Posts Tagged ‘Brad Pitt’

“Inglourious Basterds”

September 9, 2009
Steeped in Nazi film ideology, why wouldn't there be a cinea in "Inglorious Basterds"?

Steeped in Nazi film ideology, why wouldn't there be a cinea in "Inglorious Basterds"?

In Quentin Tarantino’s new film “Inglourious Basterds” it’s true that the Basterds are on display, all the billboards, all the movie trailers, every blurb makes it appear that they are the main characters, led by mega star Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, a good old boy with a deep respect for his Native American heritage, as he leads his merry men on a carnage ladden path through occupied France to scalp some “Naazis”. What a great hook for a film, and it’s pretty close to the truth, but only a part of the truth.

Tarantino gets to that, but he’s smart enough to know that it’s merely a hook. For some filmmakers it would be enough to show this intense group of Nazi killers as they roam the country side, but he’s up to more here. Giant robots fight on Earth. It’s a hook, a great logline to get people to come watch the movie, but that’s all Transformers is. Basterds is full of the richness of a filmmaker that has finally tamed his own desire for pulp retreads, and has found his own voice.

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Burn After Reading: Deceptively Incoherent

September 18, 2008
The face that starts it all.

The epitomy of insecurity.

It’s like the good old days when all of the big star names would get together to make a nice bit of nonsense. Everyone here is great. J.K. Simmons, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins…and yes, more. Sometimes I wonder if the Coen Brothers just like to make movies with big stars just to show us they can. We all know that’s not the case.

As Antonio says, “I’m far more serious than my custom.” So are the Coen Brothers.

While watching Burn After Reading a song popped into my head, Eleanor Rigby by The Beetles. It’s a song about lonely people, Burn is littered with the people of this planet that are so lonely and depressed they don’t know how to not dig themselves into a whole. The insecurity factor in this film is so high the first place I walked to when the movie finished was a mirror in the men’s room to tell myself how great I was. Everything in this film – each action and reaction is based on the character’s inabilty to cope with their own decisions…so they make worse ones. It’s really quite amusing to watch, only because I see a lot of them in me.

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“The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”

October 6, 2007

assassination of jesse james

(As a note all I knew about this film while walking into it was that it starred Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck and was shot by the unapproachable DP Roger Deakins. If you wish to have that same surprise, then don’t read on. For those of you who do I won’t give away much, except that Jesse James is assassinated.)

I love long titles to movies but that didn’t stop my friend and I from joking while walking into the theatre about it. We could remember the first part The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward… and then we’d mumble into silence, truly a good laugh. After having seen this film I don’t think I’ll ever forget his name, …Rober Ford, though whether or not he was a coward should be left up to you. (more…)

Movie review from LA June 3 – June 10: “Hostel: Part II”, “Day Watch”, “Ocean’s”, Apatow’s “Knocked Up”

June 12, 2007

Gosh where do I start from this past weekend. I’ve seen 4 very different kinds of films between last Friday and today…Monday. Not only that but I’ve been going through the worst cold I’ve had in 4 years time. My head is swirling with sharply and poorly acted and written characters, dialogue, styles of directing, images of gore, of the fantastical, of 60’s and 70’s throwbacks, of comical and dramatic moments, of brutally hilarious disturbing images, of sexual intercourse (the kind that leads to really bad things). My weekend has been filled with tension and laughs, escapist fun and reality that’s almost too real to want to laugh at, and then reality that’s too real to watch. For one weekend at the movies, that’s a pretty crazy ride. I’m going to start with the most recent seen and perhaps the least favorite moment of the ride.

Being sick there’s that moment when you think you’re done using the bathroom, so you pull away and to your surprise realize that you may not have been done and end up having to wipe off the floor or your leg a little bit. Eli Roth’s “Hostel: Part II” felt like that dribble to me. Or at least parts of it did. Large parts of it. Only instead of cleaning those parts up and flushing them down the toilet with the other bad ideas, Roth kept it to show the world. Thank you Eli! In keeping some of those ideas there’s a certain kind of inspiration that you find in the Hostel films, one lacking in other films of this recently resurrected genre (Saw and it’s sequels). There’s a joy that Eli Roth takes in the carnage, and in that joy you see moments of someone who has the potential to be a really good filmmaker, which means there are moments of”Hostel II” in which we witness a great film, just as there were in the first “Hostel”.

“Hostel” surprised me. It was in fact a film that I intended not to see. It wasn’t until I was thoroughly creeped-out by the very simple teaser for “Hostel II”…

…that I started jonesing to see the first. That same level of psychological fear that I found in the teaser flowed underneath Roth’s surprise hit. Sure, there was gore to be had, but much of it was hidden in the shadows or cleverly built up to, or used to create emotional gravitas. And this is where Roth excels in part II. (more…)


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