February 11, 2009

Basterds Pussycat Kill Kill

The trailer for Inglourious Basterds [sic] is now online. Discuss.

I confess I read the script last summer, and let's just say it's fitting that the first title card in the trailer reads "Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France."

Not sure how I feel, though, about Eli Roth being the first thing we see after the greenband and studio logos.

42 comments:

schnofel said...

To be honest, it looks like a misanthropic torture chamber. Tarantino (and Roth) have found the perfect human beings to inflict all kinds of pain upon, and not feel guilty afterward. Not to mention that it probably can't account for the futility of its actions in the face of the victims of the Third Reich.

You can do Army Of Shadows, and if you wanna go mainstream you can do Les Femmes de l'ombre (2008, pretty okay). But this isn't just a film genre to update and be cool about, this is history.

theoldboy said...

I think our cinematic perception of World War II now is so tethered to countless bland History Channel documentaries and Spielberg's color-bleached, respectful conception of it that we're perhaps subconsciously compelled to look at Tarantino as one looks at somebody that has just loudly farted at a funeral. I'm going to go out on a limb here, having not read the script, and say that maybe somebody needs to cut one at this funeral, and we're lucky it's somebody this good.

Berandor said...

Well, Tarantino hasn't disappointed me yet, but the teaser/trailer doesn't look that awesome. More like Tarantino now really does a Rodriquez or Roth film, not his own take on it.

But I must admit that I also just don't follow the idea that because my enemy doesn't allow any human decency, I must not allow him any, either, so the mechanism schnofel described doesn't work for me as well as it maybe should.

Or, in other words, just because the goons wear Nazi uniforms will not make me cheer them being tortured.

B said...

Think of what Tarantino did with revenge, and with serial killers, and with gangsters. He has repeatedly proven himself capable of delivering moral complexity to us if we're open to it, without ever failing to satisfy our more prurient hungers.

What irritates me is his insistence on portraying Southern characters when neither Tarantino nor his actors have a clue how to do the accent. Or maybe he's just mocking. The cliche Deliverance rape in Pulp Fiction still grates, and it bothers me in Jackie Brown that some girlfriend of Ordell was said to have got off a bus in Hollywood, coming from Georgia, barefooted and stupid. What the fuck, dude. Backwards ideas many dominate the politics there, but it's not like it's still 1820.

Speaking of flatulence in the sanctuary: Hilary Duff as Bonnie Parker, huh. Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Bill, can you tell us whether the script is as schnofel fears, or whether it has more to it than just reprehensible violence against dehumanised Nazis?

Bill C said...

Honestly, and this may peg me as a caveman, but I don't find any violence against Nazis to be reprehensible, per se, so schnofel's position seems hypersensitive to me. Tarantino's not exactly breaking new ground here besides, so it'd be wrong to credit him as the architect of this sub-genre solely to vindicate his schadenfreude. I may be a hypocrite, though, because "But this isn't just a film genre to update and be cool about, this is history" pretty much summarizes my feelings about BLACKBOOK. The script for IB--obviously I can't speak for the finished product--is comparatively sensitive to the psychic toll of genocide.

Bill C said...

P.S.: None of that is to deny the awesomeness of Sam Peckinpah's CROSS OF IRON, which gives us a basically sympathetic portrait of German soldiers by going the LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA route of blotting out the static from our global conscience entirely.

Bill C said...

Wokka wokka.

Dan said...

OT, but... no disrespect to Ian Pugh, but wouldn't it have made more sense for Alex Jackson to review the new Friday The 13th movie? He seems to be the authority on that franchise. Any chance of getting A.J's thoughts, too? Maybe in this blog if not the mothersite?

As for Inglourious Basterds: not mightily impressed by the teaser, but I'm sure the film will do exactly what we expect of it. I just hope it's better than the utter bore that was Death Proof.

Bill C said...

It wasn't feasible--Alex doesn't attend press screenings. I hope he chimes in here or at VIDDIED after he sees it.

O'JohnLandis said...

A few thoughts:

I'm actually on something of a positive AJ kick lately, as the last few things of his I've read haven't bothered me at all, and that's progress. But a post that manages both to attack Death Proof and claim that Alex's Friday the 13th work somehow suggests authority is a lot for me to ignore, and I failed.

I saw Baghead and think it's one of the best films of 2008.

My initial opinion of The Big Bang Theory was that it tried too hard and was a disappointment compared to The Class. On the whole, I suppose I stand by that, but there are signs it's getting better. First, there was Sheldon's reaction to the movie decision, and then the cologne line in the last episode.

Is it possible for The Office to be, concurrently, returning to form after an inconsistent fourth season and showing signs of being done that weren't apparent in an otherwise inferior fourth season? Still, Thursday at 9 on NBC is a pretty great hour.

O'JohnLandis said...

Also, Bill is a caveman. I'm not willing to sanction the torture of anyone--not that you have to accept torture in life in order to accept torture in art--but the problem is simply that there were too many kinds of Nazis. You can condemn a lack of courage, but to condemn is not to torture.

Bill C said...

True enough, John, true enough, though I have no idea where you got the word "torture."

Berandor said...

Just to further explain myself. I wouldn't have a problem with most nazi soldiers being cannon fodder, i.e. being shot as the enemy they are to the main characters.

I also wouldn't have a problem with individuals who are morally reprehensible and also Nazis being dismembered or whatever; in Kill Bill, I mostly cringe at the violence against Sofie Fatale, the other characters having made their bed to lie in, and this being a movie and all.

So it's not like I want a great portrayal of how not all German soldiers were Nazis at heart, or a differentiation between the SS and the regular troops, or an Iwo Jima treatment of the subject. I expect exploitation, and that is fine. So go on killing Nazis, I just hope you're not going to put Nazis into Hostel and turn the Hosteliers into the good guys.

In other words, Guantanamo is not wrong because you're doing it to the wrong guys, but – say it in your best Buffy Summers voice – because it's wrong.

Bill C said...

Oh, wait, yeah, I see O'John conflated my response with yours, Berandor.

Anyway, the script is batshit, but it's a different animal from HOSTEL. Don't let the presence of Eli Roth colour your perception.

O'JohnLandis said...

When Bill said "...but I don't find any violence against Nazis to be reprehensible" I brought up torture as it was the worst kind of violence I could think of, and though I'm sure I read Berandor's previous post, it wasn't terribly relevant to mine. Is "any violence" any violence, or is it more complicated? That's all. In retrospect, I could have used a bridging sentence, but as I hadn't seen the trailer, and was skimming posts to try to avoid hearing much about it--in fact I'd almost rather know the plot ahead of time than the tone--I wasn't even thinking about Tarantino, I was thinking about language.

I guess I'm one of those weird people who don't like watching trailers/reading screenplays ahead of time. If I can avoid it, I won't see the Inglourious Basterds trailer before it hits home video, but you can bet I'll be in a theater during the movie's first week.

DaveA said...

Holy shit... looking up the dates for Basterds, I see the line-up for Cannes this year: next to Tarantino, there's Almodovar, von Trier, Haneke, Ang Lee, Jarmusch, Solondz, the Coens, Soderbergh, Terry Gilliam, Neil Jordan, Park Chan-Wook, Johnny To, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Alejandro Amenabar...

And then I wonder "hey, where's Cronenberg?" and read on IMDB he's doing a spy movie with Tom Cruise... WTF?

Bill C said...

@O'John: You want an untainted viewing of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS such that you're avoiding the trailer, and your solution was to...click the post about the INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS trailer? Is this like that thing Gandhi did, where he slept next to girls just to test his sexual willpower?

Anonymous said...

Bill, are you guys doing Blu-Ray reviews for the two Burton Batman films (awesome, still better than Nolan's) and the two Schumacher films (terrible)?

Also, was watching Furgeson last night and was reminding how big a hack Louis Black is. Does he ever write new material? Joaquin Phoenix...now thats a comedian.

Berandor said...

O'John, what do you consume then do decide whether or not to see a movie? Although I can understand not watching trailers, because they often spoil key moments – see the trailer for Princess Bride, or recently Neeson's speech in Taken, or... – but I might never even have considered watching "Watchmen" if the trailers hadn't alleviated my fears somewhat.

True, for most films I can wait to see whether FFC does a review, but they don't review every movie.

And Joaquin Phoenix is a douchebag; the comedian of the two was Letterman.

O'JohnLandis said...

Bill, with the possible exception of threads that are responded to after they've left the main page of the blog, I'm pretty sure I've read every post of the blog. Can't really think of a reason to read any of it if I'm not going to read all of it. If I knew what I was looking for, I wouldn't be looking. I know what I am, but I want more--not always what I end up getting, of course, but more.

So no matter what, I'm going to click on the Comments link. I actually don't care too much about spoilers, but if it's not too much trouble, I'll try to avoid spoilers or trailers or reviews for certain films. I've never watched a trailer (for a real film) on the internet. I don't think I'm crazy--at least not about this--and wouldn't run screaming from a theater if the Inglourious Basterds trailer was shown. As it happens, my girlfriend hasn't been on time for a movie in years, so the chances of actually seeing more than one trailer at a theater are pretty slim.

So how do I decide what to see? That's tricky. A decade ago, I'd go to the theater whenever I could afford it and I'd watch around a dozen movies on video a week. I was a sponge, and if my taste seems to be a bit conventional, it's not from a lack of exposure to the unconventional. But these days, I have to be more selective. I'm going to see anything by Tarantino, the Coens, Pixar, or Woody Allen; I suppose that's my first tier. My second tier probably contains at least thirty names. And if I still need something to watch, it's hard not to hear little clues, sometimes even at this blog.

Berandor said...

So do you watch Dollhouse?

I did, thanks to the intertubes. I liked the pilot, though it didn't his things out of the park. I', actually not sure Dushku (or Acker, for that matter) are as good as people make them out to be, but I think the premise has enormous potential. I liked how they managed to give the fictional personality some kind of closure (reminded me of Quantum Leap of all things), and the idea of Echo being whored out to a rich guy in the beginning shows the darker spots of the trade.

It's not a typical Whedon show, I think, but actually more dramatic. If anyone can follow up on a premise, however, it's Joss Whedon. So I'm looking forward to the rest of the show.

What did you guys think of the premiere?

Bill C said...

@Anon: With any luck. I myself am definitely keen to revisit RETURNS and BATMAN AND ROBIN (the latter because it feels like a figment of my imagination, a movie that retarded); saw BATMAN on HDNet a little while ago and can't really understand why I thought it was the Best Movie Ever when I was 14.

Anonymous said...

Time for a little honesty here--I haven't seen any of the four Batman movies in over a decade. I'm terrfied of watching the first one in particular, especially with Heath Ledger's work in the Dark Knight still so fresh in my memory.

Still I look forward to your reviews.

Bill C said...

Sweet Jiminy, it's twoo! John Huston's WISE BLOOD's just been confirmed as a May release from Criterion. (Sadly, DVD only.)

BLH said...

The cover Criterion came up with for Wise Blood is pretty great; although they spelled Jhon Huston's name wrong.

BLH said...

And Batman Returns is absolutely the best Batman movie. It's one of my favorite movies of the 90's, truth be told.

jer fairall said...

Being the weirdo who only liked-not-loved TDK may render this comment suspect, but I think Batman '89 still holds up great. There's something in there that's rooted in time and place, for me (perhaps the same reason that Last Crusade is my fave Indy, or why I once thought Die Hard 2 to be superior to the original) but I can certainly understand believing it to be the Best Movie Ever at a younger age. It is, as Alex would sat, "pure movie."

Would rather forget about the Schumacher Batman's. Couldn't even make it all the way through Batman & Robin when it was new.

Berandor said...

So I just finished "True Blood". Why do you like that show? It started great, with seemingly strong characters and a love relationship that was meant to be, only to fall apart after episode 4 or so.

The smart, sassy Tara becomes a plaything for frauds and turns into insecure and angry, Sookie suddenly has to doubt Bill after he doesn't return for two nights even though she knows he's having problems for saving her life, and the sexually charged atmosphere turns into Disneyworld's Adult South.

The killer plot is resolved as generically as can be. And true to Alan Ball, everybody is a hypocrite – the senator is gay, the religious-drunk mother leaves her daughter in jail (and looks down on masturbation, natch), Sam hides his true nature, the homeschooled kid turns into Vampirella...

Most "characters" are only caricatures, and the interesting ones (Vampire Eddie, the brother's psycho girlfriend) get killed off. The main characters get to react to the actions of other, minor characters.

But really, my biggest beef is with Tara and Sookie. Sookie started out as an independent woman and it looked like the show might give us adult sexuality and relationships (and by that, I don't necessarily mean tits), but then it turned into a teenage romance love triangle with boring Sam always pining nearby. And Tara went from an aggressive and intelligent girl who is open for no-strings-attached fucking to a wide-eyed girl unable to have a normal conversation with someone who likes her romantically, from a strong woman to a broken doll.

I even had to get me spoiled on the exorcism subplot on the off chance that it would really work – then I probably wouldn't have watched the rest of the show –, I hated that so much.

So what started out as a smart, adult show turned into equal parts condescension and boorish generics.

No, please, don't answer the questions that might be interesting – how many Eddies are there? If vampire courts work that way, how come nobody's noticed that before, how many vampires like Bill are there, anyway? All the things pertaining to a society confronted with nightmares being real, but instead we get a ham-fisted gay rights metaphor (because gay people also turn straight people into gays, or kill them with AIDS, I guess).

I will say this, though: the show has a *great* credit sequence, and the cliffhangers it can do really well. If only I cared...

jacksommersby said...

I finally took a look at "The Inglorious Bastards" and was shocked that it was directed by the same Enzo G. Castellari who made such wonderfully entertaining stuff like "The Heroin Busters" and "1990: The Bronx Warriors". It was listless, had no flair, with not so much as a single good scene to its credit. Luckily, I have little doubt that Tarantino will make a much better film from it.

Bill C said...

Actually, Jack, the only thing they have in common is the title--plots are completely different.

Anonymous said...

"Being the weirdo who only liked-not-loved TDK may render this comment suspect." Sounds a lot like me.

From Batman '89, two memories stand out for me. First is the deaths of Wayne's parents by Napier (I know, I know, Burton made that up). But that scene really shook me up as a kid. And the actor who played the young Napier knocked it out of the park.

The other moment that I remember well is the Joker's death. For all who claim that Nolan's films are so much darker, don't forget that in a similar scene Bale's Batman saves the Joker. I found it disturbing how Keaton's Batman watched Nicholson gagging and gasping for breath while the stone gargoyle dragged him down.

Batman Returns I don't remember as well, except for the Penguin's birth, the Penguin's death, and Michelle Pfeiffer, God do I remember her. I was 13 and in love. Curse David E Kelley and his half-baked liberal agenda.

As for the two Schumacher movies, the less I remember about those the better.

O'JohnLandis said...

I guess defending True Blood is my problem. I'll take the points in order:

1) I find it odd that a "sassy" character is a good character while an "insecure" character is a bad character. I'd suggest that Tara's sassy and insecure all along, and as the world blows up, she makes some good decisions and some bad decisions.

2) I don't love that Sookie gets angry with Bill when he has to leave, but he is a vampire and I'd expect it to be a weird relationship. It's fine to say that these characters start strong and then turn into caricatures, but it is possible to create a caricature of strength, too. I like them damaged, even if it doesn't mean they're always the same.

3) I would go to a Disneyworld Adult South, though I don't know what's so inferior about the sexual charge of the second half of the season.

4) They play fair with the central mystery. There's not a lot of suspense, but it doesn't seem like they were going for suspense and failed.

5) If everyone is a hypocrite, I'm trying to think of some better examples. The only main character you mentioned was Sam, and your justification for Sam's hypocrisy is pretty thin. No complaints at all if you change it to "everyone's flawed."

6) The structure of the middle episodes does revolve around minor characters, but they're wonderful minor characters. If the main characters are so strong that they are always the engine of the storytelling, the stories will get predictable.

7) If you have that many questions, maybe the show isn't so bad after all. I mean, would you really want a show to answer all those questions in its first season?

Rick said...

"Couldn't even make it all the way through Batman & Robin when it was new."

Try watching it with Rifftrax. Though it seems everyone here has turned on Mike Nelson, and summed up and dismissed MST3k and Rifftrax as being completely worthless.

Also, the last episode of "The Office" had the funniest throwaway-line of the year, involving Creed giving romantic advice which worked on Squeaky Fromme.

Berandor said...

O'John:

1) I don't mind flawed, and I get that Tara's sass might have been there to cover up her insecurities. Hell, in the beginning, I enjoyed her flaws, her adoration of Jason, her inability to really have a relationship because at the same time, Tara didn't allow herself to be manipulated by her mother and stood up for herself in other parts. That all changes and Tara makes *nothing but* bad decisions. She not only gets her mother to the exorcism, but she believes she has a demon inside of her, and has an exorcism herself, she still has her relationship problems, she gets hella drunk, she joins the Maryann cult. From thinking this was a show with strong women in the beginning, the first woman is made weak as hell in the end.

2) Yes, the love story is bound to be rocky. But aren't there a dozen more important things like Bill siring a girl, or drinking human blood, or most vampires being truly monstrous, or him sleeping in the dirt, or... Does it have to be "He's away, so he doesn't love me"?

3) Is there a sexual charge in the second half of the season? There is still sex, yes, but that's between Jason and his girlfriend only, aside maybe from an implied fling between Sam and Tara. Oh, and Lafayette, sorry. I mean, obviously the show couldn't possible sustain the high level of lewdness from the first episodes, from the thoughts Sookie reads to Jason's escapades and back. It's just that in the beginning, it seemed to me everybody was sweating in the Louisiana heat, and later on it just wasn't that hot anymore.

4) The central mystery may be played fair, but it's also boring. And then, in the end, we get a typical serial killer moment where he spills it all out and becomes so dangerously unhinged you wonder how he could stay undetected for so long.

5) With everyone being a hypocrite, I don't exactly mean the main characters, but everyone else. There is not one comforting thought Sookie reads, neither during the funeral nor later, but only and always accusations. The homeschool girl is of course joyously happy to be rid of her family. Tara's mother naturally leaves her in jail. The senator naturally is a right-wing guy. The voodoo witch naturally is a fraud (though I am glad she is). Tara's mum's church friends are as bad as mum herself. The detective doesn't really care for the truth. The neighboring sheriff cheats on his wife with a woman from church. Sam is just a dumbass.

6) Yes, the minor characters are great, and then they get killed, and the main characters remain standing.

7) I think it's just like LOST, only with True Blood, the show doesn't seem to even pretend to have the answers. If I know questions aren't going to be adressed, then why watch? Only to become more aggravated?

As it is, the small parts I like about the show (Vampire Eddie, Sookie being the one to fell the killer, the bloody staking) are totally overshadowed by the things I dislike. I got physically angry with the show at times, and in the end, they kill Lafayette and give us the goth girl in exchange while Tara is off to get mind-whammied and Jason can once more show us how seedy a church can be.

Berandor said...

Wow, Walter. That must have been a hard thing to do, watch and review these three crapfilms. My heart goes out to you.

Ryan said...

Walter, you just made my year with that triple-feature of crap. Many thanks.

Si said...

I second what Berandor and Ryan have already said, Walter. I'd no intention of sitting through any of those flicks, and now I really don't.

Still looking forward to your take on Slumdog Millionaire. You'll know from my post on the previous blog that I actually liked it, but I don't believe it'll hold up well at all.

I also gather that this site doesn't have a high opinion of The Full Monty, also written by Simon Beaufoy? That was a film that I found impossible not to like at the time of its release.

jer fairall said...

Saw two of that craptastic triple bill, and gotta say that as awful as Wanted was, it at least spares us the sight of Christine Baranski miming a blow job on a twentysomething hunk.

Bill C said...

FYI, I'm currently in the midst of readying Walter's long-awaited smackdown of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE for publication. It. Is. Beautiful.

theoldboy said...

Ooh, I can feel the heat from WC's flaming rage train already. I froth in anticipation.

Also, judging from the clips, Watchmen seems to suck even worse than what Ian predicted. The only scene that seems to have an actual pulse is Dr. Manhattan's origin story.

Rick said...

It's sad that the Watchmen trailer is DOA, or ANY trailer would be DOA. I remember a Mr Show sketch which showed that any movie can be manipulated to be something more than it actually is with the trailer. Coupon the movie, inspired America's most popular coupon for Tube socks, had a trailer cut to make it traditionally "suspenseful" by trailer standards.