Dueling Film Reviews: JDub on Inglourious Basterds

Posted 11/20/2009 by JDub in Labels: , , , ,
This week, WHayes and I are reviewing Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds." I ended up loving this film--in spite of Brad Pitt's atrocious accent--and I'll even say it might be Tarantino's most palatable creation yet. Normally his films are just a bit too heavy-handed with the blood and guts, but "Inglourious Basterds" balances this with outrageous humor and incredible acting, writing, and cinematic value.

I have found myself bombarded by the enormous marketing budget of this film. Because of how it's trailer pervades TV, the Internet, and theater previews, I feel like I've seen it a hundred times without even trying. Take a look if you're needing a refresher:


To be frank, this preview simply did not make me want to go out of my way to see the movie. The portrayal was simply too slapstick, too violent, and the scenes in it were too clearly out of context to have really been appealing to me. The shorter previews on TV are even worse: boiling a two and a half hour film down to a bunch of shooting, a silly portrayal of Hitler, and Brad Pitt's over-acting.

I guess I should have expected more knowing Tarantino's very serious, artsy auteur persona, but regardless, this film may have been wildly violent and strangely silly, yet these moments were framed in a very, very high quality cinematic production. The casting and acting were incredible, especially Mike Myers' contribution: far less campy than we've come to expect from Mr. Crazy Character Actor.

The point is that the previews for "Inglourious Basterds" turned out to be portraying something very different from the actual movie. Everything about it that would turn me off from wanting to see it was crammed together in the trailers, and everything that I felt made the film so exceptional was ignored. The notion that violently killin' Nazis and silly Hitler alone are enough to attract as large an audience as possible for the film does not compute for me.

Give me a trailer that is a purposefully transparent portrayal of what I can expect from a film, or else you run the risk of attracting too small or too narrow an audience. Let your work speak for itself.

Dear Universal Pictures,




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