First was Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, or however he wishes to misspell it. I debated whether or not I wanted to see this movie. On the one hand, I loves me some WWII action -- the good guys win and the bad guys get beat. Tarantino is also a filmmaker who has explored some very deep concepts in his weird way. He's not a film fan who happens to make movies, he's a movie fan who happens to make movies. Sometimes that produces exploration of heady concepts, like redemption in the story of Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction. Sometimes it produces neat modern glosses on an old-style story, like Jackie Brown. And sometimes it produces pure crap, like the Death Proof half of Grindhouse.
On the other hand, Basterds stars Eli Roth, a man whose movies are completely, utterly anti-human swill. Roth is responsible for the dumb as dirt Cabin Fever and the distilled repugnance of two Hostel movies. I've mellowed some, so I won't say that these movies offer convincing proof Roth has no soul, but I will say that his production of them and his so-far unseen repentance for them makes me unwilling to see anything connected with him (And yes, I know he made one of the fake trailers in Grindhouse -- which is why I didn't see it either). Scrape a penny with your fingernail and the resultant amount of copper under the nail is the maximum amount of currency I would spend on anything by or with Roth.
Two movies released this week required even less thought in deciding to skip them, although not as little thought as was involved in making them. Rob Zombie's continuing quest to prove he's as horrible a moviemaker as he is a musician continues as he releases Halloween II -- which is not a remake of the Halloween II that followed the original Halloween movie back in the late 70s. It is part of Mr. Zombie's original vision of the character, first brought out in his remake of Halloween released a couple of years ago. In other words, this movie is a sequel to a remake, but not a remake of the sequel. Using the word "original" in connection with this project tortures the English language worse than killer Michael Myers tortures his victims. Mr. Zombie says his next film will be a remake of The Blob, a movie which already has a lousy sequel and a lousy remake. He wants to do something different with it, though, saying that he has a "totally different take." Ah yes, we do love it when the jokes write themselves.
Also stinking up screens across America was The Final Destination, an interesting title for a move that's actually the fourth in its franchise. These movies operate on the idea that a group of people who were supposed to die in some kind of gruesome accident are warned away at the last minute by someone who has a vision of the disaster. The survivors are then stalked by death itself, apparently, slain in the order in which they would have died, usually via some Rube Goldberg-elaborate combination of horrible events. Wrap your head around that logic, if you can, but be sure to stock up on Tylenol first. In any event, this the fourth "final" destination, and it's in 3-D, which means it will not only be awful, you will have to wear geeky-looking glasses in order to experience the awfulness.
Meantime, thanks to Mr. Netflix, I watched El Cid and Double Indemnity.
Wish I could figure out why people don't go the the movies anymore...bet I could make a bundle.