Thursday, August 27, 2009

Initial Thoughts on Inglourious Basterds

I don't want to get into a big thing about it now because I am only about 5 hours removed from seeing it. But, the movie was effing fantastic. It reminded me of Red Dawn. Wolverines!!!! Anyway (obviously it's better than the Milius film, but that was my initial reaction to the film as varying scenes of visceral fantasy unfolded) . The Hugo Stiglitz moment made me smile...obviously, and my God that tavern scene is one of the most tense things I have seen in a movie. When the credits finally rolled I just let out a deep sigh and finally sat back in my seat. That's not an exaggeration. Like the end of Kill Bill Vol.2 Tarantino has created scenes of dialogue that are more intense than any kind of action scene could hope to be. I read somewhere that he describes it as a rubber band...and you just keep stretching it and stretching it and the tension is whether or not it will snap. And with the tavern scene he stretches that rubber band for about 20 minutes until it breaks in rapid burst of bloody violence that's over before you know it.

Anyway, tomorrow I plan on posting something more substantial about the film. Which leads me to this post. There are a lot of great conversations going on right now about the film and its many subtexts. I, however, do not wish to talk about those in my write up for the movie. Why? Well, because so many others are doing it better already and I don't want to be yet another voice saying the same things as these other fine bloggers. I'm coming to the party too late with this one. The other reason is that I really just want to talk about the film...because that's what Tarantino has made: a masterpiece of film. Not a historically accurate retelling of WWII...but a film -- films that take place in historical times don't have to be literal/factual retellings people! There's this thing called mythology -- and somehow people have taken myth and metaphor out of stories about "the way things were" because we've become a movie-going audience that is so concerned with credibility and realism. I mean how many times do you hear people complain about movies because "that would never happen" or "It's so fake".

The film even opens with the words "Once upon a time..." and is divided into chapters like the rest of Tarantino's films (his attempt at mythology, no doubt). So...after the jump there will be links. Please click on them and join the conversations. There are some great one's out there. I'll be back tomorrow with more thoughts. Onto the links...

Bill R.
and Dennis Cozzalio have a brilliant three part series on the film. Many interesting things being discussed in those threads. Check it out. It's essential reading if you've seen the movie.

Ryan Kelly
has a great write-up at his blog.

Andrew of the always fantastic Gateway Cinephiles gives the film an "A".

Greg of Cinema Styles shares the same sentiments as me in regards to reviewing a movie that EVERYONE will be talking about...which is why I just want to talk about what was on the screen.

Craig over at The Man From Porlock has a great review up.

As always Jim Emerson puts to shame what I could ever hope to say about the picture (or any movie for that matter).

Tim's review is up

Tony of the superb Cinema Viewfinder has a great, great review of the film.

I'll be back tomorrow with thoughts on the film. Until then...


  1. First, thanks for the link. Second, isn't this film awesome!?!? Because although I've loved the conversation I've been having with Dennis about it, my true gut feeling is just that I frickin' loved it. It entertained the hell out of me, and when I see it again, that will be the reason.

  2. I disliked this film intensely and I watched it twice. But hey, this is what makes the world go round. I have been following all the discussions, and learn something new every hour or so. I'll be looking forward to your piece Kevin.

    It's great you are back.

  3. Second, isn't this film awesome!?!?

    Yes! I remember your thoughts on the film being the first I read. I love all the conversations about the subtext, don't get me wrong (I'm NOT a Formalist by any means, I do love talking about what is implied by what's on the screen); however, as I mentioned in this post I just want to talk about how frickin' great this movie was. I'm considering going back for more this afternoon by myself.

    I felt the same way after Kill Bill Vol. 2...a film I saw twice in the same day. And like you said, that will be the reason I see it again.

    Thanks for stopping by. And seriously...I've been loving your conversation with Dennis. Just great, fascinating stuff all around.

  4. Sam:

    I'm glad to be back, even if it's with a film you dislike. Hehe. What I admire about Sam is that you are willing to give a film you aren't sure about a chance by seeing twice or continuing to read discussions about it even though your mind is pretty much made up. Not everyone is willing to do that. Obviously there's nothing I'll be able to say about the movie that will change your mind, but I hope you come back and read my thoughts on the film. It's seriously the most exhilarating piece of filmmaking I've seen in the theater since Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 2 which I saw twice on opening day.

  5. Kevin - It's great to have such a satisfying cinematic experience.

    In all honesty, I too smiled and thought of your blog when the name Hugo Stiglitz was blazoned on the screen. Serendipity!