I totally agree about Tarantino - so many people completely miss the point and think his calling card is gratuitous violence, when in fact it's clever dialogue and surreal characterisation and plotting, and this has always been the case. Look at Reservoir Dogs - the ear-cutting scene isn't about the violence, it's about how over-the-top and dark it is for a character to be doing that, and the film as a whole is basically all dialogue between the same few people. And it's FANTASTIC. Same goes for Pulp Fiction - Sam Jackson's swearing non-stop at the beginning is there because it's so ridiculously over the top, not in spite of it. To understand Tarantino you have to accept that pretty much everything's tongue in cheek.
I often suspect a lot of apparent "big fans of Tarantino" only have any real knowledge of Kill Bill, which is actually pretty left-field and gory for Tarantino.