"we all come here to see if you wanna go pro"

Monday, August 24, 2009



here's a slice of media that i find more interesting than hip-hop: films. this past weekend i was able to watch inglourious basterds and (500) days of summer.

+ inglourious basterds
by quentin tarantino
with brad pitt, christopher waltz, diane kruger, and eli roth
in 252 mins.

after it's first weekend at the box office, inglourious basterds is on course to be tarantino's most successful film commercially, but it's critical plaudits have rivaled his other films like pulp fiction and reservoir dogs. reportedly, it polarized the critics at cannes, but it's met widespread praise since it's release stateside. personally, i agree with the masses and i think it's the finest film i've seen this year.

when you walk into a tarantino film, one should expect a breadth of pop culture references, witty dialogue, homages to films that tarantino appreciates, moments of comedy, and stylized violence. inglourious basterds fulfills those requirements fashionably. tarantino has described basterds as his "spaghetti western but with world war II iconography". additionally, i would add that basterds took the sharp dialogue of pulp fiction, stylized violence and revenge plot of kill bill, particles of the dirty dozen, and converging stories of once upon a time in the west to create a film that transcends genres and labels.

tarantino's characters may be the strongest he has ever written. for instance, colonel hans landa (christopher waltz) is perhaps one of my favorite characters in film, period. waltz geniously portrayed "the jew hunter" as both a ruthless and charismatic figure. waltz provided much of the films most memorable lines and stole each scene he was involved in. the film's big name, brad pitt, didn't disappoint as lieutenant aldo raine aka "aldo the apache". his thick southern drawl, tilted facial expressions, and declarations of cruelty provide the backdrop for a character just as memorable as jules winnfield or bill. i won't soon forget pitt's delivery during the scene where sergeant donny donowitz aka "the bear jew" (eli roth) gears up to bash in the head of a nazi prisoner:

"actually werner, we're all tickled ya said that. frankly, watchin donny beat nazi's to death, is the closest we ever get to the movies. donny! got a german here wants to die for country. oblige him."

tarantino has always been a master for dialogue, but he displays his ability to create a level of tension where you are screaming for characters to do something because you know what will happen, but he keeps you waiting to an unbearable point. it makes for gripping cinema. without giving away too much, some scenes to look out for are the first scene between col. hans landa and the dairy farmer, scene in the underground bar, and basically the entire last chapter.

inglourious basterds is definitely a must see film. while the middle portion of the film may seem to drag on for some, the chapters that include the basterds will more than make up for the dialogue dense middle. my only complaint is that there wasn't enough of the basterds, but i heard that tarantino saved some of the footage for a prequel. i can't wait.

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