Olly Writes

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Inglorious Viewing

As I sit down to write this, I’ve already received (and watched) my two most-recent DVD rentals from Love Film. So, anything I write from here on predates the two discs currently sat beside my TV.

I’m late in writing about these and I’ve also misplaced the photo I took of both DVDs before they were returned in the pre-paid envelope. But I’m sure you can guess the first film from the title of this post alone…

Inglorious Basterds – yes, I can just about get away with typing that here!

I was very aware of this when it first hit the big screen (I didn’t realise it was as far back as 2009 though). Quentin Tarrantino and a title that almost demands your attention… When I saw that Brad Pitt was given a starring role (in an uncharacteristic army-role), I decided to rebel and give it a pass.

…What a mistake that was! I liked Pulp Fiction and I’ve seen a few other Tarrantino films but I’d never claim to be a massive fan of his. This film, however, contains some of the finest acting I’ve ever seen and I’m largely referring to Christoph Waltz‘s performance as the highly-meticulous Colonel Hans Landa. You may see plenty of Nazis in this film (not to mention the slightly gruesome manner in which they’re dealt with by the Jewish Basterds) but Hitler barely gets a mention, let alone for the few minutes of screen-time he accumulates here.

Hans Landa, to me, is everything that the Wachowski Brothers had hoped the Merovingian would be in the two Matrix sequels… When he was instead, utterly pointless and annoying.

I think I watched this film three-times in all. My only mistake was to assume that Zachary Quinto played an un-credited part as ‘The Bear Jew’… Later, I realised that Eli Roth could easily be his double in a future Star Trek film!

Starred Up – this is a Film 4 production (and I often enjoy those) that probably slipped under the radar of many people. I saw the trailer a few times while visiting the cinema to watch other films but it never quite made it to the top of my priority list, with several big hits arriving towards the end of 2014.

It basically closely follows a nineteen-year-old young-offender as he makes his arrival in to an adult prison. Jack O’Connell is given the starring role (I previously saw him in ’71, a few months earlier). If this film is accurate then it provides a glimpse in to British Prison Life that’s quite a contrast to what we’re led to believe happens across the Atlantic. But O’Connell’s performance is enough to make you detest and even fear his character throughout. It reminded me a bit of when I saw The Wolf of Wall Street, and how much I hated Di Caprio’s character all throughout the film and after. It makes for intriguing viewing, if a little troubling and even mildly grotesque at times.

I’m still not sure what the expression ‘Starred Up’ actually means, despite it being referenced a couple of times in this film. O’Connell’s face was the only one I recognised (although IMDB tells me that a few others have had brief appearances in bigger films) but Rupert Friend also makes an appearance, popping in and out with frequency and it’s almost a shame that we don’t see or learn more from his character before the end because it seemed as though there was another story waiting to be told.

That’s me for this week. Next time: a bit of sci-fi and something mildly-entertaining that I could’ve seen at Green Man.

Thanks for reading!

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