Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Inglorious Bastards! Quentin is Right!
Let me preface this review with this:
Quentin Tarantino is remaking this film. His version is basically a cousin of this one, and not a straight-out remake. That said, I've wanted to see this movie ever since reading a post "Kill Bill" interview with Tarantino where he said he was working on his World War II project. The group of misfits teaming up for a dangerous mission film has been done many times, most famously in "The Dirty Dozen" . I thought that this film was just a cheapjack Italian rip off of The Dirty Dozen, and I'm a huge fan of that film, so I was actually a little apprehensive about buying its new fancy pants DVD incarnation. Luckily, it was in the movie store and I plopped down my change for a rental.
I immediately knew that this was much more than a cheap Dirty Dozen remake. This movie is awesome. It hits the ground running and never slows down. That said, let me talk about something way more boring: Schlitz. The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous with "Just A Kiss Of The Hops". Its really not very good. I never liked it, even when I wore cans of cheap ass beer like war medals in college. I always thought it was crappier than Hamm's and Pabst. And it is. But now, it holds some good memories. During my stint as a lobsterman, me and the Captain would head to the Squealing Pig for burgers after getting off the boat. The burgers are delicious there, but the beers are very expensive. Except for Schlitz. Three bucks for a tall can, sign us up. That first thirst quenching beer after a long hard day on the sea is great. That said, it tastes like butter and corn. And it really isn't that good. But, I like it these days.
So, I settled in with my Schlitz tall can and watched this obscure classic. Its about a group of deserters, murderers and thieves who are on their way to prison and execution in 1944 France. On the way there, a German fighter plane attacks the transport. This is a great sequence, with the guards holding the prisoners at gun point, while the fighter plane is raking the truck with bullets. The prisoners are getting shot at by the Germans and the Americans at the same time. The survivors escape, under the leadership of badasses Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson. The action never stops, as the Americans and Germans are their enemies. This is brilliant material for Tarantino to sink his teeth into. A movie where the heroes are bad guys in World War II France, just trying to get out alive with their freedom. It definitely has anti-war undercurrents. I think I actually like this film more than "The Dirty Dozen". There is way more action, and the characters are interesting because they are fighting for self-preservation, not for duty or country. This is slam bang, balls to the wall action fun right from the gate until the final frame. And its got such a great name. Looking forward to Quentin's interpretation. Three great movies in two days, the movie God is smiling on me this week. Final thoughts: this movie is extreme fun and Schlitz is garbage, but I like it.