So I sneaked out last night to see Inglourious Basterds, which I found to be generally fantastic; Brad Pitt's craft has come a long way since Meet Joe Black.
Because, I confess, I'm still working through a stack of badly panned & scanned DVDs of lost grindhouse epics, I have fallen behind in my study of spaghetti westerns and the lesser-known works of Lee Marvin. And so I was worried that Tarantino's many subtle, referenzia cinematografistica which so many esteemed critics alluded to might slip by me unnoticed--and if that happens, what's the point, right?
I needn't have worried. From the twangy, scratchy get-go, where the opening track sounded like it was being played back on Hi-Fi to mimic the apparently primitive audio post-production facilities of Italy , Tarantino is not shy--hah, as if--about his stylistic references.
Oh, and contrary to some opinions, I thought Mike Myers was spot-on. I'd always joke-assumed Pitt won the Travolta/Forster/Carradine/Russell casting lottery this time as the actor whose forgotten talents and fizzling career would be nobly rescued by the director fanboi who Never Forgot. But I was wrong; it's Myers. You now have at least two years where we won't hold The Cat In The Hat against you, Mike. Use them well.
Anyway, the point, and the thing I either overlooked or never heard, was what a big, fat, sloppy kiss to the cinema this thing was. And not just the blatant, "Make me a Cannes juror for life!" applause line ["I'm French. We respect directors in this country."] either. I'm talking about how the whole plot is basically the basterd child of The Dirty Dozen and Cinema Paradiso.
Also, *SPOILER ALERT?* was there NOT a shoutout to the end of Raiders of The Lost Ark? Does this mean Tarantino's officially moved onto hommaging 80s pop film now? I see Michael Schoeffling as Robert Forster.
 Whenever he gets around to making it, I'm sure QT's Punjabi murder musical will sound like it was recorded in the bathtub.