Wednesday, August 26

Inglorious Basterds

In movie theaters now is Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Well known as both a writer and a director, Tarantino makes this movie one of his finest. For those not in the know, he also gave us Pulp Fiction (1994), Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), creating his own genre of comedy and gore. Would that be goromedy?

Always surprising us, QT’s choice for front man, Lt. Aldo Raine, is A-lister Brad Pitt, who reveled in his role as the leader of the American Jews sent to brutally kill 100 Nazis per team member. Not since Burn After Reading (2008) has he seemed to so thoroughly enjoy himself on the screen. Who else could bring laughter from the audience with various wisecracks, while practicing the fine art of forehead carving?

Tarantino’s genius, perhaps, lies in casting the perfect actor for each role, and then allowing each to do what he or she does best. He gives them permission to go over the top to become almost a caricature of the characters they are to portray.

And then they kill somebody. Violently.

Pitt’s portrayal as the Tennessean sent to kick Nazi butts was not the hit of the movie, though. Surprised? You’re not the only one.
Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa

There was a breakout star of the movie. How many actors can say that they stole a film from the king of Hollywood?


Christoph Waltz can. Turning in the No. 1 performance of the movie, Waltz portrays Colonel Hans Landa, the deliciously evil, and yet somehow, oddly charming, egomaniacal Nazi who hunts down Jews. Hailing from Vienna, Austria, Waltz is virtually still an unknown in America. But not for long.

Winning the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival this year for Basterds, Waltz appears to be a sure bet for the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Oscars. Not the typical SS officer, the eloquent Landa is crazy like a fox, with a self-indulgent attitude willing to do anything to catch what he terms repulsive rats. The opening scene sets the pace and tone of the movie, with Landa quietly and methodically coercing a French farmer into revealing exactly where he has stashed a Jewish family. Then has his men open fire, naturally; it’s his job.
Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark
The rest of the movie is a bit surprising here and there, dubbed as a fantasy-historical film. The plot basically is about the one family member who escaped, planning revenge and simultaneously, some espionage is worked in while a German hero falls for the escaped Jewish girl.

Confused?

They throw in subtitles, too. Not to worry, though; it actually runs smoothly.

Not addressed in the movie were the inhumane and vicious atrocities endured by the victims of the Nazis. Perhaps Tarantino credits his audience with the intelligence to remember those facts concerning WWII. Disregarding the final events of the war, as played out in history, the flick resembles a young boy’s fantasy of, “Wouldn’t it be nice if this is what really happened?”

Bottom Line: Plan on hearing about this movie, and Christoph Waltz, for a long time, and consider both already on the list of Golden Globe and Academy Award nominees.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, music, restaurant and performing arts critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC and follow her on Twitter @ejmusgrave1 and Facebook.
Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

Wednesday, August 12

Restaurant Review: N'awlins Creole Cafe'

Photo by N'awlins Creole Cafe'
I was invited to test the newest eatery in the area, N'awlins Creole Café, 1118 N. State Road 267, in Avon. Opening just a week or so, ago, the café is already showing a promising start. Owners Brian and Jeri are originally from the pelican state and have run a catering business prior to opening the restaurant.

Tasting several items from the menu, I am happy to report that it is not only possible to get authentic Creole cuisine in the Indy area, it is also possible to do so without breaking the bank. The catfish was flaky and moist, the breading even and not too thick. The shrimp Po Boy sandwich was stacked high with the little guys and dressed as it’s done in New Orleans – mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles.

The jambalaya was as good as it can get this far north. The spices were noticeable without overpowering the traditional chicken, smoked sausage, and for an extra buck, shrimp. All seafood is brought in from Louisiana. was also tipped to the fact that crawfish is only good in the months with the letter “R” in it…which means no crawfish until September.

The gumbo file was a hearty soup delicious in its combination of shrimp and spices. The side dishes, Cajun corn, and red beans and rice, were hot and delicious. Future plans are for wine and beer to be added to the menu, but for right now, soft drinks are available. The décor was reminiscent of the former occupant, a coffee shop, and there is Dixie music in the air.

Outdoor seating is available, as are catering and delivery options. I have been invited back to check out the lunch menu. That sounds like a great idea, since I want to try the pralines from the dessert menu. The prices are reasonable and the steady stream of customers gives the distinct impression that this eatery has a very bright future.
T:  (317) 272-1077; Website: Nawlinscreolecafe.com Address: 1118 N State Road 267, Avon, IN
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @ejmusgrave1 and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.