Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Inglourious Basterds and the Flying Fuck

While watching this, I thought: This feels like cinema. Although it's not terribly original, it IS cinema.

Then I thought: I can't believe I'm watching real cinema (with subtitles, long dialog scenes, and brutal violence) in a packed multiplex cinema. In a conservative California beach community.

The trailer totally misrepresents the film, so don't let it put you off.

It's a really solid, old-fashioned war drama with romance, action, suspense, and Lucio Fulci-level gore (scalpings). It's derivative, as is par for the course with Tarantino, but it did grab me.

It reminded me of Paul Verhoeven's exceptional Black Book ('06), another tightly structured WWII pic.

There are some surprises, and you walk away believing that cinema has not been murdered by Michael Bay-style video game offshoots.

I was very happy to hear that it was the weekend's biggest box office success.

There may not be A God, but there is definitely Hope out there.

It's refreshing to see a film by a guy who gives a flying fuck about good writing. Even if he does steal an awful lot.

6 comments:

  1. And it has Tarantino's requisite foot festish presented, quite ad nauseum. AND it was amusing to hear an audience laugh at the mention of Hugo Stiglitz' name, unbeknownst to most of them, if not all, who Stigliz actually is. A meta-experience, indeed.

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  2. Not seen this one yet and in no rush to but I suppose I will eventually. Imho this guy's been in a steady decline since Jackie Brown. It seems like he's embracing an escalating level of graphic violence (good) while getting lazier with his writing and refusing to edit it (bad).

    And some of the stuff on which you see his name attached, Jesus Christ! Have you seen that Larry Bishop film? Would you want your name anywhere near that?

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  3. I've been wanting to see this. All the people I know who have seen it enjoyed it. I'm glad that it opened at the top of the box office.

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  4. jervaise brooke hamsterAugust 29, 2009 at 12:22 AM

    I still think Michael Bay is a much better film maker than Quentin Tarantino.

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  5. The dialogue was amazing. It occurred to me halfway through this might have worked better as a play but I changed my mind. It was just thoughtful, which is something I don't associate with cinema movies much.

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  6. jervaise -- Define "better". To me, a good director is a person who has good judgment about dramatic material. As a director, you often need to improve upon and make changes to a script. Sometimes, once shooting starts, you notice structural problems, which need to be rectified, and dialog problems. On the spot, these need to be adjusted/repaired. IB demonstrated that QT has a strong story sense; DEATH PROOF contradicts that. It is terribly long and pointless at times. I think Bay is a very strong visual director and one of the best best directors capable of seamlessly combining live action with CGI and doing it flawlessly. That does take talent and iron discipline. I think his story sense is seriously lacking. He is capable of creating rousing, exciting action, but in films like TRANSFORMERS 2, THE ISLAND, and PEARL HARBOR, the weak dialog and endless action kills the story. PH is a spectacular film with a truly awful screenplay. There is no excuse for that on a budget like that. If Bay had a good story sense, he would have had PH reworked. I don't think he sees story problems. But he is a visually intense director of action and mayhem. Much better than someone like Rolland Emerich, IMHO.

    ***

    Shon -- I agree. Very good dialog. A little theatrical. But it worked because it had strong structure and excellent characters. QT's most mature work.

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