The Attempted Review of Inglourious Basterds

Posted by WhenYourGodGivesYouLemons On 7:56 PM

Love him or hate him Quentin Tarantino certainly knows how to create a buzz about his movies. His latest, Inglourious Basterds, which he somehow managed to shoot and edit in time for this Cannes film festival had rumours aplenty like 40 minutes was cut from the original Cannes screening because it was too long and that the whole production almost ended after Tarantino couldn't find the right man for The Jew Hunter role. Now though it has made it's way into the cinemas

What It's All About... Loosely based on the film Inglourious Bastards Tarantino goes about reshaping World War II and history as we know it. His story focuses around three distinct stories which all come together in the end. There are The Basterds a crack guerrilla squad of Jewish soldiers looking to get so much saught after payback on the Nazis, a French-Jewish cinema owner with her own agenda with the Nazis and Col Hans Landa a fearsome Nazi officer nick named The Jew Hunter for his innate ability to track down and exterminate Jews in Europe. The story is told through five chapters similar to Kill Bill with all three parties finally getting together in the final chapter, a glorious Nazi premiere of the latest propaganda flick and an audience including Hitler, Goebbels and Goring.

What It Did Well... The character of Col Hans Landa is probably one of the most memorable I have ever seen. The German SS officer is charming, sadistic, funny, a bit camp, jovial, methodic, flirtatious, smart and many other things. It's impossible to not like him and it's a credit to the talent of Christoph Waltz that this character who is so evil, he is nicknamed The Jew Hunter after all, is so likable and should be a shoe-in for the Best Actor Oscar. You think you know what to expect from him and then BAM he does something completely unexpected. I actually really liked Brad Pitt's Aldo Raine, the accent to me sounded good (he's from Tennessee) and he had enough bravado to sell himself as the leader of this ruthless guerilla squad. The score was brilliant, I really did not know what to expect going into a Tarantino war film. I'd loved Pulp, Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill's soundtracks but they had the advantage of being modern. Basterds though is definetley up there with an amazing score building terrific suspense and tension and hearing David Bowie's Cat People (Putting Out Fire) was so cool and unexpected and fit the scene terrifically. The story is brilliant and that's why I didn't give much away, you need to experience it yourself, but I will say that I liked the flashbacks and they way it explained certain things. Being a Tarantino film it also had great dialogue and if I could speak German or French then I would definetley be quoting it, scenes like the sit down in the dairy farmer's house and the basement bar are vintage Tarantino, to me they are as good as the diner scene in Reservoir Dogs and the end diner robbery in Pulp Fiction. You just knew something was going to happen and the dialogue just built it up to extreme levels of suspense and excitement.

What It Didn't... I can't really say that there was much it did wrong. Some people may have expected more action, more Mike Myers, less subtitles or more gore but it's a Tarantino film and if we've learned anything it's that you shouldn't assume anything you just go in and enjoy the ride. Two minor issues I did have involved a 360 degree camera shot where it circles around two characters. I'm just not a fan of that type of shot, Bay used it to death in Transformers 2 and it just bugs me for some reason but luckily it wasn't a constant issue. Also I would have liked to have seen more of the Basterds like Eli Roth's Bear Jew and Hugo Stiglitz because I liked those characters, I thought they were cool and maybe an explanation of why Stiglitz randomly thought about getting whipped would have been nice. Really though these are all minor issues though that certainly did not ruin the experience for me.

Memorable Moment... So hard to choose, I was spoilt for choice in this film. I would have to go for the basement bar scene all the way from the build up across the street to the (yes I'm giving away a bit of the story here) violent conclusion. I loved the ranting of Aldo Raine that you don't fight in a basement even if it is a bar in a basement, I loved the guess who game the Nazi's played and the discussion about literary character origins. I loved the slow build up to something big which you knew was going to happen and was going to happen fast. I loved Aldo Raine's explanation of a Mexican standoff even though he had no gun and all in all I just loved the whole scene from fantastic start to fantastic finish.

What It All Means...
Inglourious Basterds is a fantastic film filled with memorable and well crafted characters like Aldo Raine and Col. Hans Landa, a gripping story, tremendous pace which ripped through the two and a half hour running time, memorable dialogue and one of the greatest performances from Christoph Waltz. Whether it is as good as his earlier work is not the case here, what is the case is Inglourious Basterds is a fantastic film in its own right and I'm giving it 9 and a half whacks of a baseball bat out of 10, simply brilliant.



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