‘Basterds’ a glorious surprise

Piven sets Gold standard

I WENT to the movies last weekend to see “District 9” but at Kips Bay they said the air conditioning had failed in that particular theater.

So, I opted for “Inglourious Basterds” which I was kind of dreading sitting through. I appreciate Quentin Tarantino’s huge talent but sometimes I’m not in the mood for his blood and guts style.

Well, I was wrong to hang back. There is a lot I’d like to avoid in this film — people being scalped and beaten to death with a baseball bat — but when you compare it to what the Nazis did to millions, it becomes a kind of a droll equal justice.

This is Tarantino’s wet dream of how to get even with Hitler and his minions and he has imagined a terrific story with super suspense and appealingly interesting characters.

The film’s real heroine, actress Melanie Laurent, is a positive big movie star find; someone we might compare to the young Lauren Bacall or Kim Novak or Danielle Darrieux. She is French, Jewish and out for revenge.

(Christoph Waltz as the SS officer is sensational, an Oscar nominee for sure!)

I have to say it — writer-director Tarantino is a genius and he has made a movie that very well could win the Academy Award next March.

I MISSED getting a hug around the neck from my pal Renee Zellweger on the night of her Paris Theater opening of “My One and Only.” This wasn’t avoidance, though maybe it was –avoiding possibly being struck by lightning! I emerged, happy, from the screening and ran into thunder and lightning on 58th Street, plus moments later, a drenching windy rain that rendered umbrellas useless.

Renee is a brave actress who always takes chances and here she took a chance on playing a slightly social beauty who is getting a little too old to compete, but nevertheless, is out to land a husband who’ll take care of her and her two boys.

In real-life, Renee’s character was Anne Devereaux Hamilton who reigned with joy in Palm Beach late in life. One of her sons was none other than George Hamilton. I love George, one of Hollywood’s all-time real gentlemen, suntan and all. And that he finally got this movie made and earned his star on the Walk of Fame in the same time frame is fitting! Don’t dare to miss this adorable movie.

JEREMY PIVEN was asked by Time about his Ari Gold character in TV’s “Entourage.” They wanted to know if playing a role based on a real person affected the way he did the part?

Here’s Mr. Piven: “The character is loosely based on Ari Emanuel, whose brother Rahm is the White House chief of staff. He was my agent for a time, so I did get an eyeful and an earful of Ari Emanuel — that is for sure. I haven’t heard any of his comments about my character. If he didn’t enjoy it, I would’ve heard about it.”

OUR FRIENDS at Warner Bros. tell us that British rumors putting Brad Pitt into Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” movie are “just not true.” I must say, they were in very good humor about it. And I am so sorry for this error!

Guy is in London, working on post-production of the film, which is not troubled and still slated for a Christmas Day release. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and the luscious Rachel McAdams, who is not the typical damsel in distress.