Thursday, August 20, 2009

Roger Ebert is a Basterd

By Chase Kahn

The much maligned showing that happened three months ago in Cannes is not showing amongst domestic critics this week. Roger Ebert just gave Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds a four-star rating, falling in line with James Berardenelli, The Village Voice's J. Hoberman, Variety's Todd McCarthy and New York Magazine's David Edelstein as supporters of the WWII spaghetti western where a band of Jewish soldiers slaughter and reign terror on the Nazis.
From Ebert's review:

"Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” is a big, bold, audacious war movie that will annoy some, startle others and demonstrate once again that he’s the real thing, a director of quixotic delights."

"And above all, there are three iconic characters, drawn broadly and with love: the Hero, the Nazi and the Girl. These three, played by Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz and Melanie Laurent, are seen with that Tarantino knack of taking a character and making it a Character, definitive, larger than life, approaching satire in its intensity but not — quite — going that far."

Of course, a Tarantino film getting good reviews is hardly news, but with the Cannes reaction and talk of QT himself becoming a washed-up admirer and historian of films but nothing more, it's surprising that the reaction has been positive across the board from major U.S. critics like Ebert, McCarthy, Edelstein and Hoberman.

The New York Times and LA Times will weigh in later today. Basterds of course, opens tomorrow (08.21.09) in 3,000+ screens.


  1. I've always been a fan of Ebert, but it seems to me as of late, post surgery, his reviews of major weekend films have either been unarguable praise or a general acknowledgment that he's not the target audience. It seems to me, he's been a bit more positive as of late in his reviews, even of films he doesn't like.

  2. He's definitely lost it a little, he gives out 4 stars every weekend for chrissakes, including the worst movie of the year, "Knowing".

    But he also hits the nail on the head. His reviews of "The Hurt Locker" and "500 Days of Summer" are spot-on and he says the kinds of things you can't find anywhere else.

    I'm really shocked at the general enthusiasm for "Basterds", even though Dargis just pretty much panned it, especially after all the Cannes turmoil.