The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

« Previous Post | The Big Picture Home | Next Post »

Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds': Kosher porn?

For me, the most fascinating thing about the blogs that've been posting reviews today from Cannes of Quentin Tarantino's WWII Nazi-scalping action fantasy (he has the Reich apparently coming to an end not in Hitler's bunker, but in a Paris movie theater) is that the postings clearly reflect each blog's rooting interest in the film and the director, whose PR campaign is orchestrated by the Weinstein Co., which will release the film later this summer. In other words, the bloggers who tend to like Harvey Weinstein are posting good reviews; the bloggers who loathe him are gleefully accentuating the negative.

ET-BigPicture20

For example, we have New York magazine's Vulture blog playing up the snark, writing off the film as "boring," bolstering its verdict with a host of negative reviews, including one from Movieline's David Bourgeois, who writes: "By the end of the film -- almost two-and-a-half hours later -- its hard to care much about what happens to anybody on screen."

On the other hand, Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke was helpfully touting the movie, running a trio of favorable reviews from the British press, which she introduced with the claim that "Inglourious Basterds' " Cannes debut had been greeted with a "great reaction from the general audience with a huge ovation even with no talent in attendance." She only posts positive reviews, including a critique from Empire magazine that calls the film "rather brilliant," saying it was a "wonderfully acted movie that subverts expectation at every turn."

But even Nikki's readers were skeptical about her review choices. The first post on her comments page was from a reader who asked, "Why not include the Guardian's review too?" The reader helpfully supplied a highlight from the Peter Bradshaw review: "Quentin Tarantino's cod-WW2 schlocker about a Jewish-American revenge squad intent on killing Nazis in German-occupied France is awful. It is achtung-achtung-ach-mein-Gott atrocious."

The reviews keep coming in from all media outposts, with Variety mixed, the Hollywood Reporter largely negative and Time magazine's Richard and Mary Corliss declaring the movie "a misfire." My colleague Ken Turan, who was also at the screening, calls the film a "self-indulgent piece of violent alternate history." However, my favorite assessment of the film comes from director Eli Roth, who shot some of the film's second-unit footage. He defends the film's narrative conceit about tough Jews getting revenge against Hitler, describing it as "kosher porn. It's something I dreamed since I was a kid." 

Photo: Director Quentin Tarantino at the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Patricia Williams / For The Times 

 
Comments () | Archives (16)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I'm trying to figure out how you ascertained a reviewer's alleged like/dislike for Harvey Weinstein. Did they call you up and tell you?

I seriously wonder how this film will make any money. If looking at the recent showing of Holocaust films and Valkryie is any indication, than folks are a little tired of the "tough jew taking revenge on evil german" thing.

The best review seems to have come from Eli Roth, a jewish-american, who called it "Kosher Porn." I'm sure that Jewish people in the West and Israel will be happy to see it, but I doubt that anyone else will. Especially with the developments between Israel-Palestine and missteps by Jewish-Americans with the AIPAC and Harman scandals, I don't think Israel or Jewish Americans are particularly popular.

I don't like Horror films, so I won't be seeing this anyway. I think Tarantino needs to start making films people want to see.

You either get Tarantino's films, or you don't. I think they're funnier than hell, but most people probably only see the violence as gratuitous.

my favorite review said it was Brad Pitt's worse performance of his life. I never thought he could be worse than "TroY" wow!

I believe that Tarantino's problem with his films lately, is that he gets too enamored in filming his female stars' bare feet any chance he gets.

I am looking forward to this one. Tarantino's movies may not all be masterpieces, but I find them entertaining and I usually enjoy the hell out of the music. What he is really good at is the buildup and payoff. I appreciate it for what it is. Cheers!

Tarantino is very much like the Axl Rose or Fred Durst of directors in that he's alienated so many people with his egomaniacal narcissism that he's really got a tough road ahead with this movie. The road is littered with bodies, so of course many are rooting for him to fail.

The problems that were evident in the screenplay, no character development, endless talk and almost no action, apparently made its way right to the screen. Universal better sit on him, cut him down to very few interviews like Fox did with M. Night Smoke and Mirrors on The Happening, or he'll end up burying himself and the movie with his mouth and his hubris.

i don't like statements of unwarranted self importance. i think i should start making posts that people want to see.

I already love it. WWII is cinema gold and always will be. People will NEVER EVER EVER get tired of the whole evil German thing. I personally think they should make an entirely separate awards show just for movies about this time period, because really, what other period in history matters?

Who needs alternate history? Jews did fight Hitler, as part of the Allied armies. I'm most amazed by the yids in the Soviet army, who fought Hitler even while they had to put up with incredible anti-semitism from some of their Russian officers and enlisted. I wish someone would tell that story. It really happened, and it made a difference to end the Shoah.

 
1 2 | ยป

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:



About the Bloggers


Categories


Archives
 


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: