Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Comic-Con: Lucky Inglorious Basterds

I would say this year's Comic-Con was mixed. It would have been just about wonderful if my laptop hadn't died just after I entered my hotel room, and Fox (yes, I'm saying this) had a more efficient autograph session plan that didn't exclude those who thought they'd be included.

However, thanks to Twitter, and a bold move, I can declare myself a Lucky Inglorious Basterd, along with about 200 others.

I found out through a Twitter post that the producers of the movie will give out movie passes to the first 200 people outside of a tea and coffee shop on 6th Avenue at 8 AM. Now, I figure there may be a lot of people camping out overnight, just like Twilight fans. I decide to get up at 6 AM that day. Either there will be 450 people waiting to get a movie pass, or there won't be. Either way, I'd get a good picture.
This is what I found...

Waiting to see some Inglorious guys

Thanks to my increased amount of patience due to waiting in line much more often than a person should, I figured I had a chance. I could also knock off a few podcasts to pass the time.
At 8 AM, they passed out the movie passes, but these weren't your average passes...

Now that's one lucky...you know

They were dog tags. Clever.
When 8 PM rolled around, I got a nice seat at the Gaslamp Cinema. It was the same place where they showed Hamlet II the year before. There was some speculation on who would be there. Some of us did see Dominic Monaghan, aka Charlie from Lost, in the audience.
The screening was introduced by Eli Roth, director of the Hostel movies. He got the crowd excited for the first U-S showing of Quentin Tarantino's latest film.

It's a war movie, and a tale of revenge. It's a portrait of the most seductive form of evil, and the most direct form of vengeance. It's five cinematic time bombs that converge into one unforgettable climax.

Now, what I just said may sound pompous and exaggerated, but this isn't...
there are two words that will convince you to lay down your ten bucks for this movie.
Christoph Waltz!
OK, is that a new dance?

Nope. He's had a lot of experience on TV in Europe. He lives in London, and is very popular.

He also owns this movie as one of the most charming and soulless people you ever want to meet...Colonel Hans Landa, hunter of Jews. Right off the bat, he calmly convinces a French farmer who was hiding Jews in his basement to expose them. One gets away, a girl named Shoshanna. She won't forget this day, or the man who did this.
They cross paths again when she's invited to lunch by Zoller, a German war hero, and Landa just happens to be there. He oozes menace, even they he's just eating strudel with her. You won't forget this man.
However, for the American market, you need a big star. Brad Pitt is that man. He's Lt. Aldo Raine, leader of the Basterds, Jewish soldiers who can be ruthless, too. They think nothing of literally scalping Nazi prisoners. Roth is there as Donnie Donowitz, known as the Bear Jew because he clobbers Nazis with a baseball bat. Pitt has a presence in this movie, but it's nothing compared to Waltz's performance.

But what of Shoshanna? Melanie Laurant plays her role beautifully as a woman who tries to forget her past, until it returns to menace her. When the premiere of a propaganda's movie starring Zoller is scheduled for her movie house, she decides to make it an event the Nazis won't forget. The fact that Hitler will also be there makes her more determined.
Raine's group also plan to be there, to take out Hitler and the top Nazi bigwigs. This leads to a climax with blood and fire.

The crowd was very happy with the film. Half gave it a standing ovation. Afterwards, Roth showed his appreciation by signing autographs, even on the dog tags.

Eli Roth signs a dog tag

The movie is premiering all over Europe, and will come here officially in a couple of weeks. I suggest if you want a war picture that's really different, this is it.

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