August 20, 2009 |
Ten years ago, when Quentin Tarantino first sat down to write his own WWII extravaganza, "Inglourious Basterds," a film he referred to as his "men on a mission" saga, he needed to come up with two story staples: a cool group of renegades and a mission. For his rough-edged warriors, he quickly settled on Jewish soldiers -- not the most obvious choice, given the legacy of Jerry Seinfeld and Woody Allen -- and for his mission, nothing less than revising history in his update of such war film staples as "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Guns of Navarone," "Where Eagles Dare" and "The Great Escape."
August 21, 2009 |
Weinstein Co. might be getting some much-needed good news this weekend. The financially beleaguered independent movie studio opens Quentin Tarantino's World War II action film "Inglourious Basterds" today and all indications are that it will have a solid and potentially very strong opening. It's the first major release for Weinstein Co., which is attempting to strip away its widespread media interests and focus on movies and television. According to people with access to pre-release audience polling, "Basterds" should sell more than $25 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada this weekend and could very well top $30 million.
August 27, 2009 |
Ah, that most inglourious of basterds, Quentin Tarantino. His raucous new World War II farce with its tiny Jewish American contingent out to exact justice on Nazis in France is also raising a lather among the body politic. Brad Pitt is the leading basterd, a hill-country absurdist with a killer underbite and a choking drawl. He's demanding 100 Nazi scalps from each of his men, which the filmmaker proceeds to deliver in hair-razing color. More than a few critics have handed Tarantino's scalp right back for his irreverent take on the war's indignities and atrocities, though he's never been shy about the mayhem he'll wreak given the chance.
August 25, 2009 |
Leave it to the "Basterds" to break the rules. During a season when studios have become all but convinced that audiences are losing interest in big-name movie stars and R-rated adult fare, perhaps it was appropriate that the end of summer would offer a surprise hit that embodied both those qualities. "Inglourious Basterds," featuring Brad Pitt among an ensemble cast, earned $38 million at the box office this weekend in the U.S. and Canada, according to domestic distributor Weinstein Co., far exceeding expectations by drawing a fairly diverse audience without alienating director Quentin Tarantino's core fan base of men in their 20s and early 30s. The same occurred overseas, where Universal Pictures opened the film in 22 territories, including Germany, France, Britain and Australia, to a strong $27.5 million.