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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Tarantino on “Inglourious Basterds”: Never Been a WW II Movie Like It

    By kyle | August 14, 2009

    Quentin Tarantino pops up in today’s Wall Street Journal to argue, “When I started I was working in the vein of ‘The Dirty Dozen’ or ‘The Devil’s Brigade.’ But now watching the completed film with audiences, I don’t think there has ever been a World War II movie like it. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your taste, but it’s definitely a thing.” True: portions of the movie are pure Sergio Leone, the long tracking shots that take us from room to room remind me of Brian DePalma work, the very funny sequence with Mike Myers as a British general is derived from light British let’s-go-give-the-Fuhrer-a-biffing-shall-we? adventures. The jump from style to style is not nearly as forced or awkward or story-strangling as it was in the Kill Bill movies, particularly part I. And several scenes in the movie are among the best of the year, notably the opener in a French farmhouse, the scene in the basement bar that brings together, shall we say, individuals of many nationalities, and of course the grand climax. The first time I saw the film, a roomful of critics burst into applause at the end. That happens rarely.

    Topics: Europe, History, Movies | 5 Comments »

    5 Responses to “Tarantino on “Inglourious Basterds”: Never Been a WW II Movie Like It”

    1. Robert P Says:
      August 14th, 2009 at 11:08 am

      I have a quick question on film critic etiquette.

      I’ve read before that at NFL games, for example, journalists are not allowed to do anything whatsoever to indicate cheering for one particular team over the other. You are not allowed to speak favorably of one team, clap, etc.

      Is there anything like that for critics? I don’t know if this sounds silly, but is it frowned upon to openly laugh during a critics screening when watching a comedy? Is it frowned upon to discuss it with colleagues after?

    2. kyle Says:
      August 14th, 2009 at 11:14 am

      Good question! Critics almost never applaud at the end of the movie. They do laugh, though. They almost never discuss the movie on the way out the door as they seem to be jealous that someone might steal their opinion. All in all: a pretty dour lot. You’d probably have a better time hanging out with Mormons.

    3. Robert P Says:
      August 14th, 2009 at 11:20 am


      Your story of the critics applauding reminded me of hearing a journalist for the Buffalo News talk about the famous 35-3 comeback win for the Buffalo Bills in 1993. They maintained their “journalistic integrity” when the comeback was brewing in 3rd quarter, but once it kicked into high gear in the 4th they basically just said “screw it” and were openly screaming and high-fiving during the 4th quarter.

    4. Christian Toto Says:
      August 14th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

      I actually try to engage other critics in conversation post-movie, but I rarely get takers.

    5. KS Says:
      August 14th, 2009 at 6:38 pm

      But will Tarantino be back on “American Idol” next season?