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So great,

-Shady

"Inglourious Basterds"

1. I used to love Quentin Tarantino… fifteen years ago. Since then, I have to be honest, I’ve been pretty bored with everything he’s put out. “Jackie Brown” was painful, the “Kill Bill” movies were way too long and masturbatory, and, let’s admit it, his segments in both “Four Rooms” and “Grindhouse” were the worst of the batch. So I approached “Inglourious Basterds” with some hesitation because, well, his track record as of late hasn’t been the best. But with that being said, I can excitedly and honestly now say this: Tarantino is back with his best film since 1994′s “Pulp Fiction.” And the best part is that he’s back doing what he does best: Weaving individual story lines of interesting characters together, with hilarious and brilliant dialogue serving as the glue. Oh, and he’s killing every motherfucker in the room with hyper-violence.

2. My only two gripes:

1) Mike Myers (yes, that Mike Myers) plays a small role in the film as a Brit. He’s in full makeup (including what I’m assuming is a fake nose) and talks with a bad British accent. But while I do like Myers in a handful of movies (“So I Married An Ax Murderer,” “Wayne’s World”), the whole thing just reeks of a clichéd Myers character creation from “Austin Powers.” His placement is awkward, his performance laughable, and not in a good way.

2) Most of the score feels at home in the film, but in one specific scene (don’t worry, I’m not giving spoilers here) David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out The Fire)” is used. Because, you know, nothing says 1940′s World War II-era Germany like a David Bowie tune from 1982. Like Myers cameo, the song sticks out as feeling both out of place and unnecessary.

3. While parts of the movie are wonderfully violent, Tarantino picks and chooses when to show the violence and when not to. The movie’s first scene is extremely tense, and you have a fairly good idea that something is going happen. But in the end, the climax is handled in a way that isn’t typical for Tarantino. Because of decisions like this, the acts of intense violence have much more of an impact.

4. The cast is fantastic. Outside of Brad Pitt and B.J. Novak from “The Office” (and appearance-less cameos from Harvey Keitel and Samuel L. Jackson), the rest of the cast has either done very little acting or appeared mostly in foreign films. Because of this, their performances are extremely believable. We’re not seeing an actor’s interpretation of, say, Joseph Goebbels. We’re seeing Joseph Goebbels. And, man, is he a cocksucker. Whoever handled the casting on this movie should be given some kind of a casting award. Not sure if that actually exists or not, but if it does, they should get it.

5. The ending is amazing. I spent the last five minutes of the movie laughing outloud with giddy pleasure… even though it wasn’t really appropriate. After it was over, I literally whispered to myself with a giggle, “Holy fuck.”

My verdict? Outside of “Up,” this is the best film of the year so far.

The Bear Jew,

-Shady

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount Pictures)

1. Clocking in at just under three hours long, some serious editing could have come in handy.

2. Brad Pitt as a super-old man looks like a creature from that eighties movie “Ghoulies.” You know the one, with the poster where they’re crawling out of the toilet.

Ghoulie? Or Brad Pitt as an old man?

Ghoulie? Or Brad Pitt as an old man?

Yeah. That one.

3. Beautifully shot and a great look and feel, but some of the acting came across as being a bit stilted. Part of this may be due to the fact that some of the actors’ faces were put onto bodies with CG. Or it could be because a lot of aging makeup was used, making it hard to deliver lines naturally through all of that gunk. Or maybe it was just because no one on set could concentrate with so much hot ass in the room.

4. David Fincher strays from what he knows best: serial killers and split personalities. It still works on some level, but the story might be a little too fantastical for him to do it complete justice. Just imagine, for example, if he had directed “Big Fish.” As much as I love Fincher, directors like Burton, Gondry or Jonze may have been more appropriate for the director’s chair.

5. Cate Blanchett is a freakishly hot elf woman. Before tonight, I had never seen anything she’s been in (save for the new Indiana Jones movie, which sucked, so I didn’t pay attention to it), but with this movie I definitely took note. NOTE TO DIRECTORS: Make more movies with Cate Blanchett in it, but put her in movies I will actually go see. To be read: Pixar movies and crappy, cheeseball horror flicks.

RATING: 1 realization that Cate Blanchett is hot, 1 confirmation that Brad Pitt is still hot

And if this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to age backward,

-Shady

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