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Day 321/365 – Inglourious Basterds
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Went to the movies to see the new Quentin Tarantino flick "Inglourious Basterds" with my buddy Chris tonight. We were originally going to go yesterday, but he had a domestic scheduling conflict so we had to push it back a day. We like going to the movies on Mondays because it tends to be less crowded.

I had done all I could to avoid seeing/hearing/reading anything about the movie. Whenever the commercial came on tv I’d change the channel or close my eyes and put my fingers in my ears. I really hate most movie trailers/commercials they release now because they tend to blow the entire plot point by point and spoil any sort of surprise. Most times after you see the preview you don’t need to see the movie, because you already know what happens. I don’t know who is in charge of assembling most movie trailers, but they suck.

Okay, rant over. So I avoided knowing much about this movie. Chris didn’t and he already knew how it ended. Despite coming at the film from two different perspectives, we both liked it. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s not a new Dirty Dozen. It’s a love letter to the movies twined about a revenge fantasy. I guess I could best describe it as a mix of the "Dirty Dozen," "Cinema Paradiso," and "I Spit on Your Grave." Also unexpected, Brad Pitt wasn’t really the star. Both the guy playing the SS colonel and the woman playing the refugee theater owner had larger parts and took up a bigger share of the storyline.

It’s a long movie, 2.5 hours, but it moves well. I think the fact that it is broken up into several acts and subplots makes it seem like several smaller movies than one long one. That’s pretty much standard Tarantino, though. I think this is probably his best work since "Pulp Fiction." His signature touches are there — it’s brutal, bloody, bizarre and funny with dueling dialogue and quirky and absorbing characters. He seems to have gotten quite a bit better at cinematography. A lot of the shots are sumptious and lush.

It’s certainly a movie worth seeing and I’m anxious to find out what the DVD version will be like. The extras should be good. My friend Chris pointed out that there were likely a lot more character-establishing scenes that were cut to pare the movie down to its current running length. But don’t wait until the DVD comes out. Go and see it now and then you can compare it later.

(August 25, 2009)

My girl writes her review of Where the Wild Things Are
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