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‘Basterds’ disappoints

September 20, 2009

Basterd

Because my father relies on me for such advice….

I have to say Inglourious Basterds was a big disappointment. Everyone else seemed to love it, including Rotten Tomatoes, but hoorah! I found a handful of people who are not unconditionally enamored with Quentin as the rest of the world seems to be. Don’t get me wrong. I have LOVED his work up until Death Proof. That movie marked his decent into becoming Grandpa Simpson

“We can’t scalp NATzis* like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell ’em stories that don’t go anywhere—like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter,’ you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah—the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…”

This critic explained it perfectly…

“So why is “Basterds’’ such a colossal disappointment? It’s mostly because Tarantino indulges all of his worst impulses as a filmmaker and ignores what he does best. The film, clocking in at two-and-a-half hours, moves at the pace of a snail, has way too much talk and not nearly enough action, and spends the bulk of its running time building towards payoffs that either never come or disappoint when they do.

But perhaps worst of all is that we’ve been sold a false bill of goods. The film’s ad campaign makes it look like a breezy, super-violent, anti-Nazi revenge fantasy for Jews — call it “Munich,” without the guilt. We’re led to believe that Brad Pitt leads a colorful team of Jewish characters in a violent rampage across Europe, sort of the climactic “House of Blue Leaves” segment in “Kill Bill Vol. 1” spread out to feature length. But that’s not “Inglourious Basterds,” except for one 15-minute scene early on. Instead, most of it consists of long, long scenes in which people sit around and talk, sometimes building up to something worthwhile but usually not. Especially in his recent work, Tarantino has become addicted to dialogue scenes that seem to last forever.”

Or maybe my expectations are too high. But when a movie steals 3 hours of my time and $25 (tickets & popcorn)… I expect it to be damn entertaining.

*Brad Pitt (and his accent!) was the shining glory of the film. Wish Quentin had just stuck to the Basterd storyline and done hacked him up some NATTzis, Kill Bill style.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Eavesdropper permalink
    January 2, 2010 2:32 am

    I haven’t seen Inglorious Bastards yet, but I have to say that the Kill Bill movies were WAY worse than Death Proof.

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