33 year old guy. I mean, like, it’s amazing how young he was when he made it, you know, then then he went back into cartoons in later life and not that there’s anything wrong with that. You know, I thoroughly enjoyed Inglourious Basterds, but it doesn’t have the same degree of, you know, maturity.

S2: Frankly. Yeah.

S3: Reality and yeah. And you don’t love the characters in the same way that you love these characters. So that’s to me is the biggest thing between this movie and all the other ones, all the other characters, like they’re neat and they’re, you know, they’re, they’re fantastic. But Max Cherry and Jackie Brown and even Ordell and like you just have such a a connection to the people in the movie in a way that I don’t think any other any other Tarantino movies achieve that.

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S1: Ben, thank you so much for coming on. This has been absolutely brilliant. I can’t believe you saw it in the way it was. Something with that movie. I can tell you.

S3: The dilemma, moral dilemma.

S1: The dilemma.

S3: It’s it’s quite it’s quite a spectacle. It is huge.

S1: Next next time I’m in L.A., I might make a pilgrimage down to the Del Amo Mall. So I don’t think Tarantino thought of himself as making it a nineties movie. One feels like really rooted in that particular nineties area. He I think he thought of himself as making a movie rooted in the late sixties, early seventies. But it turns out that that really was the nineties movie in many ways. So kids, if you went around in the nineties, go check it out. It’s worth seeing. You get you get a double lens back onto the nineties and then from there, back onto the sixties. Jackie Brown, go check it out.