Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglorious Basterds - Tarantino's Latest Concotion

I don't love Quentin Tarantino, but I always expect his films to be very interesting even if they don't match up to Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction. Inglorious Basterds definitely falls into the category of interesting. You know.. I will go as far to say that it's actually a good movie, but I'm not sure I would watch it a second time.

The previews certainly made it look like the film was going to turn into one long blood bath. I mean, what would you expect with Tarantino directing a film about a group of Jewish-American soldiers terrorizing the Third Reich in Nazi-occupied France. Surprisingly the film was somewhat slow paced. It had its action scenes but they were not the focus of the film. Again Tarantino has the film loaded with his sit-down dialogue scenes, where the characters are literally sitting at a table and talking for about fifteen minutes.

The opening scene lasted at least ten to fifteen minutes with nothing but dialogue, however it was very well done and suspenseful. It was a great opener to the film, and although it was slow paced it escalated to the point where you were ready to see some action.

However, the action came in small doses and before you know it, it's another fifteen minute sit-down scene. Tarantino's characters and dialogue are still very well done, but after fifteen minutes it begins to lack substance. There were whole segments of dialogue that I felt could have been cut all together just to keep things moving.

The problem with the dialogue scenes were that they lacked events. Pulp Fiction was riddled with traumatic events mid conversation. When Pumpkin and Honey Bunny pull out guns and decide to rob a diner it sparks one of the more interesting dialogue scenes in the movie. When Vincent is chatting with a gun on their hostage in the back of the car, they hit a bump and blow his brains out. Don't expect any of this while watching Inglorious Basterds. It's like Tarantino is trying to recreate his recipe for good dialogue scenes but is leaving out a key ingredient and cooking it for too long.

Also, the film could have used another action scene. The whole movie is about this group of soldiers who brutalize Nazi's but you don't ever see them actually take out a Nazi patrol. You only ever see the aftermath or a second long clip of them shooting some guards. I felt a bit mislead by the previews, hoping to see at least one good, drawn out action scene.

That being said there are definitely some scenes in this film that make it worth seeing. Taratino's mixture of violence and humor are perfectly executed and you soon find yourself feeling guilty for laughing at a scene riddled with brutality. All in all, I'm glad I saw it, but I don't feel like I could sit though those slow dialogue scenes a second time around.

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