Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino, 2009 (8.2*)The world's wildest director has gone B-movie plus with this wild WW2 fantasy, in which he holds his imagination in check until the last reel, then the infamous Tarantino style is in full display.

A miscast Brad Pitt (a Tennessee officer with a bad imitation southern drawl) organizes a group of Jewish soldiers in a scene lifted from the Dirty Dozen, into a group of "Apache" styled renegage killers, who beat Nazis with a bat and take their scalps as well. The idea is to be so brutal in response to Nazi brutality as to send rumors through occupied France that some incarnate devil Jews are creating fear and mayhem while remaining untouched themselves. Along the way they get help from an escaped Jewess named Shosanna who now runs a Parisian cinema, which shows German films regularly, and also an expatriate German actress, now a double agent.

Most of the scenes here are almost painstakingly slow, then erupt in some sort of violent death. There are visual references to many other films, buffs will catch them. There are even more musical references, many stolen from other films outright - spaghetti westerns seem to be the top reference, making it hard to take this as a serious film, but more like a tongue-in-cheek pastische of subtle film homages.

Enjoyable if you don't look to deep, and don't mind some occasional brutality. The film is stolen by the funny and erudite performance of Christoph Waltz, who won the film's only Oscar® and dozens of other acting awards worldwide as the man known as "The Jew Hunter". The film's script also won numerous awards. Fans of Quentin's will love this, others will perhaps be bored and scoff, I was sort of in-between: there are much better WW2 films, but there are worse Tarantino films; in fact, this may be his best after Pulp Fiction.

Currently ranked #86 on the IMDB top 250


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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