Inglourious Diane Kruger
My past dissatisfaction with Tarantino mostly had to do with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, where a myopic persona was distributed over characters possessing identical hair-trigger tempers and too much ‘smart’ dialog (and the word ‘smart’ carries several meanings), mouthing off to an unlikely flock of rapt listeners. Those films felt too precious and self congratulatory, relying heavily on a viewer’s sense of urban paranoia. He found a comfy niche in comic book chop-socky by way of the spaghetti western in Kill Bill, and the best of that epic carries over into Inglourious Basterds, beginning with the strands of the Dimitri Tiomkin opening, a theme from The Alamo delivered in the manner of Ennio Morricone. I’ve yet to read one review of the film, but there are hundreds of blog posts in which passionate fans have pounded out more copy on this than perhaps any other picture in recent memory. Indeed, there is so much to absorb, performances to admire (Christoph Waltz is fucking brilliant), set pieces to marvel at. The background environs of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction lacked that daily tension which held France under Nazi occupation, where everyone, French and German, could easily have hair-trigger tempers while walking on eggshells and landmines. This is a great film, an achievement that I believe will retain its luster long into the future. If it wins Best Picture, however, I may faint.
I guess I shouldn’t squawk too loud about price, even in these waning (?) days of recession. The last time I did, it was when I chastised The Great and Powerful Oz for their $400 Kurosawa DVD box set, which included several previously released discs with a bunch of films premiering on DVD. This would mean the Kurosawa fan who’d already shelled out $29.95 or more apiece for those ten or so films would now pay for them all over again just to get to see the new stuff. Upon going public with my dismay over what appeared to be a blatant rip-off, I was called on the carpet at the principal’s office, sadly finding little support among my classmates. Of course, it didn’t help that His Nibs works for The Man (and therefore a likely recipient of free DVDs), but the rather forceful tone taken with your humble narrator — and I count myself among the few he’s addressed so harshly — may be attributed to anger issues triggered by a potential drinking problem.
Vincent Cassel in La Haine swiped from gifiction.