Inglourious Basterds 2009 ★★★★

Over the past decade, I've move from Tarantino fanboy to grumbling anti-QT acolyte. I'm neither of those now — he's certainly not my favorite filmmaker, but I appreciate his films and often like them (sometimes a lot).

Tarantino loves movies, especially niche genre films. Tarantino loves mashing ideas together in a sort of Frankenstein's monster approach to cinema. He also loves doing whatever he wants, which can make his films joyously chaotic.

Basterds is pure Tarantino, then — bloated in spots, weirdly thin in others, engaging when I don't expect it to be, and bursting with energy. And for the most part, I really enjoyed it. I love how the titular group of soldiers is kind of in the background the whole film (maybe a good thing, since Pitt's hammy accent was as irritating as it was funny). And as usual, the Tarantino flourishes — great music cues, spurts of pitch-black humor, jocular meta-referencing — are just right.

I'm glad I liked this, since I was worried that I would hate it. It could be that Tarantino just wins me over with his pizzazz. His movies are filled with cool ideas from movies he likes, and — as a genre geek — I guess it's just hard to resist.

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