not so glorious reviews
Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds has screened to the international press at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the reviews are hitting the net. I don’t take kindly to most reviewers; I am one to believe that old saying “those who can’t, review”. So I will leave it up to other to decide if these are genuine comments or just verbal diarrhea. I can only imagine the look of strain on an old man’s face watching a QT film. “Why so much talky talk” he would ask. Serenity now. Minor Spoilers.
Total Film – While the opening, gripping chapter – set in a French peasant house in 1941 – is excellent and a final cinema (where else?) foyer scene is epic in its grandeur with sweeping cameras and impeccable set design, much of Basterds felt flat, with a schizophrenic spaghetti western style that blasts Ennio Morricone at the start and then David Bowie later on.
First Showing – So why isn’t this a masterpiece if its got top-notch performances and a great story? Maybe it’s that I wanted more action, or to spend more time with the Basterds, or get a more detailed look at the whole story, that prevented this from reaching those heights. Even though it ran 148 minutes, it still felt like Tarantino had edited it down heavily and cut out plenty of scenes. I never read the script, so I can’t make that comparison, but I will say my expectations were definitely not in line with what Tarantino delivered in the end. That’s not bad, but I just had to rearrange my expectations part way through. And while I don’t think this gem is polished to perfection, it is definitely a new Tarantino favorite that I can’t wait to watch again.
Empire’s Chris Hewitt – “Rather brilliant. Every bit as idiosyncratic as the spelling of its title, it’s a wonderfully-acted movie that subverts expectation at every turn. And it may represent the most confident, audacious writing and directing of QT’s career.” … “The performances are superb across-the-board.” “[Christoph Waltz] may be a shoo-in for a Best Supporting Oscar nom” … “Some of his Grindhouse flourishes – large captions stamped on screen, the usual flirting with structure and chronology, offbeat musical cues (a David Bowie track shows up at one point) and the sudden introduction of a hip narrator (Samuel L. Jackson) – may irk some” … “certainly very talky.”
Showbiz411’s Roger Friedman – “a big sprawling entertainment that’s less violent than you’d expect and a tad more intellectual, too. … “Tarantino fans won’t be disappointed but they may be challenged” … “Brad Pitt is excellent” … ” feels sometimes disjointed.” … “less brutal action than expected” … ” IB is a fairy tale at heart.”