Inglourious Basterds (2009)

"We ain't in the prisoner-takin business. We in the kiliin Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin". This line, spoken by Brad Pitt as Lieutenant Aldo Raine, should just about sum up Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. The "We" in question: eight Jewish-American soldiers (accompanied by German defect Hugo Stiglitz, played by Til Schweiger) that have vowed to deliver 100 Nazi scalps each to their leader, the aforementioned Raine. Their group's name: the Inglourious Basterds. Don't ask about the spelling. It's never explained. These men have made quite the impression on the Third Reich, angering Hitler himself and landing on the radar of "the Jew hunter" Colonel Hans Landa (superbly played by Christoph Waltz). Showing no fear for possible death, the Basterds join a mission called Operation Kino. The mission, being carried out with the help of German actress Bridget Von Hammersmark (a traitor to her own country, clearly), involves suicide bombing a movie theater that happens to be inhabited by the four major heads of power in the Third Reich, including Hitler. Little do the Basterds know that while they carry out their plan, the owner of the movie theater, Shoshanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) has her own scheme in the works. When Dreyfus was a teenager, her family was murdered by Hans Landa, and she considers this to be the perfect time for revenge. Will either parties succeed in their mission? History says no, but Quentin Tarantino didn't set out to make a historically accurate film.


Recently, I was invited to publish my reviews on the website Naturally, I accepted. Though I will be posting most of my full length reviews there from now on, I will not be abandoning this blog. I will still be posting shorties, second viewings, and I'll probably publish the first paragraph of all full length reviews, with a link to so you can read the rest of it. Thanks for reading everybody!

Bruno (2009)

In 2006, a wave of the most frightening and dangerous disease known to man swept the United States from coast to coast. It affected nearly everyone in some way, and three years later, it still has not fully died out. I am talking of course, about Borat-itis. From the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen, a character came forth that was so naive and lovable that audiences and critics alike embraced him with open arms. As I walked through the halls of my high school, I could not go more than 15 seconds without hearing a poor impersonation being spouted by a student. Claims of "great success" and an epidemic of "high fives" nearly decimated the hallways, and I was unsure if they could ever recover. Now in 2009, Cohen has unleashed a new character that will not be as loved, not be as sympathetic, and (most importantly), not be as quoted as Borat. I speak of Austrian fashionista Bruno, an extremely openly gay television host who is played shamelessly by Cohen. After making a fool of himself at a fashion show, Bruno becomes blacklisted from working in Austria and decides to move to America to become "uber famous". Shot mockumentary style just like Borat, we follow Bruno in his quest through such "get famous quick" schemes like pitching a show to a TV network, adopting an African baby, or making a sex tape with Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Whether he is as quotable as Borat or not, Bruno is a hilarious character, and the film by the same name is equally as funny.

Bruno is a film that is certainly not for everybody. It contains an excessive amount of graphic homosexual intercourse, it is shocking and eye-opening (I'll explain this later), and it includes at least 30 consecutive seconds of close up male genatalia. But for those of you, like me, that just find the comedy in these things, you'll see that Bruno is one of the funniest movies of the year. Any film that can get Paula Abdul to willingly sit down on a "Mexican chair person" and casually carry on an interview is worthy of praise. Bruno's outrageous premise is held together by it's fearless lead, Sacha Baron Cohen. Cohen pulls absolutely no punches as he totally immerses himself in his role. Not wavering to homophobic hunters or terrorists, Cohen shows an impressive ability to withstand a dangerous situation just to drag the absolute most comedy out of it. In one scene, Bruno finds himself at a swingers party and becomes locked in a room with a rather domineering swinger. As she whips him repeatedly with a belt, Cohen does not stop the shoot or drop character, but instead jumps out of a window and runs off into the night. Dedication such as that is nothing short of brilliant.

But behind the heavy layer of lubricant, Bruno does have a point to it. This film is the ultimate satire of celebrities, doing whatever it takes to get into or stay in the limelight. Bruno goes as far as interviewing a known terrorist in hopes of getting kidnapped, to become famous. Sure nobody in real life would ever do such a thing, but this obvious metaphor is something that holds a lot of truth. Bruno also takes aim at parents who essentially "sell" their children for a chance at spotlight. As he interviews parents who are willing to let their children participate in a photoshoot, the questions he asks get to be outright insane. "Is your baby comfortable with working heavy machinery?" "Does your baby like the scent of phosphorous?" "Would your baby be comfortable with undergoing liposuction to lose an extra 10 pounds?" Yet all of these questions were met with a "yes" from the parents. Seeing these parents agree to these horrible things is an eye-opening experience. And if those questions weren't enough to convince you that these parents are insane, maybe this will do it. "We have chosen your baby to be dressed as a Nazi Officer, pushing a wheelbarrow, with a Jewish baby, into an oven. Is that OK with you?" "Sure".

Though Bruno is hysterical and creatively satirical, I cannot recommend it to most people. Some of the things seen in this film cannot be unseen, and that may disturb people. Sometimes parents look the other way at R ratings and allow their children to see a film anyway. In this case, parents need to be warned that this film is NOT FOR CHILDREN!!!!! AT ALL!!!!!! UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!!!!! If you have issues with homosexuality or graphic male nudity, you'll probably want to steer clear of this film as well. However, if you are fine with all of these things and accept the fact that this is just a movie, you'll probably enjoy it. My rating (7.5/10)

Movies given a 10/10

  • Milk
  • In Bruges
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man
  • No Country For Old Men
  • The Shining
  • A Clockwork Orange