The above title is not a typo. However, it is the name that you should remember the next time you go to the movies. With the end of the wave of summer action flicks, Inglourious Basterds  is a great way to cap the season. Especially since there wasn’t too many great hits this time around.

It is actually a bit difficult to summarize the plot of Inglourious Basterds, because well, there is just so much of it. One of the unusual qualities about this movie is that there is so much going on. It revolves around a band of characters known as “Raines’ Basterds”, a small but elite American squad of Jewish-descended soldiers with one sole purpose: “Killin’ Nazis”. Their leader, Aldo Raines (sound familiar?), is a former moonshiner from Tennessee who has an oddly humorous, carefree disposition to murder. Because he is part Native American, he decides the team will go “Apache”, meaning he wants his victims scalped. Beyond chaos and discord, the team has no definite objective. They are simply dropped in the middle of Nazi-occupied France for the purpose of terrorizing the enemy.

While they run around happily giving Germans extra short haircuts, another story unfolds in Paris. A young French woman is working a cinema, still coming to terms with her family’s slaughter at the hands of Nazis. Then, one day, a young Nazi soldier falls for her and starts courting her. Despite her rebukes, he keeps coming on to her. Then she learns he is very well connected with the Nazi leaders. With this in mind, she concludes that the only option she and her lover really have is to exploit the situation to get some major revenge against the Nazis.

Around this time the Basterds start coming up with similar plans to take out the Nazi hierarchy. The two groups proceed to plot and conspire, all the while resorting to all kinds of subterfuge and scheming under the watchful eye of colonel Has Landa (Christoph Waltz), an infamous and eerie Nazi officer equivalent of Columbo. 

Speaking of which, the ironic twist on Brad Pitt being billed as the star is that he is sometimes showed up by his European counterparts-all of which are wonderful actors. I thought they were American unknowns playing Euro’s, but no, Tarantino got around the language problem by recruiting top knotch actors from Germany and France. I truly hope that Cristoph Waltz decides to broaden his horizons and do more gigs across the Atlantic. The man rocked the house.

What is Tarintino’s recent film? A suspense movie? An action movie? Kind of, but not the type you are probably thinking of. See, from what I gather, this film was actually based in part on spaghetti westerns and old World War II flicks, and boy does it show. The opening scene is an obvious homage to Sergio Leone’s cowboy flicks. You might recognize these as Clint Eastwood “man with no name” westerns. In fact, this movie opens just like one of them. It sounds cheesy, but Tarintino makes this work pretty well.

However, like Sergio Leone’s Italian made movies, there is a lot of tension in between action scenes. Likewise, there is a lot of great suspense in Inglourious Basterds. Perhaps more than neccessary, too. One of the unique aspects of this film is that Violence is also brief…but when the shooting starts, it is brutal and abrupt. While this isn’t 300, its still a Tarintino flick. You may not get any epic war scenes or Rambo style action scenes, but rest assured you’ll get your share of scalpings and other wonderful graphic moments. If you haven’t seen a Tarintino film (shame on you), this is a good thing. Tarintino always knows how to make bodily harm fun.

Of course, if you haven’t seen any of the films this one references to, or remember them very well, alot of this film isn’t going to make sense to you. That it does not conform to any one genre means that it only really appeals to one crowd: the Tarintino crowd. I suppose it could be considered a war film, but its a very different type from those we are used to these days. It’s more like the Dirty Dozen than Saving Private Ryan. Of course, this isn’t really meant to be that kind of film anyway. Its an homage to early films. If you prefer a faster paced action flick, this isn’t going to be your thing. Nowadays though, that kind of movie is hard to come by unless you like horror. This film won’t be in theaters much longer though, so you should see it on a big screen if you still can. It is one of those films that are just that much better on a big screen.

9.0 out of 10.

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Ha, looks like I made it just in time for X-Men Origins: Wolverine to make it out on DVD and Blu-Ray. It comes out September 15th. Again, I think you might wanna rent the thing rather than buy it. However, if you haven’t seen it, you might want to check it out for some quick and light entertainment. It really doesn’t compare to the other installments in this franchise, but it for all its glaring stupidity it is kind of fun.Keep in mind it still isn’t a great way to dive into the series, even though it is a sequel.

Time for an Update

August 24, 2009

The wait is over, I can finally return to my blog. Oh, how I have missed it.

For the most part I’ve been celebrating my love of films in different ways. For one thing, I’ve been working on my own little projects. Some successes, some failures. Now that those are coming to a head, though, I can get back to good old Retroglory- I’ve even got a special program just for contributing to it.

One of my last posts was a preview for the recent film adaptation for the graphic novel The Watchmen. Now that the innovative and rather gutsy flick has hit the shelf, I should be posting a review of it shortly.

In the mean time, I’ve found an interesting video I’m sure all my fellow sci-fi geeks will get a kick out of. Barelypolitical.com is obviously known for its political satire and their little starlet “Obama Girl”, but the group also has been making nonpolitical,  dork-oriented parodies as well, and I thought particularly liked these two.

Moon Girl!

Sexy Cyborg!

I guess I get to say I called this one. Well, kind of anyway.

It turns out that not only are they going to remake Barbarella  and Plan 9 from Outer Space, but there are possible plans underway to remake one of the movies on my poll in the last post. Believe it or not, J. Michael Straczynski has been publicly talking about redoing Forbidden Planet. However, according to Filmstaker.co.uk, he says that what he is planning isn’t truly a remake, and it won’t even involve the same plot or the same look as the original. The site also hints at the possibility of producer Joel Silver being involved somehow.

The trouble is that if screenwriter claims that what he’s working on is no remake nor  re imagining, what the hell is it? No one seems to know, and many seem to have become rather cynical about it. To be fair, many remakes of classic sci-fi movies don’t really turn out so great. Steven Spielberg’s version of War of the Worlds (2005) comes to mind. There is a certain point where a filmmaker takes a little too much creative licence sometimes.

In any case, the amount of science fiction remakes is becoming quite large. Lets take a look…

  • War of the Worlds (2005)
  • Forbidden Planet (1954 )
  • Lost in Space (1998 )
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 )
  • Barbarella (2009)
  • Plan 9 (2009)
  • Godzilla (1998 )
  • the original version of Star Trek (2009)
  • King Kong (2005)

Now, of course, this list is not in any particular order. They also are not all coming from the 50’s.  Nonetheless, it seems pretty clear that as time goes on, the more of a trend this becomes. All of these remakes have been done in the last decade, so clearly these things do have a following of some sort. The obvious explanation is that Hollywood figured post 9/11 America would eat up re-interpretations of these movies the same way Cold War era America indulged in the originals. While this is certainly true to a certain extent, it still leaves one wondering why it is so necessary to alter so much of the original movies’ plots.

Since I wrote before about the new Star Trek, I thought I’d post this new video. Right now, this thing has become all the rage on YouTube and many, many people have posted about it on their blogs.

I believe that the message here is simple…give us geeks enough time and footage to screw around with, and eventually we’ll give you something truly hilarious.

Kevin Smith Comes to Town!

September 21, 2008

It seems over the years there have been quite a few celebs making their way here, particularly comedians. In fact, almost all of them are comedians. Stephen Colbert, Jon Lovitz, Bob Saget…and now, Kevin fuckin’ Smith. For those who don’t know who this guy is, Kevin Smith has made a living doing a great many jobs in the entertainment industry- screenwriter, producer, director, actor, comedian, and he even wrote Daredevil and Green Arrow comics! Almost all of the movies he is invovled in are indies, and like any true indie filmmaker, he often wrestled with the Hollywood rating system. Apparently, the last bunch of films he has done really were semi-pornographic (after all, the next movie is titled Zack and Miri make a Porno). While Smith has been relatively lucky, even with his first movie, he also has been deeply scarred by the failure of Jersey Girl. He says that anytime he brings up a bad movie, offended film fans retort with sneers about how bad Jersey Girl was. He is also recognized for his two recurring characters, Jay and Silent Bob.

He appeared for a Q & A session, which media students were encouraged to attend. However, the questions weren’t so much about his experience as a filmmaker, but rather about bizarre senarios invovling lewd acts and geeky humor.

Now that the Death Star has been destroyed, what kind of retirement will the construction workers get?

Would you bang Sarah Palin?

If a you could eat a burger made from any celebrity, who would you eat?

I’m not sure you would get Brad Pitt or Pierce Brosnan to respond favorably to such questions. I’d love to see someone ask George Bush these things, though.

Several of the more obnoxious question askers were put directly on the spot. Most of them made the mistake of allowing Smith to question them. When this happened, he could be delightfully merciless.

Although the event might appear low brow, it was very interesting because of the relationship that he has with his fans. They were very, very appreciative of his appearance, and he seemed to enjoy it as much as everyone else. he takes an interest in his fans, and its not just because he wants their money. he gets them. He reads comics, he loves all kinds of movies, he blogs, and he is open to his adoring public than pretty much any other celeb.

You can find kevin Smiths website here: http://www.viewaskew.com/main.html

My father and I try another disc golf course, not too far from the last one. The last one was great, but we wanted to know other local venues and try them out. This was part of a park nearby a local air field, and an apparently busy one at that.

Nonetheless, the experience was rather sour. From the first tee there was a multitude of problems. The area was littered shamelessly. There was trash everywhere, particularly around the first few tees. Spectators from a series of soccer games were probably to blame, since most of the area around them was also trashed. The tees themselves were a little harder to find there. The worst part was the people on off-road bikes. Apparently the disc golf course doubles as a bike trail. It was a wonder no one ran over our discs, or us for that matter! All the while there was a weird icecream truck music player that kept playing “jingle bells”. In late August.

Thankfully, things gradually got better. The number of plastic bags and empty beer cans dwindled until the path was reasonably clear, save for shards of broken glass. In sharp contrast to the last place, this course was very flat. The only obstacles were groves of skinny trees and large mounds of dirt. That’s not to say it was much easier than the last course, it was just very two-dimensional.

Needless to say, we will not go there again any time soon.