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Guess who just saw Inglourious Basterds? Yep me! :D Finally right? Man it took me forever. and shit you know what? I dont think I've ever seen a tarantino movie in the theater! (I keep spelling theater as theatre and I dont know why, I must secretly want to be european or something) I got to see this via less than uh legitimate means, if you know what I mean but man it was worth messing with bittorrent clients to get this, I'm so sad I waited this long to see it. But hey better late than never right? (since I still havent seen Dark Knight...)

So impressions? Well I think it's obvious already that I liked it but the thing is I really wasnt sure that I would. It's funny, I've seen all of Tarantino's movies now, and never disliked a single one (I straight up LOVED most of them actually) but when this film came out the reviews were so mixed that I wasnt sure how to feel about it or if I should see it right away in the theater.

The movie critic for my local paper (who's opinion I rather respect, he tends to be spot on about alot of things) wasnt very impressed, he found it ok but not tarantino's best work, a girl on my flist who's opinion on things I also usually respect was outright OFFENDED by the film and while I didnt understand why she'd be offended at an angry jew bashing a nazi's head in (where is the bad here? am I missing something? should I be disgusted by the violence? I suppose I should but I am not, 1. because it is a NAZI and 2. because I have seen tarantino movies before and know what to expect) and she also made Shoshanna's untimely demise sound outright disgusting/misogynistic which now that I saw it...I really disagree with her interpretation of that scene. I feel like I got a very skewed picture indeed based on her word alone....(that's why it's better to see things for yourself) and finally there were the girls on my flist who LOVED IB and Christoph waltz's turn as Landa. So I was left feeling very conflicted indeed.
The result was that I ended up giving up on seeing it in the theater, like I normally would a movie by a writer/director I love. A shame but I think I was able to appreciate it better like this. Since I found it strangely relaxing and energizing, while I am sure this probably says something very disturbing about my psyche, I...rather dont care! Now on to the squee!

There was complaints from many critics in the film industry that IB ran a little long and the talking scenes were too long, I can agree with this somewhat, alot of the dialogue scenes could have stood to be a little more concise. However I get why Tarantino did it and I never felt bored for a moment in this film. The tension I felt throughout every conversational scene in those whole film was so intense that I was actually gripping my desk at one point. Seriously I was so scared for everybody!
The deaths that happened were very sudden and horrifying but that also helped keep the tension in the film high and intense. Funny thing for a film about WWII, a war rife with gruesome horrible staggering deaths, there is far less violence in this film than some of the other Tarantino films I remember. I mean what violence that is there is GRUESOME but it's really a small part of the overall film. Which for me makes the actual violence and action that does happen very intense and shocking all the more so. I think I enjoyed every bit of dialogue Hans Landa got, holy shit did Christopher Waltz earn that oscar. That was really a class A villain act, and I loved it. I love charismatic villains, because they are so fun to watch, yet so horrifying as well that you end up stuck between feeling fear, awe and disgust. I know Landa definitely made me feel all of these things.
I heard alot of people saying this film was a little different from Tarantino's signature style and I agree, it is different. But I think it's a good different, since this film was on a more international and multilingual scale, I think Tarantino's style wasnt going to show up as much in the way we know it anyway. The same thing happened with Kill Bill 1 which alot of people had mixed feelings about as well but I loved it because as a fan of asian cinema I recognized most of the homages that Tarantino was doing and really appreciated them. Plus, how could I hate a film with so many badass ladies in it?
Anyway back to Basterds, while I enjoyed the very twisted sadism of Aldo Raines and his crew of badass Jews, it was really Shosanna's story that shined the most for me. It is a very somber intense story, and isnt as lighthearted as Tarantino's usual fair but frankly I loved every single bit of it. Even the horrible death scene which broke my heart, it was a powerful scene. and even while I was screaming at Shosanna's "NO DONT DO IT" even knowing what was gonna happen, I still felt shocked when Zoller (daniel bruhl!) shot her. I understand why she did it though, at first when I heard about it I didnt when I finally saw it, I got why she did it. She did pity him somewhat and yes he was a nazi, but he was also so young and perhaps in another life he would have been a sweet boy, but instead he had quite a cruel streak in him, at least if his shoving the door and shouting at Shosanna's for telling him to go away is any indication. That shit was SCARY. Because up till then he seemed so nice, you know for a guy who just killed over two hundred fucking people. So his sudden flip out was a shock, but after killing a bunch of dudes, and then getting a massive ego boost from a bunch of nazi officers, and then becoming a "movie star", well I suppose it was only a matter of time before his soul went to shit.
The scene between him and Shosanna were they both shoot each other, is almost weirdly intimate in a way, in a very creepy way, but that's what makes the scene so fucked up and powerful. Had they not been where they were, they might have actually got along but instead what happens is...well you know.
Shosanna's vengeance was beautiful and terrible to behold, I loved it. The evil cackle while the cinema went up in smoke? A FUCKING + That is what I call a spectacle. The whole movie was really building up to that point and the end was well, explosive!

My favorite thing of the movie though? It wasnt Shosanna and her gorgeous self (but close), it wasnt that fabulous scene in the bar where all hell broke loose and 3 of the basterds died (I love that scene, so shocking and horrible and yet..It was a blast to watch, literally!..ok no more puns) no, my favorite thing was Landa negotiating his nazi ass into a pardon. WOW, that guy was some kind of evil genius sociopath, I dont even fucking know, he was just so bad and yet so good at being bad, that you kinda gotta admire him for it just a bit. But that's what makes what happens to him in the end so darn...PERFECT. He doesnt die, he doesnt lose limbs, he isnt left hanging upside down from the eiffal tower by his balls, sure those would have all been decent ends for him, but no, what happens to him is just SO MUCH BETTER.

The Raines carves the swastika into Landa's evil forehead and it is wonderful (ok I covered my eyes during the actual carving cause..ewww, but I enjoyed Landa's screams of distress I confess)
because Landa who is SO smooth, could really talk his way out of everything, could have easily gone to america and worked his way into hollywood and made BFF's with martin scorsese's dad or something, I just seriously he is that unscrupulous and guilt free but instead he gets a swastika in his head and now everyone will know him for what he is, a monster. No amount of explaining will ever take that mark away or the stigma it carries. He will carry it till he DIES and it just so so much more creative and satisfying than just killing him. Landa will never be succesful now, which is the real thing Landa wants, cause obviously he didnt care about germany, jews, nazism, aryans or shit anything but his own self image, and now he wont have that anymore! Fabulous! This my friends it the true meaning of poetic justice. I like better than Shosanna's cinema full of nazi's burning vengeance, but only a little bit. they are practically tied in my mind I assure you.

Gah I think I loved this movie from the opening scene to be honest, WHAT a scene, such a shocking visceral image to start the movie out with. I think I will have the image of bloody little shosanna running across the hills of france, while Landa bids her "Adieu!" stuck in my mind for a long time. That my friends, is how you know its good storytelling. When the story stays with you long after its over.
Honestly I wouldnt be mad if Tarantino does another film like this in the future, though I suspect whatever he does. I'll love it.

Date: 2010-03-10 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firthgal.livejournal.com
I AGREE WITH ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IN THIS POST. Especially the bit about Landa's ending. I mean, he was so giddy about getting everything that he wanted and the audience is just left kind of seething that this dude gets glory for what he's done, but at the same time, I am smiling, because DAMN is he amazing, but then when he is actually upholding honor, when he is actually following the rules and trusting that his adversary will have the same honor, HE GETS HIS JUST DESSERTS. His utter horror at Aldo killing the other German dude was just so well played. Here is this character that was so horrifyingly in control through the whole film, but then through his own cockiness he ends up being completely vulnerable. AND THEN HE GETS A SWASTIKA CARVED INTO HIS HEAD. And with that one act all of his plans are ruined. I almost feel sorry for him! Which is just weird, but after all that, all of his scheming and betraying his own country, his admiration and capture of Aldo and the Basterds, the way it seems like he is completely unstoppable, it all comes crumbling down. And it kind of hurts. But at the same time, it's utterly delicious. I DON'T KNOW. IT'S INSANE.

and finally there were the girls on my flist who LOVED IB and Christoph waltz's turn as Landa

SHOUTOUT, WOO!

I really did love this film. There was a lot of talking, but like you said, even the really long dialogue bits had SO much going on that you're always waiting for something bad to happen. Always. Especially in that first scene. A lot of the scenes were almost approached like a play rather than a film. Anyway, I loved it. I always enjoy Tarantino films, but I never love them. This one, however, definitely garnered love from me. And I was shocked that it seemed so tame in the violence department, especially when compared to Kill Bill. I think even Jackie Brown may have been more violent than this one. Maybe. Oh, one thing I loved about IB? Barely any sex scenes. Usually the graphic sex scenes make me cringe more than the violence (the scene from Kill Bill where all those people violate Uma's character while she's in a coma still haunts me).

Date: 2010-03-10 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sisterjune.livejournal.com
Yay! I was hoping you'd comment, I just realized I only have like 3 big tarantino/basterds fans on my flist. Horrors! D:

when he is actually following the rules and trusting that his adversary will have the same honor, HE GETS HIS JUST DESSERTS. His utter horror at Aldo killing the other German dude was just so well played. Here is this character that was so horrifyingly in control through the whole film, but then through his own cockiness he ends up being completely vulnerable. AND THEN HE GETS A SWASTIKA CARVED INTO HIS HEAD.

Omg yes, yes and yes. You totally got it right on, he finally does the honorable thing and THAT'S when he gets his ass handed to him. and I loved his horror at Aldo killing that guy, it's funny cause that's the first time he seemed bothered the whole film and I was surprised he got so upset, but it was only a fabulous prelude to Aldo carving a swastika in his head. and exactly yeah he was so full of hubris so sure he'd gotten away with it at all and then BAM, retribution. and you're right about how scary and in control he seemed up until that moment which is what makes it all the sweeter for me. and I didnt feel sad for him at all I confess, I was waiting the whole film for him to reach his comeuppance and was starting to wonder if Tarantino was really gonna let him get away with it all! But then came that glorious finish. Good times! Kind of makes you wish the War had gone more like that than what really happened, doesnt it? (though the nuremberg trials was a lovely bit of justice as well, after the nazi's acted like barbaric killers, europe and the us took them to ask...in a TRIAL. and then they got shot/hanged. probs my fave part of WWII section in history class)

Hee yep that was you! I was actually gonna put your name in this post but then I wondered "wait, would she be ok with that?" but clearly I worried for nothing ;) yeah Kill Bill had more violent scenes but they were all much more fakey and silly looking than anything that happened in IB, like the zatoichi style blood spurts. Sex scenes no matter how explicit never bother me, I have no idea why, I guess I find sex interesting lol, what I really DONT like though is any kind of rape/sexual assault scene, those gross me the fuck out and I try to actively avoid any film that I know has them. So yes the beginning of Kill Bill 1 also bugged me alot. (and really wondered what it's purpose was, but thankfully it was short)

Date: 2010-03-10 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deneuve.livejournal.com
I really liked Inglourious Basterds, I need to see it again. I'm not fond of revenge fantasies or justice by your own hands type things so what I liked about it wasn't what you liked about it but I still loved it. I think it's an excellent film more because of all the talky bits than despite them haha. I think it's absolutely stunning visually and the script is really smart. Everyone in the film is perfect and it works so well for what it is, a violent, badass Tarantino movie. Must watch again!
From: [identity profile] sisterjune.livejournal.com
I like a well done revenge fantasy but they are indeed very overdone in films these days, however Tarantino manages to make them compelling even as he does them over and over....

I loved the talky bits really! I enjoy conversation and pretty cinematography as much as I do a good brutal Nazi beatdown. I am complex like that.
The script is quite good but I only felt like it really shined when Landa was talking and in that bar scene with Von Hammersmack and the Basterds undercover. Landa totally has all the best lines, and then Shosanna is a close second with her awesome lines at the very end of her story. Man so many great lines!
Have you seen Pulp Fiction? I want to say if you loved IB you'd love Pulp since it has an even more amazing script but this film is really different from anything Tarantino has done before. Since it's on a much grander scale. But still, I'd recommend it anyway. (and Jackie Brown cause it has the awesome heroine ever <3)

Date: 2010-03-10 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sibarita.livejournal.com
Ignores long post because for onece and weird thing in me I dont want to be spoiled.
Goes to the closest Blockbuster to rent the movie xD

Date: 2010-03-10 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trailer-spot.livejournal.com
I saw the movie a while ago at the theatre but I'm looking forward seeing it again, this time as intended in all the different languages (the English part got dubbed here into German).
Landa was certainly the highlight. I think one way to see him, is that he's sort of a professional. A sociopath, but also someone who just wants to do his job exceptionally well. And when he gets the feeling that his current employer is finished, he's looking for a new one.

With Waltz constantly in the spotlight recently I also have to say that Mélanie Laurent playing Shosanna didn't get enough praise for her role. Though I'm sure a lot of people took note of her performance. Professionals as well as fangirls. :)

Some thoughts I wrote back then.

Date: 2010-03-10 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sisterjune.livejournal.com
I have always hated dubbing, even when I dont understand the language being dubbed over I find that it really takes away from a film for me. I cant imagine how much more annoying this would be for me if the language being dubbed over was one I also spoke fluently (as in your case).

Landa was really an amazing character, I remember seeing an interview with Tarantino where he said Landa was one of his greatest creations and I have to agree. The way Waltz played him really brought him to full terrible life, I cant believe this was a guy who languished in tv movie limbo for 30 years before getting his big break. He has so much charisma and charm that it is really surprising. (thanks for sending me that charlie rose clip btw, I hadnt heard Waltz's story before then)
It also reminded me of Mo'nique who won best supporting actress, I had seen her many times before in crappy sitcoms on tv and she was always playing this sort of very loud obnoxious stereotypical black character that is really just embarrassing to watch.
I had no idea she had the talent and skill to pull off the terrifying mother of Precious. and her real personality is so charming and lovely, I dont know why she ended up playing such pathetic characters on tv, but there you go. Opportunities for actors are scarce in this world it seems. I'm glad at least that both her and Waltz got a second chance to show the world how amazing they are. It's rather inspiring in fact!

I agree about Landa, he was really the ultimate pragmatist, which was what made him an excellent villain, he wasnt being evil to be evil, he was just being practical. Which makes him all the more real and terrifying.
Melanie really didnt get the same amount of press and I thought she was amazing, she really had so much intensity and this is one of the reasons I appreciate tarantino, that he lets his female characters have such strong convictions, and intensity and passion instead of making them into pretty ass kicking decorations with no real personality or agency. Anyway, I suspect Melanie didnt get the same amount of press because she got way less dialogue despite Shosanna being such a big part of the film, she was largely a quiet somber character. (and as such not only got less lines but didnt get to be as entertaining as Landa) pity. But hopefully this wont be the last time we see her in a big name movie. :)
Edited Date: 2010-03-10 09:17 pm (UTC)

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