Sunday, September 20, 2009
After reviewing "Inglourious Basterds" and dismissing it as a rather thin movie that seemed to exist strictly for Quentin Tarantino to wank off on the screen and prove his love for the cinema to be greater than yours or mine, I did not think that I would need to revisit the subject again. I had, in some ways, hoped that the test of time (even just a few weeks after its release) would temper the initial raves for "Basterds" that practically suggested this movie was the Savior of Modern Cinema (though there are considerably more nuanced discussions here and here). Maybe the critics who went nuts over the film would have thought about the movie and considered that perhaps the depth they attributed to the film was perhaps not actually on the screen.
Alas, that has not been the case, which has left me perplexed and also straining to understand what others actually saw in this film. "Inglourious Basterds" is not merely a bad movie, but an important bad movie that I believe reflects something about our movie culture. Okay, bad may be too much of a harsh word, but a movie I consider more than troublesome. Hell, if other film writers are going to write multiple pieces declaring this movie a masterpiece, then I could, at least, take another crack at dissecting it. Besides, I have begun to find the pieces praising "Basterds" less thought-provoking as time has passed and entering into the realm of fanboy gushing with a slightly more intellectual bent. Strangely enough, I think this Onion piece was maybe the most spot-on assessment of both Tarantino and his film.