Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Basterds" Mania & the Old Film Preference

Everywhere you look the reviews, discussions, and images are flowing in for Quentin Tarantino's latest opus, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. I have every intention of checking out the film Friday when it opens, and hopefully will write about here, too.

But that's in no way a given.

It's not that I don't expect to like INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. On the contrary, I'll probably love it. But for whatever reason - maybe it's the copious amounts of great reviews out there, maybe it's my own innate laziness - I've had little to no desire to write up any of the new films I've seen in the past few weeks.

A lot of it comes from discussions already had - the other day I had what would have constituted an hour's worth of conversation with a friend who disagreed with me concerning DISTRICT 9 (he loved it, I thought it was good but missed out on being great). I loved FUNNY PEOPLE, UP, and THE HURT LOCKER, and really enjoyed STAR TREK, but didn't really feel like I had anything to contribute to the conversations already taking place all over the Internet - I was happy to sit back and read it all, seeing what jibed with my thoughts, what didn't, and what was noticed that I missed from my own viewing.

(truth be told, I had started a review of DISTRICT 9, but lost it and didn't feel too much like recreating it)

But another reason, and this brings to to the second part of the post title, is that one of the things I love about movies is the sense of personal discovery - the finding of a treasure years after its discovery by everyone else. That, coupled with my natural "push-back" attitude whenever someone tells me I HAVE to like such-and-such because it's genius and I can't call myself a movie geek or other nonsense unless I've met the criteria of seeing this film or that film. That might be one of the reasons it took me so long to see RAGING BULL or why, to this day, I own but have yet to watch DO THE RIGHT THING. I don't doubt their genius (I was blown out of my chair (figuratively speaking since I was in bed) when I saw RAGING BULL finally last year), but I have my own timetable for discovering things, and my own mind to make up when I do.

So when it comes to the full-blown reviews, I'll most likely keep at my growing stack of DVDs, with some briefer comments about the newer films, unless one happens to get at me so much I'm forced to throw my two cents in.


  1. Early on in my writing about cinema, I faced the same dilemma you did. My solution actually worked. I avoid reading reviews or articles about the movies before I write about them. It was difficult at first, because I love to read criticism. But ultimately, it worked in motivating me to share my own personal take on each film.

    And Chris, you do need to get around to seeing Do the Right Thing. Do it to mark the film's 20th Anniversary, if you need a reason.

  2. See, you're pushing me!

    Kidding - it sits there waiting for me, knowing that I'll probably get to it sooner rather than later.