Star Wars Ep. 7 – An opinion piece.

 

So, the day finally arrived. Star Wars Episode VII has arrived in my lifetime and George Lucas has nothing to do with it! I’m not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing, but considering how I generally dislike the “prequel” trilogy of the early part of this century – I awaited this one with somewhat baited breath. While I am mostly pleased with what JJ Abrams gave us, there were some aspects that I feel could’ve been handled better and some that even exceeded not only my expectations, but anything I could have imagined on my own. Needless to say, its a landmark film for me for being the first 8am release day screening I’ve ever attended recreationally. At any rate, here are my thoughts on the details of the film:PLEASE NOTE – From this point forward this entire piece is one gigantic spoiler. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t read further, unless you don’t give a fuck — then by all means continue.

I’m going to start by giving a general overview opinion and then a good, crap, and in between detail section. I’ll close with what I think about the future.

Let me start off by saying that I enjoyed the film very much. I took a few days after my initial viewing as I clearly felt I was on a bit of a “contact high”. As that receded, I began re-thinking some things and ended up seeing the film again a few days ago and was disappointed with a lot more than I initially was. While I feel Abrams and his entire team accomplished a great deal, the amount of plotholes, questions raised, and overall “feeling” of the film leaves more to be desired than I expected after my first viewing.

The overall critical aspect of the film is that it very much feels like a “rehash” or to be gentler, a “reboot” of 1977’s A New Hope. I agree with this generalization wholeheartedly and while I understand the reasoning for going this route, I think it was a bit disingenuous and may prove to be the series’ undoing as we move forward. Considering Disney is literally planning a Star Wars film for every year for at least the next 5 years, burnout is a higher possibility than ever before. Had this episode been coined a “A Newer Hope”, it would not have been a lie. At the end of the day, I think JJ Abrams played this episode entirely too safe, which was arguably necessary after the prequel trilogy. However, it’s a laudable achievement and not a bad film.

The Good:

Rey – I especially enjoyed Daisy Ridley’s portrayal of this plucky young scavenger from the planet, Jakku. She carried her weight impressively while onscreen with the icons and generally stole the scene almost every time she was there. I have very little to criticize about this character or performance, but on my second viewing I laughed out loud when she mind controlled the stormtrooper while she was a prisoner and not for the comedic value (although that stormtrooper was portrayed by Daniel Craig, which is kinda cool). Her Force powers were almost too refined. I assume we’ll get an explanation for this, but my initial thought is that it was just an easy way to get her out of those situations in the film.  That said, I was on the edge of my seat during the lightsaber duel with Ren, in a scene that was reminiscent of and a more frenetic version of The House of Blue Leaves scene in Kill Bill when Beatrice Kiddo duels O-Ren. (O-Ren/Kylo Ren) I wonder if that was an Abrams Freudian slip.

The Demise of Han Solo – I knew someone was going to die and my guess going in was that it was going to be Han. I was dreading the moment even though I did not know it was coming and I was pretty blown away with how it was handled. Considering the criticism I have over the introduction of Kylo Ren (below), this scene almost wholly reinvigorated my interest in where they’re going with Ren. Kudos to Harrison Ford for stepping right back into the iconic role one last time and proving he’s one of the most under-appreciated actors in terms of skill ever. He’s more than just a star. The only gripe Id make is that when Rey/Chewie make it back to Leia, Chewie non-chalantly walks by Leia without even a look. Maybe that’s how Wookies grieve I guess.

Technical aspects – The dogfighting sequences were outstandingly produced and the use of practical effects was seamless with the CGI. This was a well-crafted film technologically and I appreciated how it was paced.

Luke Skywalker – Perhaps the only way I was spoiled going into the film was that Luke had a very small role. His 2-3 minute long scene at the very end is easily my favorite in the entire film. From the moment you see him with the back turned to the camera I had chills and when “The Force Theme” is playing was just pitch perfect. I was disappointed initially with the minor spoiler, but the payoff ended up being fantastic. “Bring on Episode VIII”.

The Bad

General Hux – Domhnall Gleeson is a very strong actor who possesses a good amount of gravitas and nuance (see Ex: Machina), however his portrayal of this was so hammy and so over the top, he just lost me in every scene he was in. Was JJ yelling “More Himmler” or “More Heydrich” at him in between takes?

The First Order – The first episode of “The First Order” being the lead baddie was a bit eh. I did not find them very imposing and their whole existence in the Star Wars Universe is perplexing at this point. My guess? They’re a red herring. There’s something deeper going on here.

Starkiller Base  – This is in line with my previously mentioned and more fuel for the”A Newer Hope” criticisms. Oh, its just a REALLY BIG Death Star. C’mon guys. Please don’t build another one in time for Episode IX.

Captain Phasma – They take the coolest looking stormtrooper EVER created and turn her into a pushover. Was it all for the trash compactor line? I find it hard to believe someone who is as seemingly badass as she would be pushed over like that. They have some work to do to fix this character.

As you can see, my gripes are almost entirely about the villains.

The Wait And See

Kylo Ren – An overly petulant Emo bastard who betrayed his entire family. The first half of the film I hated Ren and not in the villain/heel way. I just thought he was a shit character. His outbursts were comical (the scene where the two stormtroopers turn around while hes throwing a tantrum is hilarious though). He’s got something in common with Luke now though having killed his father. There’s something to be said though that from the moment he removes his mask, his character gets a lot more interesting and killing Han was the best thing to happen to his character.

Finn – So stormtroopers aren’t all clones now? John Boyega did an admirable job and overall his performance was inoffensive, but I can’t say I was impressed with him or his character. I didn’t hate or like Finn, but I am interested to see where they go with him.

Snoke – Terrible name and I doubt that’s his real name. I think Snoke has potential to go either way. It will be an interesting few years to see what else they have planned, but a bit too Palpatine-ish in his introduction. It was telling to me how he basically blows off the fact that Starkiller Base was destroyed and caring more about continuing Ren’s training. More fuel to my theory that “The First Order” is a bunch of showy horseshit.

Overall despite my gripes I did enjoy the film. I don’t think its a patch on Lucas’ original trilogy and I’m praying that Episode VIII is not a rehash of Empire. Rian Johnson is a very capable director and I have a strong feeling he can deliver. There’s a lot of questions to be answered. One other critique I read asked a question I have too. Did everything Luke, Leia, and Han accomplish in 4-6 end up being meaningless? They’re all miserable in Episode VII and rightfully so.

Grade: B+

In the hierarchy, I’d rank this one 4th overall in terms of quality. Better than the prequel trilogy, but not a patch on any of the original trilogy’s films.

 

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Film Review: The Summit (2012 – Documentary)

220px-The_Summit_poster The Summit is a 2012 Irish documentary about an ill-fated K2 climbing attempt by a group of expeditions on the mountain in 2008. The incident is one of the largest losses of life on a 8000 meter peak and attained mainstream attention that had not been seen in mountaineering community since the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which was chronicled in Jon Krakauer’s now classic, Into Thin Air.

I’d been looking forward to watching this film for well over a year when I first read that it was being released. As a very amateur mountaineer, I, like many of the people who are profiled in this film, are and were likely motivated by the great successes and failures of the mountaineers of history. This is a community of like-minded individuals where names like Hillary, Messner, Bonington, Scott, and Kukuckza are considered to be on the par of great athletes like Jordan, Montana, and Ruth. I myself have read countless volumes of literature describing both colossal successes and the amazing failures, the latter of which usually resulted in the loss of a life if not lives. There’s a reason why I’m on a first name basis, at least in the rhetorical sense with people like George Mallory (a hero of mine), Sandy Irvine, Toni Kurz, Andreas Hinterstoisser, Joe Tasker, Peter Boardman, and Wanda Rutkiewicz. Mostly because while I respect and have great admiration for what they accomplished in their lives (in every case very short), but because I want to avoid what happened to them on the great peaks of this amazing Earth like the Eiger, Everest, and Kangchenjunga. Herzog’s Annapurna is as gripping in its success as Into Thin Air is in describing the terrible tragedy that unfolded on Everest in 1996. I’ve been fortunate enough in the past few years to do some very minor climbing in the Alps and to stand at the foot of great Himalayan giants, knowing the history of who came before me and what had occurred, both great and terrible high above me.

The 2008 K2 disaster has long struck me as entirely avoidable as is the case with many mountaineering disasters in hindsight. There are 3 books that focus solely on the disaster that I’ve read (Bowley, van Rooijen, and Wilkinson) with another 2 that I’ve yet to read (O’Brien’s bio of Ger McDonnell, and Marco Confortola’s whose book has yet to be translated to English). That’s 5 books in 5 years, a somewhat staggering amount. I’m also sure (and eager) to read anything that Cecilie Skog may have to say, who is in my opinion among the most sympathetic figures to emerge from this terrible event in 2008. Needless to say, my respect and admiration for Cecilie Skog and Pemba Gyalje Sherpa, know no bounds.

The Film.

The film is a good documentary that is composed very similarly to the wonderful “Storm Over Everest” (2008), made by the inimitable David Breashears about the 1996 Everest disaster. It has both actors re-enacting key moments on the mountain, actual footage, and is narrated mostly by the participants both there and those that were waiting for their loved one (in this film’s case, only Ger McDonnell) back home.  It starts at the very beginning of the trek into K2 with very brief background information and then thrusts right into the climb itself. Its a very tight 97 minutes. I’m not the spoiling type, so I’m not going to go over the minutiae of the story. One of the real joys of this film is seeing and hearing from the Italian great Walter Bonatti, one of the greatest explorers this world has ever known and who was a member of the first K2 expedition that reached the summit, but he himself did not, however, I am critical of this inclusion below.

What worked.

The use of actual footage in this documentary cannot be understated. The mountain views are truly spectacular and legitimate. You see the actual climbers in the midst of their climbs, 11 of which did not return. You see the beauty and the grim. Hearing from Ger McDonnell’s loved ones was truly touching and you can feel their agony and the weight of their loss in these words. On a whole, its a fairly meticulous project that years obviously went into. Hours after my viewing, I will not forget the sound effect of a serac calving into an avalanche, which is a sound that will stick with you whether you climb or you don’t.

What didn’t work.

-Bonatti, through no fault of his own. It was clear that the filmmakers were trying to convey the history and weight of the mountain with the inclusion of the Bonatti interviews, but the cuts and interjections he provided took away from the story this film is trying to tell in both content and the way they were cut into the film. It was truly remarkable to hear from this man, who lived a life that volumes have been written about and to see actual footage from the 1954 expedition was amazing. I do not feel that it added to the 2008 story. Bonatti’s story could and should be a documentary on its own. In my opinion, the 1953 American Expedition would’ve been better served as a historical waypoint as the Bonatti expedition was a success save for the controversy that followed.  It’s arguable that Pemba Gyalje’s actions on K2 during these days is “up there” with Pete Schoening’s miraculous belay. I was truly excited to hear and see this man in this film, but the purpose of his inclusion is never fully understood as there’s no real similarity between the expeditions. There is a distinct disconnect concerning the historical connection the filmmakers are trying to make.

-The entire story was not told – I understand the limits of film making. However, this film as a documentary briefs over far too much important and in some cases, incredible detail. As its an Irish-made film and had the full participation of the McDonnell family, I knew it was to be “Ger-slanted”. This is understandable and respectable, as I gained even more admiration for him as a person through this film. However, I felt that the lack of detail of Pemba’s actions, Wilco’s incredible ordeal to survive, and the all too brief explanation of Hugues’ and the Koreans deaths were a disservice to the viewer and to their memory. The explanation for Mr. Kim not being heard from is appreciated.  Not hearing from Maarten van Eck or Heleen van Rooijen was disappointing. I hope that a “director’s cut” is one day viewable as the entire story of these days in 2008 deserve to be told. The detail is paid to one member of the expedition more than any other, which again, is understandable considering the source but a bit of a disservice to the rest of the members of the expedition and to the viewer. The end comes all too swiftly.

Should you see it?

Yes. It’s a well made and thought out piece for both the non-mountaineer and mountaineer alike. The actual footage is extraordinary, the interviews are cohesive and plotted well. If this is your introduction to the story, there is a lot that isn’t covered that deserved to be. It’s not definitive, however I feel that the promotion purports it to be. It’s focus wants to be wider, but in the end it’s narrow and not quite all encompassing. It feels incomplete in many respects and its slanted towards one member of many who perished in this incredible tragedy.

Grade: B-

10 Movies I Loved When I Was Younger – And Whether They Hold Up For Me Today…

I was sitting around contemplating this post a few weeks ago and decided to watch the 10 films I’ve listed below again. I decided to do this after being a bit peeved after watching one of them and noticing I didn’t quite feel it as much as I did back when I was younger. I’ve limited it to films I saw first up to age 17, the “legal” age for rated R. This list is also in reverse order. All viewings recently were at age 34.

This is #10-#6. I will publish #5-#1 tomorrow.

#10 License to Drive (1988) – Age when first seen – 11. Where first seen? Theatre.

 Ah, the Coreys (Corey Haim & Corey Feldman)! What child of the 80s-90s did not see a film starring the Coreys? I was a big fan and its obvious as you read this list as they appear a few times. This was their first film where they were advertised and marketed as the reason to see this film. It’s also notable for being the film debut of Heather Graham, who is one woman I can say without hesitation that has gotten remarkably hotter (if not  any better at her craft) as she ages. The plotline is really simple. Boy takes drivers test. Boy fails drivers test. Boy can’t bear to reveal to his parents (or friends) that he failed. Boy goes out with friends for the evening without license. Hilarity ensues. Supposedly. I loved this film when I first saw it with my 11 year old mind. It’s also notable because it may be one of the only times I got any friction from my mom on what we were going to see. She knew it was probably going to be crap, but took me to see it anyway because I wanted to go so bad. I had the poster on my wall and counted down the days to go see it. It didn’t disappoint me at the time.

 Does it hold up? Oh, hell no. I watched this again a few nights ago and I could barely get through it. The plot is somewhat believable, but the hijinx that ensue are completely and totally implausible, especially the end, which is one of the stupidest ideas ever put to film. It also has some really painful subplots involving Haim’s sister and anarchist boyfriend, and awful performances by Carol Kane and the aforementioned, Graham. I also hated the performance of Richard Masur, who played Haim’s father. It really is a pile of shit that I don’t care if I ever watch again. The one positive that still holds up is Haim’s performance. His comedic timing was pretty spot-on, and it’s a shame that his life turned out the way it did. Feldman also plays the sidekick to a tee, but he was my favorite of the pair at the time and I remember being disappointed his role wasn’t larger when I first saw it. At age 34, I just wanted the damn thing to be over.

#9 Adventures in Babysitting (1987) – Age when first seen – 9. Where first seen? Rented the VHS.

I remember I really wanted to see this movie when it was out in the theatre, but for some reason, I didn’t get the chance to.  I finally did when it came out on videotape and I remember keeping the tape late and incurring a large late fee which pissed my parents off, but I watched it every day that I had it. I tended to gravitate towards films that put young people in journeys and this was exactly what the title stated. Girl’s boyfriend cancels on date. Girl decides to babysit. Girl’s friend calls girl to tell her she ran away from home. Girl decides to take the kids she’s babysitting with her to the big bad city of Chicago to rescue friend. Time for hilarity.  I enjoyed this film because it was fast paced and I thought Elisabeth Shue was “cool”, which was my 9 year old mind’s definition for “hot”. I also really enjoyed the two male characters in the crew of kids. One of which, Keith Coogan, I watched all of his films and always enjoyed his work when I was younger. Whatever happened to him anyway? The film is interesting for some early performances by actors that are still working and recognizable today. One noteworthy element to this film was that it really got me to want to see what Playboy magazine was all about. I watched it probably 5 days in a row after renting the tape, so I clearly loved it at the time as that didn’t happen often.

Does it hold up? Sort of. Shue’s performance is quite good and it’s a bit of a surprise she didn’t have a longer lasting career with better roles (Leaving Las Vegas is total shit). Notable actors that appear in this film are  uber-80s douchebag character actor Bradley Whitford as Shue’s boyfriend, Penelope Ann Miller as incredibly annoying runaway friend (I commented during my age 34 viewing that she should’ve just been left in Chicago), and Vincent D’Onofrio as a mechanic who reminds the Thor-crazed little girl of Thor. It’s amazing how that guy has let himself go. I didn’t dislike this film as much this time around as much as I disliked the film at #10.

#8 The Lost Boys (1987) – Age when first seen – 9. Where first seen? Rented the VHS.

 This was the film that started it all for the Coreys partnership. It was also a movie that made me hate Kiefer Sutherland, simply because he was so good at playing an asshole. This was also one of the first vampire films I ever saw that had a vampire as a “good guy”. Keep in mind this was well before that Angel asshole or any jackass named Cullen became popular. My mother is quite a fan of horror and science fiction and she actually went to see this in the theatre. It flew under my radar at that age, but she decided to let me watch it when it came out on videotape later that same year. Boy, was that a mistake, but I’ll explain why in a bit. The film’s plot is easy to summarize. Family moves to new town. Older brother sees hot chick who he really wants. Ends up hanging out with some really bad dudes. Younger bro suspects something and learns that the town is a bit of a haven for vampires. Uh oh. Blood-sucking ensues. I thought this movie was totally awesome when I saw it at 9 and for quite a few years after that, it was my #1 all time favorite if anyone asked. The day after I watched it, I decided to become a vampire hunter myself, and I hand-made business cards advertising my new business and passed them out by putting them in neighbor’s mailboxes. This didn’t sit too well with the two old ladies that lived down the street, who got scared and actually called the police. Back during the heyday of VHS, I eagerly anticipated this film’s arrival on the “previously viewed” shelf so I could buy it. I got my mom to buy it for me the day that happened.

Does it hold up? Absolutely it does. The acting is great all the way around and the different take on vampire lore and the introduction of “half-vampires”, is an interesting concept. There is not a bad performance in this film. It’s fast paced, not very gory bar one scene, and is really a lot of fun. It’s also got Jami Gertz back in the day and she is someone who has not aged a bit if you’ve seen her recently. She’s still a stunner. The one negative I would say is that it is a bit dated in some respects. Haim’s character wears the most dreadful 80’s outfits you can think of, and the gang of vampires look like rejects from a Whitesnake video. That’s not to mention the greaseball shirtless saxophone player rock star dude who made me laugh out loud when I watched this a few nights ago. If you can get past the fashion, which I was able to easily, this is still a rock solid horror film with (at least at that time) a different twist on vampires. It’s also got Kiefer Sutherland in one of his best early roles. Jami Gertz though…love her. The soundtrack is pretty good too, even today!

#7 Revenge of the Nerds (1984) – Age when first seen – 7. Where first seen? HBO.

This movie is notable for one specific thing that I will share in a moment, but it’s also notable for being a movie I watched sneakily and while watching, knew I wasn’t supposed to be watching. It’s a pretty simple plot about a group of, well, nerds, who arrive to college and, well, get revenge against the evil jocks who make their lives a living hell . It’s a pretty positive story when looking at it from afar and parallels can be found in all walks of life. Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards are pitch perfect as the lead nerds (I remember laughing so hard when I saw Edwards on E.R.) with Ted McGinley playing a smarmy quarterback and the always awesome John Goodman as the evil football coach perfectly. I saw a few firsts in this film. One was marijuana. I knew, even at 7, that the scene where marijuana is used, wasn’t cigarettes. And the second, was vagina. While you don’t quite get the view you get in porn, this was absolutely the first time I ever saw a woman’s private area, albeit covered in hair. “We’ve got bush”, and “Hair pie”, were two things I learned to quote early on and continued into middle school. I really enjoyed watching this when I was a kid, and it was one of those few movies that even up through college, if I ever came across it on TV, I would watch it even if it was the 500th viewing.

Does it hold up? This is a bit hard to answer. While I felt watching it this time around that it was entertaining, you can’t help but notice how different things were in the 80s. There are a lot of stereotypes in this film that absolutely would not fly in film today, most notably the depiction of the Omega Mu sorority, which is literally the fat girl sorority and the depiction of the Asian character, which I don’t think would fly this day in age. The end “musical revue” that the nerds put on absolutely does not hold up to the test of time.  It’s amazing to me this film is almost 30 years old. One thing that holds up is John Goodman’s performance, which was quite remarkable watching now. He’s much younger, still huge, but he’s got a great intensity to his performance. Carradine’s charisma is also rather great and it’s easy to see why his character, Louis, is seen as a hero, despite a scene that would probably be considered rape anywhere in the world. Julia Montgomery was a total fox as well. I definitely enjoyed the viewing this time around, but being an adult I can totally see where the actions of the heroic nerds would get themselves into shitloads of trouble if actually occurred. The jocks too, but the nerds seemed to actually have more moments of “wow, they’d totally be arrested for that”. I also totally hate the “Wormser” character and Poindexter kicks ass.

Poindexter

#6 The Goonies (1985) – Age when first seen – 7. Where first seen? Theatre.

 “Goonies never say die!” “Even more amazing than the time Michael Jackson came over to your house to use the bathroom?” “It’s our time down here!“. Ahh, The Goonies. This was one of the first movies that I was able to quote endlessly and I wanted more than anything to be in their crew. I was lucky to have a mom that took me to see this when it was in the theatre. I loved it immediately and I still love it today. It’s also the only film that I completely wore out the first VHS copy I had of it. The plot is far fetched, but very easy. Kids neighborhood is getting closed down for a golf course. Kids find a map to a pirate’s treasure. Kids go to find it. Bad guys chase kids. Adventure and comedy ensue. This is one of the first movies that I really remember seeing the first time. I was actually mad when it was over and I wanted to go see it again the next day (didn’t happen). It’s directed by Richard Donner, who at the time was not known for making adventure films for kids. It’s also got performances by actors who found work well into their adult years, including Sean “Samwise Gamgee” Astin, Josh Brolin who’s blossomed into an excellent actor, as well as featuring the perennial to this list and one of my favorite film characters of all time in Mouth, Corey Feldman. It’s also got the appearance of two characters who are still referenced throughout pop culture in Chunk and Sloth. Just to note, this is the movie that inspired me to write this list in the first place.

Does it hold up? Without question it holds up. It’s a timeless story with excellent performances by almost everyone in the film, great pacing, and lots of cool things that make both kids and adults eyes go wide. I had not seen it in about 15 years before I decided to watch it a few weeks ago, and while I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, I noticed myself nitpicking it for the first time ever. This is a film that I know backwards and forwards. I can quote the characters in almost every single scene and I believe its a film that every kid should get a chance to see when they’re young. It’s very imaginative and a lot of fun. The nitpicking comes from the numerous plot holes and questions I was asking myself. “How does Mikey know where to begin the search?” “How come the map is basically forgotten about 1/4 of the way into the film until they hit the organ?” “How come we never see a good shot of the map?” “Yep, Martha Plimpton has always sucked.” “If Willy’s gold sets off the destruction of the cave, why didn’t Willy escape back in the day?” Despite these newly discovered negatives, it does not take away from my memory of the film, nor did it ruin this return viewing.

My favorite films of the last 5 years.

Haven’t posted about film yet and I figured tonight was the perfect opportunity to highlight a few of them as I watched all 3 of these again today.

1. In Bruges (2008) – Directed by Martin McDonagh.

In Bruges is a 2008 comedy by the genius Martin McDonagh who is a renowned playwright in his home country of Ireland. It stars Colin Farrell (in BY FAR his best role ever) and Brendan Gleeson as hit men who are sent to the Belgian town of Bruges to hide out after a botched hit ordered by their boss, played to the hilt by Ralph Fiennes.  I love this film for its tone, and the acerbic wit that is present throughout. The humor is very black and the dialogue is absolutely vicious and at times gut-wrenching funny. Farrell is at his best here playing a bit of a dope, but someone you feel sympathy for as the film wears on. There’s midgets, cute Belgian (shes actually French in real life) girls, drug use + fat people jokes. I love this film and it never overstays its welcome. It also has a killer score and soundtrack.

2. Man on Wire (2008) – Directed by James Marsh.

Man on Wire is a documentary about Philippe Petit, a Frenchman who walked a tightrope in between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. This is a gorgeous story filled with passion, love, and suspense. It’s told in a very cool style of both interviews with the participants and dramatic re-enactments. The use of period imagery and music is almost poetic in it’s tone and the pacing is absolutely perfect. This is a beautiful story with its use and placement of Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie #1” (one of my favorite classical pieces of all time) being right up there with the use of Pietro Mascagni’s “Rusticana Intermezzo” in Raging Bull, and Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” in both Platoon & The Elephant Man for cinematic use of classical music.

3. Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Directed by Quentin Tarantino.

I probably don’t need to describe this film, but I will anyway. Inglourious Basterds is Tarantinos tour-de-force historical fiction about a group of Jewish soldiers who are hunting nazis in WWII France. As usual with QT, the dialogue is jaw-droppingly good, the violence brutal, and the comedy black. This is easily Q’s best since “Pulp Fiction”, and there as at least one scene (the bar scene) that I consider to be his best work to date. Every actor is brilliant, especially Christoph Walz who won an Oscar for his portrayal of the lead nazi in the film.

You need to see all 3 of these if you haven’t already.

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