'Inglourious Basterds' Toplines This Week's Box Office Poll

Inglourious BasterdsThis week brings yet another easy weekend screening for me. Especially since, unlike last week, I haven't actually seen the highly anticipated upcoming release in question.

It's been a long time since director Quentin Tarantino served up a proper feature. There was "Death Proof" of course, which formed one half of "Grindhouse," and a brief bit in "Sin City." But the last feature-length solo effort from Tarantino was "Kill Bill: Vol. 2," and that was in 2004. While the Bride's tale of bloody revenge was a blast, I'm looking forward "Inglourious Basterds"' World War II adventure. Maybe it's the Jew in me, but the premise of American soldiers brutalizing Nazis while spouting Tarantino dialogue sounds exactly like my idea of a good time at the movies.

Those who are not quite as fond of the "Pulp Fiction" director's work have some good options to choose from, among them last week's excellent "District 9," which is sure to repeat its solid weekend performance as word-of-mouth builds. Then there are the new releases...

Robert Rodriguez returns to family comedies this week with "Shorts." Such a weird filmmaker, Rodriguez. Seeing stuff like "Planet Terror," "Sin City," "From Dusk Till Dawn"... you'd never know they came from the same guy who gave us the "Spy Kids" series and "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl 3-D" (which stars a much younger Taylor Lautner). "Shorts" is a return to that family fare, and it has been described by the director as "'Pulp Fiction' for kids." So even if the young ones mean you'll have to skip Tarantino's trip to World War II this weekend, you can still get a taste with "Shorts."

Also opening is "Post Grad," your obligatory summer comedy for the week. "Gilmore Girls" star Alexis Bledel has trouble adjusting to her post-college life after she moves back to her childhood home. I'll be the first to admit that this one hasn't been flying too high on my radar, but I think I fall a bit outside the target audience. There's a solid cast (which includes Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett, Rodrigo Santoro and Jane Lynch) and an old chestnut of a premise; as long as the writing is sharp, "Post Grad" could enjoy a happy bunch of weeks as a late-summer sleeper.

This last wide release is a strange one. Disney's "X-Games 3D: The Movie" will only live in theaters for a single week. That's not much time to catch impressive displays of skateboarding, motocrossing and all sorts of other extreme sports. Especially with the Tarantino effort arriving this week.

Then there are the limited release offerings to consider, and they are numerous. See for yourself: "World's Greatest Dad," "My One and Only," "The Baader Meinhof Complex," "Passing Strange: The Movie," "Five Minutes of Heaven," "The Mark Pease Experience" and "Sikandar." Whew. I've seen the Bobcat Goldthwait-directed "World's Greatest Dad," which was great in a very twisted sort of way, and I've heard the "Baader Meinhof" is very good as well. You're on your own for the rest of 'em.

I'll be seeing "Inglourious Basterds" myself; I'll be the guy down in front cackling at all of the cool, gratuitous violence.