8/24/09

Sometimes Mondays Can Be A Real Basterd

I haven’t chance to watch much in the last few days. I seem to have watched half of two movies and four episodes of Deadwood. Oops. However, I did manage to venture forth this weekend to the movie theater. With the wife’s purse full of snacks (yeah, I am that kind of cheapskate) and Fran Goria in tow, we ran out to the theater to catch a Sunday matinee of Inglorious Basterds. I was kind of stunned at how many people turned out on a Sunday to check out a movie about Nazi killin’ from Tarantino. It warmed my heart to look around see the wide demographic that Quentin had brought out for his film. Young and old, all races and creeds ready for some Nazi scalping…. or had some of these folks been fooled by the presence of Brad Pitt?

We’ll get back to that because before the movie starts of course the trailers. Well, actually, first we listen to “The Look of Love” and debate the merits of it as a song. I came down on the side that it was good, but that is neither here nor there. The trailers saved us from all that, and they kicked off quite nicely with The Wolfman. I have read and seen basically nothing about this flick, and to me, it looks like it has potential. But, ehhh. Now the movie I want to see was up next, Armored. That’s right. I voluntarily want to see a movie that has Skeet Ulrich in it. I know, I find it hard to believe as well. Anyhow, looks like good mindless fun, and it’s not a remake of anything. Speaking of, Halloween 2 closed out the set, and unlike the first of the Zombie remakes, I’m actually going to go see this one. Maybe, and by God I mean, maybe, he can deliver this time. All the stuff with the masks looks creepy as hell, so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Then the feature begins, and for two and a half hours, I am somewhere in Nazi occupied France. I’m not going to delve too deeply into the flick, but if you like Tarantino or even if you don’t then you might want to check this one out. Lovers of Italian genre cinema should bring along a spoon because you’re going to be eating this shit up with it. It’s a feast for the eyes, exciting as hell, and and art film. It's what Quentin does best. Tarantino treads some new water in Basterds with much more use of suspense, but he still finds time for flourishes like having HUGO STILITZ appearing in giant gaudy letters to introduce a character.

The film delivers on his long awaited war movie far beyond my expectations. Especially the performances, everyone delivers with the exception of Ryan from The Office whose one scene seems like Ryan from The Office goes to war. Pitt and Waltz both do great jobs, and Eli Roth even manages to be convincing. The weaker storyline tends to be when the camera is not on Pitt and the Basterds or Waltz being a bastard of another sort. Diane Kruger's performance was the standout of the two female leads, and she was also the lucky actress graced with Quentin's foot fetish shot for the film. A shot which Tarantino goes to some lengths to cleverly set up.

That’s not to say I’m not without reservations about IB. I really wanted more time with the team to build them up as characters a little more, but Tarantino had the two and half hours crammed packed with story so there wasn’t really any time for it. Inglorious Basterds still revels in the same homage territory that Quentin dwelled on with Kill Bill, but I think it would be much harder to pin down specific inspirations that went into this flick. It’s definitely one that I’m going to try to check out again in the theater. If for nothing else than the fact that I never spotted Enzo Castellari’s cameo, and I know it’s in there somewhere. I did catch Bo Stevenson, but you got to see him fast or he’s gone.

As far as those people who might have been lured in by Mr. Pitt. I saw quite a few people turn away from the scalpings, my wife included. I didn’t see anyone walk out, and at the end people applauded, and I don’t recall hearing that on a Sunday afternoon in a theater in a long, long time.

I don't think you folks need a trailer for Basterds so check out Armored instead. Seriously. It looks like fun. Come on, it's got Jean Reno in it.

3 comments:

  1. It was Sunday afternoon for me, too, and at an art house, and there was applause at the end. Did you have people laughing at Mike Myers pretty much regardless of what he said or did? That was an unusual part of the experience.

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  2. I love Jean Reno...and Fred Ward too!

    I almost went to see Basterds today, but last minute I didn't go, and I am so pissed at myself for not doing so. Your write up gave me goose bumps and got me even more excited to see it. My girlfriend went on Friday when I was at work (?!) and she loved it and keeps bringing it up...I'm gonna half to scalp her I think! I'll probably go and see it tomorrow.

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  3. I saw the film at midnight on Thursday (Friday really). It was quite the experience watching it with a theater packed full of die-hard Tarantino fans. I to will be going back to see it again as I missed some cameos too.

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