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“Inglourious Basterds”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Quentin Tarantino is in the business of two things, killin’ Nazis, and reclaiming box office supremacy. And cousin, business is a-boomin’. Inglourious Basterds takes place during World War II in German occupied France, where a team of Jewish American soldiers, known as “the Basterds,” are taking out the Nazi Party, one scalp at a time. In true Tarantino style, there is more than one story being told, and both tales converge at the films climax. It’s really nice to see a film like this again. For the last ten years, Tarantino has been focusing more on telling his story set in pre-set format, but in Iglourious Basterds he triumphantly returns to his Pulp Fiction roots.

The first thing I noticed when watching this movie is that independent film isn’t what it used to be. For the last few years, independent films like Juno are not so much artsy films, as they are just good movies that Hollywood refuses to make. Thankfully, Inglourious Basterds takes us back to that glorious golden age of indie filmmaking, and who better than Quentin to take us there. When the movie started, I was instantly reminded of those 1990 heydays. From breaking up the story into chapters, to the unmistakable dialogue, Tarantino effortlessly reclaims the indie title. Brad Pitt’s performance as Lt. Aldo Raine for some reason makes me think of George Clooney. I think it might be his character’s gruff southern accent, or maybe it’s the mustache. It also just seems more like the type of character Clooney would be cast to play. But don’t get me wrong I think Pitt did a great job. I loved the somewhat subtle hangman’s scar on Raine’s neck that is never explained or talked about. It would also lead you to believe it had something to do with Raine’s gruff voice. It’s that kind of attention to detail that makes Tarantino’s character development so top notch. Although, I heard that Tarantino asked the actors to develop their character’s back stories in this film, so the credit in this case might go to Brad Pitt. When I first found out that director Eli Roth was going to be playing one of the major roles in this film, I got to say it wasn’t a plus for me; but I’m glad to report that he does a good job in the role. I always hate when Tarantino puts himself into his movies, and Eli has done the same in the past. But with no Tarantino cameo, and a strong performance from Roth, there’s not much to hate. I was a little disappointed that they ruin a nice surprise cameo from Mike Myers by putting his name in the opening credits. I know, you wouldn’t expect Mike Myers to be in a Tarantino film, but he delivers an almost Peter Sellers-esque performance of a British General. Also, keep your ears open for other A Band Apart alumni cameos from Samuel L. Jackson and Harvey Keitel. Inglourious Basterds might not be the best Tarantino movie, but it’s definitely in the top five.

Rating:

4 Little People



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“Da Ali G Show: Da Compleet Seereez”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Season 1 DVD:

Going back to where it all began, well for the U.S. at least, Sacha Baron Cohen shows us just how great he can be. If you’ve never seen “Da Ali G Show,” I highly recommend picking up this DVD set. Originally airing here in the states on HBO, this six episode series would have made Andy Kaufman proud. Baron Cohen uses his three alter egos: Ali G, Borat, and Brüno, to travel cross America to interview unsuspecting politicians and celebrities. Now this is as real as it gets. I truly wonder how many agents and managers were fired for setting up these interviews. If you watch closely, at times you can see Sacha trying to hold it together, as even he can’t believe just how far the interview has managed to go. Ali G’s interviews with Buzz Aldrin and Boutros Boutros-Ghali in this season are instant classics.

Rating:

4 Little People

 

Season 1 DVD Special Features:

  • The unedited ‘Spyz’ Movie that Ali G pitches in Hollywood

This ten minute short is hilarious and I would love to know the longest it played before being turned off by a Hollywood executive.

  • Unseen footage of Borat at the Hampton’s Horse Show and the American Patriotism Event

This is just uncut footage from the show.

Sadly it’s only on the first episode, but it’s better than nothing. The nice thing is that even though it’s only the one commentary, you do get a real insight into the making of one of these episodes. They talk about the planning of one of these interviews; from how they write a list of things they would like to happen, to a list of crazy things they could only hope to happen. And more often than not they make it to the crazy list.

  • Glossary of Ali G jargon

Not really needed, but there if you want to look at it. It’s just an on screen list of words and phrases. I didn’t really look at all of it.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

2 Little People

 

Season 2 DVD:

Ali G, Borat, and Brüno are back for another six episodes of interview hijinks. The one bad thing about this series is that there are not nearly enough episodes. It’s basically more of the same as season one. But let’s be honest, is that really such a bad thing? This series could also be called a collection of the most awkward, whitest fist pumps ever. One of the best interviews of this season has to be Ali G’s chat with Pat Buchanan. Repeatedly in this interview Ali G asks Mr. Buchanan about B.L.T.’s in Iraq. At no point does Buchanan correct him that they are W.M.D.’s, and not B.L.T’s, but he even repeats it back to him. This is one of those moments that you can clearly see Sacha trying to push it as far as he can. After talking about the possibility of B.L.T.’s in Iraq, with or without mustard (gas), Ali then asks, “Is it ever worth fighting a war over sandwiches?” This is why this show is so great. Where else can you see a man be interviewed, that has no idea of what’s really going on… besides Fox News that is. And this series truly does save the best for last. On the credits of the last episode, Ali G interviews, well tries to interview, Andy Rooney. Offended. Confused. Pissed off. These are only a few words that could possibly describe Mr. Rooney’s mood. You really have to see it to appreciate it.

Rating:

4 Little People

 

Season 2 DVD Special Features:

  • Ali G gives a commencement speech to the graduating class at Harvard

This is the whole speech, which runs a little long, but funny none-the-less. The best part of watching this, is watching the uptight kid sitting behind Ali G sweat and scan the audience as Ali delivers his raunchy speech.

  • Ali G holds an educational summit, interviews linguistics professor Noam Chomsky, and visits an historic naval vessel.
  • Borat learns American football in Texas, gets a hunting lesson at an exclusive ranch, and lunches with the Arizona Republican Party.
  • Brüno dishes gossip with a Hollywood stylist, and visits a psychic to speak to his late boyfriend, and much more. (Well not really. These four things are the only special features on the DVD. I really hate when they pull this shit.)

This is just unused footage, it runs just under forty minutes, and has some nice moments in it. One of the best is when Borat is hunting in Texas and outs a hunter’s dislike for Jews. Little does the hunter know that he is talking to a Jew.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

2 Little People