Sunday, August 30, 2009

An Inglorious Movie Recommendation - Tarantino's Basterdly Great Flick

Quentin Tarantino's movies don't usually appeal to the over 60 crowd, never mind take up a solid half hour of a car trip with your parents worth of discussion. But


This is one hell of a movie. Because it's Tarantino entertaining (yes, the man deserves to be made into an adverb), because it's a movie an over 14 year old person can enjoy and is still making bagazillions, and because it's far more thoughtful than you might think at first.

And as a Jew watching the ultimate wish-fulfillment fantasy of a movie that probably every Jewish child (boy, for sure) had - of beating up on and killing Nazis (though maybe my fantasies weren't quite so scalping grotesque graphic) let me be straight: watching German soldiers, even the SS soldiers, getting beaten to a pulp with a baseball bat did not fill me with glee.

And here's a more subversive thought - I'm not sure that's what Quentin was hoping for. I'm not sure this film is even as much the Nazi killing porn the majority of viewers assume it to be. Once/if you've seen the movie ask yourself this: at the movie premiere, why was Hitler laughing? What was he laughing at? Quentin's thought about this more than we have, I'm certain of that. I believe he's pointing a finger at us, the viewer, indulging in the violence. Don't get me wrong, Tarantino's having his cake and eating it too, because we all know he lurvs the violence. But he's commenting on it too.

Food for thought from a film that was also Tarantino delicious with suspense (best opening scene of the year; there I said it), genre bending (in that it incorporates countless of them) and filled with some truly killer killer performances.

If they were allowing me to nominate over at the old academy I'd be voting for Christoph Waltz (the most evil f'n bastard I've loved hating on screen in decades) for best supporting actor. Brad Pitt was witty and solid, for sure[+]. Waltz, and in four languages no less, was sinister and hilarious and over-the-top and yet never hammy. It's a performance a mother would love if your mother was Stanley Kubrick (RIP).

[+see footnote if nerdy enough, or bored enough, or just feeling clicky. it happens to the best of us.]


  1. We are watching this this weekend! (If someone can successfully purchase some tickets.)

    That is to say, I am not reading this particular post at the moment - I don't want to be influenced by your thoughts!

  2. You see we choice District 9 this weekend. But I like Quentin Tarantino and will make another effort.

  3. Anonymous2:00 p.m.

    I had the interesting experience of actually viewing the film opening weekend with a holocaust survivor (not planned). Pretty much agree with your comments, and as much as i found waltz stole the show, my favorite scene was the struedel scene (over the opening). I found Brads performance to be a bit undistinguished.

    I'm sure you've seen this, but just in case...Waltz with Bashir as one of the best movies i've seen the last couple of years.


  4. Yair! Nice to hear from you. I don't think I've ever wanted to eat strudel more. Loved that scene!

    Ashamed to say I've yet to see Waltz With Bashir and am now figuring out (rep theatres or a Jewish film festival upcoming) how to see it on the big screen - cause, like you said, I've heard it's that good.

  5. Anonymous11:50 a.m.

    Not sure if you're a "i need to see this on the big screen" purist or whatever. If not you can see a great quality stream of the movie with subtitles here.



  6. not a purist, but a ... no, maybe i am a purist. for good flicks. still, thanks for the link. when i actually have a decent size screen i'm sure i'll stop paying like the rest of the universe.


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