Inglorious Basterds

by

Director – Quentin Tarantino

Written by – Quentin Tarantino

Starring – Christoph Waltz, Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth

Released – 19 August 2009

Synopsis

During World War II a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish woman who runs a movie theater in Paris which is hosting a Nazi film premiere and is targeted by the soldiers.

Review

A deceptive marketing campaign did Inglorious Basterds a whole world of good; depicting it as a roaring rampage of revenge against the Nazi’s not only got the philistines involved but got a lot of free publicity by people like me who commented on it. Inglorious is not what the trailers would have you believe, with copious amounts of dialogue and long nail-biting scenes with the occasional spot of bloodshed. Regardless of this fact most people seemed to enjoy it which is testament to Tarantino’s writing ability.

In terms of his writing, he has never been better. It has been said that he was working on this project for 10 years which is not surprising when you see the end result. The film is split in to about 5 or 6 main scenes, each lasting around 15 to 20 minutes and each filled with a crippling amount of tension. If the first scene doesn’t make you smile from its sheer brilliance of film making then you should consider anti-depressants. Aside from a scene with Winston Churchill, which doesn’t sit quite right, the movie glides through at a faultless pace with plenty of gripping dialogue and gory action.

If I have one complaint it is with the soundtrack… that’s right, I have a problem with Tarantino’s soundtrack. Normally, with his films, this is something to look forward to, which is maybe part of the problem – he has a lot to live up to from his previous works. In Inglorious Basterds, particularly in the first half, we hear a lot of rehashed music that Tarantino had used in Kill Bill which threw me out of the picture and back to thinking about what scene I had heard it from. It’s not a huge problem but these are tracks that he made iconographic, and why he is trying to compete with his previous films for which it should be associated with I do not know.

Christoph Waltz is a real pleasure as Colonel Hans Landa. He is really the main character with Brad Pitt playing second fiddle, both in terms of the character and the performance. ‘The Jew Hunter’, as his character is known, brings a whole world of tension in to the scenes that he graces and his intelligence is his greatest weapon; he psychologically unravels a French farmer – my personal favourite part of the film. Waltz brings a great deal to the role. His face can turn like the nature of his character; a harmless and generous smile at one moment to a bloodthirsty glare the next. The subtlety in his movement and tone brings the character alive. Waltz’ performance takes Inglorious Basterds from a brilliant piece of film-making to something beyond that.

To sum up – Not at all like what the trailers will have you believe, but an outstanding and original piece of film-making anyway.

Rating – 8/10

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5 Responses to “Inglorious Basterds”

  1. Luke Says:

    More reviews…

  2. The Deadender Says:

    interesting review guy. i agree with you about the music, i thought when pacabel’s iconic tune plays as landa drives up the french hillside in the first scene it was going to set the scene for something quite different then we were expecting to see. didn’t quite work out like that. i really did dislike the throw back synth sound effects QT threw in from time to time. really didn’t fit. and i agree, made me think of previous work.

    the jew hunter is the star attraction of the film, he has an intelligence which i think juxtaposes the basterds to a degree, he is calculated and cunning, and as it turns, his motives are not wholy one dimensional, which i think is a nice twist from the 1D “bad” nazi’s we see.

    I do think the film was too long. and i do think the films editor should have grown some nuts and cut his teeth into some of the flaky dialoge (of which there is lots). you may argue it is to add tension, and in some instances i;d agree, but some is just unecessary wind-bagging IMO.

    i do remember leaving the cinema really satisfied with IB, which says a lot i suppose. i do think it missed some beats tho, and i wonder whether it was QT’s chance to try something new and i guess un-QT like after the fuck up that is Deathproof. wasn#t to be. but i still liked it.

    9 out of 10?! i’d say 7.

    its also almost a foreign language movie. i’d say over 50% is in another language. which i liked.

    plus you never mentioned the humour in the film. me and the other philistines laughed quite a bit if i remember 😉

    fuck its cold in my flat.

    keep them coming. i’m expecting avatar by tomorrow. if you say its less than a 7 i aint going.

  3. venicediva Says:

    i found the movie disappointing and too long. i’m done with tarantino, i don’t think he’ll ever be able to deliver anything that has something more in addition to just being tarantinoesque.
    p.s. what’s up with all this mainstream you watch.?

    • guydavis88 Says:

      I personally was not disappointed, but taken-aback by the film – I didn’t know what to make of it when I left the cinema. I was expecting to not see anything more than a tarantinoesque war film but was pleasantly surprised with the way the plot was put together. It played out like a theatre production with several long scenes which felt fresh, even unique for a film not adapted from a play. There were certain things that felt tarantinoesque that didn’t fit in like the music, unfortunately.

      Nothing wrong with mainstream. I have to pay for my cinema tickets and didn’t hear of any art house movies that I wanted to watch. The White Ribbon actually, think I might have missed that one though. GDFR will have more art house reviews this year though, now that I have taken on some people to contribute to the blog.

      Thanks for commenting.

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