Monday, August 24, 2009

Towed Cars, Cousins -- "Inglourious Basterds"

"Hey, it's family," he said, as he slid over to My Friend the piece of paper that showed he'd knocked off 40 bucks from the car-towing fare.

Nothing like a big, hulking man -- in the middle of Nowheresville, Houston -- telling your Bud that he was once married to your cousin, through some bulletproof glass, no less.

The humiliation only topped off the saddest Movie Night ever.

It'd been planned in advance: "Inglourious Basterds," Friday night, 9:30 pm. My Friend, his brother, another, and I were meeting with already-purchased tickets to go see the film; I'd been awaiting this day for months. For the past few weeks, I've been marching around like a little idiot mimicking Brad Pitt's "We gonna be doin' one thing, one thing only: Killin' Nat-zi's." I couldn't've wiped the grin off my face all week if I'd tried.

Well, turned out that one of the friendos got mixed up and didn't buy his ticket in advance; they were sold out. Didn't seem to make no never mind -- we could see the 10:30 showing, after all. We exchanged tickets, played some Big Buck Hunter at the theater arcade ... but, I knew.

I knew that after having eaten at the restaurant next door, where Friend and his Brother left their cars (allusion to the "car-towing" start of this), on top of my predilection for falling asleep in ANY movie after roundabouts 8pm, I was in trouble.

For all my talk and anticipation for this movie, would I make it?

Short answer, "no."

Halfway through, I felt the magnetic forces of the eyelids; had I toothpicks, I'd have shoved them in there without regard for permanent damage to the old eyeballs.

I'm doing a double feature tomorrow ... after Friend's glare jolted me awake (I hadn't even realized I'd fallen asleep), I made it through most of the movie, but I feel I missed some good plot points worthy of revisitation -- and, Lord knows I'll watch "Inglourious" 200 more times in the next couple years, just 'cause it's Tarantino.

One great takeaway from the first half hour, though, reminded me why I can't hate myself for being a cliched Tarantino-lover.

It's his ability to write-in conversational bits into the most intense situations; just like the Coen Bros., he reuses his formula, so that the written patterns are undeniably recognizable in all his films ... they're inimitable without feeling too worn or overdone.

Fooooooor instance, during the "Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals." end scene in Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction," he has Jules and Vince discuss (after having experienced "Divine Intervention" via dodging bullets as they fulfilled their hitman duties) why we attribute dirtiness to pigs and not, say, dogs, while by logical standards the two species aren't exactly cleanly. In "Inglourious," Tarantino starts it off with the awesome, awesome Christoph Waltz delineating the difference between rats and squirrels ... one animal is seen as a disease-carrying, awful nuissance of a creature, the other's a harmless tree-dweller.

I just like his style, s'ppose. Tomorrow, I'll get a fuller feel. I got 2 hours annnnd maybe 12 minutes of Inglourious on Friday (out of the 2 hrs and 33 minutes) ... tomorrow'll be better.

When we all toddled out of the theater that night, me half-asleep and the others beat as well, the cars were gone; next morning, we made our way to where they housed the errant vehicles ... and that's where I was met with a double-take, a stare and a "Are you Morgan? I'm your cousin." He's been running the tow-truck place for ten years he said.

Ahhh, ahhh.

Sometimes there's nothing to be said for full-on humility.

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