Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Just another reason why I love Criterion and QUICK NOTES: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

This is a clip from one of this month's Criterion releases, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles:

A woman making meatloaf for four minutes, and that's just a small bit of whatever this film is about.

My heart it flutters.


Alright, I know I watched Saving Private Ryan this week, and that bombardment of flag-waving, Nazi-killing should've been enough. But just days before I'd waited in line on opening night to see Quentin Tarantino's brand new film Inglourious Basterds, another three hour war film involving a group of men killing the shit out of some Nazis.

My quick thoughts on the film:

1. This is a weird, weird, weird film. Seriously, if you thought anything Tarantino had done up to this point was strange (and anyone who saw Death Proof has to feel this way) then this film is going to reassert the notion that Tarantino might be a bit cracked. From a 1980s style training montage set to some sort of German pop-epic to a horrifyingly death-filled finale involving a severely overcranked camera and a misty smoke monster this film will have you eyes squinted wondering, "What the fuck?"

2. This film is gorier 'n' shit. Alex left the film and the first thing she said was "I feel a little nauseous." Tarantino's always loved a gory film (Kill Bill) but by taking his lust for blood-spouting gore and placing it in the context of war, the dam is broken, the gloves taken off. People gasped the first time a scalp was taken, and it didn't stop. The death's in this film are brutal, and when people aren't dying, people are bleeding and having things carved in them and on and on and on. It barely affected me, but I've been enjoying bloody head explosions on film for years.

3. Brad Pitt is fantastic. Lt. Aldo Raines is a brilliantly put together character that skirts the edge of seriousness and cartoon so well that you can't help but love this redneck Nazi hater. His opening monologue is brilliant, and that second scene with The Bear-Jew and the mouthy German still has me chuckling. My house is not a house of quoters (damn you quoters!) but I hear Pitt's drawn out "Naaaaa-zi" all the time. Those of you who think Pitt is just a pretty face need to realize this illusion was dispelled years ago and the idea of Brad Pitt as one of the most talented character actors/leads in the business is one you need to get a hold of.

4. Not my favorite Quentin Tarantino film. I don't know where along the lines Tarantino decided to completely embrace the rest of the world's thoughts that he was just an excessively talented master of pop-pastiche, but this film feels like just another step down that road. It's cool and bloody and well done, but at the end of the day it's Tarantino, yet again, proving to the world that he knows a shit ton about film and he's fucking fantastic about showing it. I liked/loved a few moments of this film (the opening sequence - brilliantly tense), but found it to be bloated in some parts and cool for cool's sake a lot of the rest of the time. If I was still buying DVDs I'd certainly pick this one up, but it'd probably be a bi-yearly sort of watching. A special, fucked-up film to watch on the anniversary of the end of the war.

5. I was asleep, on-and-off, for forty-five minutes of this film. I just want to get that out there, so haters can't say my opinion doesn't count. I missed a few plot details, a couple of character deaths, but in general caught the entire film. So, take your mean words and eat 'em.

Would love to hear your guys opinions on the film.

Wednesday: Gimme Shelter (99)

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