First ‘Inglourious Basterds’ reactions

Posted by · 2:13 am · May 20th, 2009

Christoph Watz in Inglourious Basterds

UPDATE: Jeff Wells’s unenthusiastic take lines up with what I had personally feared from reading the script:

It’s not great. It’s a Quentin chit-chat personality film in World War II dress-up. It’s arch and very confidently rendered from QT’s end, but it’s basically talk, talk, talk. Tension appears in a couple of scenes (especially the first — an interrogation of a French farmer by a German officer looking for hidden Jews) but overall story tension is fairly low. A couple of shootings occur but there’s no real action in the Michael Mann sense of the term except for the finale. No characters are subjected to tests of characters by having to make hard choices and stand up for what they believe — they all just talk their heads off, is what it comes down to.

EARLIER: Total Film’s two men on the spot are split on the film. Sam Ashurst finds his expectations happily exceeded, and seconds the good word for Christoph Watz:

This is Quentin’s best film since Jackie Brown. It might even be his best film since Pulp Fiction … QT’s magpie eye has never been sharper, swooping down on Italian cinema and plucking the very best shots, framing and music to create a deserving homage to the spaghetti westerns of my youth.

Make no mistake, this is Landa’s (Watz’s) film. He is the Blonde Jules of the movie; the stand-out character that will be on everyone’s lips when they’re walking out of the screen.

Meanwhile, his colleague Jonathan Dean is significantly less impressed, and reports “muted” applause from the screening:

While the opening, gripping chapter – set in a French peasant house in 1941 – is excellent and a final cinema (where else?) foyer scene is epic in its grandeur with sweeping cameras and impeccable set design, much of Basterds felt flat, with a schizophrenic spaghetti western style that blasts Ennio Morricone at the start and then David Bowie later on.

Thus, the Germans leer, the Americans are brave and the Brits posh. Enjoyable? Sure. But for 2 hours and 40 minutes it’s a big ask to keep brattishness exhilarating.

EARLIER: /Film has a selection of early Twitter reactions, the most credible of which is Empire’s take:

Glorious Basterds, as it turns out… very, very good, subverting expectations at every corner. Should make Michael Fassbender a star – C It’s utterly unpredictable. When it looks like going one way, it twists the other, & the ending… so audacious it provokes giddy laughter. Christoph Waltz, as Jew Hunter Hans Landa, is a revelation. Shoo-in for Best Supporting Nom. Looks like evil Rob Brydon too. All performances are uniformly grand. Pitt’s hilarious. And the film has two or three scenes that rival anything in QT’s career for tension.

I hate Twitter, so beyond that, I’ll wait for something where people are allowed to write in unrestricted sentences. Otherwise, views seem to be all over the map at this point. But anything that makes Michael Fassbender a star is fine by me.

→ 11 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

11 responses so far

  • 1 5-20-2009 at 2:56 am

    Brando said...

    I hope it turns out to be great, just because I like Tarantino. But with soo big expectations, it can be a disappointment…

  • 2 5-20-2009 at 2:58 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Well, that depends on where your expectations lie. After reading the script, mine weren’t all that high, so I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

  • 3 5-20-2009 at 3:23 am

    Aleksis said...

    Surprising. I still think I’ll hate it, though.

  • 4 5-20-2009 at 3:37 am

    Glenn said...

    Although other tweets have not been so kind.

  • 5 5-20-2009 at 4:17 am

    John H. Foote said...

    Is anyonebothered by Tarantino’s massive ego? Having met the man, I admit to admiring his films but cannot say I particularly liked him — have had the pleasure of meeting Coppola, Scorsese, Lumet, Beatty, Levinson, Stone (and others) and can honestly say they are not at all ego manical like Tarantino — with Coppola and Scorsese, it was odd, the air gets sucked of the room as you just know you are in the presence of greatness — perhaps the difference with Tarantino is when you are interviewing he also believes you are in the presence of greatness…his — bit of humility man — Bogdonavich and Friedkin allowed their egos to get out of control in the seventies and when they fell they fell hard — be too bad if a filmmaker as obviously talented as Tarantino went that route.

  • 6 5-20-2009 at 4:24 am

    John H. Foote said...

    I mean by that previous post, “You haven’t seen war until you’ve seen it through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino” — Jesus…and for those who will jump right in and say it was the ad men, do you honestkly believe he does not have ad approval??? Of course he does…

  • 7 5-20-2009 at 5:25 am

    Aleksis said...

    Tarantino’s ego does get in the way of me liking him more, I think. (lmao @ the tagline.)

    What was he like in interview? From what I’ve seen he comes across as an irritating, attention-seeking child. And what the fuck was up with that appearance on American Idol?

    It’s a shame – since NO ONE can deny him his place in history as an influential film-maker – that he’s so full of himself. His output will become weaker and weaker as time goes on, I reckon.

  • 8 5-20-2009 at 6:31 am

    Bill said...

    Fassbender and Waltz are getting the praise. Remember when QT wanted these roles played by Simon Pegg and Leonardo DiCaprio?

  • 9 5-20-2009 at 2:41 pm

    tony rock said...

    I remember when this was supposed to be a Swartzennegger/Stallone/Willis team-up action flick.

  • 10 5-20-2009 at 5:43 pm

    entertainmenttoday.. said...

    If the film is as short on action as these early reviews say its box-office prospects do NOT look very good.


  • 11 5-20-2009 at 8:27 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    John who cares about his ego? Im sure Kubrick and Malick have egos larger than God’s — yet you wouldn’t dare use that against them.

    No QT isn’t on their level but at least he actually makes movies I can watch over and over again.