For those who love the cinema, this weekend presents possibly the most anticipated film of 2009: Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, or as Peter Travers calls it, QT’s How I Won the War. A revenge film with dozens of subplots, the plot boils down to this: Brad Pitt stars as Lt. Aldo Raine, a backwoods hick from Tennessee that demands that each of his Jewish-American soldiers give him 100 Nazi scalps while under serving under “Aldo the Apache.” It’s all revisionist history, from a fiery film premiere that brings the upper crust of the Nazi regime —including Adolf Hitler —to the recruitment of a British film critic/soldier named Archie Hicox, sensationally played by actor Michael Fassbiner. This is Tarantino’s vision of World War II, and it’s a breath of fresh air.
Quentin’s knack for rich dialogue is once again on display, but the real scene stealer in this film is Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, who plays the Nazi colonel Hans Landa, a role that Travers thinks will land Waltz an Oscar nomination. Tarantino’s script bounces from German to French to Italian to hillbilly, but the words and characters are always sharp. That’s not to say the movie is perfect. Sure there are faults,” Travers says. “I just don’t care about the faults.” Tarantino’s love of cinema oozes out of every shot, making Inglourious Basterds one of the must-see movies of 2009.
But for every great film that comes to multiplexes, there are five bad ones, and this week’s Scum Bucket focuses on two of this week’s comedic duds. First, there’s the Renee Zellweger clunker My One and Only, which features Bridget Jones herself delivering the worst Southern accent in the history of film. Then, there’s Post Grad, starring Gilmore Girl Alexis Bledel. In this flick, Bledel quits a job in publishing, which —given this economy —is an action so inconceivable that the film heads straight to the Scum Bucket.