Basterds Ho!

I say, dig that crazy beer steinThe last time Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez released movies on the same day, the result was “Grindhouse” — which, you may recall, didn’t go so well. This week, they’re taking a more conventional route, releasing stand-alone features aimed at very different audiences. I wonder how that will play out.

The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story“: If you were born after 1955, their music is in your brain somewhere; now, in a documentary directed by their sons, you can learn quite a bit more about the composers of “It’s a Small World” and “Feed the Birds” than you ever thought you’d want to know.

Inglourious Basterds“: Yes, there are moments in Tarantino’s WWII movie that zip and sing and thrill. And Christoph Waltz is awesome. But every scene goes on two or three times longer than necessary, the plotting never develops the urgency it should, and the whole Jewish-vengeance thing is just one of several frustratingly underdeveloped ideas. By all means, go see it, but turn your expectations way, way down.

In the Loop“: Armando Iannucci brings his terrific BBC series “The Thick of It” to the big screen with this stand-alone feature. You’ll almost be better off if you haven’t seen the show, since I kept wondering why all the underlings had different names. (Peter Capaldi suggested to me that the film is set in a parallel reality, with a Malcolm Tucker as a universal constant. I love Peter Capaldi.)

“Post Grad”: It’s late summer, so it must be time for an Alexis Bledel movie — in this one, she plays a young woman trying to find her place in the world, without magic pants. Rad says it’s a great big pile of suck, and I will take his word for it.

“Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock”: Robert Rodriguez’ latest family feature arrives bearing a title that’s only slightly less cumbersome than “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D” — but even that one didn’t have a rampaging booger monster. Matt enjoyed it.

That’s it for the new releases, and for me — TIFF waits for no man, so I’ve got to run out to my first screening of the day. You know the drill …