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All Hail Tarantino!

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I had the pleasure of watching America’s number one movie “Inglourious Basterds” this morning and I was not disappointed. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, who borrowed the name and skeletal storyline from the 1981 army film starring Fred Williamson,’Inglourious..’ has just saved us from another less than stellar summer movie lineup.

The movie starts in the first year of the German occupation of France, Shosanna Dreyfus (a Jewish refugee played by Melanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (played by a jestful and very Southern Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish American soldiers to hunt down kill and scalp Nazi soldiers. Later known to their enemy as “the basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquis, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own

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I love Tarantino because it seems like he doesn’t give a crap about stomping all over society’s neat little ideas of the way things HAVE to be to make a movie his own way. I loved this movie and not because everybody else does but because of the questions it brings to the forefront.

I was confused and curious about the audience (and my own) reaction to this film. Albeit we are watching the enemy die, the way we’d whoop and cheer as these men (Hitler’s by products) are murdered in the most vicious of ways was questionable. It’s amazing how quickly we play judge and jury so that we can excuse ourselves of sympathy in the right situation.

For example: You may not believe in the death penalty but with if some maniac murders your loved one? You do not condone senseless violence but if it’s that jackass Perez Hilton then he probably deserved it. In the case of this movie the ‘basterds’ are seeking revenge for their people who were brutally murdered by brutally murdering other people. Yet because of circumstance they get our moral seal of approval.

‘Basterds…’ is filled with  cinematic trickery, forcing you out of your neat little life and urging you to relieve yourself of human responsibility. Hitler was evil, there’s no denying that. I’ve seen pictures of those young German soldiers, some barely big enough to handle their guns. The ever present kill or be killed  factor that they  had to deal with would have forced even the best man  to do unthinkable acts. ‘Basterds..’ inadvertently asks you to celebrate the malicious torture deaths of these soldiers while internally excusing yourself of moral responsibility.  In the end 10O% of those guys were evil incarnate and they deserved it, right?  Tarantino has made a movie of transcendence and redemption, where the tables are turned and we become the audience that is willing to cheer for  a bloodbath, the more torturous the better.

As an advocate of hypocrisy I will admit to soft cheering and laughing it up at those soldier’s deathly expense but when it was all said and done, I feel a little internal shame for wishing that the ‘Basterds’ had killed more people. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that I witnessed superior film making and screenwriting today. It takes a unique filmmaker to take one of the most major events in history and turn it on it’s ass. Only a ballsy man with a foot fetish and great taste in music could’ve compiled such an entertaining and thought provoking semi factual fiction war dramedy. Thanks Tarantino for continuously pushing the cinematic envelope.

Greek is gonna get me through a summer of sub par programming

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This fine specimen with exquisite taste in fake facial hair is my summer heartthrob 2009, Mr. Scott Michael Foster from ABC Family channel’s “Greek”. Never in my life could I imagine that I’d be admitting to watching ABC Family but he before my 3 loyal readers I will say that ABC Family has produced a show that is entertaining, charming, and well scripted.

The only reason I even gave “Greek” a second of my time is because of the hilarious..the incomparable Clark Duke.

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After watching him and Michael Cera on the web series, “Clark and Michael“, I am willing to watch this guy do anything on the screen. I saw the first few commercials for “Greek” 2 years ago and it looked insanely cheesy and moral driven so I put my undying love for Clark Duke on hold.

In comes the summer of 2009, lo and behold, television is crap.  I turned to my ever loyal Hulu.com and decided I was finally going to give in and I was not disappointed. Greek is a dramedy following students at the fictional Cyprus Rhodes University that partake in the school’s fraternities and sororities. Though there are well over 10 regualr characters in the cast it’s the main character that seems the most familiar. Rusty Cartwright  is an anti social virgin math geek who is a mere freshman trying to get his footing in an uber social environment. After 4 minutes of the first episode it became scarily clear. This show is essentially Judd Apatow’s funny and  ill fated “Undeclared” if you dipped it in a light coating of sugar. I really miss Undeclared.

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Binge drinking, homosexuality, balancing relationships,  and growing up are just a few of the college riddled issues the good looking but accessible cast have to deal with in the first season. Major life issues arise and are conquered with charm and ease allowing a snarky desensitized viewer like myself to empathize for the misunderstood hot guy, pretty and vapid girl, the innocent geek, the preppy douche and the funny uber Christian prototype (played to perfection by Duke). While Greek won’t be changing my life or affecting my credit score, it is definitely entertaining to watch. Lead bad boy with a heart of gold Scott Michael Foster, from the short lived yet Danger Bowie approved series “Quarterlife” is quite the yummy devilish morsel. I salivate in darkness.

When you finish watching the latest skanky VH1 reality show, after the 45th repeat of CSI,  finish up your 91st season of the Bachelor, get  on line and catch up on a series with some promise. At the very least  keep one more scripted show on the air.  Thanks be to Greek for getting me through the dog days of 2009’s crap television.

Thanks for everything Labeouf!

Photo: FayesVision/WENN.com

Photo: FayesVision/WENN.com

Dear Shia,
I just came across this picture of you from yesterday night’s Los Angeles premiere of your summer blockbuster Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen and I thought it would be a great time to pen this letter to you. First off, you are adorable and I am a mere 24 hours away from watching you run from computer generated robots and explosions while you romance Megan Fox. Although I could do without the romance part, I must say I am heavily excited to watch your latest work. Thank you for cleaning up so well, marry me..err..date me for like 6 months and then we’ll be close friends. I am a realist. You are the bees knees.

Stay gold,
Danger Bowie