Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglourious Basterds


Too few times over the past years have we been confronted by the genius that is Quintan Tarantino - and it is genius. One can fault him for his relatively low output but I would gladly take only half of his filmography if more filmmakers had his dedication to the craft of movie making. From script to casting he is bold and innovative and there is room for so many more such artists. Like Hitchcock, Spielberg, or Ford he will inspire directors with unique vision for decades if not centuries to come. I see alot of movies and truthfully, a lot of crap. After decades of movie watching I come to treasure those rare nuggets that have the ability to grab me and show me something I haven't seen or experienced before. Tarantino is a man who found, in life, the perfect combination of a person and what they were meant to do. This movie is continued proof of this.

Brad Pitt can easily be dismissed as a pretty boy without the chops to carry out any role beyond the most superficial romantic comedy but time and time again he took roles that played against type and challenged the perception the public had of him as an actor. Sure sometimes he failed but with every '7' and 'Legends of the Fall' we can forget such roles as Achilles in 'Troy' (though personally I liked him in that). His skill as a comedian come as easy to him as do his skills as an action star. I am still waiting for him to take on a superhero much in the same way that Robert Downey Jr did. Captain America maybe? I think he would be great. This film allowed him to play up his comedic skills and once again Tarantino has caste someone in a role you may not have first thought of if you had read the script but who now you can't imagine anyone else doing. You smile every single time he is on screen.

Christoph Waltz is terrific. He chews the scenery as S.S. Officer (Standartenf├╝hrer) Hans Landa who the French call 'The Jew Hunter'. He is slickly smooth and polite to a fault and like the worst of evil he relishes the 'game' of evil much like a cat who toys with the mouse before delivering the death blow. Its a delicious role and one that makes him Oscar bait.

This movie is talky but fascinating in its ruminations on the nature of warfare and interpersonal conflicts. Tarantino likes the foreplay of talk before the explosion of violence that is cathartic. His ability to manipulate our emotions make his movies ones that you can enjoy over and over again. I don't care at all that Tarantino rewrote history and told the story HE wanted to. I admire that kind of 'moxie'.

2 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

I loved Pulp Fiction but couldn't sit through Reservoir Dogs and since then have avoided Tarantino like the plague. I just don't have the stomach for it anymore. My brother invited me to go see this with him, actually, and I turned him down.

Wings said...

Cool. I will look forward to seeing it, but will probably be waiting for the DVD.