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Tag Archives: Quentin Tarantino

DAILY BULLETIN: Nom nom nom… Analyzing the Academy’s Oscar nominations

2013-oscarsHey everyone. Yesterday’s bulletin was preempted due to my Internet connection being shite (though to be fair I was dead tired anyway so anything I did post would’ve been phoned in). But today I’m back with a vengeance, due to (drum roll please) the Oscar nominations! They were announced this morning, giving bloggers everywhere a chance to weigh in and talk about how dumb the Academy is for picking/not picking the worst/best whatevers…

Anyway, before I put my two cents in, why bother listing everything here when I can just do this: the nominees are…

(Hopefully at this point you’ve clicked the link above for the full list.)

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DAILY BULLETIN: Django Unchained soundtrack commentary, Metacritic’s top 10

Happy New Year people!

I’ll say this upfront: half my brain is still working on processing Django Unchained, which I just saw. Overall, I found it was good, but not great. I don’t want to repeat myself, so you can check my twitter for a few more thoughts. And I’ll go more in depth on it in my next podcast, which, time permitting, will be recorded tomorrow. Alright, this is gonna be a short one, so, onward…

Tarantino commentary for the Django Unchained soundtrack
Sticking with the Tarantino theme, he was on Sirius recently promoting his soundtrack for Django, and he provided a track-by-track commentary of his selections. I know, I know, this is kind of a double dip, considering I already did a whole long thing about Tarantino’s soundtracks not that long ago. But the commentary is something new, and I could listen to Tarantino talk about pretty much anything. So if you’re like me, you should give this a listen. I haven’t gotten a chance to hear it all yet, actually. The full show runs almost an hour and a half, so if I’d listened to the whole thing before starting this post, I’d be up laaaate. And since I’m traveling tomorrow, that’s not in the cards. Anyway, click through to check it out.

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DAILY BULLETIN: A very tentative top 10 for 2012, plus what’s next for Boyle, Anderson, and Tarantino

First off, I hope your Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) was as good as mine. I gorged on turkey, spent time with my family (most of whom I haven’t seen in months), and didn’t get sick! We’re actually doing a “Christmas: Part II” this weekend because my sister and brother-in-law got sick and couldn’t make it to our secret Santa exchange.

On the movie side of things, I missed out on seeing Django Unchained. I’m really hoping to see it this weekend, and get a podcast done as well. A lot of it will depend on travel schedules. Fingers crossed!

Alright, on to the news…

Top 10 of 2012… for now
avengers-posterFirst up today is my top 10 films of 2012. It’s an extremely early look at what the final list will be. I won’t have a proper list until just before the Oscars. And that list will include write-ups for each entry, unlike this one which is just the titles. But I thought since it’s the end of the year now, I’d at least give out what my current top 10 are, just for the sake of interest. Without further ado…

10. The Master
9. The Raid
8. The Sound Of My Voice
7. Looper
6. The Dark Knight Rises
5. Margaret
4. The Grey
3. Moonrise Kingdom
2. The Cabin In The Woods
1. The Avengers

Again, I can’t stress enough how incomplete this list is. There are a ton of films I haven’t even seen yet that stand a very good chance of stealing a spot. And some of what’s there already could very well shift around. For example, The Master is almost surely a better film than The Raid, but The Raid is much easier to size up. The things it does well are plain to see, whereas the virtues of The Master are much subtler. Long story short, I need to see The Master again to get a better handle on it.

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DAILY BULLETIN: Django Unchained soundtrack now online, plus picking the best of QT’s other sountracks

djangounchainedostcoverI’ve had a long standing love for Quentin Tarantino’s soundtracks. As much as the guy is a film buff (which we saw in my last post), he’s also a huge music fan, whose personal record collection is apparently enormous. His soundtrack selections can wind up being very influential too. Remember how huge Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” got after Pulp Fiction (and how it was subsequently driven into the ground by the Black Eyed Peas)? Or how about “Woo Hoo” by the’s? After Kill Bill: Vol 1, you couldn’t turn on the TV without hearing that thing on one commercial or another.

Anyway, the point is the soundtrack to Django Unchained is now available to stream (and buy) online. Before I get into what it has to offer (I’m actually listening to it as I write this), I’d like to do a completely off the cuff countdown of my top 10 QT soundtrack tunes. I’ve given this no advance thought whatsoever, so give me a moment to ponder…

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DAILY BULLETIN: The origins of Looper, Michael Giacchino’s bio, Django’s history, the 2012 Black List

It took me awhile to find much worth sharing for today’s daily bulletin. I even tweeted that I wasn’t doing one. Well, I lied! Okay, so there weren’t any big announcements or new trailers to dive into or whatnot. But I did find some interesting stories in my poking around. Here goes…

Rian Johnson’s original idea for Looper
looper-posterOver on his official website, Rian Johnson posted a cool artifact from early on in the development of his film Looper. He writes:

“This is the original four page sketch for Looper, written in 2002. At the time I intended to film it, just with a video camera and a few friends, but we never did and it sat in a drawer for seven years. It’s presented here for the curious, exactly as I wrote it ten years ago.”

I was a fan of Looper, although as with most time-travel movies I still want to give it a second look just to unravel it all (maybe with Johnson’s commentary track next time). So reading this is quite interesting. I’m not sure how it would’ve looked on film. Obviously it’s very narration dependent, which makes sense given how difficult it is to communicate the complexities of this story in a short time span. The feature-length version of Looper still made use of narration here and there, but much more sparingly.

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DAILY BULLETIN: Early reviews for Django Unchained, details for Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, and the trailer for Pacific Rim

Critics are (mostly) liking Django Unchained
django-unchained-posterThe rest of us won’t be able to see Quentin Tarantino’s slavery-revenge-western Django Unchained for awhile yet, but critics are already weighing in with their opinions. As expected, the word is largely positive.

Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny summed it up thusly:

Django Unchained is Blazing Saddles with a body count, a positively incendiary entertainment about America’s greatest shame, the personal and social toll of slavery…”

Over at Badass Digest, Devin Faraci opened his review this way:

“Fist-pumpingly exciting and blood-boilingly provocative, Django Unchained is very much a spiritual sequel to Inglourious Basterds.”

If there’s any disagreement among critics, it boils down to how long the film is. Some, like Allison Willmore, feel it overstays its welcome. In her review for Movieline, she noted:

“There’s a good movie inside Django Unchained, maybe even a great one, but it hasn’t been carved out of the lopsided excess.”

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Movie news round-up

Although two movies I’ve been looking forward to for awhile (The Social Network and Let Me In) are now playing, I’ve been AWOL from the theatre lately. No worries, I’ll get to them eventually. Actually, Let Me In will have to wait for DVD since its already disappeared from my local theatre. I will definitely be seeing The Social Network this weekend though.

In the meantime, I’ve been keeping a close eye on movie news, so here’s a quick rundown of some things you might’ve missed in the last couple of weeks… Read more of this post

Inglourious Basterds

Before I get into a proper review, I should qualify my remarks by saying that I’ve been a huge Quentin Tarantino fan for years. I’ve seen each of his previous films, and thoroughly enjoyed nearly all of them. The only one I would say I don’t outright love is Jackie Brown, which I just watched again recently. I still think it’s a fine film, but the dialogue doesn’t feel quite as strong to me.

All this to say that Inglourious Basterds was easily my most anticipated film of the summer.

My initial reaction after seeing the movie was that it didn’t quite live up to my expectations/hopes. But as I thought about it more and more, I wasn’t sure that anything could have. I held off with writing this review just to give the film time to sink in. I read other reviews, swung by IMDb to get a feel for the general consensus, and played the film’s soundtrack nonstop. In the end I found myself thinking about the movie so much that I actually went back and saw it again in theatres. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure this is a first for me.

Alright, so to come to the point, I liked this movie. A lot. It’s not my favourite QT movie, but it’s certainly a worthy addition to his great resumé. From the fantastic performances and dialogue, to the beautiful cinematography and engaging soundtrack, it’s a great ride.

The film delivered a number of surprises, perhaps the biggest being how there’s relatively little action. When a movie’s trailer features an over-the-top Brad Pitt announcing to his eight-man squad The Basterds that “Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps! And I want my scalps!” it tends to colour you expectations of what you’re about to see. Anyone going in looking for an exploitation gore-fest will be very, very disappointed.

The most common complaint levelled against Basterds is that the dialogue scenes drag. In his review for the LA Times, critic Kenneth Turan noted that, “clocking in at 2 hours and 32 minutes, [Inglourious Basterds] is unforgivably leisurely, almost glacial.” I couldn’t disagree more with this. Tarantino has a skill for dialogue that, to my ears, puts him at the top of the class with guys like David Mamet. I could listen to the characters these two have created talk until the cows come home. For me, each time one of these dialogue scenes came to an end, it was almost a downer.

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