My name is Jorge Del Pinal. I live in L.A. and made this blog to post about my comedic/life-ic endeavors! Enjoy (hopefully)!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My thoughts on Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds"

I wrote this review for an application on Film School Rejects and thought I'd post it on here. If you haven't seen "Inglorious Basterds" I applaud you because it's terrible but just know that this review is incredibly spoiler heavy. So if you think you'd ever want to see it maybe don't read this. Or do read it and learn why it was terrible.


After seeing Quentin Tarantino’s much hyped/anticipated “Inglorious Basterds” I was put into an unusual position of contradiction. Yes, I thought it was a well made and in many ways well-executed film…but I hated it. “What? Fuck that!” is what all the fanboy Tarantin-ites and other (probably high school aged) fans of the movie are probably saying right now. Just hear me out.

First a quick rundown of the plot for those who somehow don’t know: Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) leads a group of disgruntled Jewish American soldiers called The Basterds on a mission to bomb the upper crust of the Third Reich during a propaganda film premier. Unbeknownst to the Basterds, a German Jew Shoshanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent), whose family was killed by a brutal yet bizarrely charming Nazi named Col Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), has a similar plan to kill the Nazis as she is the owner of the movie theater holding the premier.

I’ll start off on what was good about the film. Cristoph Waltz was amazing and stole the show as the evil yet charming Nazi Col. Hans Landa. Tarantino delivered on his trademark snappy (albeit self indulgent) dialogue and unpredictable twists. Even Brad Pitt managed to avoid being the non-CG Jar Jar Binks I thought he was going to be from the trailer (“And meesa bein’ wantin’ those bombad scalps!”).

So what was the problem? One word: the setting. Like everyone I was excited to hear all those years back that Tarantino was writing a WWII film which sounded like it was shaping up to be a “men on a mission” tale. “Cool!” we all said. But after seeing the final product I say “Not cool”. Until now Tarantino film’s settings have never been set in a real place with real people. Sure they are set in places that actually exist but the characters occupy worlds where you can carry swords on planes and women and their girlfriends car-surf for fun.

But In “Inglorious Bastards” we have a douche bag Joseph Goebbels and a cape wearing Hitler yelling “NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!” It’s just lame and unnecessary. Unless you’re in the 1940s watching a propaganda film starring Charlie Chaplin or a cartoon with toothy Japanese people. It’s been almost 70 years since the end of WWII and NOW you’re making fun of Hitler? And not only making fun but also anachronistically killing him (since he is of course only guarded by two dimwit soldiers who Eli Roth can punch)? It’s just pointlessly beating a long dead horse. Can you imagine if Indiana Jones had killed Hitler in “Last Crusade”? It would be stupid like it was in “Inglorious Basterds”.

The counter argument to mine is that “Inglorious Basterds” isn’t really about Hitler. But to that I say that since killing him and his team is such a crucial plot point I can’t agree. It just negates everything. While he’s at it Tarantino’s next project should be a “Custard’s Last Stand” film where he kills the shit out of the Indians and then heads to Mexico where he finds El Dorado and talks to a native woman for 40 minutes about early European cinema that doesn’t yet exist.

I also couldn’t help but role my eyes at many parts you know Tarantino smugly thinks are the shit (other than every line of dialogue). Example 1: Til Schweiger’s Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz getting what seemed like a leftover camp flashback treatment from the wretched Death Proof. Come on. Why is this freeze frame stylized text flashing at me in a WWII movie? Answer: because Tarantino saw it in some 70s film and he does whatever he wants. Not only that but it doesn’t ever happen again! Honestly, rather than having this flourish-y distraction I’d love to see more about the other woefully underused Basterds. In fact one of my favorite sketch comedians, Paul Rust (Here’s my favorite sketch of his:, was cast as a Basterd and had no lines whatsoever. What a waste! Since the majority of Basterds were so underdeveloped maybe the whole movie should have just been about Shoshanna Dreyfus getting her revenge on Col Hans Landa and NOT Hitler or Goebbels.

Example 2: Brad Pitt carving a swastika into Cristoph Waltz’s forehead, saying “I think this is my masterpiece” and then rolling the credits. Ugh. This is not your masterpiece Tarantino. It’s a cheap shot against a long gone regime that can’t even see what you’ve done. Sure there are still Nazi groups running around the world and that’s why I would argue that the film could have taken place in our times with a bunch of hard ass Jews killing Neo Nazis (“Munich” style!) without distorting history.

So is “Inglorious Basterds” worth seeing? I guess it is…if you like well put together knee-jerk reactions that are 70 years too late. I’d say if you want silly violence with an applicable modern message go check out “Shoot Em Up”. Better yet go rent or re-watch Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “Downfall” instead. There you will find incredibly tense drama, brilliant acting and above all a fascinating, challenging and difficult perspective on Nazis that Tarantino’s film was sorely lacking.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Primer Articles

Here are some helpful articles about economics, strength and fashion! Very well written.




PS: that Professor Scambold is quite handsome...

Monday, March 30, 2009

A-Hole In One

A-Hole In One: Dan vs. Mike from Daniel Gray Longino on Vimeo.

A short documentary film about mini golf which I am a part of. Watch as two fierce competitors battle it out to decide if mini golf is a sport or a child's game!!!

The Missed Connection

Note: written for fun/self amusement circa Nov 7, 2007

In my recent travels I observed a tragic missed connection that I thought I would share. Please enjoy responsibly:

So I’m walking toward the security line up at the Burbank airport when suddenly this Southwest counter type lady shoots by me and stops next to a guy in front of me. He looks normal enough: 30s maybe, Hispanic guy wearing jeans and some nikes. The only thing that held my interest about him was his unusual long-sleeve shirt. This wasn’t just any long sleeve shirt: it had a purposefully faded goat graphic on the back, some seemingly fashionable metal beads speckled on the shoulders, and to top it off says “Custom Made” in old English-y font spelled out across the shoulders (under fashion beads of course). This shirt blows my mind. I wondered to myself, is that really custom? Did he really request all those weird things? Or perhaps it is mass produced and ironic?

Anyways, shirt guy is about to get his ticket checked against his ID by a small older Asian ID checker lady, when this Southwest counter girl gets to him. Counter lass says breathlessly: “Are you Carlos Menica?!” The man, we now know as Carlos causally replies “yes.” With this breaking news, Counter lass excitedly hands Carlos some sort of Southwest informational pamphlet. “Can you sign this for me?!”

Carlos, always the gentlemen, says “Sure.” As Carlos signs Southwest’s map of America, Counter Lass glances at Small Asian ID checker and gleefully says “He’s big!”. Carlos gives a “oh you’re just too much, counter lady”-look and hands back the paraphernalia she excitedly thanks him and runs off. I am mildly amused by this interaction but even more so still transfixed by his bizarre riddle of a shirt. We enter the security line and during breaks from pondering his shirt, I watch the people around us to see their reaction to Carlos.

For the most part no one reacts to the questionable comedic presence in our midst. At best he gets a causal one-look glance from a few. This causal interest comes to crashing halt when a douchey overly-tanned touristy golfer type guy, I’d say late 20s early 30s, just lights up with a big shit eating grin when he sees Carlos. Now, Douchey guy is a ways in front of us in line but due to the winding formation of the security lines, every few minutes he is basically parallel with Carlos.

With his constant obnoxious grin and glow about him, Douchey gets out his cell phone and texts someone, surely sharing that he is in line with THE Carlos Menica! Once he has informed his various compadres, he puts his phone away and concentrates his energy fully on being in the same place as Carlos. His twinkling eyes disclose his racing mind. Just seeing and being around Carlos is not enough: he wants desperately to talk to Carlos. But what should he say? Oh the pressure! This could be his big chance to make friends with Carlos! Together make fun of Mexicans/retards/whatever other cool stuff Carlos Mencia does, to their hearts content!

At this point Carlos decides to put on the ipod buds and tune out, as we are still a ways off from having the opportunity to take off our shoes and have our belongings x-rayed. The line moves ever closer and Douchey guy is still reeling, still trying to think up something, ANYTHING, really good to say to Carlos and win his attention.

But oh no! We are getting very close to the heart of security…time is short! Douchey guy knows this. He knows now is the time to make his move. We progress forward to just the right moment for the stars to align: Douchey and Carlos are exactly parallel, close enough to touch. Douchey prepares for the precise moment. He looks intently at Carlos oblivious to the ipod, the strange shirt, myself or any of the people in line. It’s just the two of them, waiting for the instant of eye contact with his beloved Carlos! Douchey takes a deep breathe. This is his moment to shine! Time stops. Douchey opens his mouth, lets out an awkward/forced laugh to catch Carlos’ eye and says….

“Funny…” and then trails off as the crushing reality hits: Carlos hasn’t heard any of his brilliant attempt. With a final disappointed look of adoration, Douchey takes off his shoes and heads into security, away from his darling Carlos Mencia.


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