Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Inglourious Basterds" reviewed. Sort of...

Quentin Tarantino seems to be a not-so-unusual combination of 12yr.old boy, 23yr.old Master's student, and 40-something Director.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems obvious that outside the film-buff references and spaghetti western theme he used this baseball bat of a movie to show - in this case, not necessarily to the audience - that the leap from movie patron to Nazi really IS just a dose of Pepsi, popcorn, pigotry and politics away...

The movie patrons at the Athena Grand in the supposedly the enlightened educational rose of Diversity that is Athens, Ohio made Tarantino's job very easy. Some of them were flat-out cheering with every scalping and bat-blow, and most were noticeably amused.

I get what he's trying to do, I think. I hope. He's pointing out the "They did it, so if we do it back, it's ok." mob-mentality that creates Nazis out of ordinary movie-goers, while still playing to those popcorn peons by glorifying the violence he uses to make his point. I do believe that there is a time and place for violence, but what he is doing is the movie equivalent of people taking turns blowing up each others school buses.

Is it okay to out-Nazi the Nazis, as long as it's on the silver screen, to show how easily it will happen again?

Christoph Waltz was fantastic, probably an Emmy nomination performance, although his part makes you wonder just how good a German accent James Woods could have pulled off. The French farmer at the beginning of the film was great. The rest of the individual performances were weak - probably because the writing was weak, even for someone trying to imitate spaghetti western dialog.

I’m not a fan of either, but I would have replaced Brad Pitt with George Clooney. Pitt's role seemed written for Clooney.

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