Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Horror Chick: Why the Heavens Should Crumble If ‘Inglourious Basterds’ Wins (Short Answer: Eli Roth)

ROTHI can't stand Eli Roth. Everyone on the Internet has a strong opinion about him one way or the other, and the only difference between the two sides is that one is utterly fucking wrong. There are legions of horror fans who like him. There are oozy corners of the Web where he is worshiped and glorified. There are even fan clubs teeming with girls who think he's the zenith of swoony hotness or whateverthehell fangirls think. They are all tragically mistaken. Don't take it personally, fangirls-your mental slowness is part of the human condition. We're all morons about something. I think Jeff Dunham's kinda funny.

But Roth is indefensible. His persona, actions, and body of work stand for the victory of a wretched set of luck and circumstances that solidify the current septic tank state of the American Dream. There's also the small matter of his blatant lady-issues-you can just picture him ranting about how women are all psychotic whores, as evidenced by the string of crazy wenches he's banged since high school (I'm surmising here-thankfully I have no insider knowledge of Roth's love life). He's the horror movie version of a Portnoy-era Philip Roth-all the Jewish angst and thrashing lady-rage, with no self-awareness or insight. But putting aside all female indignation, he has committed a terrible act: single-handedly taking what some apparently think is an Oscar-worthy film and turning it into a fucking joke.

If you love horror, you can overlook his treatment of women as vaginas-that-bleed and his puerile humor and God-killing dialogue and the fact that he admits to taking his father's life savings to fund a film filled with jokes about gay squirrels and the N-word, because his movies are semi-decent. Cabin Fever isn't great, but it's willing to go some interesting places. Hostel is bad, but the torture scenes are undeniably entertaining. Hostel 2 is lethargic and lame-but it has a great moment, that pre-torture-scene montage that belongs in a highlight reel. Taken solely as pseudo-crappy horror movies, these are enjoyable, and Roth gets props (though claims of his "reviving the genre" are BS-take one look at anything Ti West has done, it all makes Hostel look like a Chocolate Rain retread). Of course, most important to the Hollywood Overlords, Roth's movies made money-Cabin Fever was Lionsgate's highest grossing film of 2003, and Hostel pulled in a hefty $47 million domestic. (For the record, the sequel made $17 million.)

But any respect or admiration halts there, for the simple reason that the rest of Roth's career-and even the success of Hostel-has rested on the unbelievably lucky move of becoming Quentin Tarantino's shoulder monkey. His Holy Tarantino-ness sprinkled "Quentin Tarantino Presents" dust on Hostel, which subsequently lured scores of twenty-something Americans into sweating over the idea that they'd get sold to torture dungeons by slutty Eastern Europeans if they ever set foot in Slovakia. Which, for some of the frat boys I knew in college, doesn't sound like such a bad scenario. Yet somewhere in the afterglow of Quentin's pixie dust, Roth had a hallucination and got the idea that he was an ACTOR. Like Tarantino, Roth's one of those directors that puts himself in every one of his movies. Which is perfectly fine if it's a campy horror flick and you're the stoner-douche whose entrails get gobbled by a flesh-eating virus. Even in Cabin Fever, his acting was bad-but that was the point. It was all in good fun.

Only after the syrupy joy of fame descended, a disconnect occurred in Roth's brain. A delusion of grandeur so great that it topples acting empires. Specifically, the delusion that he had any Goddamn business being in a Nazi movie that expects to be taken seriously.

Which brings us to Inglourious Basterds. As a whole, it wasn't good. Many people whose opinions I respect spilled adoration on it like the fucking Magi. I don't get it. It was dull, and smug, and plodding. The title characters of the film were also irrelevant-the entire plot could have happened without the presence of the Basterds. They were a silly sideshow. Let's be honest: The only thing that saved this movie from Death Proof levels of obscurity is the subject matter. We humans fucking love us some revenge fantasies, and killing Hitler is just about the Everest crest of those. Without the orgasmic joy of seeing the Führer blown to little Nazi pieces, this film would be a boring flop propped up by the institutional weight of a famous director and the presence of the biggest movie star on earth. It would make $15 mill on opening weekend, Harvey Weinstein would grumble through fistfuls of M&Ms about how he'll turn a profit in DVD sales, Nikki Finke would cackle at his failure and sacrifice another goat, and life would go on as normal.

But no, we've got bloody spattery Hitler-death on our hands, so instead Basterds is a massive blockbuster and everyone loves it and if you don't love it you must be some Eichmann-worshiping fascist I mean it was sooooo awesome, everyone says, so and no I don't really get that whole scene in the bar and why does the blond chick have to prattle on for 20 minutes about nothing but ITS THE BEST MOVIE EVER and if you don't think so that means you love Hitler.

Does the film have redeeming value? Yes: The acting. The performances of every non-American cast member are astounding. It's like the human condition is chewed to its raw elements and regurgitated directly into our souls by these actors-the airily dazzling Diane Kruger, the simmering Melanie Laurent, and of course Christoph Waltz, oozing a lizard-smooth quadlingual evilness that no villain has ever captured onscreen.

But transcendent acting or no, the Achilles tendon is sliced from this movie by the presence of Roth. He is laughable. Beyond laughable. He appears to be LAUGHING AT US DURING HIS SCENES! OH LOOK, I'M IN A NAZI MOVIE! FUCK ALL YOU AT NYU WHO SAID I WAS A TALENTLESS HACK! Meanwhile, we're left thrashing in our seats, wondering, "What the fuck?? Did we miss something? Since when is this man an actor?? Like a REAL actor?? The kind of actor who can appear next to people who have spent careers making this shit into an art form?? And in a fucking NAZI movie no less?! Would you cast Pauly Shore in Sophie's Choice? No, you fucking wouldn't!"

As such, Roth destroys the film. He sucks you out of the Spell of Magical Movieland into the seeping craphole that is Hollywood reality. His acting-calling it "acting" is like calling two third-graders dry-humping on camera "porn," as it's so inept as to render it irrelevant-downgrades the movie from a plodding but well-acted fantasy into a giant inside joke. Haha oh look it's the dude who directed the Thanksgiving trailer where the cheerleader on the trampoline gets a knife up the cooch! And he's totally Jew-hot! Haha isn't that just so funny!

And thus the spell is broken, and you're back to being confronted by the fact that Hollywood is one big reach-around where your buddies stick your non-actor ass in Nazi movies next to shoo-in Oscar winners and then sit back and laugh at all the stupid slobs who buy it. Think of the potential alternatives for that role. Think of what they could have done with it. You couldn't get Adrien Brody? What, his post-Darjeeling Limited paycheck is too high? This is the only time modern audiences have ever seen a big powerful Jewish man bash a Nazi's skull, and it's FUCKING ELI ROTH?!! MY RELATIVES ARE SCREECHING FROM THEIR BIRKENAU GRAVES! Okay, maybe they aren't-but they would be if they'd seen Cabin Fever.

As such, Inglourious Basterds must be stricken from the record and removed from the Best Picture list. If you disagree, you clearly love Hitler.

Melissa Lafsky has really had it with Eli Roth.

126 Comments / Post A Comment

contradicto (#443)

There are few people in the world that I would hate fuck.

Eli Roth isn't one of them, I just thought I'd mention that.

But Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Sarah Palin are two of them.

LondonLee (#922)

What about Hitler?

I have no idea who Eli Roth is and I have not seen this movie. Nevertheless, I have a sneaking suspicion that I agree (or would agree) with everything written here.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Other than the brief hiccup about Jeff Dunham and Roth's movies being step up from six weeks of catarrh shooting out of one's ass, Shit For Hell YES.

kolk (#3,846)

it's "birkenau."

also, jeff dunham?!

Zack (#2,609)


Tablefornone (#3,264)

Melissa, you've knife-fucked my heart. I thought I was the only one who was screaming at the screen "No one is impressed that you know who Antonio Margheriti is!"

mrschem (#1,757)

Man, I wish I could go back to not knowing who he was.

cherrispryte (#444)

I am squarely in the "OMG they killed Hitler best movie ever" camp. I completely agree that the Basterds aspect of the movie was superfluous, and therefore it doesn't impact my opinion of the movie.
I also have a major ladyboner for Nazi resistance movements, so that helped too.

Sackin (#2,393)

I am with you on this one, except it was more the 12-year-old me who spent two years reading "number the stars" and "diary of Anne Frank" etc etc suddenly stood up and screamed "fucking finally this is so what I've been waiting for!!!"

cherrispryte (#444)

I wrote my thesis on the Warsaw Uprising which happened in August of 44 – after the movie takes place. When they killed Hitler, there may have been tears of fucking joy on my part.

breccia (#2,412)

I agree. The movie completely sucked because of Melissa Lafsky's unhinged hatred toward Eli Roth.

Jared (#1,227)

Did I miss the memo about Nazi movies being too sacrosanct to mess with? You seem to be confusing Inglourious Basterds with The Piano, but that is not a mistake Tarantino was going to make.

Melissa Lafsky (#3,848)

Ah yes, the "Nazi movies should stop taking themselves so f-cking seriously, it was grim, we get it" argument. If that was Tarantino's goal, Kate Winslet beat him to it:

Jared (#1,227)

I like that Extras clip, but I think Tarantino is doing something different. His movie is more of an attack on Dirty Dozen type movies than the stuff Winslet (Gervais?) mocks there.

(Snarky version: "Oh, there is room in the world for three sanctimonious Holocaust weep-fests every single year, but that one episode of Extras has clearly cornered the market on Nazi-satire.")

oudemia (#177)

And you seem to be confusing The Piano with The Pianist.

mrschem (#1,757)


HiredGoons (#603)

Christopher Waltz was definitely the best thing about this movie, and yes the pacing was off.

You might say the pacing's off in all of Tarantino's movies, though…

HiredGoons (#603)

Kill Bill part 1 is pretty solid.

Actually I quite enjoy the "off"ness, but I do have to get re-accustomed to it.

balsa_wood (#465)

The pacing is off from what?

I think Tarantino has his own pacing. And on a scene-by-scene basis, his handling of tension is masterful.

petejayhawk (#1,249)

Still trying to get past the Jeff Dunham thing.

Pintonator (#2,236)

ME TOO. My mind refuses to take in any of the rest of the piece; I keep readng but not comprehending, my mind fixated on the Dunham problem.

Eli Roth looks like he's constantly doing Nick Frosts orangutan impression.

And I love(d) "Death Proof". Maybe that's my human condition downfall?


cellular_bus (#3,024)

Au contraire, anybody who didn't enjoy this film probably doesn't like movies very much in general. Also, Eli Roth directed the highly self-referential, self-mocking "Nation's Pride" segments of the film, fyi.

Melissa Lafsky (#3,848)

Yes, and the Nation's Pride section was good – in fact, if he'd simply directed that great sequence and not taken a significant role in the film, I'd be writing columns giving him props.

joeclark (#651)

Incoherent on a number of levels.

katiechasm (#163)

More like, Eli Roth is making me incoherent because he is so hot.

HiredGoons (#603)

He is, really hot.

katiebakes (#32)

I agrealdfkj.

HiredGoons (#603)

You know how hot? I'd have sex with him.

That's how hot.

joeclark (#651)

It is true that, for a short period of time, he was the hottest Jewboy alive (when not making gayface).

Imagine swarthy hot Jewboy Mr. ELI ROTH completely owning pocket ginger Jewboy Mr. SETH GREEN. I have just imagined this.

"Which brings us to Inglourious Basterds. As a whole, it wasn't good. Many people whose opinions I respect spilled adoration on it like the fucking Magi. I don't get it. It was dull, and smug, and plodding. The title characters of the film were also irrelevant — the entire plot could have happened without the presence of the Basterds. They were a silly sideshow. Let's be honest: The only thing that saved this movie from Death Proof levels of obscurity is the subject matter. We humans fucking love us some revenge fantasies, and killing Hitler is just about the Everest crest of those. Without the orgasmic joy of seeing the Führer blown to little Nazi pieces, this film would be a boring flop propped up by the institutional weight of a famous director and the presence of the biggest movie star on earth."

Um, no? I really don't think that's the only reason. Maybe another one is that your specific personal taste for shitty horror movies is not shared by everybody everywhere and maybe people go to see movies for reasons other than just the quality and quantity of the deaths in said movies, reasons such as maybe that the directors of the movies do interesting things with their artform or comment on the history of cinema and the place of movies in culture in ways that are insightful or at least interesting or, since those things are definitely arguable, are at least generally unlike the majority of major Hollywood movies released today. Or other reasons, such as maybe that the directors hire, as you mention in passing, some really amazing actors who would never otherwise get major roles in wide release American movies to play the characters in the movies, or that the directors take the risk of playing out long scenes of those actors together talking and acting where "nothing" is really happening in the sense of explosions and deaths and excitement, long scenes of people talking to each other in foreign languages without jumpcuts or scene changes or cleverly chosen pop songs bouncing onto the soundtrack, long scenes which maybe you, as a fan of quick, dirty horror movies, might consider your own personal torture porn, but which other people might possibly find beautiful and transcendent or at the very least entertaining.

I want Avatar to win, though, so what the fuck do I know.

wow, it looks so much more tl;dr than it did in the comment box

Fredrick (#268)

Nah, I agree with you, and thank you for dissenting so that I didn't have to (it gets so old after awhile) BUT I must dissent (twist!) with your hopes that Avatar win. I think Jimmy C worked really hard on it, obviously, but it would be the most boring win ever.

In my opinion.

Sproing (#561)

Eli Roth is the worst thing that ever happened to Quentin Tarantino. The second-worst thing is Quentin Tarantino.

HiredGoons (#603)

But he's the best thing to happen to Harvey Weinstein.

Brian Calandra (#3,753)

"It was dull, and smug, and plodding." Physician, heal thyself!

And since when was this movie meant to be taken seriously? It's a genre fantasy. A comic book. Bad things happening to worse people. Eli Roth obviously can't act. And even though some critics loved the movie, I haven't read one that said his presence had anything to do with them loving it. So if you're afraid that he's going to become some Jewd Law, ahem, Jude Law and appear in ten movies a year, that's not going to happen. The only thing to be afraid of is having to listen to you validate a forgettable costume farce with a surfeit of protest.

Melissa Lafsky (#3,848)

Haha fair enough! Except this forgettable costume farce might win Best Picture.

Neopythia (#353)

I felt the movie was simply unbalanced. There were moments of brilliance, such as the cellar scene and the open, but as a whole it just doesn't work. Roth is certainly part of it. He is terribly miscast as I don't find him believable as feared uber-nazi killer. The set-up for the Bear, Brad Pitt's monologue as the camera slowly trucks in on the darkened arch is laughable when out steps Eli Roth. I was like, WTF?

Personally I'm rooting for The Hurt Locker, but I fear the tremendously shallow Avatar is going to take the prize.

RachelSklar (#3,232)

I love you Mel, but I disagree with most of what's in this screed. Especially this: "Without the orgasmic joy of seeing the Führer blown to little Nazi pieces, this film would be a boring flop propped up by the institutional weight of a famous director and the presence of the biggest movie star on earth." This movie was anything but boring, from the riveting opening scene (the pan-down through the floor to the terrified eyes of the silent Jewish family below was one of the most visceral screen moments I can recall) to that crazy scene in the underground bar. (Though if you're going for distracting off-casting, then I'll give you Mike Myers as an English officer.) And the shoe! God I loved the shoe. And the milk. And the strudel. And BJ Novak as "The Little One."

As for Roth, well, my bias on that is pretty well-documented (and thank you for the link!) but as someone who went into Basterds hating him for his movies that I hadn't seen, I didn't feel the same way at all. Yes he's hot, fine, and I'm a Jewess who appreciates a hulking strapping Jew who could bench-press a sniveling Woody Allen times two. BIAS DECLARED. But I actually quite loved the character of Donnie Donowitz for the backstory – just a big, loyal lug, like a Jewish Luca Brasi (the backstory, that didn't get into the movie, has Donowitz taking the bat around his Boston neighborhood to be signed by his Jewish friends – you can see that on the various art for the posters). There's no question that my feelings about this movie are complicated and Jew-y – I've spent a lot of time discussing it, reading about it etc. – but if there is one thing it's not, it's boring. The reason Basterds is getting so much Oscar talk right now is because it's the kind of movie you think about, Google about, and want to talk about after, and want to buy the DVD for the director's commentary, and love dissecting and debating with friends, or feel compelled to leave long nerdy comments on a website about. Did Avatar make any of you feel the same way? I'm betting not. Here, pretty kitty, pretty flying dragon, yawn.

And – you can't say that killing Hitler is the only non-boring thing in the movie and then mention Christoph Waltz as an aside.

As for Eli – I have to say that your characterization of him is way off, both from I know personally from my professional dealings with him for his stuff on Mediaite, and from the research I did for same (and "research" – thanks, ONTD!). I am no fan of horror flicks (as you well know), and I can never un-see that "cheerleader splits on the knife" thing from the "Thanksgiving" trailer, but I know enough to know that he's pretty damn talented, and hardworking as hell to boot. Also, dare I say it: A mensch. A hot, hairy, talented Jewish mensch. Who didn't ruin one of my favorite movies.

But I loved the line about casting Pauly Shore in Sophie's Choice.

Fredrick (#268)

As someone totally non-Jew-y, I felt every moment of revenge-against-the-man on display and almost, like…okay, I'm not gonna say I CRIED, but if that week had been a little rougher on me leading up to my viewing, it's possible that I COULD MAYBE POSSIBLY have done so, allegedly. But technically I didn't.

Emily (#3,862)

YES, I just read this entire comment out loud to my roommate, because we'd been unable to come up with anything more rational beyond just, "What? WHAT?" as part of the reason we became better friends was a mutual love for this movie. The first act in particular was one of the most lovely, chilling, tense, and dramatic scenes I've ever experienced in a film–how that could be interpreted as "boring" is beyond me.

I've only encountered Eli Roth once, but that time he was an absolute sweetheart. Very respectful, enthusiastic to meet with fans–he spent nearly an hour of his time talking to us (and this wasn't at a convention or anything, just a movie screening, and not even a promoted appearance), because he remembers what it's like to be a fan. I thought I was a hater until I actually watched Hostel, but I'd recognized that he truly does LOVE making movies and watching movies and learning about movies, and that's always something I respect.

Anyway. I normally wouldn't have even bothered commenting, but something about being called a "mentally slow" "moron" just because I like a certain director/actor (who was only in the movie for about 5 mintues) inspired me, what can I say.

emceegee (#2,133)

I feel so stupid that I didn't realize until now that this whole movie was about Eli Roth.

And lay off Death Proof; some of the best stuntwork in recent memory.

breccia (#2,412)

It's pretty obvious that the entire film hinges upon the utter seriousness of the "Muscular Jew from Boston who kills Nazis with a baseball bat" character.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I haven't seen Basterds, but I have seen Eli Roth "act," and I can say unequivocally that it is something he should stop doing.

Allan Mott (#3,849)

Considering the fact that I am seriously contemplating the value of living in a world where the trailer for "Phat Girlz 2" is going to feature the words "Academy Award Winner Mo'Nique" I can appreciate the passion with which the post is written, even if I emphatically disagree with everything it actually says.

Beyond the fact that I sincerely believe (I know, sincerity is so lame and has no place in an internet comment on a "cool" blog like this, but you'll just have to forgive my trespass this one time) that Basterds is a supremely moving and brilliant film (I also apologize for expressing a positive opinion), I just have to question disliking it for Roth's presence if only because he isn't in it enough to have any impact on the film or leave much of an impression at all.

It's like saying you hated "The Godfather" because you can't stand Alex Rocco. I mean, you can, but it says a hell of a lot more about your personal psychosis than it does anything about the film.

Personally I've never quite understood why people seem to hate Roth so much. Based purely on his commentaries and interviews, he's always struck me as a passionate and sincere (sorry!) filmmaker. Perhaps it would be different if I actually met him, which I'm assuming the author has, since that and his involvement in the death of her beloved golden retriever, Sparky, is the only reasonable explanation for the depth of her expressed antipathy.

That said, I really don't care either way. I'm just leaving this comment as an excuse to link to an essay I wrote about the theme of castration in three recent horror films, in which I defend Mr. Roth's second "Hostel" film. Yes, I am a whore.

Slava (#216)

Why'd you go and put Cool in quotations!!!???

Melissa Lafsky (#3,848)

You make a very excellent point. But yes, casting a terrible actor as Moe Greene would have put a serious dent in The Godfather. Moe Greene worked his way through the Hollywood channels for a decade before landing a part in Godfather – he was a seasoned actor and he played the part well. The Bear Jew is a character given heavy symbolic weight in the film – it's not a bit part like Dov in Death Proof.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

No offense, but no one would even notice if you were just straightforwardly sincere. Your loud announcements of sincerity – I guess as a dig at Awl commentators making snarky jokes sometimes? – really aren't necessary.

Melissa Lafsky (#3,848)

Ack meant to say ALEX ROCCO worked his way through the H-wood channels. Brain is liquefying – symptom of too many horror movies.

HiredGoons (#603)

Trust me, we are not cool.

joeclark (#651)

Do not rebuke sincerity, Doctor.

KenWheaton (#401)

Who's gonna be laughing 20 years from now when you try to convince your grandkids that Hitler WASN'T killed in a theater before the end of World War II (after going on a tirade about having his Xbox Live account suspended and Oasis breaking up)?

Things I enjoyed about this post: "I think Jeff Dunham's kinda funny." WHAAAAAAAA?

Also, I kept reading Cabin Fever as Cabin Boy.

HiredGoons (#603)

Yes to the Cabin Boy thing.

Bittersweet (#765)

Is that the one where Chris Elliott gets his entrails gobbled by flesh-eating viruses? I'd totally pay to see that.

City_Dater (#2,500)

The Austrian actor who deserves better for his next American film is Christoph Waltz.

(There is actually an actor named Christopher Waltz, but I can pretty much promise you it is not possible to mistake one for the other.)

djfreshie (#875)

"The Beatles? How can you like those losers? Ringo's not even a good drummer, I mean come on, and he's such a douche."

I also don't think, personally at least (and a lot of people have agreed with me on this) that this movie was about REVENGE at all. All of Tarantino's movies have revenge elements. But just becaus it's part of the plot doesn't mean that's what the movie was about. This movie was about reflecting our own misguided vengeful emotions. I truly don't think anyone was supposed to cheer at the end. It as ridiculous and silly, the ending. It solved nothing. The whole notion of Waltz' character stopping the war himself was supposed to make you recognize that we can't really understand who our villains are supposed to be. He was a dick, but he STOPPED THE WAR. Nobody would have accomplished anything without his selfishly guided support. And yet he was the villain in the film. You are supposed to have mixed emotions about that.

Melissa Lafsky (#3,848)

Best analysis of the movie I've ever read. And THAT is sincerity.

djfreshie (#875)

I actually can't tell because of the CAPS if it is sincerity.

But if so…I think that concept of trying to get people to consider how they venge…rationalizes most of the things you really reject about the film. Roth's portrayal was deliberately silly and laughable. You weren't supposed to like him. At all. I know you remember that first scene when he comes out of the pipes. He was a complete asshat. Nobody should have liked him. If you liked him, you represent exactly the person the film lampoons. NOT liking Roth's character is the intended effect. None of the Basterds in fact, were likable. AT ALL.

But that was the point. Tarantino is an expert on exploitation films. But he's using a classic ploy to have the opposite effect. You relate completely to the plot (especially if you're a lansman) because you hate Germans, naturally. But this version of it is so outrageous you're kind of supposed to go "Hey wait…this whole thing is ridiculous." He's not trying to sell all the jews a revenge story I don't think. Because that would actually be offensive if that were the case, no?

If you're not sincere of course, I think you need to rethink how utterly brilliant that movie was. It was.

Melissa Lafsky (#3,848)

Again, you raise interesting points. But ultimately what Tarantino intended with his exploit-the-exploitation memes aren't that relevant. It's the Holocaust. I dont care if it's uncool to consider it a sacrosanct topic, but I do, many others do as well, and I'd imagine on some level so does Roth. As my great aunt used to say, "We'd all have wound up in the same shower rooms." No American director would touch the Rwanda genocide with campy actors and inside jokes – it would be horrific to do so. Why is it cool and clever to pull in all these postmodern B-movie ploys when it comes to Jews killing Nazis? If casting Roth was meant to be some trick or subtle moral statement (which I doubt) then that makes it all the worse.

Neopythia (#353)

I disagree. I think you were supposed to like Eli Roth. I think you were supposed to like all the Basterds in the same way you were supposed to like Kelly's Heroes or the Dirty Dozen.

djfreshie (#875)

@Melissa: I disagree that it is a sancrosanct topic, particularly in hollywood where it is pretty much used, at least monthly, as Oscar-bait. We are now well over 50 years removed from the event. As a Jew that has been programmed (like the rest of you) from youth to simply never ever at all question the notion that any German who didn't raise his hand or die for a jew saving cause was evil, and Hitler was Satan incarnate, it is refreshing sometimes to open the discussion up to alternative views.

As well…simply making a movie about a thing means you have an opinion you want to share about it. Humour is merely another element of storytelling. Either you allow storytelling on a subject or you don't, I don't think anyone has the right to say how it is done. I think a lot of Holocaust movies are shit. They don't address any actually issues, and merely reiterate things we already know. So what if they're B-Movie elements? That's what he DOES WELL. That's how he tells stories. And from my perspective, he's using his method of storytelling to open discussion on a serious subject. I don't think you can call this movie sloppy…obviously a LOT of work went into it. So how does any of this make his moral statement (which I still don't think was subtle, in any way) or the movie offensive?


What was likable about those characters. Brad Pitt's cheekbone structure? Seriously, I'm asking.

djfreshie (#875)

Actual issues. Tl; DE (too long, didn't edit)

janine (#248)

I find it strange that a horror fan would argue the Focus on the family position that something's bad because someone might be offended.

@djfreshie: I'm not Neopythia, but I think the Basterds were likable because of the audience's about the extent of evil done during the Holocaust. Is there any violence that isn't satisfying when there are Nazis on the receiving end? I mean that's why Tarantino does so many revenge movies, because that's violence you can cheer for.

djfreshie (#875)

So any murderer in a real live snuff film is a sympathetic character provided that the victim is a German?

Remember too…a lot of the victims weren't even SS or high ranking military officials. Some were just dudes in the army.

And surely, they weren't likable because we all just finished reading a huge essay about how awful one of the most explored (relative) characters belonging to that specific regiment was.

Anyways…if Tarantino made this movie, an Irish-Italian non-jew with no ties to the holocaust whatsoever, with the intent to market and sell a film directly to Jews and WWII survivors about Jews killing all the Germans…my god, if you think there's ANYTHING redeeming about that in the first place, y'all are fucked up. I'm pretty sure that is not the case or everything and everyone is fucking crazy for liking it and thinking it is oscar worthy. Can you imagine if I (a Canadian Jew) wrote and published a song about 19th century American slaves getting revenge on their masters? Holy fuck! I am NOT allowed to do that.

janine (#248)

Few things. First, What are your thoughts on Nina Simone's Pirate Jenny?

Second, if you put it that way, you're absolutely right. I'm an ugly American drunk on violence and hippity hoppity music. But I've rarely give every character the same emotional weight, at least not in my primary interpretation of a movie. How did the Crazy 88 turn to a life of crime? Maybe one of them has no health care and a sister with leukemia or something. What about the plumbers and mechanics on the Death Star? What about that swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark? He at least had a sword fighting teacher who cared about him deeply.

Finally, as an African American, I wouldn't have a problem with someone who wasn't black writing revenge fantasies about slaveowners. Do you know how much we love John Brown? Full disclosure, sometimes I read Confederate Civil War diaries and memoirs and laugh and laugh and laugh when they start really losing. Sometimes I even say stuff aloud like, "Ha, losers!" or "I bet you are hungry without free labor growing your food!" (Brokenburn, the Journal of Kate Stone 1861-1868 is an excellent example of the genre.) So I may well be a bad person.

Other disclosure, I've gotten totally glib.

the teeth (#380)

@djfreshie: You're right about the effect the film has — the basterds are all pretty dreadful & unlikable people, and any half-thinking viewer is going to have a good deal of ambivalence about many things in the movie. But if you watch or listen to Tarantino's interviews, it's pretty clear that this wasn't his intent — he honestly just thinks that jews killing nazis is super cool and straight-forwardly cathartic. Which I find sort of fascinating — Tarantino truly appears to be an honest-to-god moral imbecile (but a damned fine craftsman!) … and somehow the film he created has real moral depth & complexity. So weird.

djfreshie (#875)

The Threepenny Opera song? It's alright, why?

Those movies (Star Wars, Raiders) ignored the context of those people. The germans in this movie were given traits and dialogue. That is totally relevant, y'all.

You can not have a problem at all with that, but you do recognize that someone writing a thing not having experienced that thing ever, is the equivalent of say, whoever that dude that wrote A Million Little Pieces and passed it as autobiography. A lot of the time art and it's creator can be separate…but sometimes, the author's intent and their background can be IMPORTANT. At least to me, it makes difference. I don't like phony contrived bullshit.

djfreshie (#875)

@the teeth:

I think I have a hard time believing that the moral stance I derived from this movie isn't purposeful, and happened accidentally. I mean…it's easy to dismiss Tarantino as just some dummy wut like killinz, because he gets excited/coked-up in interviews. But I like to give him the benefit, because most of his films do have moral elements in them. Reservoir dogs! Keitel's character adheres to a moral code that prompts him to realize at the end he's been wrong all along about the person he was defending. Now how bout that.

janine (#248)

"The Threepenny Opera song? It's alright, why?" Nina Simone's version changes the lyrics. I won't spoil it for you. Look it up. (I think you're going to disapprove. But she is Black and it's about civil rights, so maybe it'll pass muster.)

I disagree with every word of your second paragraph. In no particular order:

"I don't like phony contrived bullshit." Like the part where they riddled Hitler's body with bullets? Films, even films based on history, are not documentaries. I keep coming back to this because Tarantino's crime is that he can not possibly know the real truth of the Holocaust because he's not Jewish even though the movie blatantly does not remotely try to portray any truth other than its own internal logic. Is that right?

Are you implying that you have to follow some sort of racial or ethnic code in filmmaking? Like Spielberg had no right to make the Color Purple? No way, man! No way.

djfreshie (#875)

Why would I disapprove? That is an assumption that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Also: I know very well that this film was not a documentary thanks. I'm not sure at all what you're disagreeing with here. You do know that I liked this movie very much, right?

And finally, I know you know that the Colour Purple was a book first. Spielberg didn't write that book.

Let me make my implications clear then: If you are not a thing, and you create a very opinionated piece from the perspective of someone who experienced that thing or was that thing, there is a strong possibility you will sound contrived, or be offensive. No, I don't think anyone is not allowed to write a book about being a robot, or an alien. Fuck. But for example, if I were to write and direct (FROM SCRATCH) a serious movie about what it meant to have grown up in a Japanese internment camp in Canada, having not experienced any of it, it is possible that I will sound phony, contrived, and I may offend some people in the process. If I were to market some book I wrote about Americans getting revenge on the Japanese for Pearl Harbour, like maybe they drop ANOTHER bomb on them…with the serious intention of entertaining Americans who still feel wronged by the Japanese with Revenge fantasies…does this make sense now?

janine (#248)

I figured you'd have some thumbs up, thumbs down system on everything. Particularly, I thought a song about dragging civilians, including men women and children, out on a boardwalk and having them massacred by pirates would be below your moral bar. But Nina Simone is Black, so that's okay with you.

Yes, I've read the Color Purple (I've seen 32 Februaries stateside). So I take it here that you're allowed to do adaptations but you can't originate the story. But if you write the story, you have to have experienced a thing yourself or at least be the correct minority. All very edifying.

For me, there's good art and bad art. For you there's some sort of moral art or okay and not okay art and that's what I can't stop goading you about. Don't get me wrong, there's icky art, gratuitous art, even trash. But there's no "this is not allowed!" art. That's for certain.

Two things I love about this thread: 1)I'm always happy to click on the Awl website and the website of its fine sponsors. So this is the first internet argument I've ever been in that I ever felt served a good cause. 2) The topic makes Godwin's Law sort of moot, doesn't it?

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I think it's more accurate to say that if you or your ancestors weren't involved, you stand a higher chance of creating work that offends people who can make that claim.

FOR INSTANCE Chris Matthews with the whole "forgot he was black" thing. His intentions were clearly to laud the president for an excellent speech. Instead he made himself sound like a total insensitive dumbass because he didn't have the context to understand how his words would sound.

Likewise (and this is a controversial statement) I think Crash was one of the worst movies I've ever seen, because it was this huge racial diatribe that made ridiculous assumptions about people on all sides of today's race barriers. It was not a surprise that the auteur was a white guy from Canada.

I think the point people are trying to make is not that Tarantino wasn't allowed to make this movie, but rather that there were obvious risks involved and he should have been a little more careful about them.

I haven't seen the movie, so I'm not taking sides, just trying to clarify.

djfreshie (#875)

Okay, I'm still curious WHY you think this. I don't know how my internet voice sounds, but that's really not at all how I be.

I'm also not about limiting art. Everyone's allowed to do what they please. There's no rules. I hate Nickelback but I accept that they are allowed to exist, even though I wish they didn't. I'm not saying you can't make a piece of art because you're not that thing. I just think that it is contrived for someone to want to do so. Nina Simone's rewrite obviously works because she is Black. You think that Paul Anka writing and performing her version would evoke the same response? The context is supremely important in that case. I don't see how it is not.

You can originate all the stories you want. But authenticity makes a difference. Consumers want authenticity. I want authenticity. You don't want authenticity? The only thing I EVER really need from art is authenticity.

Anyways, the Nazi's didn't care about authenticity. So there, Godwin.

Kataphraktos (#226)

Ooh ooh, do one on Tim Roth next.

But if you criticize him, I will have to hunt you down and smack you silly.

NinetyNine (#98)

When the Horror Chick came for Eli Roth, I did not speak up because I was not Eli Roth….

NinetyNine (#98)

Also, I don't know where I was going with that, but my original comment plan was 'wow, who would have thought there are three people alive who would defend Eli Roth' and someone that seemed more concise?

YoWheez (#3,516)

I loved Laurent and Waltz and Bhrul altogether too much to discount the movie on account of an axe wound like Eli Roth. Plus, if I remember correctly all he did was beat people with baseball bats and shoot a bunch. But I understand where you're coming from. Jonathan Safran Foer's association with Eugene Hutz almost ruined my love for Gogol Bordello.

Slava (#216)

For me it was Madonna's association…

As such, Roth destroys the film.

Yeah, I agree with others who think that you're giving Roth too much credit for his impact on the film. I was personally more distracted by Brad Pitt's accent than anything else.

But hey, I'm one of the great unwashed who really enjoyed the film. I didn't find it plodding at all, in fact I found the most tension and drama to be dialog-driven scenes like the one with Waltz and Laurent over strudel.

Yes, Tarantino's an ass. But to me, he puts out a fantastic product more times than not. Basterds is among the best.

I still maintain that his best effort was one in which he was NOT the director: True Romance.

janine (#248)

I was really bothered by Brad Pitt's accent too, until I realized that he wasn't doing Southern so much as he was doing the accent Tarantino uses in interviews when he does his impression of a badassmuthufucka speaking. So it's more like Kenneth Branagh doing Woody Allen in Celebrity.

Yeah, that's a good point. Once I started viewing him as a Sgt. Rock style archetype, I got over it.

Sackin (#2,393)

All I have to say is Mélanie Laurent was robbed.

dailyny (#3,326)

Before I saw Inglorious Basterds, I was in a conversation in which someone called it "the most masterful work Tarantino has ever done."

B-wa? I said. He take was that the film was an exercise in reversals. The goal of the resistance being to bamboozle and eventually annihilate the Fuhrer, and further, each of the characters actually leading second lives during the time frame of the film. This duality was moving to him, and I was kind of moved by his critique, and how fervently he felt the need to defend the movie.

Then I saw it and was bored. Tragically, disappointingly bored.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Two things here: FIrst I'm pretty sure I'm the closest person here–despite age–whose life was directly affected by the Holocaust. You know when Shoshana is running through the grass at the beginning of the film? That basically sums up the 5 teenage years my mom and her sister spent on the run. Seriously. Thanks to my mom's family's shockingly long lasting fertility, here I am. Thanks mom!

So that said, this film was awesome, but not because of any historical connection to World War II or Nazis. It has more of it's roots in the disconnected and superficial war world of video games like Call of Duty and Castle Wolfenstein. It's all dressing on a very standard non-Jewy war/revenge story.

Eli Roth? He was simply the worst actor in that film. I don't need to hear elaborate theories of his supposed hatred of women and such because the guy is such a hack director and miserable actor it's like debating whether the a random construction worker is sexist: Who cares and does it matter? If anything, horror film folks tend to have major parent issues in general so let's leave it at that.

So honestly: I'm not into the Oscars, but all the films up for Oscars in 2010 barely deserve the nomination except for Precious which should win but most likely won't. And in the race between Avatar and Inglourious Basterds, you know who should win? Inglourious Basterds! Because if James Cameron wins ANOTHER Oscar for some major spectacle film, I will wretch. And as much as I think Quentin Tarantino is a bit of a dink, he deserves something for the impact he's made on film. I'd rather see his influence influence Hollywood than spend the next few years enduring a lot of tedious 3D crap films trying to ride off of the wave of Avatar glory.

PS: When I used to play Castle Wolfenstein on my Atari 400 back in the day, my dad hated the game. He was in the Polish Army and saw all that stuff for real… And had enough of it. He liked Frogger and Pc Man though.

mrschem (#1,757)

i love this.

bassknives (#2,903)

Killing Hitler was what got the script read and financed.

deepomega (#1,720)

I refuse to accept anyone trashing Death Proof! Death Proof is better than both Kill Bills, and is also a fantastically feminist movie and has glorious stunts and basically I wanna marry it. So there.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I'm not sure I agree with all the superlatives here, but the last half-hour or so of Death Proof was just about the most exhilarated I've ever been by an action flick.

The first half had way too much Eli Roth, though.

Mark Harris (#3,855)

This is just what Tarantino does. Casts his friends, or even worse, himself. It's kind of a fun thing cause they can get away with it, but I agree, it's awful to watch.

djfreshie (#875)

Yeah! Like Scorcese or Hitchcock. I always hated when they showed up in their crap movies!

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Don't forget Spike Lee! Or Stan Lee! Stupid sexy cameos; who do you think you are kidding?

HiredGoons (#603)

It was sort of cute with Hitchcock because he was SO conspicuous.

Martin Scorcese CANNOT act and his voiceover is what prevents me from truly loving 'Mean Streets.'

djfreshie (#875)

Disagree somewhat! His coked-up creep passenger in Taxi Driver was excellent. Usually he is not great. I never noticed the voiceover in Mean Streets though, but that was awhile ago that I seen it.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Shame on you! Awesome film!

balsa_wood (#465)

I'm sorry, Scorsese'a voice over is what keeps you from "truly loving" MEAN STREETS? The voice over that's over about one minute of the film? I think you might wanna breach the perfection clause in your contract with Art.

HiredGoons (#603)

@balsa_wood: I just find it a grating introduction to an otherwise great film. It just immediately puts me off at the start of the movie, I wasn't being quite so literal.

mrschem (#1,757)

heh. my pop says 'never trust a director who puts himself in the picture.'

balsa_wood (#465)

@HiredGoons: Weird, it's never bothered me. The first few times I saw it, I figured it was Harvey Keitel's voice. And I think Scorsese's pretty great in TAXI DRIVER. Method-y, but great.

I'd say Roth's participation in his films is far more destructive/extensive. He just seems like a big meathead–and I'd definitely agree that his performance in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS is laughably bad. All bug-eyes and heavy breathing. I'd say he should stick behind the camera, but he's shitty there too, so…

Don't think it's far-fetched to chalk his friendship with Tarantino up to Tarantino's fondness for ego-stroking, and the comfort of chumming with inferiors. (Spielberg supports Michael Bay, after all.)

djfreshie (#875)

You know who the worst are? Woody allen and Clint Eastwood! Those guys is shit. STAY OUT OF MOVIES, YA LOUSY DIRECTOR.

janine (#248)

What is this planet where anyone cares about Eli Roth that much, one way or another?

Yeah, Eli Roth totally ruined the ENTIRE movie. I mean, Brad Pitt was killing it with that accent, the situations and performances were all very believable and then Eli Roth shows up, dragging implausibility in his wake. I mean and that's what we all go to Tarantino movies to see: unaffected realism, baby.

Amanda (#3,858)

This was a fantastically entertaining read. I think you're wrong on every single count except Eli Roth sucking, but still- bravo. Hilarious and well put together.

Michael E. (#3,857)

"But any respect or admiration halts there, for the simple reason that the rest of Roth's career-and even the success of Hostel-has rested on the unbelievably lucky move of becoming Quentin Tarantino's shoulder monkey. His Holy Tarantino-ness sprinkled "Quentin Tarantino Presents" dust on Hostel, which subsequently lured scores of twenty-something Americans into sweating over the idea that they'd get sold to torture dungeons by slutty Eastern Europeans if they ever set foot in Slovakia."

You're right about that. See also the massive success of the Tarantino-produced Four Rooms, Curdled, Iron Monkey, Daltry Calhoun, Hell Ride, heck even Grindhouse and Hostel Part II. Yep those twenty-somethings ALWAYS flock to anything that Quentin Tarantino presents! Certainly this is the only reason the first Hostel was successful.

balsa_wood (#465)

She hedged by writing "scores," I guess.

balsa_wood (#465)

"He's the horror movie version of a Portnoy-era Philip Roth-all the Jewish angst and thrashing lady-rage, with no self-awareness or insight."

Well, this here is a big pile of dumb.

Aaron Herrera (#3,859)

Melissa Lafsky is a LAUGHABLE person. She sounds like she's dated someone strikingly similar to Eli Roth's 'look' and now she's lashing out. Ha, she thinks Jeff Dunham is funny. Lafsky should 'wretch' all over herself, stay home, and never go to the movies.

Kakapo (#2,312)

Hmmm… I actually fell asleep in the middle of INGLORIOUS BASTERDS in the theater… and a friend of mine was in the thing. I was quite drunk, true, but that says something about the relentless distancing quality of the picture. Still, I don't even remember Eli Roth in it, so I should surely be ignored.

agent bedhead (#3,863)

Inglourious Basterds is an amazing movie, but that's not the real issue here, which is obviously that the author has a huge problem with Eli Roth.

As a personal friend of Roth, I can say with all certainty that you really have him pegged wrong. He's one of the most empathetic, perceptive, well-rounded, and down-to-earth Hollywood types that you'd ever meet. He's great to his fans, never forgets where he came from and how he got there, and works his ass off. Regardless of whatever attributes you have projected onto Roth, the truth is that lots of hard work is what got him noticed by Tarantino. End of story.

djfreshie (#875)

Nice try Eli! You can't hide behind your feminine Avatar, we all know it's you!

GoGoGojira (#2,871)

That's great. Now, how can I get his dick in me? I am legal, drug/disease free…

agent bedhead (#3,863)

Oh, please. I'm a writer and film critic… obviously not Eli Roth. Google is (supposedly) your friend, right?

GoGoGojira (#2,871)

I can't take anything seriously from someone who thinks Jeff Dunham is funny.

Kendall Price (#3,865)

Everyone on the internet?? When they hell did you poll us all? I missed the damn memo!

I'm not saying that I am an amazing writer by any means, but this article/post reeks of unprofessionalism.

Alexi (#3,888)

So you are that much of a stuck-up fanatic that you will pass judgement on a whole film based on your personal dislike for one of the supporting actors???
Even if you are right and he is untalented and sleazy, that makes you an even bigger loser because that loser has made it and you Mr i'm-a-nobody-and-i-still-point-the-finger are still completely irrelevant.

Calamity Yorke (#3,892)

Melissa, if you read the comments (which I suspect you do), there are several things I simply feel like I must write, and for a number of reasons. First, about me, then about you, then about the movie and possibly even Eli Roth himself. I seldom leave comments… well, anywhere, mostly because I don't have the time to deal with these sorts of discussions (nor do I , for the most part, believe they can change anyone's opinion), but as a (very very young) scholar, and a movie critic, and an editor of a reputable website and a media house, I simply feel inclined to write to a fellow colleague. As for you, I very much respect you, which is the reason why I decide to write in the first place. A person of your intellect, education, and career deserves nothing but repect and even admiration, and you certainly earned mine. However, it is precisely because of this that it strikes me as more-than-just-mildly odd that you can even think about writing a blog post like that, and that you actually believe that Inglorious Basterds is a bad movie.

Now, on to the movie, and even Eli.

I categorically claim Basterds is a genuis movie… Strangely enough for Tarantino's world, I do not find it to be conceited or arrogant or over bearing or anything negative… all I see when I see it is sheer brilliance… and some sort of unusual soft-porn for females, since most of the male actors in the movie are so goddamn hot. With this endeavor, Tarantino has produced such an overwhelmingly multi-layered piece of work that oozes dedication, love even, and I don't even know where to start the praise for it. The script, which here is better than even Tarantino's filmmaking skills (and you have to say those are more than considerable), is something that could be analyzed by swarms of Ivy League students (they've analyzed works of far lesser quality anyway)… On its Hollywood-plated surface, sure enough, it's a parody, vaudeville-esque genre fantasy film that is supposed to entertain us, make us laugh because of the outrageous remarks and situations, and provide the so-far demasculined Jewish community with some sense of empowerement. On the surface, it brings peace to the Jews, appeases the studios for the lack of solid blockbusters in 2009, and entertaines the rest of us, who then wonder about whether there's more to it… naturally, even to the mediocre movie-goer who drools over Megan Fox in Transformers, it is instantly obvious there is something more, if for nothing else, then at least for the sheer sneer in the super-long, witty dialogues and masterful, simply masterful performances. If you venture far enough to wonder why those performances are su fucking stellar, then you do know it is precisely because of Tarantino, the man who created them… which brings us to the complexity of several of the characters and the brilliance behind the theater-esque ideas of putting all these outrageous characters together to make a semi-coherent whole. Hans Landa alone is enough to earn this movie a place in history, because we all agree (hopefully), that Christoph Waltz effortlesly puts Hannibal Lecter, not to mention the dim-witted medieval literature „villains" to shame. Other characters are not nearly as deep, and their presence at times merely serves a purpose, but when you perceive the movie as a whole, you see that it's not about revenge, or comedy, or even drama, for that matter – it actually ridicules everything we are somehow inherently supposed to believe it is supposed to present. Now, I could really go on and on, and it probably wouldn't change your critique or the way you think, but these things alone – all of which you really can't deny – are enough to make a good movie. And I don't even say it because so many other movies are bad. Tarantino, god bless him, really has incredible cojones to even imagine a movie like this… His cojones are even bigger for the fact that he actually created a movie that has about half a dozen scenes in over 150 minutes and was not afraid to push every actor to their absolute limit… I think Basterds is a perfect fucking movie. Some people obviously don't (which is fine, hey, I even met people who dislike Radiohead and Boston Legal, not to mention LOST… it happens), but I think you should at least respect it for what it is in essence. I am confident that all serious movie-lovers will recognize why it is that they should respect it, even if they dislike it.

Now, Eli… I cannot even imagine why it would be that someone so articulate would want to give us a rant about someone so innocuous without saying something derogatory. Sure enough, he's not much of an actor, but, as someone already said before, he damn well knows it, and it's not his fault that Quentin wanted him to do this. COME ON, would you pass the opportunity to hang out with this crew and create an iconic pseudo-archetype (the Bear Jew idea is hilarious, please don't tell me you think otherwise)??? He only has a few lines in the movie, and while he's not very good, I don't think he's distracting either. Waltz is so menacing in all his scenes, and Fassbender, Schweiger and Bruhl even, are so mesmerizing, that by the time you see the actual Basterds (who are kind of marginalized in the movie, but with a purpose), you don't really think about what Roth looks like leaning over Diane Kruger while she's wounded at the vet's. And I mean it. Seriously, just give the guy a break, if his role was SUPPOSED to be serious and pompous, Tarantino wouldn't cast him… love him or hate him, Quentin IS a smart guy. And as for insulting Eli as a person… well, that's just sad. Normally, I would completely berate any person who says things like that in public, but Melissa is a serious writer, and I wish to stay civil and articulate, even if her sentences weren't. While you, for whatever reason, might not stand Eli's public persona, a few things about his work are factual statements. I won't get into whether he's a good person, it seems that really, really he is from EVERYTHING I hear and read from SO many people, but his work only: We know for a fact that he is a really hard working, semi-reclusive guy who pours all his ideas in his celluloid endeavors. Instead of focusing on more commercial releases, something he could've easily done, he opted for something he actually believed in, which, in all its naivete and cockiness, is a fucking admirable act, not only in Hollywood, but anywhere. It is also a fact that he sacrificed everything to become the director he is today (also sounds cliched, and you might not think he's a good director, but it's still a point worth mentioning) and that his vocabulary and public presence and ideas stretch behind grammatically-butchered one-liners, and obscene thoughtless abbreviations. That alone, and I repeat, THAT ALONE, is very much worth respecting. This has nothing to do with liking, you might think he's ugly (I don't) or stupid (I don't), but just what, as opposed to who, he represents in contemporary Hollywood, is not something you would want to describe with the words you used in your text. What he is is admirable. If everyone in the industry was like Paris Hilton, we wouldn't have material for blogs to exchange opinions in. We wouldn't have movies we could actually discuss. Hell, we'd be illiterate.

P. S. Ultimately, while it's perfectly normal and alright that people have different opinions, and that you and I disagree, the very reasons you listed for disliking the Basterds are strange at best and incomprehensible to me. Furthermore, the way you expressed your sentiments toward Eli, an ultimately innocuous young director who really likes what he does and doesn't really rub it in anyone's face… Is just unnecessary.

DigThatFunk (#2,457)

WOW. I know I'm being a late replier here, but I cannot help but give kudos to this post. I, personally, do not know much about this Melissa Lefky person, this is the first article of hers I've actually read(it seems that the "Horror Chick" article is one I always open, and by the time I get to that tab, I'm just not in the mood to read it anymore); I must say, my first impression is not a good one.

However, I cannot express my reasons with any more clarity than Calamity here has done, in most excellent manner. MELISSA: PLEASE READ THIS ABOVE COMMENT IF YOU HAVE NOT!!! You seem like you could be a really interesting writer, and that there is talent in there. But this sounds like the vengeful attack diary of a rebuked high school girl. There's so much ire and general vitriol that it really, really makes it hard to take anything else about it seriously, at all. And that sucks, not only because we're missing out on what could be a very entertaining read, but because you're probably missing out on a lot of amazing art in a lot of fields, if you're so easily deterred/distracted from what may(or may not, for other reasons) be a true beauty.

djfreshie (#875)


paisinbah (#3,901)

So she takes her personal dislike for Eli Roth and turns it into an article about how the movie sucked because of him – all this when he hardly had anything much to do in the movie. Crap stuff.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Eli Roth is to horror as Seth MacFarlane is to humor. To hate one or the other is to be utterly disconnected from not just a huge swath of American youth but also the direction in which it is further headed.

veronika (#3,916)

MELISSA! Let our bloody controversy begin. :)

First of all: Are you Jewish? Anti-semitic Jew, aren't you? Ha ha

I have never read such a revolting, disgusting, endlessly stupid and malingnant blog entry yet. I didn't know about you anything therefore I started to search you on the facebook and the google. I saw your charmless photos, too.

Well, my dear, it is going to be sustained, painful and cruel.
I don't speak english very well – I'm hungarian – but I am going to write you and reply. Always.

And I promise one thing. You shall disappear off from here.


reggiedoeseli (#3,991)

Well the awards have come and gone, the dust has settled and Eli has gone into the sunset with a womanchild who is notorious. Quentin Taratino wants to do a romcom in his style of doing things and Eli and his new "squeeze" are the inspiration.
Basterds did not win because of politics. When Cameron rushed in Avatar I believe it was to help his ex-wife. With everyone believing the race was about those two it shut out Jason Reitman,Lee Daniels,and Ouentin Tarantino and allowed Kathryn Bigelow's win.She deserved to win. I just can't help but think though that if James Cameron had waited to release Avatar later, Ms. Bigelow would have seen a fight for the Oscar between the others and herself that she would not have won!

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