Anticipation For Inglourious Basterds

Every year, like anyone, I have a lot of movies that I anticipate. Everyone’s must see list is different, but there’s always a single movie that stands above the pack for everyone that is the single most anticipated movie of the year. Sometimes you get lucky and you anticipated correctly and the movie you craved to see for a year finally came out and it was fantastic. Sometimes you find yourself disappointed, whether that means it was a bad movie and you can’t believe you expected so much out of it, or it was just an ok movie, but your wild expectations were not met so you find yourself disappointed. Last year this movie was The Dark Knight and obviously my insanely high expectations were actually exceeded. This year I am anticipating a lot of movies, (Sherlock Holmes, The Wolfman, Nine, Shutter Island, etc.), but there is a single movie that stands above the pack as always and that movie is none other than Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.

I was certainly anticipating The Dark Knight more before it came out, but Inglourious Basterds has come closer than I would have ever dreamed. It’s the story of a a group of Jewish-American soldiers looking to take revenge against the Third Reich in German occupied France. With also another plot thrown in about a cinema worker, who years ago watched her family slaughtered at the hands of the Ruthless Nazi Colonel, Hans Landa. This is Quentin Tarantino’s sixth movie and he’s been working on the script for years. He was actually talking about shooting it before Kill Bill was even started. It’s his biggest cast of talking characters ever and filled with some big name actors one of whom being the one and only Brad Pitt, sporting a fantastic Southern accent. 

Brad Pitt’s performance looks to be fantastic from the trailers, but his isn’t the performance I’m anticipating the most. It’s Christoph Waltz, whom I’ve been truly expecting a lot out of and I’ve never even seen him in a movie before. This year at the Cannes Film Festival he was the winner of The Best Actor award for his role as Hans Landa in this film. He’s the main antagonist of the feature and I just can’t wait to see what he dishes out. All I’ve seen from his performance is a few very short clips from the trailers. He looks to be spectacular, but I’m sure I haven’t seen anything yet. 

There are so many reasons why I just cannot wait for its release on August 21st, from its intriguing plot, to its many fascinating characters, but there’s one reason the stands above the rest. Quentin Tarantino has never let me down. Jackie Brown was a fantastic movie, I absolutely loved Reservoir Dogs and Death Proof, and Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction were nothing short of masterpieces. I seriously doubt Tarantino can shoot out a bad movie on his sixth try especially when its got this much going for it. I said it for The Dark Knight and I’m going to say it again for Inglourious Basterds. When 3 am roles around on August 21st I’m going to drvie home sit down and write an honest review for what I hope to be the greatest movie of 2009.

P.S. Happy Dark Knight Day!

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Public Enemies Review

Public Enemies was a good movie, that’s all it was though. It wasn’t spectacular or even great, but it was good. I haven’t seen a movie in theaters since Up and I had been anticipating this movie for a while. What I got was good, but I’m disappointed to say that I expected a lot more and there’s not a doubt in my mind that a lot of people will say the same. And when I use the word ‘people’ I didn’t just mean the public, I also meant critics as well. Most of the public will be expecting to see a well acted action movie. Most critics, and myself as well, will be expecting a cat and mouse drama, which it was, it just wasn’t as great a one as it could have been.

After viewing Public Enemies, I walked out of the theater a little disappointed, mainly because of my abnormally high expectations, and I was trying to think of the best word or phrase to describe the film. After a few days I came up with a single word. I found Public Enemies to be rather dry. It seriously lacked in the innovation that this film needed in order to be great. There are so many crime dramas out there and this one was telling a story that needed to be told. It had great characters and events to work with, but throughout the movie, it just seemed that they weren’t using them to their advantage.

I mainly blame this on the writer. The dialogue and tension was lacking to the point of extreme boredom at times and this is not a story I should be bored in. The director did a pretty good job in my opinion through detail and camera work. Michael Mann did succeed in making this movie very realistic and moody, and where you were bored in some scenes because of the writing, you felt very involved in others.

Now I’ve talked a lot about what I didn’t enjoy in this film, but there was a lot I did enjoy about this movie. First of all, I found the movie visually very appealing. The colors were vibrant and moody and you were really brought to the era. It certainly was a period piece. I also mentioned the camera before. Most might tell you the camera work was amateur and shaky, but there really wasn’t a point in the film where I was bothered by it. I actually found the camera work quite professional. I felt much more involved in each scene because of the camera work and it seemed as if a lot of time was spent making each one worth watching.

The greatest pro I can point out when it comes to this movie is the many memorable performances. Johnny Depp was spectacular and exceeded my expectations, his performance was the best part of this film. Christian Bale was another leading man that exceeded my expectations. They weren’t that high for this character, because by the trailer it just didn’t seem like he had much to work with, but he truly put his all into this one and I enjoyed his screen presence very thoroughly. Marion Cotillard was also a force to be reckoned with along with almost every other supporting actor and actress.

So all and all, when you look at Public Enemies you get a good movie. It is one worth a view, but not one you need to rush out to the theater and see immediately. Their were certainly pros and cons to this movie and many of them. This is one of those movies that will be all across the board. Some will love it, some will hate it, and some will find it ok. You should see it and be the judge for yourself.

Grade: B+