Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglourious Basterds (2009) Dir. Quentin Tarantino

BC3 and I went to go see a matinee of Inglourious Basterds opening day and it was surprising how full the theater was and what a cross section of demographics made up the audience. Pretty cool that Tarantino can get all sorts of folks to skip work on a Friday afternoon to go see a movie.



I honestly wasn't expecting much from IB seeing as how disappointed I was by both volumes of Kill Bill and Death Proof. In fact I can honestly say that I went into the theater with a chip on my shoulder. I enjoyed IB much more than Tarantino's last ventures. It is pure alternative history fantasy in the vein of Garth Ennis's Adventures in the Rifle Brigade. Robert Richardson's cinematography was excellent, reminding me more of his early work - i.e. Salvador - than Kill Bill. There's beaucoup violence and buckets of claret tossed around but that wasn't a bad thing in my opinion. Christoph Waltz plays Col. Hans Landa and is an absolute monster on screen. You thought Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men was an evil fucker? Col. Landa has him beat, hands down. I have a new favorite cinema villian.

My problems with IB are personal beefs; the soundtrack (I am writing a second post about the soundtrack, including a full track listing and why it pisses me off so much) and Mr. Tarantino himself. While, thankfully, he didn't show up in IB his self-congratulatory smarm is all over the movie. Primary example, the final line of the movie. Other scenes don't come across as provocative they feel forced and frankly, cheap. To be fair, there are some excellent sequences in IB - indeed, there are more great scenes than bad. However, each scene that jolted me out of the movie watching experience was a Tarantino trick or standby. I don't want to throw out any spoilers but you'll know the scenes when you see them. Ultimately these stumbles soured my opinion of IB.

When all is said and done, I think most of you folks would enjoy IB. The problems I have with the movie are pretty nit-picky ultimately. I'd definitely be interested in your input.



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