He's always been a director I've felt non-plussed by. There hasn't been a film of his that's blown me away. Although I would like to see Che at some point.
As for retirement, they all say that. He'll come back in a few years once he gets a good story and the itchy feet start kicking in. Tarantino keeps bleeting on about doing it too and I know he wont. A long down period sure, but not retirement.
Down with this sort of thing.