Critics review Tarantino's 'Inlgourious Basterds'
Reactions are in from the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's long-brewing flick "Inglourious Basterds" at Cannes, with most critics expressing disappointment in what many hoped would be the director's magnum opus.
The film, described by movie writers as a first in the "spaghetti war" genre, stars Brad Pitt as leading Basterd, Lieutenant Aldo Raine, and Christoph Waltz as evil SS officer Landa. The film is set between France and Germany, with languages from those countries, plus English, spoken throughout with subtitles.
Most reviews refer to the movie's final line, "This might be my masterpiece," which could easily be interpreted as Tarantino's own self-congratulation; however, according to several early reviews, "Inglourious Basterds" misses this high mark due to its heavy dialogue, expectation of more war sequences, Pitt's caricatured character and disagreement on pace. Positives include rave response to Waltz, Tarantino's mix of history and fiction and the director's typical inclusion of wit and humor in even the most gruesome scenes.
Below is a summary of many outlets' reviews from the screening. Check out our photo gallery from the premiere, with shots of Tarantino, Pitt and beyond, for more "Inglorious" coverage.
The Hollywood Reporter:
"'Inglourious Basterds'â€¨ merely continues the string of disappointments in this year's Competition... for a war movie there is very little action... Tarantino never finds a way to introduce his vivid sense of pulp fiction within the context of a war movie."
"[T]he full catastrophe of his new film arrived like some colossal armour-plated turkey from hell... It isn't funny; it isn't exciting; it isn't a realistic war movie, yet neither is it an entertaining genre spoof or a clever counterfactual wartime yarn. It isn't emotionally involving or deliciously ironic or a brilliant tissue of trash-pop references."
Sharon Waxman of The Wrap:
"[I]t was hard to miss Tarantino's skilled embrace of the elements that make theatrical moviegoing just plain great: scenes filled with dramatic tension, performances with depth and humor, rich and witty scoring choices, multi-lingual dialogue that Tarantino still stamps as his own, and knowing nods at cinematic history and the power of the medium he loves so well... As Brad Pitt says in the very last frame of the film, looking straight into the camera after a gruesome, signature task: 'This might be my masterpiece.'"
"[The flim] feels like a bubblegum sidedish to the heavy dinner plate of [Tarantino's] career... To watch 'Basterds' without considering Tarantino's implementation of enyclopedic movie knowledge makes it into a breezy, insignificant experience... dialogue scenes go on and on, people gets shot, lavish music cues make way for interstitial moments of contemplation, and so on. Get around to it, already."
"[O]nly fully finds its tonal footing about halfway through, after which it's off to the race. By turns surprising, nutty, windy, audacious and a bit caught up in its own cleverness, the picture is a completely distinctive piece of American pop art with a strong Euro flavor that's new for the director... pic features terrific production values across the boards."
"'Inglourious Basterds' clocks in at nearly three hours, and its director could certainly have trimmed more of its flab. This, and Pitt's character not getting the screen time he deserves, are the main disappointments... [Tarantino] is royalty at this festival - and as long as you can suspend disbelief and offence, he remains the king of trashy cinema."
"The problem is that there's not enough roaring or headhunting... There is far too much yakking, some of it thickly accented and hard to follow, most of it without the rhythmic zing of his best work... It's not so much inglorious as undistinguished."
"It's as talky as the talkiest films in the competition, but Tarantino composes great comedic dialogue that lasts the entire film... Tarantino never cuts totally loose... [Tarantino's] working with a large canvas here, and I think the scope of a war film doesn't entirely jibe with the kind of intimate violence he's so good at staging but never bothers with here... Even at 160 minutes, the film feels rushed."
"Vintage Tarantino to be sure, but a little more action would have been glorious... Not enough scalps."
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
Let Streaming Genie help you.