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Frank Lloyd Wright designs us a look at INGLOURIOUS BASTARDS & Jack Burton & Mr. Fuschia have thoughts too!

Hey folks, Harry here... and I can not see this movie soon enough. I'm dying. Frank here, has seen the film at a screening in L.A. last night that included a Q&A with Tarantino. Here's the results...

Hey Harry & Quint- I was lucky enough to catch an early screening of Inglourious Basterds at the Bridge here in Los Angeles tonight. Lucky because Quentin Tarantino was there to introduce the film and do a 30 min Q & A afterwards. It was a pretty cool for someone who doesn't get out to movie premieres too often (I'm married with kids!). Anyway. I'm trying to find the words that best describe the movie for me: compelling, enjoyable, wrought with tension, character driven. I'm sure there are more. I won't go into too many specifics, there are those who will, and I know you posted some after the film was at Cannes last week. Needless to say the movie had a lot of the QT traits we've come to associate with him. It had chapters that bounced around from one story line to another, some grueling scenes of violence, foot fetishes, strong acting and dialogue. Having read some of the previous reviews on your site, I was concerned that it might be a little too long, and a little too much talking, not enough action. Having said that, it is long and has a lot of dialogue and story, but if anything I wish it had more of that. I felt like the movie could have easily been three hours and I would have sat through it comfortably, because I was immersed in the characters and the story. If any story line is under served, it may be the actual Inglorious Basterds band of brothers. Quentin Tarantino alluded to the fact that some of their back story was left out. I'm sure a lot of people will go in thinking that this is primarily what the movie is about, but its not. In some ways they serve to keep the plot moving along. My only other issue was that some of the recognizable faces took me out of the story sometimes (for me it was Eli Roth and Mike Myers). Also I liked Brad Pitts character and delivery, but whatever he was doing with his chin I also found a bit distracting. Here's what I loved: all of the European actors. Christoph Waltz deserves every accolade he is getting. He knocks it out of the park. For some reason he kept reminding me of a young James Woods. Also Melanie Laurent as Shosanna and Daniel Bruhl as Fredrick Zoller had incredible chemistry together. Bruhl in some ways makes a character with a horrific past come off very sympathetically. Finally the tension in the movie at several points was well drawn out and felt palpable. The opening scene in the farmhouse, the lunch with the strudel and creme, and the bar scene were probably my favorite scenes. So I find myself going back to how to best describe this film. I come back to compelling every time. QT pushed himself on this film, and it shows. More often than not it succeeds. About the Q&A afterwards, I thought the questions from the audience were pretty milquetoast. Stuff like what was your inspiration for this scene (in particular the opening scene is an homage to spaghetti westerns), why the misspelling of the title (he wanted to keep that to himself), why does Sam Jackson narrate some of the scenes (because he's become of the voice of QT, even when he's in other people's movies). After a question about adapting from books or graphic novels, he had small dig on the "visionary" title given to Zack Snyder for Watchmen. He obviously spoke about his love of genres, and was asked what his next genre would be and he mentioned it might be a western. Someone asked the stupid question about prequels to Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and he pretty much laughed that off saying that everyone is too old now. He did mention there's probably another Kill Bill movie in him, but he wants to give the Bride some time to rest and recover. The audience was really receptive and he seemed to enjoy himself. He was very generous with his time, even walking out with the audience and answering questions as he walked with people back toward the parking. Best regards! If you use this call me Frank Lloyd Wright

And I just got this look from Jack Burton!

ello Harry, Had the fortune of attending an early preview screening of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS tonight at the Bridge in Los Angeles, which turned out to be a much bigger event than I was anticipating. Apparently this was the first screening of film after Cannes, and Quentin himself was actually present to introduce the film and take a few questions from the audience at the end of the screening, which was pretty darn awesome! I'll give my thoughts on the film, but readers be warned, SOME SPOILERS will follow: I've been a huge fan of Quentin's for many years, and have enjoyed his different takes on a variety of genres, but was a little curious how he'd fare with what is essentially his first true "period" piece. Needless to say, I was pretty blown away, and feel the film might be one of his best. A lot of the Tarantino trademarks are certainly still present (classic Morricone music, a chapter-type narrative, the obsession with women's feet, etc), yet the film still feels very true to the period and isn't at all "modern and hip" like I was worried that it would be. In fact, Tarantino went the extra mile in authenticity with this in that probably at least half of the film is in French or German and subtitled, which is a pretty brave move for a major American release. Now, there's been quite a few negative reviews from Cannes slamming the film for being too "talky." Yes, there are an exceptional number of lengthy dialogue scenes throughout the film (as there is with most of Quentin's work) but I think the people hating on this film were missing the point that most of these scenes serve, which was to build some genuinely tense moments up to their full breaking point. The prime example of this is the opening scene, where Christoph Waltz's Colonel Landa does a lengthy and nasty interrogation with a poor farmer to determine if he's hiding any Jews in his home. The scene plays for so long it literally qualifies as the entire first act of the movie, but is completely riveting the whole way through and really sets the tone for the rest of the film quite well. And speaking of Christoph Waltz, this guy was a pretty remarkable find! Tarantino mentioned at the beginning of the screening that Waltz won the best actor prize at Cannes, and I feel it was well deserved, for in Colonel Landa he creates a Nazi who is memorably evil for how amazingly "polite" he is in his interrogations of others. It was like watching a coiled snake and just waiting for it to strike, and I thought he might've been one of the most effective and creepy villains I've ever seen. The narrative itself was also particularly interesting and not at all what I expected it to be. The ad campaign for INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS has been depicting it as this "Dirty Dozen"-ish movie about Brad Pitt and his gang running around killing Nazis. This is not the case, and in fact, Pitt surprisingly only appears for about a third of the film and the Basterds themselves are never really explored in depth. They are used more as the boogeymen for the Nazis in the background of the proceedings, and are really just one group of players for a big final sequence that the whole movie is winding up to. The true main character of the film is a young Jewish girl name Shosanna (Melanie Laurent, again, another amazing find) who escapes execution from the Nazis at the beginning of the film and is put in a rather unique position to exact revenge later on. Without spoiling it either, the ending of the film is pretty shocking and amazing as well, and is something I think a lot of WWII enthusiasts are either going to absolutely love or get insanely frustrated by. Oh, and for all those fans scratching their heads as to why David Bowie's CAT PEOPLE song was on the soundtrack listing for this flick, rest assured, it's used pretty brilliantly. All in all, I thought it was one of Quentin's best, and I'll be anxious to see it again at the end of August to see if any major changes were made to the version we got to see tonight. If you use this, call me Jack Burton.

Then there's this one from Mr. Fuschia...

Hi Harry, Tonight I was part of a small audience that attended a free RSVP screening of Tarantino's new film, Inglourious Basterds, in a large theater in LA. Apparently we were the first audience to see the film since the crew's return from Cannes. Little did we know that Tarantino himself would be showing up to introduce the film and to offer a 30-minute Q & A afterwards. Most of what Tarantino discussed in the Q & A has been covered in the press already, so I'll just mention that when asked about the film or genre he might be working in next, Tarantino said a western was a strong possibility. It's pretty much shit considering the stream of false Tarantino rumor's we've had (Bond film, Friday the 13th, Vega Brothers) but this time it's straight from the horse's mouth. Inglourious Basterds is unlike anything Tarantino has ever done and challenges your expectations every step of the way, while still retaining a lot of the style and themes that were so enjoyable in his previous films. There's a pounding pop soundtrack made mostly of Ennio Morricone cues, but there's also a great sequence set to David Bowie's "New York's In Love" that's a cheerful bit of anachronism. There are many long scenes of conversation across multiple languages that build to sudden, horrifying violence and they are executed perfectly, reminding you of the best scenes in Reservoir Dogs. The characters are, typical of Tarantino, pretty iconic. The two standouts are Hans Landa, a chief SS officer, and Eli Roth as Donny Donowitz, the "Bear Jew". Landa is great because he is wicked, but not in the stark raving mad way of most movie Nazis. He interrogates people in a manner that reminds me of cats picking the feathers off caught birds...delaying the inevitable just to make his prey squirm. Roth performs unexpectedly well as an insane Brooklynite who clubs Nazis to death like a caveman and-SPOILER-unloads on Hitler at close range, in the face with a machinegun until he's pulp-SPOILER END. His behavior does the impossible, by making you question whether so much brutality should ever be inflicted on the Nazis in wartime. For any curious about Mike Myers' role/cameo, it seamlessly fits with the tone of the film and is handled pretty tastefully. In other words, he's convincing for his 5 minutes onscreen as a British doesn't seem like a Dr. Evil spinoff or anything. The movie is told in chapters, jumping from the Basterds entrenched in Europe, to the Nazis plotting their counterattack, to a Jew living secretly as a cinema owner in Paris, and finally to a British espionage agent mounting an offensive with the Basterds. The strands all tie together in a huge finale (very reminiscent of the siege at the end of Dirty Dozen) at a German movie premiere, with some violent gags and twists to contend with the best Tarantino has ever done. Through it all, the movie reflects, as always, his love for watching and making films. His heroine is a projectionist who SPOILER wants to burn down the premiere with silver nitrate film SPOILER, the german double agent is a movie star, and the british officer assigned to him is a famous movie critic. This makes the movie more fun: it's his personal ode to the art of watching and making movies, but its also a successful genre film. You get your WWII action and camraderie, but you also get your lengthy discussions of filmmaker G.W. Pabst. Because its more literate and talky than any of Tarantino's other movies (except maybe Jackie Brown), it might not have the same rabid following as Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction, but Basterds is definitely a quality piece. It's comforting to know that the stamp "a film by Quentin Tarantino" still guarantees an amazing time at the movies. If you use this review, call me "Mr. Fuschia"
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