Friday, August 21, 2009

Inglourious Basterds - 5/5

To say I'm a Tarantino fan might be jumping the gun. He has made some amazing films for sure, but "Death Proof" was only mediocre to me and "Kill Bill" (although I do enjoy anything that homages old school Kung Fu films) was overzealous and a little bit too scatter shot for my tastes. So when I saw the trailers to "Inglourious Basterds" I didn't know if I should keep my hopes up or not. The man did create "Reservoir Dogs" and that in itself is pretty sick. In the end, I don't think it matters what expectations I had because this film blew most of them to shit (almost like some of the violence in the film!). This is Tarantino working his best stuff in a long time.

This was still a bit different then I expected. In all honesty, I figured it was the editing in the trailer that caused some of the humor. All of his films have an odd sense of humor in them, but I didn't realize this film would be so Goddamn funny. Not funny in a normal, oh that's ridiculous funny, but funny in a sense of 'oh my that's violent and awkward funny'. It hit all the right buttons with me though and I was rolling in my seat more than once. I have to give props though at the balance of seriousness and humor this film strikes as it practically is perfect in almost every sense. Warning though: if you don't extreme violence or disregard for human life then you might want to think twice about seeing this. In the theatre, it took the audience a good half hour to finally get that there was funny things going on. And I'm sure that reaction is pretty common.

Now if you aren't a fan of Tarantino's style, then this film isn't going to change that opinion. It's definitely his kind of film. He loves to create conventions of theatre (that is establishing a continuing theme or repetitive ideology within the confines of the film) and then shatter them. For example, Mr. Sam Jackson makes a narrator appearence a few times in the film but its not an established reoccurring aspect nor is is lead up to. His voice just kind of shows up twice and is gone. Just like Tarantino though, he makes it work and it never detracts from the film experience.

Acting wise, we get some awesome things going one here. Obviously, as it was built in its campaign, Brad Pitt is fucking awesome. He steals the film the entire time he is on screen and rightly so. It's hard not to smile and laugh at him even when he is scalping Nazis. It's an odd idea but seriously it happens. Eli Roth had some good moments but I wished his character would have appeared more (although there are plenty of characters abound to film the time) as his "Jew Bear" status is pretty awesome in idea even if we only get to see it in action a few times.

All in all, this is Tarantino's best film since "Pulp Fiction" in my book. It's a pure experience of art as film without losing the 'entertainment' factor that many artsy films forget. Best film of the year thus far!

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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