In Theaters this Week (May 10-16)

Expectation: 75/100

Expectation: 75/100

Wide Release: No amount of bad reviews can change how I feel about Gatsby. It’s one of the greatest American stories, and I can only hope that it will translate well to the big screen. If the reviews are correct, this will be the 2nd unsuccessful adaptation of this wonderful novel. The main complaint that I find in reviews of The Great Gatsby is that it tries too hard to be modern, and ‘Gatsby’ is simply not a story that needs to be modernized. This is one of the best casts we’ve seen this year, which gives any film fan hope. I’m not letting the poor reviews get me down, and I’m hoping for the best with The Great Gatsby. RT: 48%

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Expectation: 15/100

Wide Release: I’ve grown to accept that movies like this are made. Real film fans ignore them, and casual movie goers fall for the same scheme over and over again. It’s not entertaining. It’s not funny. It’s simply not good. Peeples will be the same as movies of the similar kind (i.e. Tyler Perry movies, The Big Wedding, Couple’s Retreat). Reviews for Peeples just further confirm what we already knew. Stay far, far away. RT: 38%

aftershock

Expectation: 40/100

The only good thing to have Eli Roth’s name attached to it is Inglourious Basterds. I expect that streak to continue with Aftershock. I can’t remember the last time (if ever) that I saw a movie set in Chile, so they get some originality points for that. The setting also indicates that the filmmakers did not target the USA audience, but instead have tried to make it an international hit. Risky move, but it might prove to be very clever. The movie that I could not stop thinking about when I watched the trailer was The Darkest Hour (4/10). That movie was underwhelming and Aftershock looks far too similar for it to be any different. Aftershock will receive a limited release on May 1oth.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

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Directed and Written By: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger

Nominated for 8 Academy Awards (Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Film Editing, Directing, Cinematography, and Supporting Actor)

Won 1 Academy Award (Supporting Actor)

In Nazi occupied France, a group of American Jewish soldiers are sent to France to do “one thing and one thing only.. kill Nazi’s.” Is there honestly a better idea for a film than that? Who wouldn’t want to see a revenge thriller that’s about Jews getting revenge on the Nazi’s? Add the Tarantino flare, and Inglourious Basterds is one of the most gut-wrenching and intriguing films of all time.

Writer/Director Quentin Tarantino

Writer/Director Quentin Tarantino

I clicked play on my remote, not knowing that I was about to start the fastest 2 hours and 33 minutes of my life. There is no writer/director like Quentin Tarantino, and I’m beginning to wonder if there ever will be. He has such a driving vision behind each and every one of his films. To appreciate Tarantino’s films, the viewer has to get him. For example, in the beginning scene, the colors in the house are dark and deep to symbolize that something tragic is about to occur. A realist would say that the sun was shining bright outside; therefore, the house should be radiant with sunlight. Well, it’s a good thing that Mr. Tarantino is not a realist because his way of setting the mood is just one of the things that make his films spectacular. Quentin’s audacity to create a film like this mixed with the intelligence to make his vision come to life is what makes the film so fantastic.

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Oscar winner Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds.

The acting in Inglourious Basterds is nothing short of amazing. Brad Pitt’s character is not one that will earn any awards, but Pitt does  what the role calls for. Although the women, Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger, never actually meet each other, their energy somehow manages to feed off of one another. From scene to scene you are inspired by these women’s performances. The only dull performance is Eli Roth. Sure, he looks tough, but it seems that is the only thing he was put in the movie to do. His lack of dialogue makes “the bear Jew” (Roth’s character) awkward and out of place. Limited dialogue has worked in some films (ex: The Driver in Drive), but “the bear jew” is not one of those characters. I made sure that I saved the best performance for last, now everyone please bow down to Mr. Christoph Waltz. While he is yet to prove that he can be a successful actor outside of Tarantino projects (Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained), he sure is good when he’s with Quentin. His performance  in Inglourious Basterds is capturing, and nothing short of amazing. His performance in this film as well as his performance in Django Unchained are both worthy of the Oscars that they received.

Overall, Quentin Tarantino managed to exceed expectations (even for him) with this timeless, instant classic. The viewer will find  scenes that play over and over again in their head. Inglourious Basterds is a film that all Tarantino fans must see or anyone that just wants to see Nazi’s get their asses kicked. I’m tempted to say that Tarantino has done it again, but I don’t think anyone has ever done or ever will do anything like Inglourious Basterds. A film this audacious will never win best picture, but Inglourious Basterds is more deserving than any other film released in 2009.

IMDb: 8.3/100 (#108 on the top 250)

Rotten Tomatoes: 88/100

Metacritic: 69/100

Best Picture Movie Reviews: 92/100