Movie Review: Inglourious Basterds

Title: Inglourious Basterds
Release: 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Bruhl.

Okay, so, I need to basically eat my own words here. For years I’ve told people that I didn’t like Inglourious Basterds. I watched a terrible copy of the movie when it first hit the cinemas, and I just didn’t enjoy it at all. However, due to my recent adoration of anything Daniel Bruhl does (and the constant nagging of friends) I decided to rewatch the movie and re-evaluate my opinion. And boy, did I re-evaluate.

I can’t say enough how badly I misjudged this movie. I’ve now watched it twice in two days and I just enjoy it even more each time. I FINALLY GET WHY PEOPLE CALL ELI ROTH THE ‘BEAR JEW’ (seriously, I had no idea why everyone called him that). There’s so many one liners that I’d never realised, and so much fuckery that I wish I’d known about. This movie is the kind of movie that would normally fit into my top 20, and I am so ashamed of myself for misjudging it so badly, I really am.

First of all, the acting. Holy Christ, the acting is fantastic. Brad Pitt’s accent more or less had me breathless (I’m a sucker for a Southern accent, I really am) and Eli Roth had me cracking up because I find his voice so funny (also, is it just me, or does he look a little like Zachary Quinto in this movie?). Every line is delivered beautifully and everything just flows at a such an even and perfect pace.

I’m gonna have to give an honorable mention to to Christoph Waltz and Daniel Bruhl (of course). Really, I don’t know if I should be worried that my favourite characters in the movie were Nazis. Waltz is a fantastic actor, and I just adored him in this – he was so nice and polite but so evil and scheming. His twist near the end had me shaking my finger at the screen. And Bruhl! Oh, how adorable and sweet he was. Seriously, he was like the nicest Nazi ever (okay, until the end, but that more or less results in his death, so.) and he looked so cute in that uniform (like I said, I’m a little worried about myself).

Whole cast is brilliant, and even the small cameos were wonderful (I was on Twitter more or less squealing ‘IS THAT MIKE MYERS?!’). Michael Fassbender was brilliant, and Melanie Laurent was fabulous. I could probably go through the whole cast and just tell you how amazing they were. This really is one of Tarantino’s bests, it really is.

I know it’s silly of me to tell anyone to go watch this movie, because it seems like everyone already has and loved it, and I’m just late to the party. So yes, this is me eating my words and taking back all the negative things I said about it. This movie is fantastic and I am now in love.

Movie Review: The Fifth Estate

Title: The Fifth Estate
Released: October 2013 (UK)
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl, Peter Capaldi, Stanley Tucci, David Thewlis

It’s been a very long time since I saw a movie in the cinema that made me want to rush home so I could post my review online as soon as possible. The Fifth Estate made me do this. In fact, as I type this, I’m barely in the door ten minutes and I haven’t even finished putting my PJs on but I’m already typing this up.

This movie is just fantastic. I know it looked great in the trailers, but the movie is much, much better than you think it’s going to be. As a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch I was looking forward to seeing him on the big screen again, but I couldn’t have imagined how wonderful his performance as Julian Assange would be. I know the writers obviously play a large part, but really, there is no other actor that could have portrayed Assange as perfectly as Cumberbatch did. And Daniel Bruhl as Daniel Berg was just brilliant – I know he was good in Rush, but after this movie? Yeah, he’s well and truly on my top 20 list of the greatest actors ever.

What makes this movie so brilliant, is it doesn’t work at making Assange out to be this wonderful person, this man of the people. Actually, in fact, the movie shows Assange for what he was. He was a man who was fighting to bring ‘fatcats’ to justice, to bring down governments that were more or less screwing over their people. However, he was also, well, a bit of an asshole. He was egotistical, a liar, and a manipulator. This movie makes light of all this traits. Of course, the movie is based on the book by Daniel Berg, and Assange even refused to meet with Benedict Cumberbatch (although he was rather gracious in his decline) because he believed the movie to be filled with false information. This is up to us to make our minds up, I guess (though really, I feel like I’d believe Berg over Assange any day of the week).

Through the movie, we get to see the whole timeline of Wikileaks, from Berg joining Assange to Cablegate. Watching their relationship grow and deteriorate is a little emotional, because you can see how much Daniel idolises Julian, and Julian knows it and abuses his power. In fact, throughout the whole movie you just watch as Julian abuses the trust people place in him, and you watch him more or less bully those around him. He takes what should be a type of ‘power to the people’ kind of situation and he uses it to his own advantage, to make himself feel powerful. By the end of the movie you can’t help but feel that whilst it started out justly and righteous, it became a power kick. I think this is all more or less confirmed at the very end of the film when we see Cumberbatch be interviewed as Assange, and he states it was a mistake to ‘hire’ Berg, and whilst I haven’t seen the real interview, I do wonder if he managed to fit his ego in the door.

One thing that I’m glad wasn’t focused on but was brought up (even if it was at the very end) is the sexual misconduct allegations that were brought against Julian Assange. Whilst I don’t know the full details, I’ve always been under the impression this was more or less to tarnish his reputation. I mean, his whole mission was to bring down governments, and it isn’t hard for said governments to lie about people, is it? They do it every day, so I don’t find it hard to believe that this could be a lie to bring him down, because the way the legal systems work, if he is sent to Iceland to face trial, even if he’s found not guilty, he’ll then be shipped to the US to face charges for Cablegate, so in the end the US government get what they want, right? Again, this is an opinion I’ve always held, and I liked that the movie addressed it in this way too. Another part of the ‘interview’ that made the movie that litte bit better was watching Cumberbatch (as Assange) talk about how bad a movie on wikileaks would be and how full of false information it would be.

I think, over all, this movie is rather powerful. Whether or not you agree with wikileaks, or whether or not you hate Assange, this movie is a powerful piece of cinema. In fact, I feel like the movie makes you feel like you should do more, like you should pay more attention to politics. The older I got, the more invested in politics and governments I became, and this story is inspirational to the ‘ordinary’ person, because you can make a difference, you CAN make things change.

I’m genuinely blown away by how fantastic this movie was, and I am so, so glad it showed wikileask, Julian Assange, and even Daniel Berg from every angle. We saw the good they did, the hope and justice they brought to people, but we also saw the bad, the manipulation, the lies, and the danger that an organisation like this can bring about.

Movie Review: Rush

Title: Rush
Released: 2013
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl
Rating: 4/5

This is really not my usual type of movie. I enjoy watching some sports, but racing has never been a big one for me. My mum was a huge James Hunt and Niki Lauda fan when she was growing up, so despite not watching much racing, I knew to get me by.

This movie is fantastic. It’s emotional, exciting, and entertaining. It really grasps the real feel of Hunt and Lauda’s relationship, and Bruhl and Hemsworth’s acting was off the scale. It was like I was actually watching the real James Hunt and Niki Lauda right there on the screen. The movie shows all the sides of F1 racing, and the the rise to get there. It shows the good, the bad, and the ugly. It shows the heart ache and how a sport can tear a person apart and ruin lives – or make them better. It’s just so, so honest.

The actual races were nervewracking. I spend a good deal of time on the edge of my seat, despite knowing what was coming. When Niki crashed and was pulled out of that burning car I was gasping along with the rest of the audience, even though I’d seen the real footage before. The make up for Niki’s scars was perfect, and Bruhl’s acting was mind blowing (also, I’m not going to lie, when James gets angry at a reporter making a comment about how Niki now looks and beats him up? Yeah, I flailed a little).

I think what completed the movie was the real footage they showed throughout the movie, and then having the real Niki Lauda shown at the very end was just the icing on the cake. It was such a beautifully shot movie and all of this made it so much more realistic. Even if you aren’t a racing fan I would recommend watching this to everyone, because it’s just so beautiful.