Sunday, August 30, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

There have been a number of things delaying this post. Guilt, as you'll see below... also paperwork that needed doing, yard work, visits with family, and the new Batman game, which I recommend to anyone who likes Metroid or Castlevania style games, or the Batman comic books and/or cartoons. Also Mark Hamill fans, because his Joker is probably the only one that can equal or exceed Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight.

The other time eater recently was today's trip to see Inglourious Basterds, the latest Quentin Tarantino film. Anybody who follows Tarantino's work knows that it's going to be an excellent study in good-to-great dialogue. But where the movie really shines is in building up tension over the course of an entire story.

The movie is divided into five chapters. Each chapter starts out mildly, but over the course of twenty to thirty minutes, raises the tension between all the characters involved, usually through nothing more than creative dialogue. The last few minutes are devoted to Tarantino's customary ultra-violence, and then we're in a new chapter, a new situation, and a new low that builds to an inevitable high.

That would be enough to make a good film, but every chapter after the first two (which are, when you come right down to it, extremely well-played back story) also builds on unresolved situations from the previous chapters, until you hit chapter five and everything comes together in an inspired, apocalyptic finale that changes the very course of history.

The acting is excellent. Brad Pitt is a natural scene-stealer, but even he loses out occasional to Colonel Landa, SS officer and the movie's main villain. I can't think of anybody who does a bad job in the movie, and I think there's only two seconds of the film that should have been left on the cutting room floor. If you see the movie, you'll spot it instantly, but it won't do a damn thing to sour your experience.

If you're not squeamish about blood, and you feel like having a true edge-of-your-seat experience, go check out Inglourious Basterds. You could do a lot worse this weekend.


Author's Log

These past few days I've written zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. I am a failure as a writer and deserve to be damned to the deepest pits of procrastination hell.

Current Reading

I've finished reading Living Dead in Dallas, which differs from True Blood so much that I'm no longer worried about spoiling anything. The writing in this second book has improved a lot from the first, and I'm hoping this upward trend continues. Unfortunately I won't find out for a few weeks, at which point my wife gets the rest of the books back from a friend.

In the meantime, I'm going to be rereading All-Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. These two graphic novels are simply the best Superman story that's been written... possibly ever, if I'm honest, and there are enough subtle Easter eggs contained therein to make another reading more than worthwhile. Highly recommended.

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