Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Inglorious Post

So, this post is a little late, due to the fact that Melissa and I stayed up and watched Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" last night.
First off, let me say that I like Tarantino - his directing capabilities are top notch, and his movies are engaging and entertaining, not to mention frantic, frenetic, violent (extremely violent), and funny.
However, what I watched last night was anything but. So, I present to you gentle reader, my totally one sided and biased review of Inglorious Basterds.

Starting out, the movie is 2 1/2 hours long. The first warning sign of a potentially problematic movie. Thanks to the American need for everything to be bite sized, easily digestible chunks of information, any movie that edges past the two hour mark is like putting a 14oz steak in front of a starving man and giving him a fork, but no knife. More than likely, he's gonna choke on it.
Second, the title is Inglorious Basterds, not Psychotic, Yet Deviously Evil Nazi Detective and Various Bit Players. For 2 1/2 hours, we only see the Basterds for approximately 45 minutes.
Third, Tarantino is known for fast paced, frenetic action sequences and snappy dialog. Basterds feels like the antithesis to his forte. The dialog feels forced in points, overwrought in others and the action scenes, while full of all that action-y goodness Tarantino is known for is sadly lacking, and what is there is abrupt, graphic, and over all too soon.
Fourth, Tarantino seems to have taken a page from the Ang Lee book of Directing. Namely, if the story can be told in an hour, hour and-a-half, it needs to be padded out with extraneous story lines and fluff, because it will be so much better. It has to be!
Fifth, Brad Pitt for some reason just annoyed the living hell out of me. His accent was quite accurate, but it just grated on my nerves. Personally, I don't think as great an actor as many people like to think he is.
Now, Just because I've aired my grievances about the movie does not mean there was not things that I enjoyed about the movie. Christoph Waltz was brilliant as the delightfully psychotic, yet calculating Nazi Col. Hans Landa. He truly earned every single award he won. I hope he continues to appear in American cinema for a long time to come.
The action scenes were classic Tarantino. Tightly paced, incredibly violent (I personally think Tarantino has a fetish for squibs - special effects explosives that explode fake blood packets), and exciting.
The cameo by Mike Meyers was seriously surreal. I felt like I was watching Austin Powers grow up, develop a receding hairline, and lose the overt sexual connotations.

All in all, I found Inglorious Basterds to be long in the tooth, tedious, and well beneath Tarantino's usual fare.

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