Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Didn't care for Tarantino's new movie, Inglourious Basterds. His shtick is just getting old - all the thoroughly-measured conversations, the lengthy dueling set-ups, the sullen yet determined femme fatales (was Uma Thurman busy?), and then punching the audience in the face. Then the soundtrack steps in to carry us through exterior scenes - ooo was that mariachi horns we just heard sound over the French countryside? Like satellite radio piped through mall speakers, the typical Tarantino soundtrack means to obliviate the non-consumer exterior environment which makes neurotics nervous for its "lack of productivity." Sorry, I don't see spaghetti western in that. It's gotten lost in the translation.

Some critic wrote that Tarantino is a curator today rather than a creator. I would agree. Kill Bill was more inventive, but not by much. The character deaths are becoming more inventive, which is basically the expected track of the horror director. Maybe QT wishes to go off in that direction for a while, since most of his work today I find horrifying rather than curiously-stimulating like his earlier stuff.

There are entertaining details, but even Valkyrie, which I also didn't like, had better details. The ending was a surprise, so I have to give him points for that.

Tarantino started his career with punching his audience in the face and he's basically staying there, still there, fifteen years later. Hence his growing admiration among the spike tv crowd. I thought Brad Pitt was ridiculous in this movie - maybe his worst role ever - and that the gentleman who played the SS officer was good but not outstanding. The best acting was from the blonde gal who played the spy. Rent this movie if you must, but rent it along with something more satisfying like Bullitt with Steve McQueen. That actually draws you in rather than lets you watch a story you already know from a safe distance like a carnival goer.

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