Even though Cablevision’s dispute with ABC means that I, along with several other million people in the NY-NJ area, will not be able to watch the Oscars, NPI’s Oscarpalooza carries on with previews and predictions. Of course, I am not a movie critic and, thus, have not seen all the movies nominated. Nor do I care about the majority of awards. So much of what makes the Academy Awards interesting to casual movie fans, though, is how a cottage industry of diviners and predictive pseudo-sciences has sprung up in response to the awards. Thanks to innumerable “Best Of” lists and predictive “secondary” awards like the SAGs or the Golden Globes, most people feel like they have a good idea of, say, Meryl Streep’s performance in Julie & Julia, whether or not they have seen it. Sifting through the critical white noise has become something of an art, and I’m offering my services so that those of you who would rather not watch Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin chaperone a four-hour self-congratulatory love-fest (or those of you who have Cablevision and simply have no choice), don’t have to watch to see who wins the eight major awards.
Posts Tagged ‘Inglourious Basterds’
In honor of Oscar weekend, NPI will be rerunning its reviews of the Best Picture nominees. Here, John S praises Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds:
Of all directors currently making movies, Quentin Tarantino is by far the most interested in movies themselves. All of his films include specific allusions, both in subject and style, to obscure movies, and they often work within the conventions of very refined genres. His latest work, Inglourious Basterds, is supposedly both a war movie (sorry, Josh and Tim) and a “spaghetti western,” as well as Tarantino’s homage to The Dirty Dozen. Whatever that means, it is really, really good.
Given Tarantino’s infatuation with cinema, it comes as no surprise that the climax of Basterds takes place in a movie theater. The “Basterds” of Basterds—a ragtag group of American Jews who (in case you haven’t seen the previews) like to kill “gnatzees” for their leader Brad Pitt—have chosen this spot for an attempted assassination of the crème de la crème of the Third Reich as they gather to watch Joseph Goebbels’ latest propaganda flick, A Nation’s Pride. Continue reading
The 2010 Oscar Nominees were announced today and I seek to defend my previous praise of the expansion of the “Best Picture” category to include ten nominees instead of the usual five. Without further ado, the ten nominees are:
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
Based on Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominees/winners and general Oscar “buzz,” Avatar, Up in the Air, and The Hurt Locker were shoo-ins to be nominated and Precious was pretty close to one. If we’re in the five-nominee system that leaves one more nomination and two NPI favorites: Inglourious Basterds and A Serious Man. One of those movies would most likely not have been nominated and would have no chance at winning “Best Picture.” Yes, with the expansion to ten nominees we get the inclusion of the undeserving The Blind Side and the filth known as Up*.
The Golden Globes were last night and since, as host Ricky Gervais kept reminding us, actors are the best and most important people in the world, we here at NPI cannot let that the occasion pass without some commentary. As usual with awards shows, it was a mixed bag.
The Best Three Things:
WARNING: This post contains spoilers. You should only read it if you’ve seen Reservoir Dogs, or if you have no interest in seeing the movie but for some reason want to read a review of it.
I was not a fan of Reservoir Dogs when I first saw it.
The first time I saw it was at summer camp when I was 14 years old. A friend of mine had sprained his ankle in the middle of the summer, which prevented him from doing pretty much anything the rest of us did. It’s hard to play basketball or soccer when you can’t really stand up (unless you’re Willis Reed, I guess). So he basically spent all of his time alone in his bunk watching movies on VHS.
Most of these films were generic comedies of the 1990s, like American Pie, Ace Ventura and Friday, but one day he head tossed in Reservoir Dogs, and I walked in about halfway through.
Now, it’s never ideal to start in the middle of a movie, and this is a perfect example why. I don’t remember exactly when I started watching the film attentively—I had gotten pretty used to tuning the movies out by that point, they were on all the time—but at some point it got my undivided attention. It is incredibly hard to ignore a Quentin Tarantio movie. They are so visually arresting and the dialogue is so sharp that they demand your attention.
But while I was engrossed in the film by it’s ending, I was ultimately disappointed by the conclusion. The final scene seemed abrupt and unsatisfying. It was a flashy, intense, bloody ending with little emotional value. Mr. Sprained Ankle agreed. Continue reading
What we read while shoving tennis balls down people’s throats in “non-threatening” ways:
- John S wasn’t the only one to write about the one-year anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s death this weekend: Infinite Summer ran a great piece, and found the best DFW line to sum up the feeling of his death; McSweeney’s has a bunch of memorial pieces; Howling Fantods links to some others. We know it’s not like we haven’t linked to DFW stuff already, but here’s some more: his commencement address to Kenyon College, him reading excerpts from his essays, D.T. Max’s excellent article in The New Yorker about DFW’s final, unfinished novel, and, since the U.S. Open’s going on, his piece on Federer one more time.
- Speaking of Roger, his remarkable penultimate shot from his semifinal win over Novak Djokovic yesterday netted an instant 2,000-word reaction piece from Joe Posnanski.
- Josh Olson definitely does not want to read your script.
- John S offered a positive review of Inglourious Basterds. Tyler Cowen interestingly finds it disturbing.
- We’ll take the one on Fire or Pangaea.
- The only thing that could make us more excited for this is if it were called The Memento Matrix. ‘Cuz it sure looks like it’s that anyway.
What we read while wondering what beats DJ AM is trying to impress Ted Kennedy with:
- William Safire takes on “clunkers”, a word that has been amusing since the “Cash for Clunkers” initiative began.
- Just as predictable as John S liking Inglourious Basterds was David Denby of The New Yorker hating it: He called it “too shallow to be called nihilism.” Tarantino took over Sky Movies a few weeks ago, and lists and discusses his favorite movies since 1992, as well as There Will Be Blood and a cool story about Martin Scorcese. Here also is a compilation of lists where he discusses his favorite movies of all-time.
- AV Club has crossed a line taking on a scene from one of NPI’s favorite movies: the “It’s Not Your Fault” scene from Good Will Hunting. Granted it may be a bit melodramatic, but “moronic” seems harsh. And as for the claim that “words lose power with repetition,” well, I defy you to watch this scene from The Wire and defend that claim.
- Anyone who’s not already excited for the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm–coming September 20–should get excited: First of all, more Curb, and second of all, it’s a quasi-Seinfeld reunion. Just be careful who you quote the lines to.
- As longtime devotees of Degrassi, it’s great to see Jimmy Brooks doing his thing. And walking. The walking’s cool, too.
- Not sure what was more interesting: The New York Times’ cover story (in Sports) on the possibility that Miguel Tejada tipped pitches and didn’t hustle after ground balls hit by Dominican friends in close games (yeah, there’s a small sample size), OR Deadspin’s dead-on critique of David Waldstein’s frustrating “say-it-already” way of making his point. Our question: Why was this article printed now?