I’m not going to go into a big, long serious of serious reviews, picking apart details and whatnot; I’ll save that for a time when I’m not starting to feel my eyes getting heavy from a night of doing other things. Instead, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on a few movies I’ve seen lately.
I went to the movies twice this in the last week or so. The first movie I saw was “Inglourious Basterds” last Saturday and then this past Tuesday I saw “Julie & Julia”. Then last night I started working through my list of movies on DVD (or in this case Cinemax) that I want to watch. This particular viewing consisted of “The Rocker”.
Ok, so first, “Inglourious Basterds”. I’ll admit that I’m a big Quentin Tarantino fan. I figured I was going to like this one regardless because you get to take a war that I have always been really interested in, have Tarantino direct a story involving said war, and then throw in Brad Pitt. The thing that because pretty clear early on in the movie is that the trailer might be a little misleading, especially if you’re not used to how Tarantino likes to mess around with stuff and often just confuses the hell out of you to help weave his stories. This one has a couple different stories going on at the same time that all sort of come together into one really epic ending. If you want to really break the stories down I would say we’ve got about 3 or 4 stories that are going on at once (some bigger than others) but they all manage to pull together and connect in the end. There are lots of subtitles in this one as well which I wasn’t expecting. But I did feel that having French and German actors speaking in their native tongues added to the film a great deal. I appreciate that authenticity.
One of my favorite scenes happens early on in the film when the Basterds are seen taking a patrol of Nazi soldiers captive and Pitt’s character Aldo tries to get them to tell him where the next band of solders are hiding out, which he suspects could be a nearby orchard. This is also when we really meet Eli Roth’s character Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz for the first time. As an aside, I can’t STAND Eli Roth. I think he’s one of the worst horror writers and directors out there. HOWEVER, I really liked him in this movie. I think I’d like to see him act a little more and write and direct a little less. Anyway, this is what happens when Aldo tries to talk to the Nazi Sargent they have captive.
Aldo: I need to know about the Germans hiding in trees. And you need to tell me right now.
Sgt. Werner: I respectfully refuse, sir.
Aldo: Actually, Werner, we’re all tickled to hear you say that. Quite frankly, watching Donny beat Nazi’s to death is the closest we ever get to going to the movies.
[Aldo shouts to Donny who is off screen]
Aldo: Got us a German here wants to die for country. Oblige him.
And thanks to Tarantino’s wonderful direction the entrance of Donny and the sound of the bat he carries tapping on the inner walls of an underpass tunnel are just fantastic and really build the scene….and I’m not going to get into anything with what happens next. But it’s actually kind of funny, in that sick Tarantino sort of way.
So overall “Inglourious Basterds” was fan-freakin-tastic. I HIGHLY recommend this if you’re a fan of twist and turn stories and especially if you like war movies and enjoy the much darker, sicker sort of humor. It’s long, about 2 1/2 hours, but really quite a magnificent bit of cinema.
Ok, next we go to something MUCH less bloody. “Julie & Julia” is the story of woman about to turn 30 who is having the all to common “OMG I’m going to be 30” crisis who suddenly finds herself taking on the task of cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s opus “Mastering The Art of French Cooking” in the time frame of one year and she’s going to blog about it along the way. Now, if you aren’t into cooking or don’t know anything about Julia Child and the kind of cooking she did, you might not see where this is quite the massive undertaking. French cooking is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” is over 700 pages long. It’s a big deal. Now this story is interwoven with the story of how Julia Child got into cooking and how she became the world renown chef she was. And, unless you’re completely living under a rock you know that Meryl Streep takes on the role of Julia Child in the film and, I have to say, she is magnificent! She does the voice perfect and they made her look so much like Julia Child in her younger years that it’s worthy of a few double takes at times. Stanley Tucci plays Julia’s husband Paul and he’s also fantastic (Tucci is also going to be on screen later this year in the Peter Jackson directed film “The Lovely Bones” based on the best selling suspense novel).
Here is something to take into consideration with “Julie & Julia”. I’m a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat is a good couple of years at least (since early 2007). When I left that movie I was sooooo hungry!!! Even though I wouldn’t eat it I can’t help but admit that all the beef stew, or to be more correct, boeuf bourguignon, looked so damn good! In the end it comes down to a really sweet story that was told wonderfully. I’ve done some reading though and found that Julie Powell is not quite how she is portrayed in the movie (i.e. not as cute, sweet, etc). That was a little disappointing. And to be honest I was surprised at how many horrible reader reviews her book that the movie is based on got on Amazon. I am going to read Julia Child’s book “My Life In France” though. Now I’m completely intrigued. For me the movie was a flash back to sitting in my grandmother’s bright yellow kitchen in her condo as a kid and watching “The French Chef” on the little tv in the kitchen while she would make dinner. Now I need the DVDs of “The French Chef” and I’ll be happy…lol.
And then I watched “The Rocker”. Not a lot to say about it, it’s what you’d sort of expect. Cute, funny in a goofy way, not a very original story (it is sort of “School of Rock” for high school kids) but it was a nice hour and 40 or so minutes of fun. I love Rainn Wilson and as much as I thought this would be horrible, I actually thought he wasn’t bad at all. The kids aren’t terrible either but it’s no masterpiece of film. Cute, funny, you could watch it with your kids.
So, on that note, it’s 7:30am which means it’s time for me to attempt to get some kind of sleep for a little while at least.