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Jonathan Bowerbank

"Inglourious Basterds"

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It was pretty great. My dilemma was to either see this or "District 9" last night, but I was more in the mood to watch a film that was more disciplined, precise in its framing and perhaps even polished, and that's what I got.

 

Tarantino's dialogue this time around is the best I've heard from him. Unlike "Death Proof", every scene, every line of dialogue serves a purpose to drive the story, to build a certain amount of tension and to efficiently establish who the characters are. I was quite impressed.

 

Richardson's work was fantastic as usual, with his signature top light appearing often. I'm kinda wishing he had shot the most recent Indy movie now...his style and the way exteriors were handled was the way I pictured the new Indy movie to look. If Indy 5 does happen, I hope he gets the job.

 

My only thing about the film is that I wish there was actually more of the actual 'Basterds', but I didn't expect Tarantino to stick with just one group's story.

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Agreed with the OP.

 

This is perhaps the best modern Cinematic work I have. I rank it among the greats for me, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Dr. Strangelove...

 

The dialogue is fantastique! The German is spot on, and the French is amazing. The score is exactly where it needs to be. The suspense built

in each scene is cinematic mastery. I couldn't help feeling as if the spirit of Hitchcock was alive and well in this film.

 

Well done Tarantino.

 

Cinematography was excellent, and the signature top down lighting was wonderful, as usual.

 

I can't say enough good things about this film.

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Agreed with the OP.

 

This is perhaps the best modern Cinematic work I have. I rank it among the greats for me, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Dr. Strangelove...

 

WTF.... give it a few years before you go ranking it with those films.

 

I thought the movie was good, but about 20-30 minutes too long. I also wanted to see some more "Natsy Killing". We never really got to see the Basterds in action... the story was moving off into so many other directions. This was a million times better than Grindhouse, but only about 35% as good as Pulp Fiction. I think one of the problem for Tarantino is that he may never be able to top "Pulp Fiction."

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It was really good. I was pleasantly surprised the movie was not at all what it was marketed to be (at least in this country). The trailers made it out to be a sort of over-the-top comedy set in WW2, but it turned out to be a pretty compelling drama with some good action and a hefty dose of dark humor.

 

I love the way it was all set up. One of Quentin Tarantino's tremendous strengths is to set us up to believe a character will react "X" because of their reaction in some long drawn out previous scene, then totally flip it around later making everything a total surprise, all without breaking the character's original traits.

 

And, of course, it looked great.

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WTF.... give it a few years before you go ranking it with those films.

 

I thought the movie was good, but about 20-30 minutes too long. I also wanted to see some more "Natsy Killing". We never really got to see the Basterds in action... the story was moving off into so many other directions. This was a million times better than Grindhouse, but only about 35% as good as Pulp Fiction. I think one of the problem for Tarantino is that he may never be able to top "Pulp Fiction."

 

 

Well, perhaps you are correct, but It's my list. We must continue to agree to disagree because I feel this film is as good as Pulp Fiction.

For more explination on why I rank this film high on my list:

 

The dialogue scenes in the a fore mentioned films are all long and drawn out, including the Hitchcock scenes. In these scenes, nothing happens

except the building of suspense. In 2001, when Dr. Haywood Floyd first gets to the station, and meets a group of people talking in the lobby,

the same reminds me of

the restaurant scene in which the French girl has no knowledge of what the Germans are speaking.

 

 

The same can be said of Dr. Floyd not knowing what was found on the moon.

 

The use of close up shots mirrors the interrogation scene in Blade Runner where Decker figures out the woman is not human. Again, this builds tension.

 

In fact,

the conversation at the beginning of the film, between the German officer and the French farmer

somewhat builds tension just like Hitchcock's Rope.

Although it is relieved very much quicker.

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I had a damn fine experience at the Cine this afternoon. The opening scene was master work. I really hope Tarantino makes a western one day. My biggest problem, and this a problem with all of his movies, is that there are moments where he is so self-consciously hip that I feel uncomfortable.

 

And I agree with John. The use German and French with a mixture of English was done in fine form, although the Italian was sketchy to the point of sucking.

 

John, what's with the black bars through your last post?

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I totally and respectfully disagree with you guys and thought the movie was horrible. $70 million thrown to the winds... Seemed like the movie was made by a another director trying to copy Quentin Tarantino. Boring story, boring characters, long, pointless terrible dialogue verging on drivel, and even Robert Richardson's usual expert photography was a letdown.

 

I didn't particularly find the anamorphic compositions that interesting and thought the digital intermediate look was too contrasty. Although I'm a fan of his work regardless, I think Bob Richardson's DI-films pale by comparison to his earlier contact-print work. In this case not bad, but nothing to shout home about IMHO.

 

Back to Tarantino...

 

With his other movies, there were plenty of scenes of people talking, but who the characters were and what they had to say was interesting and often compelling. In this movie, I didn't care about or find a single person interesting, except for the Landa (Jew Hunter) character at times. In fact, there was so much pointless talking and use of subtitles that in some cases, the dialogue interfered with the visual aspect of the film.

 

For instance, there was a scene where Diane Kruger, Brad Pitt, and Eli Roth are planning their next move. Then there's a quick "deep focus" shot (looked like a split diopter as the blur line was visible), showing two actors in focus. Unfortunately I was too busy reading the oncoming and unending subtitles that I missed any subtleties in the performances. By the time I could see the composition, they already cut away, and I had no time to absorb the shot.

 

This effort seemed totally immature. Just because it's vulgar and wastefully violent doesn't make this a unique film. Hell, "Caligula" was made 30 years ago, is equally violent and grotesque, and yet few, if any, call it a work of art. I'm sorry, but "2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Dr. Strangelove..." I mean I respect your opinion, but there is no way "Inglorious Basterds" should be compared to, or even mentioned, in the same class as those great classic films.

 

I'm glad you guys had fun at the movies and got your money's worth, but I find so little to like about this film. People are calling this "Art", I found it arrogant, pointless, repetitive and certainly don't get the hype. I'm curious what you guys liked about it and why.

:unsure:

Edited by Eric Moers

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there was so much pointless talking and use of subtitles that in some cases, the dialogue interfered with the visual aspect of the film.

I was too busy reading the oncoming and unending subtitles that I missed any subtleties in the performances.

 

Considering where the film took place and the characters involved, would you have preferred he had them talk in English with accents?

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I thought it was brilliant work by both Tarantino and Richardson. I found it to be Tarantino's most deft and mature work and I loved the slow tension, characters and dialogue. But to each is own...

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I guess he worried about spoilers in those lines, although they hardly are.

 

My eyes felt better watching this movie straight after District 9.

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I totally and respectfully disagree with you guys and thought the movie was horrible. $70 million thrown to the winds... Seemed like the movie was made by a another director trying to copy Quentin Tarantino. Boring story, boring characters, long, pointless terrible dialogue verging on drivel, and even Robert Richardson's usual expert photography was a letdown.

 

I didn't particularly find the anamorphic compositions that interesting and thought the digital intermediate look was too contrasty. Although I'm a fan of his work regardless, I think Bob Richardson's DI-films pale by comparison to his earlier contact-print work. In this case not bad, but nothing to shout home about IMHO.

 

Back to Tarantino...

 

With his other movies, there were plenty of scenes of people talking, but who the characters were and what they had to say was interesting and often compelling. In this movie, I didn't care about or find a single person interesting, except for the Landa (Jew Hunter) character at times. In fact, there was so much pointless talking and use of subtitles that in some cases, the dialogue interfered with the visual aspect of the film.

 

For instance, there was a scene where Diane Kruger, Brad Pitt, and Eli Roth are planning their next move. Then there's a quick "deep focus" shot (looked like a split diopter as the blur line was visible), showing two actors in focus. Unfortunately I was too busy reading the oncoming and unending subtitles that I missed any subtleties in the performances. By the time I could see the composition, they already cut away, and I had no time to absorb the shot.

 

This effort seemed totally immature. Just because it's vulgar and wastefully violent doesn't make this a unique film. Hell, "Caligula" was made 30 years ago, is equally violent and grotesque, and yet few, if any, call it a work of art. I'm sorry, but "2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Dr. Strangelove..." I mean I respect your opinion, but there is no way "Inglorious Basterds" should be compared to, or even mentioned, in the same class as those great classic films.

 

I'm glad you guys had fun at the movies and got your money's worth, but I find so little to like about this film. People are calling this "Art", I found it arrogant, pointless, repetitive and certainly don't get the hype. I'm curious what you guys liked about it and why.

:unsure:

 

I went to the movie not knowing what to expect. I seemed to enjoy the movie a great deal. As I recall, it was the scenes including Brad Pitt that always brought the movie into an instant approval from me. Even though I personally enjoyed it, I think Eric's assessment is accurate. QT has built his career on breaking the rules of character ranking and utilization. He succeeds with carrying a movie with so many characters that you can rarely make a claim like, "It was all about this guy's problem." In this movie, Brad's character stood out so strongly that I found myself yearning to see only his story. Not because he's Brad and delivered a standout performance. But, because his character was way stronger conceptually as well as thespianically (if you'll indulge my poor grammatical use).

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I guess he worried about spoilers in those lines, although they hardly are.

 

 

You are correct. I didn't want to give any subtleties away. Forgive me, It's an old habit. I had a wife once

who would throttle me at even the mention of a title to something she wanted to see or read. She is now

a very EX wife. :lol:

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There is really no less vague way to say it than this: I didn't like the ending, as it departed from certain events in history.

 

At times, I didn't know if I was supposed to laugh or be angry or shocked, too.

 

 

This is certainly a good movie, but the violence is over-the-top (I really don't think Pulp Fiction was anywhere near the same level as this was), and I honestly don't get what the point was, if there were one.

 

Great cinematography, and a refreshing, comical exchange between languages (the audience, myself included, started laughing during the first transition in the farmhouse), but these are elements that can't make a movie with a so-so story a great one.

 

There were interesting Tarantino situations, just like in Pulp Fiction, where characters are faced with moral dillemas. But there really wasn't any deep thought on the resolution. It seemed like whenever these situations occurred, everyone just killed everyone.

 

Again, I am not shocked by this, it's Tarantino, but I'd say this movie is about half-way between Pulp Fiction and mindless entertainment on the food chain.

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I guess I don't get to the theater as often as I should. It has probably been a while since I've seen a film projection of anamorphic origination.

 

Even though this went through a DI, I was reminded just how good anamorphic looks.

 

This reminds me that there are a lot of films that look "good" and even look "great" but with I all the other formats out there now, it is easy for your eye to drift and forget just how amazing anamorphic looks.

 

Looks like the DI was 2K. I'll need to somehow find a way to see an anamorphic film with a purely optical post path projected somewhere and remember what that looked like.

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I was standing in the concessions line before IB was to show. I asked the manager if they even kept a projectionist around after going all digital projection. After explaining why a guy upstairs was still necessary he went on to explain that IB was running film projection because QT had required it. He reported that they kept all of their film projectors, "just in case". I've gotten so used to the cleanliness of digital projection that the image jitter and light flutter of film projection really stood out noticeably.

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That's interesting because I was saying to myself that I had not noticed any film weave at all for some reason last night. Even when text was present on the screen (when weave is most noticeable) I did not perceive any. The projector must have been very well-maintained, etc.

 

I did notice light flutter once during the film when there was a large amount of white in the frame.

 

I guess the thing I was most distracted by was how good anamorphic origination looks. I'd look at textures in the frame, dynamic range and it kept pulling me out of the film and I'd think to myself --"dang I've seen a lot of great images on the big screen lately, but I have not seen anything that pretty in a while". I guess I need to get to the theater more often.

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I guess the thing I was most distracted by was how good anamorphic origination looks.

 

A couple of the shots had a out of focus vinnetting (two shot with brad pit looking at the german officer when he asks for the whereabouts for other germans AND the last scalping in the very last scene), was this because a wider lens was used and possibly with a wider aperture?

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I didn't think the movie was nearly as violent as advertised. Saving Private Ryan had a lot more violence. Nor did I find the violence to be gratuitous. Not compared to Sado, I Spit On Your Grave, Giallo films etc.

 

The film is a blatantly fictitious film. The only historical accuracies being that there is a country named France, the Nazis did exist and the senior Nazi leadership consisted of Goebbels, Hitler, Goring et al. The ending doesn't bother me in the least for this reason.

 

Inglorious Bastards reminded me of Sergio Leone's western masterpieces and I loved the film for it.

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A couple of the shots had a out of focus vinnetting (two shot with brad pit looking at the german officer when he asks for the whereabouts for other germans AND the last scalping in the very last scene), was this because a wider lens was used and possibly with a wider aperture?

 

I unfortunately noticed some shots that were just out of focus. 99% of the film had wonderful use of depth of field and spot on focus, but once in a while a medium or a close-up would appear to be focused on a foreground element that seemed off...

 

Buuut don't get me wrong, it, for the most part, was one of the best lit, beautifully pieced together films I've seen in a while in theaters. Robert Richardson's a master - no doubt about it.

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I unfortunately noticed some shots that were just out of focus. 99% of the film had wonderful use of depth of field and spot on focus, but once in a while a medium or a close-up would appear to be focused on a foreground element that seemed off...

 

Buuut don't get me wrong, it, for the most part, was one of the best lit, beautifully pieced together films I've seen in a while in theaters. Robert Richardson's a master - no doubt about it.

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Sorry not sure what happened there. I saw this opening day ( that is my new tactic for seeing films of this nature, go to the earliest possible show available, which was 1135 am, or wait a month, I live in NY and behavior in cinemas has reached its nadir.) In this case I was richly rewarded, the print on show felt like it was dripping from the lab, it really felt like a show print, contact print. The quality of an anamorphic originated film with the combination of a great print, and a well maintained projector is a wonderful thing to behold. I don't love all of Richardson's work but 'Inglorious' is outstanding from start to finish. His toppy hotspots really worked with this material. I'm wondering has anyone worked with him or his Gaffer and would know what fixtures he prefers for this signature look. I would think that joker bugs would be the obvious tool but he seems to get a really elegant beam spread/ beam pattern that I find hard to get with Jokers.

 

The opening scene and the scene with Michael Fassbender in the bar/tavern are the two stand out scenes in the film. Filmmaking master classes in tension building through subtle dialogue, body language and reactions.

What is amazing and really struck me more than usual is the huge discrepancy between the marketing of this film and the film itself. The trailers painted this as an almost slapstick ,kitsch, ultraviolent, adventure romp. And while individually each one of those descriptions can apply it is certainly a for more mature, slow-burning, lusciously crafted, adult experience. I am fully aware that distributors/marketing departments almost exclusively try and sell everything to the video game, ADD, fanboy, pubescent demographic. And Tarantino certainly channels all of these things in his own persona. But i feel the film was grossly misrepresented in the teasers and trailers to the point where I was really put off seeing the film at all. I think a film needs to at least be tonally represented in its trailer.

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A couple of the shots had a out of focus vinnetting (two shot with brad pit looking at the german officer when he asks for the whereabouts for other germans AND the last scalping in the very last scene), was this because a wider lens was used and possibly with a wider aperture?

 

I didn't notice these at all. It may have been the projectionist's fault by not filling the screen adequately, so you're left seeing all the way to the edges of the projected image. Whereas normally those vignetted edges would spill onto the black curtains surrounding the screen.

 

I unfortunately noticed some shots that were just out of focus. 99% of the film had wonderful use of depth of field and spot on focus, but once in a while a medium or a close-up would appear to be focused on a foreground element that seemed off...

 

There were a few toughys for the focus puller. Namely one where Pitt was taking cued long strides directly towards the lens. Focus is so critical, it can be sometimes nearly impossible to get what you want in focus (the eyes). But in that shot it looked like he may have even gotten so close to the lens that he was beyond minimum focus.

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There were a few toughys for the focus puller. Namely one where Pitt was taking cued long strides directly towards the lens. Focus is so critical, it can be sometimes nearly impossible to get what you want in focus (the eyes). But in that shot it looked like he may have even gotten so close to the lens that he was beyond minimum focus.

 

I actually wasn't speaking of those scenes. Those actually looked really great for focus - I was especially taking a look at those. I'm talking about I think later in the film that were just simply static shots. Kinda strange. I saw it at the Ziegfeld though, and I doubt it had anything to do with the projector or what have you.

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