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Academy Award® Nominated: Inglourious Basterds

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

Inglourious Basterds
In the first year of the German occupation of France, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish American soldiers to perform swift, shocking acts of retribution. Later known to their enemy as “the basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquis, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own. Employing pulp and propaganda in equal measure, Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS weaves together the infamous, oppressed, real and larger-than-life stories of WWII.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quentin Tarantino
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quentin Tarantino
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lawrence Bender
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Erica Steinberg and Lloyd Phillips
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein
Co-Producers . . . . . Henning Molfenter, Carl L. Woebcken, and Christoph Fisser
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pilar Savone
Special Makeup Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gregory Nicotero and Howard Berger
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert Richardson, ASC
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Wasco
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sally Menke, A.C.E.
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anna B. Sheppard
Visual Effects Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Dykstra

The cast includes: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Jacky Ido, B.J. Novak, Omar Doom, August Diehl, Sylvester Groth, Martin Wuttke, Mike Myers, Julie Dreyfus, Samm Levine, Paul Rust, and Michael Bacall

Reviews

IMDB member from England
Inglorious Basterds makes no apologies, asks for no forgiveness, it’s a no holds barred assault on the senses. Tarantino doesn’t care if he offends, if he steps all over stereotypes and clichés, this is film making at it purest. It’s great to see a film maker whose work clearly isn’t interfeared with by the powers that be. Tarantino is a master of effortlessly cranking up immense tension and suddenly mixing it with laugh out loud moments; you’re not sure if you should be looking away in disgust or rolling around laughing, either way it’s a roller coaster and one not to be missed! It’s not for everyone and I’m unsure how Germans will take the film, certainly if you’re not a fan of Tarantino’s style, this may be a little hard to swallow, but never-the-less, it is a film which simply has to be seen. No self respecting film fan should miss this. And the performance of Christoph Waltz… Oscar don’t you dare ignore him!!”

Did You Know?

Quentin Tarantino intended for this to be as much a war film as a spaghetti western, and considered titling the movie “Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France“. He gave that title instead to the first chapter of the film.

When asked about the misspelled title, director Quentin Tarantino gave the following answer: “Here’s the thing. I’m never going to explain that. You do an artistic flourish like that, and to explain it would just take the piss out of it and invalidate the whole stroke in the first place.”

Eli Roth’s character, Sgt. Donnie Donowitz, is part of the Tarantino-verse, sharing the last name of the film producer character, Lee Donowitz, in the Tarantino-written True Romance (1993). The Lee Donowitz character also produced a war film “Comin’ Home in a Body Bag“.

The name of Brad Pitt’s character, Lt. Aldo Raine, is an homage to both the actor and WWII veteran Aldo Ray and a character from Rolling Thunder (1977), Charles Rane (played by William Devane). One of the casting directors, Johanna Ray, is Aldo Ray’s ex-wife.

Eight Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Supporting Actor ~ Christoph Waltz
Best Director
Best Original Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best in Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing

Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Orig Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sup Actor, Culture, Entertainment, Germany, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, United States, US, World

44-D’s Best Music of 2009

Blogpost by: Ogenec

Never, ever on schedule, but always on time.” – Nas

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Hey y’all, Happy New Year!  I’ve been promising the list for some time, and I’ve been slacking.  Especially in the wake of AG’s most excellent best books list.  But like Kanye, “you should be honored by my lateness.”  🙂  What follows is a highly personal take on the best music of 2009.    The profusion in the quality and quantity of recorded music is mind-blowing.  And I especially love to be turned on to new stuff.  So I’m hoping you guys will chip in with your own suggestions.   Here we go.

Noisettes, Wild Young Hearts:  I’d never even heard of the Noisettes before Summer 09. But I heard their song “Atticus” at a store somewhere and went in furious search of the group.  Even though rock is not my genre, this is probably my favorite disc of the year.  Of course, calling this is a rock album is a serious disservice.  Most commentators call it a hybrid mesh of rock, blues, disco, and old school r&b.  They’re probably right, but it just sounds like the future to me.  The lead singer is DOPE, and I can’t wait to catch their live show.  Favorite cut: Atticus.

Mos Def, The Ecstatic:  He’s baaaack!!  Mos has floundered a little bit since his magnificent opus, Black on Both Sides.   I get it — he’s been distracted by his acting career (and weird appearances on Bill Maher).  And I liked The New Danger more than most folks.  But this is that classic Mos that we know and love.  Favorite cut: Auditorium.  Also love the remake of Roses with Georgia Anne Muldrow.

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Q-Tip, Kamaal The Abstract: The genuises at Q-Tip’s record label have to explain why they shelved this album for more than eight years.  I think it’s even better than last year’s The Renaissance.  Another hybrid album, this time with elements of r&b, soul, rock, and jazz.  Sounds like future Prince or Stevie Wonder.  Favorite cut: Do You Dig U?

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Drake, So Far Gone: Okay, this is a bit of a cheat.  The mixtape, which I’m still geeking over, came out in 2008.  But he re-released certain of the mixtape cuts on CD and itunes in 2009, so it qualifies.  As a bonus, the re-release contains an unreleased track “Fear,” which is bananas.  Hottest kid in the rap game right now, and with good reason.  Favorite cut: Fear.  Shout-out to DJ Khalil.

Lee Fields, My World: I gotta thank the good people of HBO’s Entourage for this one.  When I heard “Ladies” during the credits of one of the episodes, I lost my sh*t.  I had to cop the album.  Gutbucket soul, set to the sweetest harmonies you’ve ever heard.  And hey — I detect a little of the hip-hop influence as well.  Looks like the old school is learning from the new school, not just vice-versa.  I am a big fan of the ’60s renaissance in music.  If you love Amy Whitehouse, Joss Stone etc., check this OG out.  While you’re at it, check out Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings too.  Favorite cut: Ladies.

Rafael Saadiq, The Way I See It: I’m sticking with the retro soul angle here.  I’ve been down with Ray-Ray since Tony Toni Tone.  This is his masterpiece.  Again, if you like the Motown doo-wop sound, you’ve gotta check this out.  And while you’re at it, get the Live from the Artist’s Den DVD.  It’s fantastic.  Favorite cut: 100 Yard Dash.

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Fela, The Best of the Black President: “Eh-heh, let us get down.  Into another underground spiritual game….”  I have to show some love to the greatest Nigerian musician of all time.  If you want to know the meaning of “underground spiritual game,” you need to check out Fela!, the best show on Broadway.  This album will hold you over until you can.  It’s a compilation of Fela’s most popular cuts.  Note, however, that these are mostly edits: many of Fela’s songs run 20-30 minutes long, and you owe it to yourself to listen to the unedited versions.  Still, an excellent way to get familiar with the genius that is Fela.  Favorite cut: Water No Get Enemy.

Robert Glasper, Double Booked: And now we segue from Afrobeat to jazz (actually, less of a transition than you might think).  Robert Glasper is my favorite jazz pianist right now.  He’s just so melodic.  He’s also incredible live — the missus and I saw him last year at the Kennedy Center.  He can play everything from straight-ahead to fusion to soul jazz to hip-hop.  And here, he does.  The first half is an acoustic trio setting; the second, “The Experiment,” a fusion exercise with Bilal and Mos Def making vocal appearances.  Wonderful stuff.  Favorite cut: No Worries.

Roy Hargrove, Emergence: A little more jazz.  I’ve loved this guy ever since I saw him play in St. Louis many moons ago.  Like Glasper, Hargrove does all variety of jazz, soul and hip-hop-inflected music.  Indeed, my favorite album of his is Crisol, a Latin jazz homage.  Here, Hargrove goes big band.  I’m not generally a fan of the big band genre, but I love this.  Especially the treatment of Mambo for Roy from the Crisol album.  Favorite cut: Mambo for Roy.

Maxwell, Blacksummersnight: Maxwell returns.  He’s lost the neo-soul affectations of his first few albums, and is in full-on grown man mode.  I love it, and you will too.  The harmonies, the live instrumentation, the trumpets, it’s all so gorgeous.  And if you missed his North American tour, you missed the best concert of the year.  Period.  Favorite cut: Bad Habits.

Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Devil’s Halo: I think of this album as sort of a bookend to Bitter.  I liked Bitter, but found it to be a little dark for me.  This is dark too, but it’s not so depressing.  Just deep, slow, and sensual.  You know, kinda like Me’Shell herself.  Favorite cut: Love You Down (wonderful remake of the Ready for the World song).

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The Dream, Love vs Money: I don’t listen to a lot of commercial radio.  Obviously.  🙂  It’s virtually all dreck to me.  But I love me some The-Dream.  I don’t think there’s anyone else in R&B working at his level.  He’s behind most of the hits you’ve danced to, from Rihanna’s Umbrella to Beyonce’s Single Ladies.  But he saved the best for himself on this album.  The-Dream is the future of R&B.  Favorite cut: Fancy.

Major Lazer, Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do: I don’t even know how to classify this one.  Reggae meets rock meets electronica?  Dancehall meets punk?  I heard someone call it “electro reggae.”  Let’s go with that.  This album, from MIA’s producers Diplo and Switch, rocks HARD.  Just get it already.  Favorite cut: What U Like(WARNING: This is a VERY explicit and raunchy song.   Not for delicate ears!!!)

Raekwon, Only Built for Cuban Linx 2: The second installment of the Wu-Gambino crime-soaked masterpiece.  This is for all you who claim not to like gangsta rap.  Indulge your id and have a little fun with this one.  It’s not real, any more than playing Grand Theft Auto or watching Scarface is.  But it’s an escapist treat. Amazon says “Blazing tracks…delivered with Raekwon’s melodic flows and street oriented delivery.”  Werd.  Favorite track: We Will Rob You.

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Filed under Culture, Entertainment, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Latin, Music, Pop, Pop Culture, R & B, Rock & Roll, Uncategorized

Dems Rip Insurance Industry, GOP Over News About CNN’s Alex Castellanos

Posted by Audiegrl

Alex Castellanos cnnThe Plum Line/Greg Sargent—As expected, Democrats are jumping on the news today that an on-air CNN commentator doubled as the insurance industry’s ad buyer, broadening the attack on the industry and linking it to the GOP, which also enlisted the help of that same commentator to craft anti-reform talking points.

DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan points out that the CNN commentator, GOP consultant Alex Castellanos, who placed a huge AHIP ad buy, also wrote a memo for the Republican National Committee advising Republicans to paint reform as a menacing government takeover that would destroy Medicare.

Dems argue that Castellanos’ work for AHIP and the GOP shows that they share the goal of killing reform — and that they are united in their determination to stop at nothing to make that happen.

AHIP-logoThe news that Mr. Castellanos is a highly paid consultant for the Insurance Lobby sheds piercing light on the motivations of the Republican party in wholeheartedly adopting a strategy he authored to intentionally delay insurance reform in order to kill it,” Sevugan emailed me.

Whether it’s paying for a supposedly independent report that was purposefully skewed to kill reform or paying hired hands to attack reform on tv while passing themselves off independent commentators, the insurance lobby and their agents in the GOP, have proven that they are willing to say and do anything — including misleading the American people — to protect their record profits,” Sevugan added. “They have zero credibility.”

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More @ The Plum Line

CNN’s Frank Donatelli Problem: On-Air Contributor Revealed To Be Paid By GOP, Insurance Industry

Frank Donatelli

Frank Donatelli

A network spokeswoman has confirmed that CNN will soon clarify the conflict of interest Castellanos has in regards to AHIP. However, CNN should note that he has been paid by the RNC, and if he is to continue opining on the health debate, disclosure should be made during every segment in which he appears. Indeed, the policy of full disclosure should extend to other CNN pundits, including Frank Donatelli, a GOP lobbyist who represents Blue Cross Blue Shield.“–Think Progress

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CNN’s Castellanos Problem: On-Air Contributor Revealed To Be Paid By GOP, Insurance Industry

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