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Inglourious Basterds

I’ve been a fan of Quentin Tarantino since Reservoir Dogs, but I was not looking forward to his newest film, a remake of an obscure 1978 Dirty Dozen ripoff from Italy called The Inglorious Bastards. The new version is titled Inglourious Basterds: I don’t know why, possibly as a comment on the crudeness of the characters to whom it refers, or maybe as a legal strategy to avoid having to pay for rights, though I can’t believe they could have cost much.

In The Loop

When Secretary of State Colin L. Powell gave his now-infamous address to the United Nations General Assembly on February 6, 2003, arguing in favor of a military invasion of Iraq, he had at his disposal not only the cooked, barely vetted, and sharply angled intelligence provided by CIA director George Tenet. He also relied on an intelligence white paper supplied by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that analyzed Iraq’s biological warfare capabilities. (Powell paused in his presentation to say it was “particularly fine.”)


Like Pulp Fiction for kids, Shorts divides a fantasy story about a rock that can grant wishes into five components presented out of chronological sequence. It’s probably not an accidental resemblance, given that Shorts was made by Robert Rodriguez, who has collaborated with Quentin Tarantino on many projects (though Rodriguez hit the scene first, with his microbudget 1991 film El Mariachi). The two share an affection for the extremes of genre entertainment—Rodriguez contributed the first (and better) half of the Grindhouse double bill, as well as Sin City. But Rodriguez also likes to make kid’s movies: An early adopter of digital effects, he’s a one man studio who gets his entire family in on the game. At best, this has resulted in the Spy Kids series, two-thirds of which was terrific fun; it also gave us the lackluster Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl.

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