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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.
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