Quentin Tarantino has done it again, said Rene Rodriguez in The Miami Herald. The director's new film, Inglourious Basterds, "startles you out of your movie doldrums" the way Pulp Fiction did 15 years ago. Beginning with the phrase "Once upon a time in Nazi-occupied France," the film, starring Brad Pitt, follows a band of Jewish-American soldiers out to spread fear by collecting Nazi scalps. Tarantino's fable isn't for the squeamish -- or history teachers. (watch a trailer for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds)
That's the problem, said David Denby in The New Yorker. Nobody will call Inglourious Basterds boring, "but it’s ridiculous and appallingly insensitive -- a Louisville Slugger applied to the head of anyone who has ever taken the Nazis, the war, or the Resistance seriously."
Insensitive is an understatement, said Daniel Mendelsohn in Newsweek. Quentin Tarantino seems determined to turn "Jews into Nazis." In one scene, people are locked inside a building and scream after the building is set on fire -- only the victims of this "horribly familiar Holocaust atrocity" are Nazis, and the killers are Jews. "Do you really want audiences cheering for a revenge that turns Jews into carboncopies of Nazis, that makes Jews into 'sickening' perpetrators?"
Also opening this weekend:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
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- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- How to live a long life, according to science
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The culture war finally comes to the Catholic Church
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