Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglourious Basterds.

I read the New York Times review of Inglourious Basterds yesterday. I don't read reviews of movies I'm planning to see, so I was safe with this one. I guess you'd call it a pan. My housemates saw it last night and loved it. They're Tarantino fans, and they compared it favorably with Pulp Fiction. I didn't have any desire to see it before and less so now since I don't like Pulp Fiction. The first time I saw Pulp Fiction, I thought it was fascinating, but I couldn't put my finger on what was interesting about it. The second time I saw it, I realized there was nothing really there. One thing Tarantino is great at is creating an illusion of substance. I guess it's all that talking.

I watched Kill Bill too. I didn't want to dismiss Tarantino too quickly; so many people seem to think he's a great artist. Kill Bill didn't even grab me the first time. It was just boring.

Here's what Conor Clarke (at The Daily Dish) said about Inglorious Basterds:
There is much debate about what genre Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds deserves. Is it comedy? Philosophy? Revenge fantasy? Silly exploitation? David Denby, for instance, takes the position that it's "lodged in an uneasy nowheresville" between these things. I'd take the position that it's too easy to over-intellectualize a Tarantino film, which is probably just an empty (but extremely well crafted) vessel studded with encyclopedic and occasionally annoying references to films the director likes. Good luck speculating about Tarantino's intentions. But I can report that the audience with which I saw it last night treated it as comedy, which is probably the right mindset with which to enter the theater, at least if you want to have an enjoyable experience.
I just don't trust him. I don't think he has anything to say, and if you're going to make a movie about Nazis, I think you should have something to say.

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