Rapid Review: Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds Poster

“You probably heard we ain’t in the prisoner-takin’ business; we in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin’.” – Lieutenant Aldo Raine

SYNOPSIS: In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same. – via IMDB

inglourious basterds i speak the best italian inglourious basterds bawnjorno

GRADE 10I re-reviewed this because I love it so much, and have learned that I am allowed to give certain things top marks. Inglourious Basterds is simply amazing. Tarantino consistently blows me away with his stories and the execution of them. The cast was excellent, and their roles were very well suited. Christoph Waltz does not cease to stun me, he is so brilliant. He was such a horrendously scary character in this movie, and he gave me the chills because he is pure evil, yet he has proven in Django Unchained that he will not be typecast. Brad Pitt was having an absolute blast from the get go, and it is so obvious. Mélanie Laurent is so badass, and her character of Shosanna Dreyfus? Man, Tarantino can create a strong woman, and we definitely need more of that in cinema. Okay, I am not going to wax lyrical about each and every actor/actress in the film, just know that they were all excellent. What makes Inglourious Basterds so fantastic for me is that they actually spoke French and German, and when they spoke English the relevant accent applied to it. Valkyie could have taken a leaf out of Quentin Tarantino’s book, hem hem. It is pretty damned important to me that if you are doing a movie on any culture/society, you have to at least get the accents right (or try, at the very least)! The story was highly entertaining, and the cinematography was gorgeous. The dialogue was quick, snappy and sharp, and just great to listen to overall (bawnjorno, bestie). Some of those conversations! Goodness, the tension that was built from that! Not to mention how wonderfully the movie was set out and paced, giving you a look at everything, but not rushing a thing. Inglourious Basterds is a long film, but it never actually feels that way, although I feel that is a typical Tarantino trait, to write something that is engaging from the off. I am a big fan of Hugo Stiglitz, he made me laugh endlessly – he was so badass and hardcore and just balls to the wall crazy. Definitely my favourite Basterd, alongside Aldo. The humour is so snappy in here, and very dark, so it just works all round. I wish I knew how to describe how much I enjoy this movie, but words fail me, so I will stop rambling now. This movie is so well executed, and something that I make a point of watching rather frequently, it really is an absolute favourite of mine from Tarantino, who again proves his ingenuity with a fantastical take on an old topic.

Top Ten Actresses I Would Watch In Almost Anything

So when Abbi over at Where The Wild Things Are did her top ten list of actresses she would see in pretty much anything, that sparked a whole new thing on the blogosphere. Now, I am embarrassed to admit that I started this list soon after she did hers, and I just never got around to going back to it and finishing it up. I realised recently that now is the time to do that! Without further ado, I present to you my top ten actresses I would see in pretty much anything.

Emma Stone

emma stone

Where is the love: She is cute, she is smart, fun, and sexy and so normal, you cannot help but love the girl. She is down to earth, and not afraid of making a fool out of herself, and that is always cool.
Best role: Wichita in Zombieland (2009)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The House Bunny (2008)

Angelina Jolie

angelina jolie

Where is the love: So many people complain about Angelina Jolie and I’ve never been able to understand it. She is exceptionally talented and wicked sexy, and works hard. She’s a (big) family woman, which is cool, yet she’s still grounded and out there. Plus she and Brad Pitt are just like the most gorgeous couple ever.
Best role: Uhm… this isn’t easy. I am going to go with Jane Smith in Mr & Mrs Smith (2005)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Marion Cotillard

marion cotillard

Where is the love: That voice, the way she carries herself, the distinct regal air, Marion Cotillard was destined to impress me. Not only that, she can handle herself in just about any role, but I must say that she excels at playing the slightly psychologically unstable.
Best role: Mallorie “Mal” Cobb in Inception (2010)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Taxi 2 (2000)

Eva Green

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Where is the love: Talented and beautiful, Eva Green brings it all to the table. Oozing style and sophistication, she is captivating on screen, always bringing that extra little something to a character, and she isn’t afraid to go wherever the character may take her, even when that is Ugliesville.
Best role: Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Dreamers (2003)

Jessica Lange

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Where is the love: Jessica Lange is just awesome. I really like her stuff, and I think she is mesmerising and she’s still got it going, even for her age. She dominates the screen whenever she is on, and can play anything from timid and quiet to in-your-face vixen.
Best role: Fiona Goode in American Horror Story: Coven
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Far North (1988)

Judi Dench

judi dench

Where is the love: Let’s be serious… Judi Dench is just so British, and she embraces it wholeheartedly. Tea and biscuits British, and above all else, she is a solid and entertaining actress. She can play a variety of roles across the board, ranging from comedy to hard-hitting, take-no-nonsense powerhouse performances such as M, she never fails to impress me.
Best role: M in any Bond film, but also Evelyn Greenslade in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

Carey Mulligan

carey mulligan

Where is the love: She is so cute and quiet, but can always deliver an understated but powerful portrayal of a character, and I like that talent.
Best role: Irene in Drive (2011)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007)

Helena Bonham Carter

helena bonham carter

Where is the love: Ditzy, crazy, talented, striking? What’s not to love about Helena Bonham Carter? She embraces all her roles and lends them some of her quirkiness, and she is always just absolutely astounding to watch, no matter what role she is in. Something about her is just so inherently different.
Best role: Marla Singer in Fight Club (1997)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Dancing Queen (1993)

Mia Wasikowska

mia wasikowska

Where is the love: Mia Wasikowska won me over with her portrayal of Bertha Minnix in Lawless (2012). After that, I kept my eyes open for her films because she is gifted and different, and brought something fresh and new to the screen (in my opinion). She has continued to churn out some consistently impressive work, and she has this air of innocence about her she can use to either define a character, or manipulate the audience with.
Best role: India Stoker in Stoker (2013)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Lens Love Story (2007)

Honourable Mentions:

Julianne Moore

julianne moore

Where is the love: I love Moore for her consistency, and how much effort she puts into her roles. I like the way she has played such a variety of characters, and she has given each and every role her best.
Best role: Clarice Starling in Hannibal (2001)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Nine Months (1995)

Cate Blanchett

cate blanchett

Where is the love: Blanchett is so refreshing in her sense of uniqueness, and brings that to life on the screen with every role that she takes. She draws you in no matter what her role, and can play anything from elvish queens to folk rock stars.
Best role: Jade Quinn (Bob Dylan) in I’m Not There (2007)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Ponyo (2009)

Katharine Isabelle

katharine isabelle

Where is the love: Katharine Isabelle is undoubtedly the horror queen (for me) and she dominates that role. Husky voice and those big green eyes, she was destined to rock any role thrown her way. She is a solid actress, never over the top, delivering just the right amount required for her performances, able to play weak or bitchy or in your face, Isabelle is very talented.
Best role: Mary Mason in American Mary (2012)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Cousins (1989) 

Mélanie Laurent

melanie laurent

Where is the love: French and proud about it, Laurent always manages to play a brooding yet strong woman, slightly different, always impressive.
Best role: Shosanna Dreyfus in Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Rice Rhapsody (2004)

Vera Farmiga

vera farmiga

Where is the love: I think that Vera Farmiga is pretty underrated, and I like her. Very subtle, but she can totally rock her roles. I must say, she can get pretty creepy sometimes cause she can play cooked a little too well.
Best role: Norma Louise Bates in Bates Motel. Because really – she nails that performance each and every time. Slightly too realistic sometimes.
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Breaking and Entering (2006)

Amanda Seyfried

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Where is the love: What I enjoy about Amanda Seyfried is that she’s a little different. I don’t know why she would appeal to me as an actress, but she does. I have enjoyed watching her play the super special and slow Karen in Mean Girls, and her general progression on to other roles, bigger, better, meatier, is something I have liked. She always does the best with what she has, and even when she is in a crappy movie, she always stands out.
Best role: Karen Smith in Mean Girls (2004)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Big Wedding (2013)

Review: Enemy (2013)

enemy movie poster

Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) paints a depressing picture: he is a history teacher who spends his time at college, goes home, grades papers, has sex with his girlfriend Mary (Mélanie Laurent), repeat. Nothing changes, there is nothing exciting. A colleague of his at work asks if he watches any movies, and as stunted as his social skills may be, Adam realises he is trying to make conversation. He rents the movie that his colleague recommends, and is shocked to see a man in there that looks just like him. Adam is interested, and does some more research on the actor he saw online, seeing that the man is not an overly successful actor, but an actor nonetheless. He rents more movies featuring Daniel St. Claire (also Jake Gyllenhaal). Adam’s relationship with Mary is suffering due to his obsession.

enemy adam school

Tracking down the agency that Daniel St. Claire works with, Adam stops by there, where he gets some mail from the desk clerk. Through the mail, Adam learns that Daniel St. Claire’s real name is Anthony Claire. He successfully manages to stalk Anthony, ultimately phoning his wife, Helen (Sarah Gadon), who thinks that Anthony is playing a terrible joke on her. Through persistence, Adam manages to talk to Anthony, whom he attempts to convince to meet with him. Anthony vehemently refuses, though later decides that they should meet. Helen is doing some investigating of her own, and meets with Adam, who is unwittingly aware that Helen is Anthony’s pregnant wife.

enemy daniel

The two men finally meet up together at a hotel, where things just go crazy. The two men are perfect and identical copies of one another, which in turn robs both of them of their identities, spinning both their lives completely out of control. Who is Adam? Who is Anthony? Why are they identical? Will Adam be able to continue with his bland and boring life after he has had a glimpse of Anthony’s? Who are they if they are so identical that even their lovers cannot tell them apart? What is going on?

enemy meeting

GRADE 8I know this is a little bit of a ridiculously short review, but I cannot say too much and I really, really don’t want to spoil it if you have yet to see it. This was something that Joseph and Mark rather enjoyed, that Eric enjoyed but was not completely certain how much, and that Rob absolutely hated. I was very interested to see what would come of this seeing as I was a huge fan of Villeneuve’s Prisoners, and I enjoy Jake Gyllenhaal (even though Natasha can see no merits in the man). Now, I was not really sure what would come of this. I roughly knew what it was about, but this was still a journey unto itself. It is phenomenally shot though extremely depressing, everything is washed out and oppressive and dark and dreary, which totally worked for the story that it was trying to convey. Then there was the soundtrack, that just had your teeth on edge for the entire duration of the film and aims to freak you out to your very core, and mostly succeeds with this. Then there are these creepy spider shots that come up from time to time, and leave you feeling just a little chilled. Gyllenhaal gave another solid performance, and successfully managed to embody the essence of two different men. You could clearly see which one he was due to the totally difference characteristics and actions the men had, as well as the way they presented themselves and held themselves. The plot is confusing and constantly twisting, and you need to keep your wits about you, but I must say that I enjoyed it. The cinematography was absolutely stunning. Adam’s obsession with Anthony is a little extreme, though if you think about it you could understand how it could get there. I love how the doppelgängers lived completely different lives and had virtually nothing in common. However, this movie really screwed with my head, and I can see how the conclusion will split people into groups of loving it, hating it, or just not giving a damn and feeling like their time may have been wasted. Either way, this is a movie I would recommend so that you can sit around and scratch your head when all is said and done, theorizing on your own about the multitude of probabilities the film presents.