Sunday, February 28, 2010

Road trip and Inglorious Basterds

Busy few days for the Rileys. On Thursday morning we drove over to Albuquerque for a feis. We went to a sports bar Thursday night, Sneakers, to watch the Badgers put a beat down on Indiana. Friday we went to a science museum and the girls went nuts in the pool. Friday night the Albuquerque contingent of Tir Conail threw a little party for the out-of-towners. I spent a good chunk of the party watching the women's gold medal curling match. Quite a nice time actually. The feis itself was Saturday morning; the girls finished dancing by noon. We got our last results around 12:45, on the road by 1:00, home around 7:30, pretty good time I'd say. It was about 9:00 by the time we got everything unpacked and the girls in bed, so I was thinking a little Olympics, call it an early night. Meg surprised me by suggesting we watch Inglorious Basterds, which we'd finally gotten from Netflix. It had been in our queue for six weeks, very long wait my ass, so Meg called before we left, and whatdayaknow, it was in the mail before we left Tucson. A little proactive goes a long way sometimes. I have to say, we haven't been impressed with Netflix lately, they need to get their act together.

Meg falls asleep during movies quite a bit, much more than she will admit to, so starting a 2 and 1/2 hour movie after 9:00 is not the norm in the Riley house. With the Oscars a week away however, Meg will go to drastic measures to see as many of the movies as possible. There was no need to worry about Meg falling asleep during this one, way too good to be falling asleep. Inglorious Basterds is Taratino doing an old school war picture. I kept expecting to see digital versions of Lee Marvin or John Wayne show up. The acting is great, Tarantino has a real knack for casting. I thought Brad Pitt was great as Aldo Raine, leader of the Basterds, another good comedic performance from him. Chris Waltz is sweeping all the awards for his work as Hans Landa, the Jew Hunter, and deservedly so. From the very first scene you know he's nailed it. That first scene was reminiscent of Dennis Hopper and Chris Walken in True Romance for me. I know Tarantino didn't direct TR, but he wrote it, and both scenes are unusually long, with a sense of impending doom building through the strength of the acting. I also saw shadows of Reservoir Dogs in the basement scene. It's these kinds of scenes that make Tarantino great. Of course, putting them all together into a cohesive whole is no small task, and a lot of movies fail to do it. As usual, Tarantino uses multiple plot lines and nonlinear storytelling to tie it all together beautifully. He may never match Pulp Fiction in my eyes, but I think this is his best work since then.

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