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Author Topic: Quentin Tarantino  (Read 32554 times)
Doug
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« Reply #160 on: October 29, 2019, 03:38:22 PM »

And mixed in with all that drama and heaviness as we head toward the night of the killings, we have some hilarious scenes. My favorite is the Bruce Lee fight scene with Cliff.  "Let me just say, nobody beat the $#!t out of Bruce." This was laugh-out-loud funny, and another scene where those who are familiar with the real people being portrayed in the film get paid off in spades, because he was dead-on as Bruce Lee. 

I actually found the portrayal of Bruce Lee extremely obnoxious and offensive. Bruce was cocky but he wasn't an a$$hole. He wouldn't have engaged with Cliff on the set of The Green Hornet. He was often being challenged and he wasn't so easily goaded into a confrontation. There's no record he ever said anything like "My hands are lethal weapons," which is there just so Cliff can make his comeback line cutting down Bruce. Tarantino thinks he's heard Bruce say he could beat Cassius Clay, but that's not what Bruce ever would have said, not like some arrogant punk, anyway. Bruce might have said his one chance given the huge disparity in size would be to go for the knees and cripple Ali, but that's how Bruce's mind worked, always thinking about one could win a fight with opponents who would be extremely tough to beat. Which is a far cry different than what's in the movie. As well Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali a good five years before that scene would have taken place, so why have Bruce continue to call him by his former name? Did Bruce go around calling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (a real life student of Bruce's) Lew Alcinder? I seriously doubt Bruce was that big of a jerk or bigot.

As for the fight itself. Tarantino said it's silly to ask if Cliff, a fictional character, could beat Bruce, but while Cliff might be fictional, Bruce is not. Tarantino tells us Cliff is a former Green Beret, but we don't know that in the movie, unless I missed that part (and so what, being a former green beret doesn't automatically make you a top level martial artist). What we do know is he's a washed-up stuntman, who drinks too much, smokes too much, is about twenty years older, and lives like a bum. And Cliff engages in three fights, two of which we're clearly supposed to root for him and laugh at the ineptitude of the Manson followers. The scene with Bruce is also clearly set up so we laugh at his opponent, which this time is Bruce Lee. I expect better from Tarantino, who I presume is a fan of Bruce Lee, but man, does he seem to relish knocking down Bruce. The scene serves no other purpose. We don't need to know Cliff is a tough guy, we learn that at Spahn Ranch.

I'm pretty sure most the members of this board would be annoyed if not angry if Clint Eastwood were to be portrayed in such an offensive, condescending manner long after he's dead just to get a few laughs. And it's far worse when you do it to a member of a minority who's seen as a hero to many, many Chinese, students of martial arts, and others. Sorry for the rant, but the scene has continued to anger me.

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"Yes, well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of a park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy."  Frank Drebin, Police Squad.
Matt
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« Reply #161 on: October 29, 2019, 06:00:30 PM »

Sorry for the rant, but the scene has continued to anger me.

I'm a fan of Bruce Lee, and I thought it was a hysterical scene.  But, I can see your point about the character acting like a little punk in the fight scene with Cliff.  But, since he really was a bit of a braggart and cocky as hell, it didn't seem so outlandish a portrayal to me. The "lethal weapons" line was definitely played for laughs. For what it's worth, The Green Hornet was filmed in '66 - '67. The scenes they're showing are flashbacks, so it was only 2 years post name change for Ali, who at the time wasn't fighting, was stripped of all his titles, and was under arrest for evading the draft. So even though Ali's reputation was at an all-time low at that time, I don't think Tarantino had Bruce calling him Cassius Clay for any other reason than to make the scene feel set back in a very much earlier time period.

Outside of The Green Hornet scene, they do show Bruce training Sharon Tate for her martial arts scene, which he really did do. I thought it was cool having those bits with Sharon in the film, tying him in with the story. I read he was at the Tate/Polanski house the afternoon of the murders, and was invited to stay and hang out with everyone that night.
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Christopher
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« Reply #162 on: October 29, 2019, 09:06:36 PM »

I haven't seen the movie but read about this scene after it came out. I know Lee's family didn't like the portrayal. The connection between Lee and Sharon Tate was new to me--I'd never heard that until this movie came out.
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Gant
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« Reply #163 on: October 29, 2019, 11:39:06 PM »

Christopher... My freinds got a vintage car ( I forgot the make ) and lives in LA.
I'm not sure how he was contacted by the film makers. I'll find out.. I think the car makes a brief appearance
in a highway scene..
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Gant
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« Reply #164 on: October 29, 2019, 11:50:22 PM »

Wow, there's an alternative Universe plot... Imagine if Bruce Lee had stayed that night. Would he have made a difference to the outcome, along with Steve McQueen who was supposedly invited over ?

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Matt
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« Reply #165 on: October 30, 2019, 09:47:47 AM »

Wow, there's an alternative Universe plot... Imagine if Bruce Lee had stayed that night. Would he have made a difference to the outcome, along with Steve McQueen who was supposedly invited over ?

It definitely gives you something to think about. At least one of the Manson followers had a gun that night (Steve Parent was shot outside the house before they went inside). But, I have also wondered if Lee would have been able to change history if he was there, or if we would have lost him earlier than we did.
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Doug
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« Reply #166 on: October 31, 2019, 02:13:25 AM »

I'm a fan of Bruce Lee, and I thought it was a hysterical scene.  But, I can see your point about the character acting like a little punk in the fight scene with Cliff.  But, since he really was a bit of a braggart and cocky as hell, it didn't seem so outlandish a portrayal to me.

See, but my point was he had swagger, he had tons of swagger, and it made him cool as hell, but he was not a braggart, who's someone who makes a lot of empty boasts. That scene just makes him look ridiculous. Compare that condescending portrayal with real life Bruce Lee, like in this interview, or any interview:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Ze_hfMw8JFg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Ze_hfMw8JFg</a>
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Doug
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« Reply #167 on: October 31, 2019, 02:17:28 AM »

Wow, there's an alternative Universe plot... Imagine if Bruce Lee had stayed that night. Would he have made a difference to the outcome, along with Steve McQueen who was supposedly invited over ?

Interestingly, Polanski actually came to suspect Bruce Lee as the killer, because I guess Polanski went a little crazy and started looking at all their friends as possible suspects, and a pair of glasses had been left behind at the scene and Bruce had lost his glasses, and when Polanski went with Bruce to get a new pair of glasses he realized Bruce wore a different prescription and gave up that idea. (So I've read.)
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"Yes, well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of a park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy."  Frank Drebin, Police Squad.
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