I went to see "Inglorious Basterds" last night. While I've grown accustomed to noises in the theater -- seriously, how can anyone answer a cell phone during a movie? -- I can't remember a recent film in which there were so many verbal outbursts directly related to what was happening on the screen. And it wasn't just the universal gross-out moments in which the whole theater reacted. There were dozens of moments when the movie would strike a chord, however chilling or vulgar, with just a few people, who would involuntarily react while the rest of the theater remained silent.
The movie earned a round of applause from the crowd, and afterward I heard the vast majority of patrons talking about it being one of the best movies they had ever seen (and this was a wide cross-section, from folks with a senior discount on tickets to high schoolers who had probably never heard of Joseph Goebbels). Heck, The Examiner called it the best movie of the decade.
Now I love Quentin Tarantino as much as anyone, and I'm not denying it was an intriguing film, but great? I'm just not sure.
I did like the movie -- or at least I'm telling myself I did. I'm also willing to concede that because Tarantino doesn't simply break a few movie-making conventions, but rather barrels over them with a steamroller, it likely makes it a harder film to truly judge. Your initial reaction is discomfort because it goes against the grain of what you'd expect, but it does it with an artistic touch that only Tarantino ever seems to really pull off.
There were some exceptional scenes in the film, the best of which is the opening vignette which is particularly reminiscent of the Javier Bardem scene in "No Country for Old Men" in which he forces a gas station owner to flip a coin for his life. The interplay between the two characters is extraordinary, and for that alone, Christoph Waltz probably deserves Oscar consideration. His was a perfect example of Tarantino's ability to create characters that are both real and absurd at once.
There were other great moments as well, and in truth, that's part of what bothered me about the film. It was more a series of disconnected great moments rather than a particularly great film. ForTarantino, it was no doubt another homage to the B movies of the '60s and '70s (with a healthy tip o' the cap to " The Dirty Dozen") but for me, I don't know. I just didn't leave feeling like I'd just seen a masterpiece.
I'm certain of this: I didn't like it as much as "Pulp Fiction," which I still believe to be the most important film of the past 25 years. But I'm also willing to admit that the very fact that a day later, I'm still not at all sure how I felt about "Inglorious Basterds" probably means that the movie did some things that I simply haven't seen before. So that alone likely warrants an endorsement.
Now that I've sufficiently frustrated all my readers who hate the non-football asides, let's get to some links...
-- Senator Blutarsky wonders how much difference Oklahoma State's new defensive coordinator Bill Young will make to a unit that was -- well, pretty darned bad a year ago.
A few things about this post:
1.) I love the addendum the Senator has at the end. I hope Oklahoma State's coaching staff has a better understanding of Georgia's offense than its media does. Otherwise this game is going to be boring midway through the second quarter.
2.) Here's what Mark Richt had to say about the problems Young creates: “You look at where he’s been, and if it’s consistent at Kansas, Miami, then schematically you know this is probably what he likes to do. But then as you’re studying his scheme, you’re not studying his personnel. If you’re studying Oklahoma State’s personnel, it’s in a system that they’re probably not going to be running. Coaches don’t like the unknown, and we don’t know for sure what’s going to happen.”
3.) I asked Richt this weekend which teams Oklahoma State reminded him of on both sides of the ball, and after an extensively detailed explanation of OSU's defense (which I think was, in part, designed tounderscore my inferior football intellect) he said the Pokes look a lot like Arizona State. If that's the case, probably not too much to worry about.
-- Two things caught my eye about this story: 1.) This is the most round-about lead for a story I've read in a long time and 2.) If having two starting QBs means you don't have one... what happens when you have three?
-- Bernie's Dawg Blawg has what should probably be the college football version of the Miranda warning -- "You have the right to get very, very excited" before every season.
-- Hey Jenny Slater breaks down the quarterback position at Georgia by comparing Joe Cox to blogger Ana Marie Cox. It's quite a tangle.
-- Marc Weiszer writes about the much needed veteran presence of Shaun Chapas in the Bulldogs' backfield.
-- Chris Low offers his SEC superlatives and selects Georgia as his team to surprise this season. I think I'm with him on that and his team to disappoint as well.
-- In his SEC East preview, Mark Schlabach calls it "smooth sailing" for Florida.
-- SB Nation has perhaps the most in-depth SEC preview going with input from a lot of good bloggers. (h/t Dawg Sports)
-- South Carolina defensive lineman Clifton Geathers was arrested over the weekend after an altercation outside a Columbia bar. Clifton is the brother of Georgia's Kwame Geathers and a major contribtor on the Gamecocks' line.
-- South Carolina wasn't the only school with weekend legal problems. An Auburn running back surrendered to police today on assault charges.
-- And the saga continues for former LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux, who will be suspended for Jacksonville State's opener against Georgia Tech.
-- The only chance Georgia will play Ole Miss would be in the SEC Championship Game, but in case you're interested, Parrish Alford has an updated depth chart for the Rebels.
-- The AJC talks to Thomas Brown, whose NFL career has been largely sidetracked due to injuries thus far.
-- I missed this over the weekend, but the Chapel Bell has a hilarious update on former UGA hoops player Channing Toney.
-- A Florida basketball player may be on his way to Kentucky.
-- Dr. Saturday looks at the AP top 25 and sees some bad news for the Big East.
-- And finally, I was already fairly certain the world was going to end in my lifetime -- I mean, when "According to Jim" stays on the air for nearly a decade, it's gotta be a possibility, right? -- but I'll agree with Deadspin on this one... the end is near.