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
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- The 6 best low-cost smartphones
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
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