Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gloriously Inglorious!

INGLORIOUS BASTERDS is Quentin Tarantino’s opus. It is his masterpiece. It is the movie the movie that he has been building to since he first burst onto the scene with RESERVOIR DOGS. While I need to see the film at least one more time to be able to state this conclusively I am fairly certain it is my favorite movie of his. I truly think I love it more than even KILL BILL. So far everyone else I have talked to feels the same way, BUT that doesn’t mean you necessarily will.

INGLORIOUS BASTERDS is as quintessentially Quentin Tarantinoish as it can possibly be. Everything that is Quentin Tarantino and that signifies every single one of his movies is amped up to the nth degree in this movie. There’s simply no way he could have pushed it any further without it becoming a parody of his own work. The reason I mention this is because if you love Tarantino, everything about him and what he does you will LOVE this movie. If you don’t like Tarantino or have issues with some of his idiosyncratic, filmmaking quirks this may not be the movie for you. In this film Tarantino doesn’t hold back in the least anything that makes him… him. This is why certain reviews have been effusive in their praise like mine and others have taken issue with a number of aspects of the film. At this point, with 5 movies to his name you should know where you fall in regards to what you think of Tarantino and his unique brand of filmmaking.

Since I fall firmly in with the die-hard Tarantio geek faction this film tickled and thrilled me in a way that very few films have. I had an absolute blast with this film and I love every single thing about it. This was one of those movies where I wanted to walk right back into the theatre and watch it again as soon as it was over. This flick rocked my world big time.

The trailers bill the film as a sort of DIRTY DOZEN “men on a mission” type film and while I knew with Tarantino at the helm it couldn’t be anything quite that simple, it still didn’t prepare me for the deep, truly epic saga that unfolded before my eyes. For all intents and purposes Tarantino has made a Spaghetti Western / WWII film (Two of my all time favorite sub-genres by the way). This film has more in common with the likes of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY and especially the epically awesome ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST than something along the lines of THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, WHERE EAGLES DARE or the afore mentioned DIRTY DOZEN. It is a film told in chapters that unfolds like a great novel and it really does have a little bit of everything, each little bit handled with expert precision and craftsmanship.

I really don’t want to say anything else about the film because honestly the less you know going in the better. I have no desire to rob anyone of the joy of watching as this film unfolds in so may unexpected ways in front of them. I will just throw a few things out there for you to digest and contemplate.
First; this is a FANTASY WII film. This isn’t SAVING PRIVATE RYAN; this isn’t set in the world of history that we know. It doesn’t have magic or any of the other myriad of fantastical elements that we associate with most fantasy films, but it definitely exists in a twisted, alternate universe that has sprung fourth from Tarantino’s mind.

Second; Christopher Waltz needs to get nominated for Best Supporting Actor. While everyone in the cast is uniformly good (Even director Eli Roth, who really surprised the heck out of me), Waltz steals the movie. His Nazi “Jew Hunter” is one of the most unique and complex villains to perhaps ever grace the screen and right now he’s responsible for probably one of the two or three best performances I’ve seen all year.

Third; and I think this may be the most conclusive, effective point I can ever make about this movie… my parents LOVED this movie. That may not seem like a big deal but I assure you it’s darn near akin to the earth stopping in it’s orbit or pigs flying in it’s gravity. My parents HATE Quentin Tarantino! One of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life was watching PULP FICTION with them for the first time. They have never had a single good thing to say about the man but they had a ball with this film. That right there I think speaks of this film’s quality better than anything that pretty much anyone else can write. It would be like if the Pope came out and gave two thumbs up to THE DAVINCI CODE. As such I’ll close this piece with a blurb I’d love to see on a movie poster but one that I highly doubt I ever will. My parents loved this movie, so you should too!


Adam said...

Chris, this is now TWO times in the past few weeks that we've pretty much agreed on a movie. I think we might just be turning over a new leaf or that this might be the start of a beautiful friendship or that life really might be like a box of chocolates after all.

I wouldn't put Inglourious Basterds quite as high up as you have, but I'm fairly close. I don't know that it's THE best movie he's ever made, but it's sure close. I think you hit the nail on the head about people either liking or disliking it based on their previous response to QT.

And I love your bit about your parents liking it. I can only imagine the agony that would be the experience of watching Pulp Fiction with one's parents. I had a similar experience showing Fargo to a group of people after a Bible study. Let's just say that it was very uncomfortable. I know you can sympathize.

Megan said...

WOW - if they made it all the way to the wood chipper scene Adam I am sure they were shocked by it...

Adam said...

I felt like GOB in Arrested Development - "I've made a huge mistake."

Anonymous said...

I hope this is as great as everyone says it is. QT can only go up with me after Deathproof.

Adam said...

The friend I watched it with described Death Proof as "a good movie to take a nap to."

Anonymous said...

Haha, I would have to agree with them. I don't think this will disappoint though just on account of how many glowing reviews I've seen of it.

Anonymous said...

Finally saw it, so this review has a bit more resonance for me now!

I actually think this is the most un-Tarantino film he's made but that's not necessairly a bad thing. Surprisingly, the hype didn't hurt it for me unlike other recent films of the decade.

I think Waltz also has the best actor award in the bag just on account of how well he spoke Italian, English, French, and German without breaking character. He is a true actor.