Do not spend money to see this movie

Avoid Inglorious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino.

It will be 7 hours of your life… er… well, 2 and a half hours of your life that seem like 7… which you will never get back.

Ironically, the person who took me to see the flick and I were discussing walking out of films as we were walking in.  Had I been on my own.. okay… I wouldn’t have gone… but humor me.  Had I been on my own I would have walked out.

It was so tedious that even the pointless violence became tedious.

Sadly, the most interesting thing was to note what people laughed at.

Just. Say. No.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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28 Responses to Do not spend money to see this movie

  1. Andrew says:

    Having read the synopsis of the movie I was sure that I would not waste time to see it. Actually, I was sure that I would not let some arrogant rich brats feed me garbage at my expense.

  2. JennyZ says:

    Hmm. Did you enjoy any of his other movies, Father?

  3. kradcliffe says:

    I logged in to ask the same question as Jenny: did you like any other QT movies?

    Perhaps it’s wrong of me, but I love them. I have been keen to see this one, but I’ve got many months to wait as going to the cinema just isn’t in my lifestyle these days.

  4. ncstevem says:

    Father,

    I made the decision many years ago that I would no longer go to the cinema to see any movie. I broke that pledge when I went to ‘The Passion of Christ’. Other than that, I’ve been to 1 other movie in the past 15 years. No more for me.

    I think faithful Catholics have to be serious about disengaging from our increasingly destructive society. Why should we patronize those (Hollywood) who have played such a large role in the coarsening of our culture? I would suggect that Catholics should refrain even from seeing those films that don’t offend our Catholic sensibilities. Doing so only finances those films which DO offend our Lord. Catholics should also reconsider following the third Commandment and refrain from shopping on Sundays.

    If the goal is to reestablish our Catholic identity, we have to be in the world and not of the world.

  5. Al says:

    It is a mistake to “Disengage from the culture”. Rather we must participate. Participating by organizing and speaking out against crap like Tarantino’s nihilistic hipster-cool crud he churns out. We should even organize mass boycotts. We should promote excellent films which are overtly Christian such as “Passion of the Christ” but also films which are not, such as “Master and Commander – The Far Side of the World – one of my favorites. We must wade into the culture not retreat.

  6. Al says:

    Also…”Shawkshank Redemption” Thats a great film

  7. Girgadis says:

    This is in no way a criticism of you Father, so please don’t take it that way, but I won’t part with a single penny if I think it’s going to benefit Brad Pitt. I read last week where he commented on (where else) Bill Maher that religion doesn’t make sense to him but gay marriage does. I feel the same way about him that I do about Lance Armstrong – I lack the ability to separate his professional life from his personal escapades. Anyway, I was curious – does the plot have any credibility at all?

  8. AndyMo says:

    Participating by organizing and speaking out against crap like Tarantino’s nihilistic hipster-cool crud he churns out.

    This.

    I often think that the cultural love of Quentin Tarantino films is a giant and organized practical joke being played solely on me. I watch his movies (usually because of the advice of a friend), everyone around me says, “great movie,” and I say, “huh?” There is usually little story, far too much violence, and a preference for style over substance that makes the early days of the internet look professional.

    Am I the only one who thinks the emperor has no clothes?

  9. I think faithful Catholics have to be serious about disengaging from our increasingly destructive society.

    Begging your pardon, but that is an entirely inappropriate attitude for a Catholic to take. How are we to follow the divine commandment to be leaven in society if we wall ourselves off from it? Christ did not create the Church so that we could hide our light under the table like a bunch of swotty little nancy boys. Take up your sword, take your place in the ranks behind St. Michael, and wade in to battle. Besides being cowardly, anything less may very well be a sin against charity,

    And I agree with Al that The Shawshank Redemption is a sublime and beautiful movie.

  10. mpm says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, Fr. Z. In my case I can’t afford to go to the movies anyway.

    I think both Al and ncstevem are “right”, i.e., both their points are important. You can’t affect the culture (God can, but you can’t) unless you are engaged with it. But that is not the same thing as “being of the world”. Those with talent especially need to do their best to affect change. And there is nothing incompatible with “paying for quality, ignoring the trash”.

    In the past I have seen (not sure if I “enjoyed”) QT movies (Reservoir Dogs, et al.). Once these people become “iconic”, my enthusiasm for them tends to fade, because they generally have no bottom.

    I am a big fan of movies that are not overtly “Catholic”, but which go deep, stuff like “Cool Hand Luke” and “Man for all Seasons”, or “How Green Was My Valley” and the “Quiet Man” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”, for that matter. I agree about “Master and Commander”; I think it shows how true friendship, in spite of personality differences, is what keeps men united. The fiddle piece at the end is wonderful!

  11. Scott W. says:

    I often think that the cultural love of Quentin Tarantino films is a giant and organized practical joke being played solely on me. I watch his movies (usually because of the advice of a friend), everyone around me says, “great movie,” and I say, “huh?”

    Your instincts may very well be close to the mark. Consider James Bowman’s take:

    A good speech, like a good work of art, is one that says something interesting and true. The technique can never be anything more than a secondary consideration. Alas, I must pay a price for this belief, which is to submit myself to the status of a naif among my fellow critics, an unsophisticated bumpkin who has simply failed to understand that the first rule of criticism for those who know their business is to ignore mere content. Shame on me! I can tell how shameful it is to be thought such an innocent by the lengths to which other critics are prepared to go in order to avoid the stigma of being thought to be so ignorant themselves. About Inglorious Bastards, for instance, the New York Times critic Manohla Dargis is in one sense quite right to say that “complaining about tastelessness in a Quentin Tarantino movie is about as pointless as carping about its hyperbolic violence: these are as much a constituent part of his work as the reams of dialogue.” But what she appears to mean by this quite unnecessary observation is that, because it is deliberately vulgar and tasteless, the movie must somehow be supposed to have disarmed criticism. Sophisticated critics are allowed only to animadvert upon inadvertent tastelessness.

    I think ncstevem’s last sentence, “we have to be in the world and not of the world” mitigates the easily misunderstood, “disengage from the culture” thing. Too often “engange the culture” is code for, “Let’s freely consume all manner of pop-culture sewage and cover it by citing our strong faith.”

  12. iudicame says:

    Tarantino strikes me as the Peckinpah of our day and I suspect Fulton Sheen would not have had us waste our money on THE WILD BUNCH.

    m

  13. Clear your mental palate by going to see PONYO. That’s a delightful little movie — by which I mean that it fills you with childlike delight. It’s even drawn with simplicity and joy.

    It’s a fairy tale movie, even though most of the fairy tale sources are Japanese and all of them are mixed and matched. Not a Christian movie, but the movie of a virtuous pagan.

    (And I mean that literally, because Miyazaki’s Shinto beliefs do show up in his movies, including this one. But not in a bad way.)

    For even more delight, go see it with a bunch of little kids sitting right behind you. That’s guaranteed to crack you up.

  14. Although it was a bit sobering that the kids didn’t know what an antenna looked like…. Guess they’ve got cable. :)

  15. Dr. Eric says:

    Most of the people I know love Tarantino and Rodriguez. I keep telling them that their movies are very shallow and that they hide their lack of plots with blood, guts, and nudity. Those two are truly hacks.

    Unfortunately, they both seem to be lapsed Catholics.

  16. The title is enough to tell me not to see it.

  17. Heather says:

    I read the script when it was leaked last year…it was a mess. I’ll be skipping the movie.

  18. MargaretMN says:

    I haven’t seen all of QTs movies, but my tolerance for “dark comedies” is on the decline. I am not sure if it’s me (I am getting older and more sensitive to violence, especially violence used as the punchline to a joke) or if violence is just so graphic now that it has crossed some line in my own mind. Or maybe it’s the dark time we live in that it’s too close to reality. That said, I thought the Kill Bill movies were so over the top, they managed to be entertaining.

  19. MenTaLguY says:

    QT is not without unique talent, and occasionally he does something that rises above the vulgarity, but seeing the trailer was enough for me to categorically rule out seeing this movie.

  20. iudicame says:

    This is in no way a criticism of you Father, so please don’t take it that way, but I won’t part with a single penny if I think it’s going to benefit MEL GIBSON…I feel the same way about him that I do about Lance Armstrong – I lack the ability to separate his professional life from his personal escapades. Anyway, I was curious – does the plot have any credibility at all?

    m

  21. amylpav22 says:

    I think faithful Catholics have to be serious about disengaging from our increasingly destructive society.

    I disagree. First, if we disengage from everything, that means there is literally nothing (not television, not radio, not CDs, not movies, not the Internet) we can watch and increasingly few places where we can do something as simple as shop.

    I think faithful Catholics have an obligation to discern the good from the bad, and to set an example for our increasingly destructive society as to WHY it’s choosing the wrong path. To live as the light of the world, not as hermits, because it won’t benefit others if we keep our faith a secret.

  22. JPG says:

    I have never liked QT. I have never found any of his movies to have any artistic merit. I have never liked them and thought him utterly overrated as a filmmaker. That being said my wife and I saw Julie & Julia last evening. No one was killed (save three lobsters) the F bomb was used twice. There were no explicit sex scenes.
    It involved dialogue and superb acting and told a lovestory of a two couples. It was delightful. Meryl Streep can do anything. Amy Adams did quite well. It was worth the night out. (I still like films on a really big screen.
    JPG

  23. Vincent says:

    Agreed about Julie and Julia. Streep was almost as good as she was in Doubt.

  24. mpm says:

    Is the Julia in Julie and Julia, the one-and-only Julia Childs? If so, she provided plenty of material, very funny material, to work with.

  25. JPG says:

    It is. However it is not so much the Julia that we remember but the Julia that is in Julie’s head as Julie cooks her way through the book in one year. What comes out is Julia’s determination and the deep love and respect that she and her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci)had for one another. In an era when half the marriages are destined for failure, it was a joy to see the love and the joy that this couple clearly had in each others company. The quote I sat in the kitchen just so I could be with her was telling. All marriages should be as this one was portrayed.
    JPG

  26. Steve K. says:

    My wife and I saw District 9 last night (being huge sci fi fans). It was excellent, a really remarkable film, but caveats that is strong violence and some very nasty characters in the film (but also one particularly upright one eventually). I can’t highly recommend it enough, a very engaging (though depressing) setting and a very interesting plot that deals eventually with exploitation, justice, self-sacrifice. Also, for a $30 million film, the effects were very good and effective, because they were used effectively. They are a vehicle to the story, not a tool to draw in crowds looking to amazed.

    I just finished reading Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, which shed an interesting light on this movie for me.

    The previews we were forced to watch before the movie, though, were appalling (Saw 6, that cheating death movie, Zombietown) and the worst was one for a film called “Legion” where according to the preview God is angry with the human race and sends His angels to wipe us out, but a renegade angel comes to help us defeat them. Yep, you read that right. It’s beyond sacrilege, it’s like a recruiting film for the Enemy.

  27. Anabela says:

    I dont think giving up on Cinema or tv is a bad idea. Personally I have just decided to stop watching TV and going to see just any old movie or watching certain dvds or movies on the net for the period of one month to start. I realise it is a weakness for me and an attachment that I could do without to make more time to develop my faith and go deeper into the Gospel. I found that watching things that were too much of the world was weakening my own faith and prayer life. But it doesnt mean i become a hermit but rather I just want to be a better Catholic Christian.

  28. rwprof says:

    For those who get the MGM Channel, Judgment at Nuremberg is being broadcast Friday. If you haven’t seen it, you should.