inglorious basterds

Last night we went to see Inglorious Basterds.  Typical Tarantino movie.  Not to ruin anything for anyone, but it’s wordy, quirky, uses existing music, extremely violent, and main characters die… if you know Tarantino’s body of work, then that’s not a spoiler.  I’m very on the fence with this movie, lots of stuff I like and lots of stuff I did not like.  Inglorious Basterds (yes that’s how it’s spelled… wrong) is supposed to be Tarantino’s war movie, it is and it isn’t.  Hearing the title and the watching the trailers you’d think the movie was going to be about the Basterds and their mission, nope.  Again misleading marketing, or is it the director’s fault?  one convention in all his movies is the use of chapters and nonlinear storytelling.  With that trademark of his this movie switches movies.  Here’s an example; the opening is lifted right out of a spaghetti western – The Good The Bad and The Ugly, where Angel Eyes goes to the farm to fulfill his bounty.  With the next chapter the movie introduces us to the Basterds, and this is more of what Tarantino does, guys talking about each other with accentuated violence.  And just as the momentum is going he inserts a freeze frame text with one of character’s name, so it calls out to itself, “oh yes we’re in a movie.”  With the tone of the “first chapter” setting the tone for methodical and calculated violence, this second chapter just doesn’t mess well, what with it’s superviolent cartoon quality.  Don’t get me wrong, both scenes are good, but to put them next to eachother isn’t very smooth.  I almost wished the order had been reversed, the humor scene first and the serious scene after.  Another thing that was distracting was the use of Sam Jackson as the narrator, there was no need for that.  So those are some negative points, on to the good.  The movie is extremely violent.  There are scalpings, bats to the head, lots of shoostings, knife carving skin, finger in wounds, and more mexican standoff shoot outs.  This time the dialog heavy nature of the writing was good, conversations served purpose to further the plot and tell you about the characters.  And the characters are consistent, I really liked that, this movie is all about plot and interaction.  No one in the movie really goes through an arc, the only one that resembles a character arc is Shosana, the girl in the opening scene who escapes being killed.  Her arc would be from innocent to participant.  But anyway, the one time that I had a reaction in the movie was Brad Pitt’s Aldo, as he remains consistant till the very end.  I clocked the run time, it’s less than the three hour version that Canne got.  So for that I’m grateful.  I have to hand it to Tarantino, only he can take scenes that are from different movies and string them together without anyone telling him “no.”  The villain of the movie is Landa, he’s the best part of the whole experience and the use of a David Bowie song in a WWII movie, awesome.  My last thought on this, he should let us know that this movie doesn’t take place in history and it’s not taking itself seriously, should’ve told the audience this at the beginning of the movie, then when things show up that clue us further in to that fact, we’re fine.  Lots of negatives and positives in this movie.
With this advanced screening we got a special treat, Q&A with QT himself, the man moves around way too much.  So with the hype and… well awe of having him there in the theatre with us, I try to remain objective and not confuse the movie’s quality with the great movie going experience.

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