I watch movies. Netflix, as of late, have been my best friend [outside my wife of course]. It has allowed me to watch movies instantly or get movies in the mail. I watch movies to be entertained, I watch movies to learn, I watch movies to break up the everyday monotony of life.
The latest movie that has been in my DVD player was Inglourious Basterds. The 2009 Quentin Tarantino film starring Brad Pitt and many many others. I would have never known that Mike Myers was in this film. Had I not read Wikipedia, I would have never known that the actor who played Hans Landa won an award at the Cannes Film Festival for best actor. Had I not watched this movie, I would have a number of other things to talk about, none of which would have been as interesting as this blog is or isn't.
It's rare I watch a movie twice within 12 hours. I have done it, but the last film that got me to watch it twice in 12 hours was ID4 [Independence Day]. I have watched Pulp Fiction on back to back nights, but that doesn't count because it was the only movie in the house when I forgot to pay the cable bill, so by default I watched it a few times.
Watching a movie that many times over and over, you learn a directors style, methods, and personality. There is no secret that Tarantino is a great story teller. From the cubist nature of Pulp Fiction from the flashback story telling of Reservoir Dogs, to the blaxploitation style of Jackie Brown, to the double feature movie Grindhouse, Tarantino has a romantic eye for movie making. He makes movies the way they did way back when. Before digital cameras, flash animation, special effects, and computer animation. He doesn't make movies. James Cameron makes movies. Tarantino makes films.
Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino's latest creation, brings gritty, often uncomfortable subjects of Nazi Germany into your living room. His characters seem to leap off the screen and into your lap. You can feel the nuances of Col. Hans Landa, to the vengeance of Shosanna Dreyfus all while giving you a very coherent film.
This film pulled me in. This film made feel what it would be like hiding from the SS and Gestapo, or what it would feel like to be scrutinized my the enemy while I was far behind enemy lines. This film may be a work of fiction but Tarantino brought the Holocaust and the evil of the Nazi's into my living room, and in the end, it doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth. The conclusion is perfect and poignant and at times this movie is laugh out loud funny.
As far as the look of the film, it brought me so close, I could smell the perfume on Bridget von Hammersmark, or the sweat on her shoes as Landa interrogates her. I could smell the stale cigarette smoke in the tavern as the British agent meets with his contact in a bar with a room full of Nazi's. I smell the blood on the hands of the "Apache" as the scalped the heads of the Nazi's as they killed them. I could feel the rage of the "Bear Jew" and I could sense the uncomfortable feeling you get when you are stuck between hiding your friends or turning them in to the Germans to save yourself.
This kind of emersion doesn't happen very often.
Wifey didn't see the appeal of this film as I did. To her, this was, "A bloody and gore-y film that wasn't a bad movie". Why do they need to put that in the movie? That was unnecessary. Why do you make me watch these movies? I am going to strap you to the couch and make you watch one of 'My' movies with me, she says. I wouldn't mind being strapped to the couch, but that is another blog for another time.
To me a well made movie can be as bloody and gore-y as necessary, as long as it does something other than shock you. Blood isn't in this movie just because Tarantino knew a good make-up guy. He put it in in order to tell the story. In order to put you there. In order to see the glory in the Inglourious.