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David Poland

By David Poland

Inglourious Basterds Video Review

96 Responses to “Inglourious Basterds Video Review”

  1. LexG says:

    1) GOOD VIDEO.
    2) Poland has NEVER been more wrong about anything, ever: Milk is DELICIOUS.

  2. leahnz says:

    that was the best one yet, DP, weird and wonderful
    the vocal stylings and changes of pace = hilarious
    plus interesting observations about the film to boot
    plus, looking rather studly there with the salt & pepper hair and bonza tan, DP
    plus, brill forced perspective with the milk
    and the really big eggs…nice touch

  3. boltbucket says:

    I don’t get it. The best one yet, Leah? I find that utterly baffling.
    “One of the fascinating things about this movie is that it has no stars.”
    Yeah, that’s some trenchant, insightful criticism there, Dave.
    Also, any particular reason … why you’ve started … to speak with the … same overuse of … ellipses you use … in your writing?
    I don’t know if there was a payoff at the end of the clip. I gave up after 5 minutes of self-promotional wankery and vanity.
    This blog continues its precipitous slide into irrelevance.

  4. anghus says:

    your review is like an apatow film.
    not bad, but just too long.
    hire an editor.

  5. More of the same silliness from Tarantino.
    At this stage, I’m starting to wonder whether some revisionism on his entire portfolio is called for. Seriously.
    And Pitt was awful. Awful. Laughable. Unmotivated. Unsure. Posing.
    That’s my opinion. AN opinion, I guess. I’d love to hear why on earth you think this represented some of Tarantino’s best writing ever, though. Honestly, after the brilliant suspense-building of the first scene (which I chalk up to direction more so than writing), all down hill. And never about anything.
    By the way, why did you give this film a pass with the ole’ “it’s an art film” back-handed compliment, but chastised “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” for also taking its time (all the while being profound, while “Basterds” is quite disposable).
    Just curious. Popped in my head.
    My girlfriend doesn’t like milk either. Never got it.

  6. anghus says:

    i agree with tapley.
    tarantino films are warner brothers cartoons with George Carlin’s 7 words beaten to a bloody death.
    I like Pulp Fiction like everyone else. Resevoir Dogs was a lot of fun. But high holy hell, is the man capable of anything other than regurgitating?
    I thought Death Proof was just awful. I had to fight every urge to walk out the door. People who tell me they like Death Proof are immediately suspect.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    That’s me. I’m suspect! Suspect of what?

  8. anghus says:

    suspected of having no taste.
    suspicion confirmed!

  9. IOIOIOI says:

    Poland, that’s some good silly shit. I like all of that talking. A lot of talking.

  10. Telemachos says:

    How much different does the movie play than its script? I read the online draft when it was making the rounds and thought it was generally terrible (the first scene alone was good and even that felt like it could be borderline parody depending on how it was acted and directed).

  11. Lota says:

    you may have a valid point there, on Jeff’s taste, since Jeff *also* said Black Dhalia was a better flick than LA COnfidential. Briefly, I felt as suicidal as Lex. I lived in a veil of tears. I still haven’t forgiven you Jeff. Watch LA-C again.
    Ugh, I don;t think I like the silliness of Basterds. It would grate after 10 seconds of that.
    bonza on the tan Dave.

  12. Wrecktum says:

    I had an epiphany watching that video. Tarantino needs to write a star vehicle for Shatner. Shatner’s vocal stylings mixed with Tarantino’s offbeat meter and structure equals gold and I implore Quentim to get his next project together stat before the Shat hangs it up for good.
    Shatantino. Must.

  13. Lota says:

    is that the same Epiphany that Sam Raimi had for Bruce Campbell?
    just askin’
    it just popped into my empty head for some reason.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    …or maybe I have EXCELLENT taste.
    To use a Lex-ism, ‘good rebuttal.’
    Lota, I stand by my earlier opinion, although I haven’t watched LAC (nor have I wanted to) in the last three years.

  15. IOIOIOI says:

    Quality taste? Really? Uh no. Black Dhalia over LAC? Never. Go watch a torture porn flick there, buddy.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    You’re stupid.

  17. frankbooth says:

    So watching the movie is an experience similar to sitting through this video? Christ.
    I’ve seen every Tarantino film from RD on — including the wretched Four Rooms — in its initial run. The promise of more Death Proof-style, run-on dialogue + “Eli Roth, actor” is enough to break the precedent. And I even liked Kill Bill, though I won’t go too far out of my way to defend it.
    In other words, I’m a QT fan from the beginning, and should be his target audience — and I’m jumping ship. I’m at the Phantom Menace breaking point.
    Maybe it’s just me. But if my feelings are shared by enough people, it doesn’t bode well for IB. I kind of hope it plays out that way, because another flop could be the best thing for him. A nice, low budget and tight shooting schedule might work wonders for his next film.

  18. frankbooth says:

    And Jeff — you’re happy to jump in and say you liked Death Proof literally every time someone brings it up. It’s like your “Skidoo.” (Hi, Christian!) I don’t know if you ever reviewed it on your blog, but can you tell us why?
    Obviously, you know you’re in the minority, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But what was it about that “fell-in-a-ditch” dialogue that rubbed you the right way? I know it can be harder to say why you like something than why you don’t, but take a stab at it. It mystifies me the way an Armond White review often does.

  19. LYT says:

    I’m sure this review is a specific parody of some of the stuff in the movie…but parodies of stuff no-one else has seen yet don’t always play so well except to insiders.
    I suggest re-posting this once the movie has actually opened, or perhaps it should have been held off from posting till then.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s still funny, and I can kind of guess at what is being mocked…but I’m sure it’ll play better once I know what specifically is being riffed on.

  20. “I gave up after 5 minutes of self-promotional wankery and vanity.”
    Umm… it’s his blog. Everything he puts on here is self-promotion. Duh.
    I believe the use of elipses (as well as the sped up stuff) was a mirror to Tarantino’s work with the film. But I could be wrong.
    I’ve loved every QT film – Death Proof was my #5 film of 2007 even – and don’t see a reason to stop going to see his stuff, although I will admit this one is looking like the first of his films that I won’t be grading A- or above. :/

  21. leahnz says:

    ‘The best one yet, Leah? I find that utterly baffling.’
    well, boltbucket, allow me to retort:
    i tend to view these DP stream-of-consciousness video reviews as wee short films; it’s not so much what he says – not that i’m not interested in his opinion, because i am – but how he says it:
    the set-up, the backgrounds he chooses, how he frames his shot, his wardrobe and personal ‘style’ choices (or amusing lack there-of, as in my previous personal fave, the ‘ultra cazh’ harry potter review in which if he could have given less of a shit he would’ve had to do the review from bed); his apparently off-the-cuff vocals ranging all over the show from earnest to pompous to confused to gobsmacked to uncertain to utter loathing and dismissive, all with a certain bemused undertone that i find hilarious. but that’s just me, obviously.
    this one is particularly interesting because it’s all about the milk: DP obviously took the time to carefully frame his shot and use some forced perspective so that the glass of milk isn’t just a simple glass of milk next to him on a table, it looms bizarrely large in the frame (along with the eggs all very…’wholesome on the farm with dave talking about killing germans’…’? i don’t know).
    his rambling and often conflicting thoughts all lead up to him reaching for the huge glass of milk at the end, which of course goes from dominating the shot to just a glass in his hand (tho that is a honking great glass even at normal size), in what i saw as perhaps a metaphor for his mixed feelings about QT’s flick, both of admiration for the milk and just plain not wanting to drink the bloody stuff after all.
    (of course i may be way too easily amused)

  22. leahnz says:

    in my comment above, i should have included in my list of DP’s off-the-cuff vocals ‘genuine admiration’ as well, because he has clearly given props where he believes they are due in his video reviews

  23. The InSneider says:

    Wow! That felt like an audition for QT’s next movie, DP. And I saw the milk/eggs thing as a play on “glass half full/all your eggs in one basket” sorta thing, but then again, what do I know? Again, it’s all about expectations. Dave seems to be railing against what he thinks other people are expecting from the movie. Who ever said IB would be commercial, besides maybe Harvey? Sure it has Brad Pitt but it’s 2 1/2 hrs in multiple languages. This thing was never going to be Transformers. Are people really expecting some Dirty Dozen-type Jews on a Rampage revenge film? I know the marketing is suspect but you can’t fault Tarantino for having an original vision and having the balls to follow through with it. Who cares if he’s out of touch with mainstream audiences. Mainstream audiences are retarded. He’s never been a big box office guy. He makes the movies he wants to see, and because he has great taste, I trust him to deliver the sorts of movies that I want to see. I haven’t seen IB yet but as far as I’m concerned, QT’s NEVER made a bad movie, a movie I regretted paying money to see. How many people can you say that about? And yes, I’m a shameless QT whore and my favorite movie is Pulp Fiction.

  24. transmogrifier says:

    I got 24 seconds into that video before I had to switch it off.
    For the love of God, write some reviews again.

  25. Krazy Eyes says:

    I love these video reviews that DP does. They’re usually pretty spot-on about what excited or irked him about a film. Are they compiled somewhere? At least he kept his shirt on in this one.
    As for Tarantino, you can also put me down as a former fan who is jumping ship. I saw Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction both twice in the theaters but have found everything he’s done since Jackie Brown to be a bit of a slog. All his latter films have some fun moments but he seems to be endlessly repeating himself and unable to break free of his worst habits. What I once thought was clever I now find somewhat irritating.

  26. Telemachos says:

    The milk’s gotta be a play on the first scene in the film. I won’t go into details for those who’re excited about the film, but it’s a riff similar to “Big Kahuna Burger” in PULP FICTION. Except with Nazis, on a farm.

  27. Er, Poland explains the milk.

  28. pchu says:

    After Jackie Brown, I though QT is on his way to become the most important director in the next decade. However, he seems to be happy to be a director of genre or even cult films. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and I like most of those films. Maybe I am just expecting something different from him.

  29. torpid bunny says:

    I like wrecktum’s suggestion. A lot.
    Moose: The Sarah Palin Story. A film by QT
    Shatner plays Palin in full drag. Eli Roth is William Kristol. After Shatner/Palin reads aloud Goldwater’s complete acceptance speech in a single 30 minute take (a la Godard), Kristol finds he can no longer deny his love…
    The film climaxes with Shatner/Palin singlehandedly stopping a russian invasion of Attu Island by sniping the commies from a helicopter while delivering the final monologue about the menace of socialism. Putin is played by CGI Raul Julia as M. Bison.

  30. Mr. Muckle says:

    Good review, DP, although I can neither agree nor disagree, not having seen it. Very funny. I was CUMB (chuckling under my breath).

  31. anghus says:

    i’ve read a few reviews now, and i have to ask:
    i keep hearing QT’s ‘relevance’ and the question of whether he is still ‘relevant’. no doubt he contributes his own brand of crazy to the film world, but i don’t think he does anything to improve the craft or inspire originality. He’s a pop culture cuisinart. He’s never been anything but. He works in abstracts. He takes things that are out there in the world, mashes them together and puts it in a shiny package.
    I never got the media being so hardcore in the tank for him. When Kill Bill came out, EW did their best of the year list and said the best line of dialogue that year was
    “Silly Rabbit… Trix are for kids”
    Seriously? THAT was the best line of the year. The love for QT seems to come from people who like what he likes and sees value in taking the attention deficit addled fragments and pieces of pop culture and assembling them into violent cartoons. I have no doubt in my mind that Inglorious Basterds might be highly enjoybale. But i know like all cartoons, you outgrow them. I enjoyed Kill Bill but never feel the need to see it again. Death Proof was just awful. Maybe he has a few more enjoyable cartoons. Basterds may be one of them. But can we be intellectually honest for a half second and say that QT is a master of surfaces and nothing more? Still, a master. But a master of nothing relevant.

  32. storymark says:

    Whoah… Black Dhalia over LA Confidential?
    That just…. wow… that’s just f’n stupid.
    I’m speechless that a rational adult would actually think that.

  33. christian says:

    In this day of soulless corporate film branding, QT is a genuine artist who LOVES movies in a way that most released motion pictures obviously don’t. And you can usually nab one or two iconic performances in every film (Kurt Russell in DEATH PROOF) along with some unique, striking filmmaking. And Tarantino helped save Hollywood screenwriting with his focus on dialogue and monologue. Whether you like it or not, there’s a purity of vision here and film would be a sad place without Quentin in the mix.

  34. Telemachos says:

    Christian, that sounds like a write-up from the late ’90s. Certainly no one would dismiss QT’s influence on indie and genre filmmaking, but he’s been spinning his wheels for awhile now. (I’m a huge Kurt Russell fan, but I wouldn’t call his performance in DEATH PROOF even remotely close to iconic.) And while other trendy indie filmmakers from the ’90s have adapted, evolved, and continually make new and different films (Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson, David Fincher, Alexander Payne, etc), QT seems to have followed the Robert Rodriguez playbook: a strong, promising start that devolves into the same old stuff again and again.

  35. christian says:

    One could argue that Wes Anderson has covered the same ground in all his films, filial separation and connection, using the same style and pop soundtrack. But that’s his vision, and I love it.
    I’m just saying, QT is making art, not product, and those are the folk we need to support.

  36. christian says:

    And Kurt Russell IS iconic in DEATH PROOF. Watch the scene where he tells the young girls about his past stunt work or when he seduces Butterfly into getting his lap dance. Or his fantastic, unexpected “man bitch” moment. When has Kurt been better in recent years?

  37. Telemachos says:

    Sorry christian. I support those who engage me. QT doesn’t, anymore. There are plenty of other artistic filmmakers that also need support, and I just don’t have the willingness to blindly go alone with someone whose current vision(s) I find entirely un-interesting.
    I actually agree with you about Wes Anderson — the same thought struck me after I posted, and I’ve grown a lot less interested in his movies now too. I’ll add Soderbergh as an alternative example.

  38. Nicol D says:

    “And you can usually nab one or two iconic performances in every film (Kurt Russell in DEATH PROOF) along with some unique, striking filmmaking. ”
    Kurt Russell is a brilliant and underrated actor but the only thing he is in Death Proof is underused, underbaked and uncooked. Stuntman Mike, could have, should have, would have, been an iconic character for both Russell and QT if Tarantino cared about him at all. Instead, Tarantino gives him one or two good lines and the rest is wasted on a bunch of cliche trash talking grrrrrrrrrllllssss who are about as interesting as watching porridge fall from a pot on a hot summer day.
    He then cares so little for the character that he lets him devolve into some Wile E Coyote cartoon in what must be the worst climax I have ever seen.
    QT has not made a good film in years. The Kill Bills are vastly overrated. He is still non-mainstream enough that critics like him, but he peaked with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Where those films were filled with raw energy, dread, tension and power, now he is too concerned with being the cliche of himself and only interested in B Movies, hot chicks and fast cars. His violence is no longer jarring, instead it is winky winky jokey hip.
    After Grindhouse I will think long and hard before I commit to seeing Basterds in the theatre.
    I think he should just skip to the climax of his career and do a remake of Faster Pussy Cat Kill Kill. It would save us all a lot of time. He can cast himself as the guy the girls torture out in the desert in act one.

  39. Telemachos says:

    Sad to say, christian, but I’ll remember Kurt Russell in OVERBOARD far longer than DEATH PROOF.

  40. christian says:

    The most obvious way to kill off Russell in DP is to have him play the evil psycho until the end, but it’s Russell’s thespic bravery that lets him turn into a whining wimp at the end — and I note that some people don’t like it EXACTLY because it emasculates him which is EXACTLY why it was the right decision. Same reason why audiences didn’t initially respond him in BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA…

  41. christian says:


  42. Telemachos says:

    Sure, why not Captain Ron? I just didn’t find Stuntman Mike that memorable (and I was watching expecting to really dig him). It has nothing to do with him being emasculated or anything. I think you’re really reaching by trying to compare his Mike to Jack in BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA… but I suppose we’ll need a decade or so to see if time proves you right or not.

  43. christian says:

    I’ll bet you a Big Kahuna that in ten years, people will be watching BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and GRINDHOUSE (DP shouldn’t be separate) for a Russell fix over CAPTAIN RON. And he’s funny in that, true. He’s never given a bad performance as far as I can tell. Remember ELVIS? Carpenter doesn’t get enough credit for making the best film about the King.

  44. Monco says:

    I just wanted to stick up for Jeff’s taste. Saying that The Black Dahlia is better than LA Confidential may be extreme, but he is exactly right about AI. After reading all the conversations on this blog about that movie, I rewatched it a couple of weeks ago and damn that’s a really great movie. It’s definitely top 5 for this decade and I would say Speilberg’s best movie.

  45. yancyskancy says:

    This thread is like one-stop shopping for received wisdom about why QT is past his prime.

  46. christian says:

    And watching KILL BILL VOL. 2 for the first time since Carradine’s death, what a great final scene for him as an actor.

  47. Pelham123 says:

    I’m with Christian on this but I have a feeling “Basterds” is going to die at the box office, which is irrelevant to the quality of the film, but it will have an affect on QT’s (& other filmmakers) next films. And, Kurt Russell is great in everything. He’s Dexter Riley for goodness sake!

  48. The Big Perm says:

    To anyone who dislikes Tarantino because he basically refurbishes pop culture from the past…do you also dislike DePalma, Star Wars, Indiana Jones The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra? Or doing the same old thing like John Ford making 800 westerns or Jackie Chan making all of those martial arts movies are Kurosawa making yet MORE samurai movies? There’s a place for all kind of films and filmmakers, and to deride Tarantino for not making deep movies is to admonish Hitchcock for not making deep movies (which in general he didn’t).
    And Tarantino isn’t repeating himself in a lot of ways. WHo would have thought after Jackie Brown that his next movie would be an epic martial arts movie with a 20 minute long kung fu battle that would rival a lot of Hong Kong classics in terms of length and execution, and surpass them in some ways?
    Tarantin’s main problem is that he didn’t become the director that a lot of film geeks wanted him to become, and he never was the director they thought he was.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    This all seems to raise the question of what kind of criteria we’re all using to classify a filmmaker as ‘engaging’ and ‘artistically relevant’? Because that seems to be where all the differences of opinion come from. I’d say that Tarantino is both of those things because he’s a unique stylist, because he taps into a collective meta-cinematic unconsciousness, and because he tells stories in complex and novel ways.
    I have to assume that if someone doesn’t think Tarantino is currently an important filmmaker, it’s because they value different things in their filmmakers?
    Frankbooth – I’d have to put some work into that one.
    Storymark – sorry to disappoint you but (a) I’m a big DePalma fan, and (b) my single viewing of LA Confidential 12 years ago made me cranky and bored with how predictable it seemed. It’s entirely possible my opinion would change with a second viewing.

  50. leahnz says:

    MacCready, bitches

  51. leahnz says:

    sorry, i think i fucked that up
    MacReady, bitches

  52. christian says:

    Why don’t we just wait here for a little while.
    See what happens.

  53. leahnz says:

    oh yeah

  54. leahnz says:

    (macready = best hat eva)

  55. Pelham123 says:

    …MacReady, Snake Plissken, Rudy Russo, Dexter Riley, Jack Burton, AND Elvis (motherfuckin’) Presley.

  56. leahnz says:

    hell yeah
    plus, best repetitive single note eva:

  57. LexG says:

    “First goddamn week of winter.”

  58. chris says:

    I’m thinking this will play better when folks are more familiar with the movie.

  59. ThriceDamned says:

    I have to chime in and agree with Jeffmcm that at the moment I prefer Black Dahlia to LA Confidential. I LOVE most of DePalma’s stuff.
    BD is a lesser DePalma for sure, and an uneven film with an unsatisfactory ending, but for me it was at least interesting and engaging for the most part and incredibly well shot.
    On the other hand, LAC felt inert and flat to me (gotta admit though, I haven’t seen it for many years, probably time to revisit) and in my mind it never rose above being a fairly bogstandard version of Chinatown.
    I’m setting myself the goal of watching both of them in the next few days and see if hindsight has changed my opinion. It may well have, who knows?

  60. ThriceDamned says:

    Oh, and put me down in the pro-Tarantino camp as well. He has his ups and downs, but for me, he’s always at least interesting.
    I love all of his films to some degree, and find them to be compulsively rewatchable. I’m stoked for Bastards which opens in my country in a little under a month.
    I have to admit though that judging from the trailers it doesn’t look as visually arresting as his previous films. I miss the vivid color schemes and the “baked” 70’s cinematography he so often employs. Bastards kind of looks just gray and dull like every damn war movie of the last 10 years since the incredibly overrated Saving Private Ryan pioneered (or at least solidified) the look.

  61. Geoff says:

    I have to say that this review has me MORE interested to see this film – I kind of liked Death Proof and Kill Bill Volume II. Although, they don’t even compare with his ’90’s films at all.
    Sounds to me like this film is NOT another wankfest filled with exploitation homages and that’s a good thing. But yuch….Eli Roth has to be in it??? Man, Hostel Part II has been on cable a lot lately and the film is just reprehensible. He obviously has a way of shooting things, but it’s just a shitty copout movie – he loves to dwell on some of the gore, but doesn’t have the balls to show the kid getting shot. I STILL can’t see why Heather Matarazzo let herself film that scene where she is skewered….Roth must talk a good game to get these actors to demean themselves. There are few films I was more happy to see flop.
    Any film with him as an actor just automatically gets a demerit….you can bash QT all you want, but at his worst, he still blows away Eli Roth, no clue why they hang out.

  62. IOIOIOI says:

    I love QT, but he’s way too talky for his own good.

  63. anghus says:

    film is art. art is subjective.
    with that said, who in their right fucking mind would ever put Black Dahlia in the same league, much less compare it to LA Confidential.
    Dahlia is terrible. You could use LA Confidential as an example of everything done right in it’s respective genre and Black Dahlia as everything wrong.
    I’m not saying that people who liked Death Proof and Black Dahlia are socially awkward weirdos with their personal taste compass pointing straight towards the ass end of a donkey…
    but i’m not ‘not’ saying it either.

  64. LexG says:


  65. martin says:

    LA Confidential is a masterpiece. Black Dahlia – not a masterpiece.

  66. The Big Perm says:

    At the very least, like or dislike Tarantino’s movies people should have his back because he really is a unique voice in movies and there are so few of those.
    Black Dahlia hits notes that you don’t usually see in the same movie: embarrassing and boring. Usually you only get one!

  67. The Big Perm says:

    ALso regarding LA COnfidential…I did like it a lot and think it’s a pretty great movie. Having said THAT, for some reason that movie has made people think Curtis Hanson is a really good or interesting director. He’s not. He’s a basic journeyman type of director who doesn’t suck and isn’t great, who has more recently gotten better material to work from. But he brings the same basic skill level to those that he brought to The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.

  68. martin says:

    BP, I agree on Hanson, but he kicked it up a notch on LAC, and not just on the directing, but casting, locations, prod design choices, etc. You can’t entirely credit him for all of that, but as director “good taste” is important and he had that in the way that film was made. I also think it played to his best instincts, which many other films like 8 Mile did not.

  69. ThriceDamned says:

    And I’m not calling people who consider themselves the final arbiters of taste and talk down to other people who happen to have different opinions than them pathetic, boring and clich

  70. anghus says:

    hey thrice, there are few moments where i would consider myself the final arbiter of taste.
    but i have no problem being that in the case of LA Confidential v. Black Dahlia.
    You might as well try to mount a defense that Street Fighter is a better film than Shawshank Redemption.
    No one who takes film seriously should even entertain such an idiotic premise. You can try to defend Black Dahlia as “not a disaster”, but let’s not put it up against a far better adaptation. If you’d like to make the case, i’m listening.

  71. David Poland says:

    Black Dahlia is one of the worst movies EVER made by a grown-up, serious filmmaker.
    I love DePalma’s obsessions most of the time. But that movie, starting with the casting, is a flat out disaster.
    Am I the final arbiter of taste? No. Not for you. But anyone who argues that Black Dahlia is even good, much less great, is going to get a long look and an MRI before I take anything they say about movies seriously.
    That is, except for Lex jerking off to Egoyan’s brunette… if that is the standard for “great,” yeah… great.
    But no sale here.
    I mean, I think people are nuts when they praise Femme Fatale… but at least I can see the things that do work there and what the people who love the film may be liking more than I do. The same is true of another atrocious effort by DePalma, Redacted. But Dahlia… oh my f-ing god… showgirls territory.

  72. Lota says:

    Dave, there was one decent shot/scene in Black Dahlia.
    “although I haven’t watched LAC (nor have I wanted to) in the last three years.”
    “my single viewing of LA Confidential 12 years ago made me cranky and bored with how predictable it seemed. It’s entirely possible my opinion would change with a second viewing.”
    so 3 or 12 years ago Jeff?
    It is entirely possible your opinion might change, as you said.
    I thought You said some time ago you would revisit it, so don’t make yourself an insincere blog poster and go watch it again please.

  73. LexG says:

    “That is, except for Lex jerking off to Egoyan’s brunette…”
    HA! Thanks for the shoutout, but I’m with you on this one…
    Black Dahlia is high on my list of *absolute* worst movies of this decade, if not EVER made, at least ones made by (once?) competent filmmakers. In such rarefied 00s company as The Musketeer, Dreamcatcher (another McDouche favorite!), Ghosts of Mars and, er, DePalma’s own, equally wretched Redacted.
    And since you break up the hot Mia Kirschner, and it also has Johansson, McGowan, Swank, and two or three other beautiful woman — You KNOW DePalma’s off his game when the director of fucking “Body Double” and “Femme Fatale” has THAT female cast and makes a howler that’s so PAINFULLY unsexy.
    Usually Scarlett is a one woman boner factory, but dirty old DePalma curiously renders her about as sexy as Candace Azzarra in “Easy Money.”

  74. IOIOIOI says:

    Oh yeah, Perm made great points above.
    Heat Wave coming into the fray makes this lampooning even funnier now.
    While Lex brings up the Dreamcatcher. A movie so bad, that it gave the world “shit weasels.” Seriously, I had to sit through that fucking turd to see a part of the animatrix. Easily one of the worst moviegoing experiences in my life. Yes, the theatre I saw it at, decided to show the animatrix short AFTER THE LAST FUCKING DREAMCATCHER CREDIT ROLLED!

  75. leahnz says:

    thinking about feeling the pain of liking a movie everybody else thinks is terrible AND kurt russell to boot brings to mind perhaps my ‘black dahlia’ (or ‘dreamcatcher’ or whatever): ‘3000 miles to graceland’. i’m embarrassed to admit it and get shit for it but i can’t help it, and i don’t even know why. liking a movie everybody else hates is hard yakka

  76. IOIOIOI says:

    Leah, that movie at least has a sick sense of humour, and has some genuine goofy 90s action movie movements. So hang your head high. No need to hang it low with that flick.

  77. David Poland says:

    3000 Miles To Graceland is a really, really good Bruckheimer movie produced by the Samaha hack squad.
    I completely avoided it because it smelled of disaster, but caught it on the satellite and was really amazed by how it hit all of those marks so very well.
    Costner and Russell are both really good in this.

  78. leahnz says:

    holy shit! people that don’t hate ‘3000 miles’. i feel safe now, ensconced in the bosom of io and DP
    (i find costner hilarious in it)

  79. waterbucket says:

    Hair: yes. Black shirt: yes. Natural shadowy lighting to hide half of your profile: YES. Big improvement over last video and you look wayyyy better. I’d even go as far as saying that yes, I’d do you, D-Po.

  80. LexG says:

    Another 3000 Miles fan here, or at least think it’s fun/underrated, but DP is right:
    It’s definitely one of those Franchise/Samaha pics where the penny-pinching shows in the locale work; It starts out in Vegas then is supposed to be some quintessentially American bad-ass road movie with Costner trailing Russell through the Southwest… and those infernal green Canadian trees and overcast skies kill the illusion at every turn.
    Doesn’t the final shootout take place in some murky barn/log cabin in the middle of the woods? Cheap, cheap, cheap.
    (Though a lot of the daytime exteriors, unconvincing as they are as the American desert, are very well-shot and framed.)

  81. I love The Black Dahlia, but for reasons that I’m sure DePalma would not like. It is indeed a disaster, but a fascinating disaster. That movie has more surprises, craziness, absurdity and downright trashiness than I can fathom and that’s why I enjoy it. “Enjoy” being a key word. There were several scenes and moments in that movie that were, by far, better than entire films, and were worth the price of admission.
    I do, however, think Fiona Shaw gave one of the strongest supporting turns of the decade. Whenever she is on screen I didn’t even want to blink for fear of missing a crazy face, whip of the tongue or dart of the eye. She was astonishing and was working in a completely different film to DePalma and the rest of the cast.
    Sitting in the cinema watching that movie, too, was incredible. So many different reactions. Walk outs, gasps, mutterings. Myself and the two old ladies a few seats away from me were having a jolly good time guffawing away through large parts of it.
    I’d suggest this review of the film since it’s really well done and perfectly encapsulates the feelings a lot of the film’s fans have about it.
    I shouldn’t really comment on LA Confidential though since I think I was too young when I first saw it and, unfortunately, have not seen it since.
    Hated 3000 Miles to Graceland, btw.

  82. jeffmcm says:

    Jeez, lots of unnecessary contention here. Lota, like I said, I saw LA Confidential once, November 1997. (‘Three years’ was a reference to the original time this discussion came up, when I said I would watch LAC again, and I haven’t gotten around to it yet). At the time I was tired and stressed out from being in college so I may not have given it an even shake. But my at-the-time response was: disappointment given how stellar the reviews, going back to Cannes, had been; boredom with how perfunctorily it seemed to be hitting its story beats; irritation with how simplistically Crowe and Pearce’s characters seemed to be drawn. I didn’t think it had the anger and thrust of Chinatown, the movie it was most commonly compared with at the time. And yes, I got crap for not liking it from my other movie-loving college friends.
    Now back to The Black Dahlia, which really shouldn’t be compared to LAC at all, because it’s a movie that hardly even takes itself seriously. I don’t blame anyone wanting a serious adaptation from shitting all over it. What I like about it is exactly how shitcase crazy and unpredictable it is; it’s like watching a film noir directed by Bizarro Superman. It is a ‘howler’ – DePalma made it to be one, and you can’t watch Fiona Shaw’s performance without telling that she, and DePalma are in on some joke.
    And personally, I find ‘unpredictability’ to be one of the key criteria I look for in all of my movie-watching. Also, like I’ve said before, I’m a big DePalma fan to the point of being an apologist. Oh, and Femme Fatale? Near-masterpiece. And that’s a good example of a movie that, if someone doesn’t like it, I have to question their movie-reviewing credentials, because it’s a film that comes close to summing up most of the things I like about movies, in general (which is more or less what Armond White said about Mission to Mars. He should have saved the phrase for the next movie).
    And I adore Dreamcatcher. Again, I think this all has to do with the criteria one is looking for when watching movies. TBD and Dreamcatcher press my buttons, simple as that, in a way that no possible argument could halt.
    Sorry this is going on so long. Short version: I don’t actually think these movies are that far apart. LAC for me is a 5/10. TBD is a 6/10. Femme Fatale is 8 or 9/10. And I promise to be easier on someone the next time they claim to love something terrible as part of a mutual-respect pact.

  83. Oddvark says:

    LA Confidential was not as good as everyone said. (Wonder Boys is Curtis Hanson’s best film.)
    The Black Dahlia was not as bad as everyone said. (The Bonfire of the Vanities was DePalma’s worst effort.)
    Pretty much everything Tarantino has done is better than either LAC or TBD.
    And Kurt Russell always does a great job.

  84. ThriceDamned says:

    I didn’t say that Black Dahlia was a good movie, I just said it was interesting (to me) and well shot.
    What I did say that I found LAC to be flat and uninteresting.
    I’ll take an interesting, flawed film over a competent but uninteresting film any day. Oh, and ditto Jeff on Femme Fatale, near masterpiece that it is.
    And sorry Anghus, you don’t get to be final arbiter of taste on anything. First of all you’d have to have an interesting taste which you don’t seem to possess, just douchebag comments to try to make yourself look superior. Regurgitating the “best” of lists from any given year as your favorites doesn’t qualify you as being anything else but a follower. I’m sure you loooooove American Beauty and A Beautiful Mind don’t you?
    Sorry, but thanks for playing.

  85. christian says:

    There’s some great things i LAC (Spacey, Crowe) but I’ve never understood the adulation the film receives. I still think the ending looks tacked on.

  86. movielocke says:

    Having read the script I thought this review was a very funny parody. Too bad you can’t misspell five words a page (really HARD words, like Boston) in a video review, because that would add to the brilliance.
    While it doesn’t really matter how long this idea has been fulminating for Tarentino, its more than a little disturbing in the context of the Bush-Cheney pro-torture advocacy. What the film advocates is that the military should use guerilla terrorism against enemy combatants (because bad guys deserve to be victims of terrorism) culminating in an act of terrorism against combatants and civilians (as acceptable collateral damage if the target is important enough). The question is, will anyone call Tarentino on his pro-terrorism endorsement? Or, will people in fact have a grand old time seeing Americans take it to the nazis (because everyone knows that every soldier in the German army was pure evil, more evil than any solider ever before or since, and therefore this treatment is justifiable) once upon a time in France? since I KNOW the only reaction to the movie will be the latter, I personally find it amusing and incredibly sad that despite EVERYONE bemoaning how impossible it was to understand the mindsets of Islamic terrorists and the people dancing in the streets cheering them on (or tacitly supporting their actions) when in fact, we are preparing to cheer on our own boys when they do the same thing. The fact is that we’re really no different than the Islamic terrorists supporting populaces, we just believe a fiction that ‘we can’t understand such a mindset’ while our own actions show us supporting such a mindset.
    I’m holding out hope that Andrew Sullivan will recognize the insanity and hypocrisy of this movie.

  87. Wrecktum says:

    The thing about Black Dahlia is that the origianl Ellroy book is intense, disturbing and fascinating. It is a raw, personal account of descents into obsession and madness. As jeffmcm stated, DePalma’s film is “like watching a film noir directed by Bizarro Superman. It is a ‘howler’.” Notice that the two descriptions have nothing to do with each other?
    If DePalma were making a demented tongue-in-cheek made-up noir, then his Black Dahlia movie might be given a pass (but just barely). But he didn’t. His movie is an adaptation of a book and, and it is the worst adaptation since, well, DePalma’s LAST abortion of an adaptation, Bonfire of the Vanities.

  88. christian says:

    To Avoid Fainting, Keep Repeating:
    It’s Only A Movielocke.
    It’s Only A Movielocke.
    It’s Only A Movielocke.

  89. Lota says:

    The ending of LAC was tacked on Christian, in that it was a *bit* of a diversion from the book. It bothered me since I loved the book, BUT the movie was still great and far more deserving than the Best Pictures of that year.
    Black Dahlia was also a great book, and more than the ending was ruined in its rendering by DePalma. Had it been done right with a more appropriate selection of actors it could have been a best picture and a renaissance for DePalma.

  90. The Big Perm says:

    If unpredicibility is a huge requirement for enjoying a movie then that explains how anyone can like Dreamcatcher, which is infinitely stupid.
    I also question how much of Depalma’s goofiness is intentional. I’m not 100% certain it is. Certainly to an extent, but I think he imagined Snake Eyes was a good and interesting thriller instead of a goof like it was.

  91. movielocke says:

    Resistance to acknowledging the pro-guerilla terrorism slant of the film (ie saying, “it’s only a movie,” therefore all thought stops) seems to prove my point about not wanting to perceive ourselves on the same level as those who have supported terrorism against us.
    We already support relatively unrestricted torture used against our enemies, the next logical step is supporting open terrorism against our enemies. (although some would argue that Bush/Cheney’s Iraq war is a terrorist action as well).

  92. David Poland says:

    Or was that a joke inside a joke inside a joke?
    As for the politics, you are right. But THE NAZIS are used as a “can’t be abusive enough to them” character in decades of film and QT is about film reverence not political reference.
    Moral ambiguity without any moral compass being offered is one of Tarantino’s trademarks. How are we meant to feel about the neo-Nazi rapists in Pulp Fiction? How do we feel about men who kill for a living, yet claim to have a moral code, in Jules’ case? Even in Reservoir Dogs, is the standard about being a criminal or being a rat?
    If Tarantino were really ballsy, he’d do “Inglorious Negoes” and have the slaves rise to kill the slave owners… or “Inglorious Injuns” and show us how much wacky fun a Native American raid of some westward ho families with plenty of rapes and murders that the settlers would have done to the Indians once they settled could be. How would we white Americans feel about the joke if we were the butt of it?
    Ironically, the Grindhouse director who needed to be doing a zombie movie was QT… it’s a perfect fit on ambiguity for him… but he would have to make the zombies “right,” probably back from the dead to avenge crimes against them…

  93. jeffmcm says:

    There are plenty movies that do that trick, and most of them were directed by George Romero.

  94. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and hopefully to wrap up The Black Dahlia topic – I have/had never read the book before seeing the movie. I’m sure my expectations would have been different otherwise. But they weren’t…

  95. The Big Perm says:

    I’d like to see Tarantino do a horror movie. I DO NOT count Death Proof as a horror movie, or thriller, or interesting movie about people I want to see doing anything. But I’d like to see him do his version of, say, a Fulci movie.

  96. christian says:

    RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK was nazi torture porn.

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