I hated Pulp Fiction the first time I saw it. The first Tarantino movie I’d ever seen was Kill Bill: Vol. 1, which is a decidedly gorier and altogether more accessible movie for an eighth grader (technically I wasn’t legally “mature enough” for either by the MPAA’s standards), although I was the only one in my grade who seemed to enjoy it. When I watched Pulp Fiction for a second (and a third and a fourth ad infinitum) viewing, it gripped me like few other movies had before or since. To this day it is still one of my all-time favorites.
Movies, especially great ones, often change from viewing to viewing, not because they are different but because we are. Though we now live in an age of Rotten Tomato blurbs and aggregated consensus, a critic’s most valued possession is still their written voice. With every review now posted quickly and then archived online, conversation on most movies usually peaks quickly when they are first released, and then dissipates just as fast. The only time afforded to looking back is the annual “Best of the Year” cluster fuck.
Inglourious Basterds Directed by: Quentin Tarantino Written by: Quentin Tarantino (screenplay) Starring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Eli Roth, and Diane Kruger
I consider myself to be a rather big fan of Quentin Tarantino. Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and Jackie Brown all have their place on my list of favorite movies. I am disheartened to announce, then, that Inglourious Basterds is without a doubt Mr. Tarantino’s worst film.
By no means does this mean it’s a bad film, it just lacks that all-important vibe of urgency and humanity that brings his other genre pieces to such vivid, unmistakable life. Is it cool? Sure. Is it entertaining? You bet your ass it is. But it just doesn’t resonate. I watched it in the theater and then kind of forgot about it until it was coming out on DVD. It’s like Avatar in that way. I liked it, but I won’t remember it.