Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Tarantino makes history…

To proclaim that Tarantino’s done it again may seem like a rather glib statement, but that makes it no less true. With Inglourious Basterds, the film-maker has produced another breathless example of a style of cinema he has made firmly his own; a brash celebration of everything we have come to associate from the man who brought us generation-defining fare like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. And it is so deeply Tarantino – from the beautifully crafted opening scene that proves to be a masterclass in quiet tension, to the no-holds-barred explosive climax – that it is yet another directorial double edged sword. Because, as with the entirety of his back catalogue, Tarantino has made no compromises in making a film on his own meticulous terms so that, although it may be his most wide-reaching to date, it will continue to alienate those who don’t buy into his unique style. But for those who do, Basterds is a blast.

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Hansel & Gretel (DVD)

If you go down to the woods today…

The original fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, as told by the Brothers Grimm, is pretty spooky stuff in its own right. It tells of two small children who happen upon a house made of candy, only to be trapped by its evil witch owner and fattened up for her pot. Even though it has a happy ending, with the kids working together to outwit the witch and make their escape, it’s still the stuff of child nightmares.

So it’s easy to see why South Korean film-maker Yim Pil-Sung has chosen to base his fourth film on this grim tale and, in his talented hands, it’s turned into a creepy modern fable on the dangers of excess.

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