One more reason to wish I could have attended the Cannes Film Festival: Quentin Tarantino unveiled his much-anticipated Inglourious Basterds at Cannes yesterday, and reactions were all over the map.
Variety's Todd McCarthy praised the film, calling it "an increasingly entertaining fantasia in which the history of World War II is wildly reimagined so that the cinema can play the decisive role in destroying the Third Reich."
Roger Ebert also saw it and refrained from divulging too much of his opinion, although judging by the tone of his blog entry, it sounds like he enjoyed it, too.
Others, however, weren't as pleased. The U.K. Guardian's Xan Brooks says the film is "an obese, pampered adolescent of a film that somehow manages to be both indolent and overexcited at the same time."
And the U.K. Telegraph suggests Tarantino should have "wielded a cleaver to whole sections of this 154-minute non-epic. There is far too much yakking, some of it thickly accented and hard to follow, most of it without the rhythmic zing of his best work ... It’s not so much inglorious as undistinguished."
One thing all the reviews seem to agree on is that Basterds is unusually talky for a war picture. I really liked Tarantino's last movie, Death Proof, but it pushed the limit on how much pointless babble one can take before growing bored (the car chase at the end, however, made up for it). Plus the dialogue in that movie lacked the profane poetry that Tarantino is known for.
I'm also extremely dubious about Tarantino's casting of his pal Eli Roth in a prominent role - judging by his scenes in Death Proof, he's about as talented an actor as Tarantino is - but I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm counting down the days until I can see Basterds.