Critics Consensus: Inglourious Basterds is Certified Fresh!

Plus, Shorts, Post Grad, and X Games 3D: The Movie come up short.

This week at the movies, we've got Nazi killers (Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt), a magic rock (Shorts, starring William H. Macy and Leslie Mann), unemployment blues (Post Grad, starring Alexis Bledel and Michael Keaton), and extreme sports (X Games 3D: The Movie. What do the critics have to say?


89%
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Fresh

Inglourious Basterds

Historians may have plenty of quibbles with Quentin Tarantino's wild and wooly take on World War II. However, critics have fewer reservations on Inglourious Basterds, calling it an audacious, bravura piece of pulpy pop filmmaking. Brad Pitt stars as the leader of a group of Jewish soldiers who terrorize the Nazis and plot a brilliant plan to put an end to the Third Reich. Meanwhile, a German officer (Christopher Waltz) is hot on the Basterds' trail. The pundits say Basterds may not be Tarantino at his peak, but it's perhaps his most loving tribute to cinephilia yet, as well as a bracing, tense exercise in over-the-top action. Like most of Tarantino's directorial efforts, Inglourious Basterds is Certified Fresh.


45%
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Rotten

Shorts

Director Robert Rodriguez has seamlessly moved between the worlds of violent adult-themed film (Sin City, From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado) and more family-oriented fare (the Spy Kids franchise). After working with Quentin Tarantino on 2007's B-movie tribute Grindhouse, Rodriguez returns this week with another whimsical children's film, Shorts. In Shorts, an 11-year-old boy named Toe Thompson happens upon a magical rainbow-colored rock that grants wishes to anyone that holds it, and after it falls into the hands of the neighborhood grown-ups, Toe and his friends must band together to save the town from chaos. So far, while some critics have noted the film's hyperkinetic pace and imaginative premise as strengths, others fail to see any underlying charm and feel the director's enthusiasm is wasted. (Be sure to check out our interview with Rodriguez from Comic-Con, in which he talks about his own son's involvement in the project.)


8%
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Rotten

Post Grad

At a time when college graduates are having a tough time finding work, Post Grad seemingly benefits from timeliness. Unfortunately, critics say the film is less about our current economic situation and more about shopworn romantic comedy conventions. Alexis Bledel stars as a grad that has been beaten out of her dream job by her college rival, so she moves back in with her parents -- and finds herself torn between two dudes. The pundits say Post Grad is listless and dull, squandering a solid cast that includes Jane Lynch, Michael Keaton, and Carol Burnett on a script that lacks much insight into the heady days of post-collegiate life, and worse, one that is woefully short on laughs.


N/A

X-Games 3D: The Movie

When the X Games held its first annual competition nearly 15 years ago, some dismissed it as a novelty act, while others clearly foresaw its potential to explode worldwide. Now a legitimate sporting event, the extreme sports exhibition has spawned several similar competitions and garnered coverage from the likes of ESPN and ABC Sports, so it's only natural that the next step would be a feature-length documentary in 3D. X-Games 3D: The Movie mashes together a string of impossible stunts from the various events, sound bites from the biggest names, and a narrative voiceover by Emile Hirsch, but early critical response has been negative overall. Most are saying the film plays out like an extended commercial for the event, offering little beyond what one might find in a typical broadcast of the X-Games besides the novelty of 3D, and its appeal may extend no further than its built-in fans.


Also opening this week in limited release:

Comments

Nine Oh Two

joe schmoe

As glad as I am to see the positive reviews for IB, I hope QT has gotten all these vanity projects out of his system. Its cool that all his movies are basically ode's to his influences, but how about making something worthy of those influences, something that, in turn, future filmmakers can be influenced by. I'd like to see him do a film that has more in common with his earlier work, something that can stand on its own legs. You don't have to be a 'cinephile' to appreciate it.

Aug 20 - 05:10 PM

Chris B.

Chris Bellew

I have yet to see District 9 so I'll be seeing that this weekend. IB can wait a little while.

Aug 20 - 05:42 PM

BatsInTheBelfry

Derek Meadors

Nothing really this week for me. I have to wait for some feedback on Inglorious Basterds since I'm not a huge Tarantino fan. But if it's more like Pulp Fiction and less like the god awful Deathproof I'll give it a watch.

Aug 20 - 06:22 PM

RamALamADingDong

That Guy

If I wasn't so busy, and so short on cash, I'd probably see District 9 again, and if I had time I'd see Inglourious Basterds too. Looks quite interesting.

Even for a children's movie Shorts looked bad. The only reason people would see it is because they've seen G-Force too many times.

Aug 20 - 06:31 PM

Jpeffer

Jake Peffer

Inglorious Basterds is the only thing that looks any good this weekend. Shorts looks so bad and has one of the most annoying kid actors as the star. After this weekend there won't be anything good for a while it looks like.

Aug 20 - 06:34 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

I'll be seeing Inglorious Basterds for sure tomorrow. And I'll be seeing Shorts never. As much as I like Rodriguez and appreciate how he lets his son come up with movie ideas, they're always terrible.

I see that Robin Williams has a new movie coming out this weekend, but what shocked me was the director! Someone told me Bobcat Goldthwait was dead, and I believed him! This is the best news I've heard all day, but now I feel I've been lied to for the past twelve years.

Aug 20 - 07:08 PM

CountBezukhov

John Mayer

Goldthwaite has been so absent from public view one might be forgiven for thinking him deceased. But your friend may be thinking of Sam Kinison. I used to get them mixed up all the time; they had, as I recall, a similar look and style. Kinison, among other things, campaigned against overly strict DWI laws. He was killed by a drunken driver.

Aug 20 - 07:48 PM

BlueLobster

Aaron Dean

Kinison actually had a feud with Goldthwait, well, not really a feud... I don't think Goldthwait responded to Kinison's criticisms, so it was more just like an obnoxious little kid berating an adult for no apparent reason other than to be an annoying twat.

Anyway, you're forgetting two major differences between Kinison and Goldthwait: Goldthwait isn't a douchebag, and Kinison is/was supported by ****ty musicians (Insane Clown Posse and its members), whereas Bobcat is/was supported by good musicians (Nirvana and its members).

Aug 20 - 08:08 PM

Hans M.

Hans Morgenstern

A shout out for Deathproof. I'm glad I saw that on the big screen as a double feature. I found the build up to the violence more powerful than Planet Terror's redundant violence. QT is consistently great as a director, and I'm looking forward to watching IB.

By the way, RT, Headless Woman is an Argentine movie, not Italian. It was a fine film, too-- if you like slowburning psychological cinema. Director Lucrecia Martel is a true auteur with a particular style, so if you liked La Cienga and Holy Girl, this is another fine work by her.

Aug 20 - 07:35 PM

CountBezukhov

John Mayer

Goldthwaite has been so absent from public view one might be forgiven for thinking him deceased. But your friend may be thinking of Sam Kinison. I used to get them mixed up all the time; they had, as I recall, a similar look and style. Kinison, among other things, campaigned against overly strict DWI laws. He was killed by a drunken driver.

Aug 20 - 07:48 PM

BlueLobster

Aaron Dean

Kinison actually had a feud with Goldthwait, well, not really a feud... I don't think Goldthwait responded to Kinison's criticisms, so it was more just like an obnoxious little kid berating an adult for no apparent reason other than to be an annoying twat.

Anyway, you're forgetting two major differences between Kinison and Goldthwait: Goldthwait isn't a douchebag, and Kinison is/was supported by ****ty musicians (Insane Clown Posse and its members), whereas Bobcat is/was supported by good musicians (Nirvana and its members).

Aug 20 - 08:08 PM

BlueLobster

Aaron Dean

VERY Excited for Inglorious Basterds. Looks like it might be his best since Pulp Fiction. And really, who doesn't love killin' Natseez?

Also; if anybody has a chance, you MUST see World's Greatest Dad. Its one of the best comedies to come out this decade. Great performances (Daryl Sabara, the little boy from Spy Kids, yeah... his performance is great, like a ****ed up cross between Seth and Evan from Superbad and Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. Williams is great as usual, and the woman who plays his girlfriend was really good too ), truly funny script, good direction, music placement, cameos... I could go on. I

Aug 20 - 07:56 PM

Jpeffer

Jake Peffer

I just watched World's Greatest Dad and it was insanely good. That was definitely one of Robin Williams best in a long time. Also one of the craziest movies I've ever seen.

Aug 20 - 11:33 PM

BlueLobster

Aaron Dean

Good! More people need to see it, and I hope you can spread the word.

Aug 21 - 08:00 PM

Premo Beat

John Noto

Got news for you, every single movie QT has ever produced has played out like a mashup of one set of his influences. That includes Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

That being said, it's my opinion that Inglourious Basterds will prove to be his most original work to date.

Aug 20 - 07:59 PM

BlueLobster

Aaron Dean

Kinison actually had a feud with Goldthwait, well, not really a feud... I don't think Goldthwait responded to Kinison's criticisms, so it was more just like an obnoxious little kid berating an adult for no apparent reason other than to be an annoying twat.

Anyway, you're forgetting two major differences between Kinison and Goldthwait: Goldthwait isn't a douchebag, and Kinison is/was supported by ****ty musicians (Insane Clown Posse and its members), whereas Bobcat is/was supported by good musicians (Nirvana and its members).

Aug 20 - 08:08 PM

King Thor

Chris Kalmin

Can't wait to see Inglorious Basterds soon. I'm amazed at how high its climbed on the tomato meter since its debut in Cannes (i understand QT cut it and assume he made a much better movie).

Also Chris B.....go see District 9, its really a fantastic movie.

Aug 20 - 10:12 PM

thereign

lance berry

For anyone who's sitting on the fence on Inglourious Basterds, my suggestion is to get off the fence and go see it! I saw it at a private screening last month, and I've been dying for it to come out in full release! I'm going to see it again tomorrow, and I'll be happy to give the Basterds my dough!

By the way, if your girlfriend attempts to take you to see Post Grad, threaten to break up with her. It's an absolute steaming pile of dogs**t, and I WANTED to see the film for Michael Keaton. However, the entire project(which wasted the talents of the great Carol Burnett) was 100% suckalicious!

Aug 20 - 10:27 PM

MADDAZ

Darren Anderson

Hell yeah. Two weeks in a row we are treated to some seriously cool movies. District 9 and Inglourious Basterds showing in the same cinema complex. My suggestion is treat yourself to a double feature. Two of the best for the year.

Aug 20 - 11:16 PM

Jpeffer

Jake Peffer

I just watched World's Greatest Dad and it was insanely good. That was definitely one of Robin Williams best in a long time. Also one of the craziest movies I've ever seen.

Aug 20 - 11:33 PM

BlueLobster

Aaron Dean

Good! More people need to see it, and I hope you can spread the word.

Aug 21 - 08:00 PM

Simon M.

Simon Magnus

Im really worried im gonna hate IB. I HATED Deathproof. really worried. That accent of Pitt's sounds so dumb. But alas. I will go... RIP income

Aug 21 - 01:05 AM

CaptainSiberia

Raymond Ogilvie

You do not call a critical consensus before Friday, when a huge share of the reviews come in.

Aug 21 - 01:46 AM

Graham T.

Graham Taylor

Inglorious Basterds really doesn't interest me at all, but most people wil probably enjoy it. Shorts looks terrible, Post Grad looks suicidal and that X Games doc looks bad too. Still, got to see The Hurt Locker, Funny People and District 9 to see what the hell all the fuss is about!

Aug 21 - 02:25 AM

Propadanda

Dan R

If anyone is interested in seeing something other than IB, check out the Baader-Meinhof Complex. It came out a while ago over here and I caught it, thought it was excellent.

Aug 21 - 03:12 AM

Propadanda

Dan R

That said, I cannot WAIT to see Inglourious Basterds haha. So psyched.

Aug 21 - 03:13 AM

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