Rapid Review: Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds Poster

“You probably heard we ain’t in the prisoner-takin’ business; we in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin’.” – Lieutenant Aldo Raine

SYNOPSIS: In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same. – via IMDB

inglourious basterds i speak the best italian inglourious basterds bawnjorno

GRADE 10I re-reviewed this because I love it so much, and have learned that I am allowed to give certain things top marks. Inglourious Basterds is simply amazing. Tarantino consistently blows me away with his stories and the execution of them. The cast was excellent, and their roles were very well suited. Christoph Waltz does not cease to stun me, he is so brilliant. He was such a horrendously scary character in this movie, and he gave me the chills because he is pure evil, yet he has proven in Django Unchained that he will not be typecast. Brad Pitt was having an absolute blast from the get go, and it is so obvious. Mélanie Laurent is so badass, and her character of Shosanna Dreyfus? Man, Tarantino can create a strong woman, and we definitely need more of that in cinema. Okay, I am not going to wax lyrical about each and every actor/actress in the film, just know that they were all excellent. What makes Inglourious Basterds so fantastic for me is that they actually spoke French and German, and when they spoke English the relevant accent applied to it. Valkyie could have taken a leaf out of Quentin Tarantino’s book, hem hem. It is pretty damned important to me that if you are doing a movie on any culture/society, you have to at least get the accents right (or try, at the very least)! The story was highly entertaining, and the cinematography was gorgeous. The dialogue was quick, snappy and sharp, and just great to listen to overall (bawnjorno, bestie). Some of those conversations! Goodness, the tension that was built from that! Not to mention how wonderfully the movie was set out and paced, giving you a look at everything, but not rushing a thing. Inglourious Basterds is a long film, but it never actually feels that way, although I feel that is a typical Tarantino trait, to write something that is engaging from the off. I am a big fan of Hugo Stiglitz, he made me laugh endlessly – he was so badass and hardcore and just balls to the wall crazy. Definitely my favourite Basterd, alongside Aldo. The humour is so snappy in here, and very dark, so it just works all round. I wish I knew how to describe how much I enjoy this movie, but words fail me, so I will stop rambling now. This movie is so well executed, and something that I make a point of watching rather frequently, it really is an absolute favourite of mine from Tarantino, who again proves his ingenuity with a fantastical take on an old topic.

Rapid Review: Spectre (2015)

spectre poster

“You are a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr Bond.”
– Mr White

SYNOPSIS: A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. – via IMDB

SPECTRE DAY OF THE DEAD

GRADE 7After all this time I finally got to see Spectre over the weekend. I know, I am like the last person in the world to have watched this and to churn out a review for it, but so what? I have been looking forward to this movie for far too long. Right off the bat, I think people are being way too harsh on this movie. Granted, it is not like the other Craig Bond films we have come to expect, it wasn’t as serious or as gritty as the others, which is something that I missed, but it did not mean that there was nothing to love. Spectre was shot well, and looks great, and is carried by some solid performances. Craig is, of course, a phenomenal Bond and my favourite (though that is well known by now, I am sure), and Ben Whishaw makes for a wonderful Q, I still think that he represents a modernised Q perfectly. After I realised that this Bond might have more campier moments to it, I could even embrace the silly comments, and Q being a lot, uhm, more ridiculous than previously. He used to take things seriously, and next thing I know he is complaining about his cats and sniggering at his terribly awkward Aston jokes. Ralph Fiennes’s M started quite rocky here, as I definitely expected more backbone from his character. I have been itching to see Christoph Waltz take on Bond, and I was not disappointed. He was fantastic every moment he was on screen, which is nothing less than I expected. The man is such a phenomenal actor and excels at any role he decides to take on. I am totally looking forward to seeing more of his character in the upcoming Bond films, no ways did they bring him in just for this one. The scene with Madeleine and Bond in the traincar felt like a throwback to Casino Royale, but just didn’t sit right. In actual fact, there were tons of throwbacks to the older Bond films, and some worked better than others. I do enjoy how the last few Bond films (the Craig era) have all linked up nicely. Spectre also featured so much… well, Bond banging the world again, which was really disappointing, as the Craig Bonds have not really featured that aspect much, which was something I always appreciated. Monica Bellucci was case in point… she served no real purpose but to look beautiful. Léa Seydoux’s Dr Madeleine Swann was a really good Bond girl, she is a strong woman who can hold her own, so definitely a solid addition. Also, while Bautista may have been a villain of few words, I really liked him, and a throwback to the quieter henchman that just did their thing. I could not buy into South Africa being the holdouts on the whole Nine Eyes intelligence thing because, well, have you been reading anything smart about South Africa in the papers? Didn’t think so. Our government and intelligence agencies are a joke. Not even being nasty, but really, there is nothing there anymore, it’s embarrassing. I also really disliked that Sam Smith song Writing’s on the Wall (I have no idea who he is, I don’t listen to the radio, but he is not someone I will be listening to anytime soon – totally not my cup of tea), and I was no fan of the opening credits. I cringed. What a pity, too, because the whole octopus thing would have been fine, but instead was bordering on some extreme Hentai crap, and Daniel Craig could not have looked more awkward. Well, I am glad we got that out of the way. I was a huge fan of the opening sequence with the Day of the Dead parade, it was just gorgeous, but I do wish there had been some more to it. The action was top notch here, as always, and I liked little things in the movie that highlighted, once again, how emotionally damaged Craig’s Bond is (his flat that is bare, his drinking, how he can still not bare to deal with anything that touches on Vesper). Yes, Spectre has some drawbacks and shortcomings, and no, it was not quite the film I was expecting, but it is well worth a watch and it is fun, and it does go back to older Bond roots. It is totally not the disaster it has been painted.

Rapid Review: The Zero Theorem (2013)

the zero theorem poster

“Waiting for The Call. What other reason is there to pick up the phone?”
– Qohen Leth

SYNOPSIS: A computer hacker whose goal is to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; namely, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him. – via IMDB

zero theorem

GRADE 7I sat throughout this movie with a wtf-is-going-on attitude. Not because it was bad, but because it was a bizarre journey to take. Waltz delivered a great performance, and I absolutely love listening to this man. His voice, his cadence, its all very mesmerising. While he may have not been as eloquent as his role as King Schultz, or as thrilling as Hans Landa, Qohen was his own unique and bizarre character. I loved his usage of “we” and “us” instead of “I”, and his twitchy mannerisms were interesting to watch. He was absolutely crazy and strange, yet at the same time you want to know more about him, and you hope he realises all those things he is evidently hanging onto in life. Lucas Hedges as Bob entertained me endlessly, he was certainly one of my favourite characters. The way he and Qohen taught each other things and learned from one another was so cool, and Bob’s energy was palpable. There were things that I did not really get in this movie all the time, but that wasn’t too important. The constume design was fantastical and crazy, suiting the style of the movie down to a tee, and I loved the settings and scenery used in this film. Qohen’s home being in an abandoned church was interesting, and it had both a beautiful and depressing feel to it at the same time. The camera work was cool, and the plot layout had you wondering what the hell was going on the whole way through. I really wish Matt Damon had been given a bigger role, I do so love his work (even when he has crappy roles like Max in Elysium). I had a giggle at the Church of Batman the Redeemer, and the way the dystopian future was portrayed was incredibly weird, yet it worked. I don’t really know what else to say about it. I think that some people look at this as a missed opportunity comedy or something, and while there are scenes that are humorous and all, overall it is more depressing than anything else, but I liked that. This movie is certainly not going to be for everyone, of that I am certain, but as for me, I liked it.