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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Inglorious Basterds

Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Produced by Lawrence Bender
Written by Quentin Tarantino
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
Brad Pitt
Christoph Waltz
Michael Fassbender
Eli Roth
Diane Kruger
Daniel Brühl
Til Schweiger
Mélanie Laurent
Cinematography Robert Richardson
Editing by Sally Menke
Studio The Weinstein Company
A Band Apart Studio Babelsberg
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) May 20, 2009
Running time 153 minutes[1]

Budget US$70 million[4]
Box office $321,455,689[5]
Info: Wikipedia

Well, just now in posting the Wikipedia entry for this movie, I see things that now make sense in retrospect, since I was not a huge fan of this film. Eli Roth, director of Cabin Fever and the Hostel duality, was one of the actors.

The running time was 153 minutes, and it felt all of 180, if not 240. Why in the world did this movie need to be 150 minutes? I don't think a movie about baby whales saving the ozone layer by shooting pure rainbow love out of their blowholes, while fighting angels dressed like heavy metal ninja cyborg stripper nazis needs to be 150 minutes long - and that would be awesome!

The movie cost 10 million dollars less to make than the Adam Sandler cash-in scam "Jack and Jill" and made a worldwide gross of $321M, compared to Sandler's $150M. Obviously this means Jack and Jill was nearly half as good as Inglorious Basterds, with a much smaller cast and much less celebrated director at the helm. I'm not sure how much joking I'm doing and which of these movies I'm slighting more with this. Ehhh, I'll just leave this mess here and move on and let someone else deal with it.

A friend of mine recently saw it and said I could quote him on it, so I'm doing so.

"Inglorious Basterds is an extremely 'kosher', Jewish 'wet dream'. That's how people wish it had happened. Everyone in the film was Jewish, even the Nazis; except Magneto, who actually is Jewish, but who was playing an English officer. The casting was baffling. And Mike Myers proved he has actual acting talent. But why did he do it here?"

Overall, I tend to agree with the general sentiments above. I was at first somewhat confused by the obviously totally inaccurate ending of the movie, as it was, shall we say, somewhat historically inaccurate. Originally, I thought it was a typical Tarentino nod to some of the older movies that he likes to do, like to the old propoganda movies that were made during WWII while Hitler was still alive, where an American spy shaved off Hitler's mustache and his own men captured him and imprisoned him for impersonating the Fuhrer or some sort of farce like that. But I read that Tarentino wrote the majority of this in 1998 but couldn't come up with an ending for it for years, so I think I have a better idea of why the ending is what it is now. He basically said "the hell with it" and threw it together. Now that's talent.

I'm just a simple moviegoer. I don't claim to know a lot about filmmaking or culture or any of that kind of thing and I don't necessarily have directors I like or don't like for their "style" or "message" - I just know when I like things or don't (usually when they suck). Tarentino I tend to think is up his own ass a lot in most of his movies, and though this was fairly solid in most scenes, this one isn't really an exception. Still, the movie isn't bad, but in a take-it-or-leave-it situation, I can definitely leave it.

Rating: 3/5 Starfish

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