Monday, August 24, 2009

Chin Up

I just got back from seeing Quentin Tarantino's World War II masterpiece Inglourious Basterds. Wow. It wasn't what I expected. It was about a million times better than anything I could have expected. It's a great comedy. It's a great war movie. It's a great thriller. It's a great drama. It's a great action flick. Like most of Tarantino's oeuvre, it's hard to pin down exactly what this movie is, but it's incredibly engaging at all levels.

The real find in this film is the amazingly cruel, funny, absurd, endearing and certainly evil Nazi Col. Hans Landa played by Christoph Waltz. Man, I don't know where Tarantino found this guy, but it's as good and complex a portrayal of a screen villian I've ever seen since Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter or Ralph Fiennes' Amon Goeth. In fact, I'd dare say the man did a better acting job than either of those two combined. He's an absolute joy to watch from start to finish.

That's not to say everyone else isn't uniformly good. They are. Brad Pitt is hysterically funny and Eli Roth is amazingly intense. Mike Myers has a very, very funny Peter Sellers-like cameo scene in which every single line spoken is funny. Diane Kruger is fine, but the other girl - Melanie Laurent playing Parisian theater-owner Shoshana Dreyfus - is the Real Deal. Her eyes do all the acting. A really incredible performance.

A really incredible movie.

Check it out, folks. It's the stuff.

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