Inglourious Basterds – “Killin’ Naazis” at the Box Office

August 22, 2009 at 2:28 am (movies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Inglourious Basterds has to be one of Quentin Tarantino’s best films. Contrary to Tarantino’s trademark style this movie runs chronologically, allowing for less concentration on the part of the viewer. Overall it seems that he has matured in his film making and brought together a beautiful piece of cinema. Not to say I haven’t enjoyed most of his films, Kill Bill aside, but this one was much stronger and did not need the time travel that was necessary in his past films to show every conceivable perspective through each character’s eyes.

The true star of the movie was not the well-known cast members like Brad Pitt, Mike Myers – who has a guest appearance, or BJ Novak – of The Office fame, but rather Colonel Hans Landa played by Christoph Waltz. Waltz, who currently lives in London and is fluent in German, English and French, displayed a fantastic performance. In many scenes he had a John Malkovich like delivery, but his range throughout the movie is very impressive.

Over the course of the movie Tarantino’s twisted sense of humor is shown quite often in the fashion we have come to expect from his work on films like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. He also pays homage to past movies like his insertion of a brief clip from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1936 movie Sabotage, among other works.

The movie was well written, shot, edited, and the cast was perfectly chosen. I believe it is the strongest film Tarantino has put out to date – don’t just take my word for it, German film critics are even praising it. If you have the chance to see it, do.

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Transformers – Mediocre Movie in Disguise

June 29, 2009 at 10:11 am (movies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Transformers Poster

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen is a pretty movie. It has all the special effects and MTV-esque edited fight scenes you have come to expect. Storyline – not so much.

I enjoyed the first movie, the plot was there, the action was well done, etc. This installment had some enjoyable humor, and some aesthetically pleasing scenes. The fight scenes were cut so fast that half the time I didn’t know who was who. Some of the transformers (Autobots & Decepticons) from the first movie – Ratchet, Ironhide, etc – had barely enough lines between them to qualify for a SAG card. The movie is long and seems to be a victim of the new trend in Hollywood that they spent too much money in post-production to edit out scenes that add nothing to the movie.

Overall it was decent, I had no emotional connection to any of the characters, and feel like they combined Black Hawk Down and Transformers a little too much in this one. The first one was much better.

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