"Inglourious Basterds: better than the holocaust"—Reactions and Numbers

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Who knew that it would take a World War to give Quentin Tarantino a ge-nu-wine hit? I'm sure having Brad Pitt as a star helped, but Inglourious Basterds took the top spot at the box office this weekend. The movie earned $37.6 mil, making it Tarantino's best opening to date. Maybe we can chalk this up to the deceptive marketing campaign, which presented the 2.5 hour long, mostly talk and heavily subtitled film as something it is not.

In that type of situation, however,  you would assume that the word-of-mouth would be dire, but if the reactions on Twitter are to be trusted, the general buzz has actually been very positive—at least among those who can spell the title right. Or wrong. Hurm.

Over the weekend, I periodically checked on Twitter to make note of people's comments about the film. Here are 10 of them that I found most interesting/amusing. I am not omniscient, obviously, so these were picked from the batches that came up when I looked up the film every few hours or so during my waking period.

@gunblades inglourious basterds: better than the holocaust.

@flembeatz Inglourious Basterds was friggin' bangerang, Peter Pan.
(No idea what it means, but it made me laugh.)

@bradonweb Inglourious Basterds was loosely strung together, needlessly long and self indulgent. Quentin Tarantino is a glorified food photographer.

@danhf Tarantino once again answers Bazin's perennial question "What is Cinema?" From start to finish INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS is pure cinema.

@Jim_Hamilton "Inglourious Basterds": Not the Coen Brothers' best effort.
(I'm assuming it's a dig at how the film plays like a Coens film.)

@garalc Quentin Tarantino glamorizes suicide terrorists in his new film 'Inglourious Basterds'

@verycleanindeed I wonder how many people who saw Inglourious Basterds know who GW Pabst is.  There were a lot of mentions of him.
(I'm more concerned by QT killing a legendary silent era actor.)

@dtwalton Was it just me or was Inglourious Basterds just a live-action South Park episode? Complete with Gobbels/Hitler romantic subplot

@funnyordie RT this if you plan on showing your kids Inglourious Basterds early on and teaching them it's 100% historically accurate
(Say, I was thinking of becoming an elementary school history teacher...)

@dollaryo Just saw "Inglourious Basterds"—reminded how restrained, subdued and complex actual human history's 3rd act is. And unsatisfying.  Loved it.

The reactions are overwhelmingly favorable, with the dissenters typically divided between those who deemed it self-indulgent (a very overused word, I found out this weekend) and those who were disappointed that the film didn't match the previews. I still prefer these negative ones, however, to the positive ones that seem to enjoy it on a misguided level.

Every so often, there was the influx of "Inglourious Basterds was good, but it was too talky/there's too much subtitles/not enough action." The subtitles thing kills me, really. The characters are Germans and French. You want them to defy all logic and speak English, just for your benefit?

It's a curious thing, because in the opening scene, Tarantino deliberately takes the piss out of that homogenization of foreign characters in Hollywood movies, by having Christoph Waltz's linguistic genius Hans Landa ask a French farmer if he doesn't mind speaking English—the reason for it not revealed until the end of the scene, which really makes the switch comical. Later on, Diane Kruger's character condescendingly turns to Brad Pitt's Basterds and asks, "I know this is a stupid question, but do any of you Americans speak any language other than English?"

But I digress. Speaking of negative reactions, the white supremacist dregs over at Stormfront.org are having their panties chafing over the film's Nazi-hating attitude and its use of Jews as the American heroes. Boo f--king hoo, right?

Meanwhile, the critical reaction leans more on the good side. The film has a Tomatometer rating of 87%, though the Metacritic score is at a lukewarm 69. Audiences are clearly loving it, however, as it has already entered IMDB.com's (user voted) Top 50 movies of all time. These things are always a little premature, but it speaks to the film's popularity.

Of course, that's not to say that it'll last another week. With The Final Destination and Halloween out to grab seats, it could suffer a drop.

Aug
24
2009
Arya Ponto • Contributor

As former Editor of JPP, Arya likes to entertain peeps with his thoughts on pop culture, when he's not busy watching Battle Royale for the 200th time. He lives in Brooklyn with a comic book collection that's always the most daunting thing to move with, and writes for Artboiled.com.

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