Inglourious Basterds

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Inglourious Basterds

So Tarantino’s appointed masterpiece arrives. Quite a claim, with his back catalogue, Pulp Fiction- even though it’s not my favourite film of his- is hard to top and I personally don’t think he ever will considering the pedestool it’s sitting on. So is Basterds all that?

It’s not a bad film, as always with hi flicks- the soundtrack is the strongest part with some excellent use of Morricone giving it a spaghetti flavour, which is about the extent of his claim to it sitting anywhere in a spaghetti genre go. Aside from the opening ‘once upon a time in… nazi occupied France’ which, while not as catchy would have been a more apt title. The film’s biggest problem are the lack of focus and general uneveness of it. There’s never really any characters amongst the Basterds, half of them get a name drop, one gets a backstory but mostly they’re just faces. And as the misleading title goes, they’re only one half of the film; the other belongs to a cinema owning Jewish refugee with a similar plot to the Basterds. The two strands of characters never interact with each other and flitter between each other through the 5 introduced acts and for two relatively simple narrative arches that eventually kind of intertwine, it’s shouldn’t have been too hard to make both solid.

One manages it but there’s only one to two primary characters, the Basterds on the other hand are far too much for Tarantino to develop. Why? Because he still has his infatuation with drawn out dialogue, he’s dropped the painful referential-ness of Death Proof and introduced some decent tension in these scenes, in both main cases taking almost literally the Hitchcock bomb-under-the-table approach. That being said, the film does redeem itself. Pitt is fantastic, I actually hope he gets an Oscar nod along with the lead Nazi dubbed Jew-Hunter. The cinematography and sets are all well rendered and appealing and the direction is pretty competent, nothing that’s really suggestive of a genius behind the camera, which most know Tarantino isn’t already. The script is where his talent is meant to lie and despite mentioned issues, it all comes together nicely. It does find itself becoming uneven where it can’t be certain if it’s straightfaced or pure farce. Mike Myers cameo-ing as in English Lieutenant? It works but definitely an odd choice. And there were some genuine belly laughs at certain bits.

Tarantino’s masterpiece? Short answer, no. I’m glad Tarantino’s getting a regular output instead of coasting on past work with 5 year gaps between films and he’s got the ideas but he’s not got the modesty to adjust his scripts to operate at a tolerable pace. It’s not a bad film but it’s not a great film, I said before I doubt anything will touch what he did in the 90s so I don’t think it’s a miss-step in his career, more a signal of him levelling off as a filmmaker. Average film, still retains an art-house niche that I can imagine regular cinema-goers will find themselves fidgetting through. Looking forward to seeing reaction from his obsessors. Other than that, it’s a fun retelling of history with some great performances but could do with some editing here and there.


Interesting review, Pyro. As I've not seen it, I don't know how much I agree with, but I will say that from Jackie Brown onwards, I've always thought that editing has been Taratino's achilles heel. As a writer/director he can be, and is allowed to be, indulgent when what he really needs, IMO, is the discipline he showed with Reserviour Dogs. If he made Reservoir Dogs now it would almost certainly be a mess, because it's the lean, tight scripting that makes that, IMO, his best work.

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Pulp Fiction has to be the best "Tarantino" flick, doesn't it? The rest just don't seem to cut it.
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Pulp Fiction has to be the best "Tarantino" flick, doesn't it? The rest just don't seem to cut it.
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Im so looking forward to this film!
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just saw an advance screening in the UK, and this film is a flat out epic MASTERPIECE Tarantino has finally topped 'Pulp Fiction'. Inglourious Basterds has to be one of the most refreshing pieces of work in years. Everything from the script, music, acting, cinematography, directing was just AWESOME!.

You have to be patient with most scenes as QT lets the dialogue linger, but that's one of the genius parts of the film.
Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth etc... all give astonishing performances. The guy who plays Omar is good also.

I'm just still buzzed to the max after seeing this, I will go and watch this again 100%.
Even though the script might not be historically correct, it plays out well.

This might well just be QT's Masterpiece

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The fact that you say, Pyro, the two main storylines don't connect, I cannot see how anyone can say this is a masterpiece. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it can't be, but that seems to be rather important in relation to discussing whether a film is a masterpiece or not. Further, I get the impression from Pyro's review that characters are not exactly developed.

Nothing Pryo said makes me want to see it any more than before.

Thanks Pyro it is getting good reviews here
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The fact that you say, Pyro, the two main storylines don't connect, I cannot see how anyone can say this is a masterpiece. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it can't be, but that seems to be rather important in relation to discussing whether a film is a masterpiece or not. Further, I get the impression from Pyro's review that characters are not exactly developed.

Nothing Pryo said makes me want to see it any more than before.
Yeah, that was the impression i was trying to give, only three characters are given any motivation or characterisation, the basterds are all cut-outs with no definable personas bar Pitt and another one who's given a comic styled back-story.

You guys ready to let the dogs out?
I'm frothing at the mouth to see this, reviews seem to say this is the best thing since Pulp Fiction

Great review Pyro... thanks....
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I think the fact that I've seen it twice in its first two days of theatrical release says a lot about how much I like it. It's not the best film I've seen this year, but it's still about as entertaining as I expected (probably even more so a second time around). I do agree with Pyro's assessment that the bulk of the characters lack development, but that doesn't really make them any less fun to watch, though.

As of right now I give it a high
or a low
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.
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Inglorious Basterds

Once Upon A Time....In Nazi Occupied France opens the film in the first chapter (a signature Tarantino style) of this WWII film in which Jewish American soldiers, who've deemed themselves "The Basterds", ambush and scalp Nazi's. Their story intertwines with another in which a Jewish girl survives an attack on her family and lives among the Germans as a French theatre owner. The theatre in which numerous high ranking German officials will be at, a theatre that "The Basterds" will be at.

Tarantino is a favourite director of mine, not the top, but he's up there. Many people complain he simply rips off older, better films. I say nay. He is inspired by them because he loves cinema so much. Any interview with the guy will prove his vast film knowledge, a knowledge that he has used in his film-making, giving us some of the best films of the 90's. He doesn't have many films under his belt, but the ones their are all highly praised and one even earned him an Oscar. He is able to mix different genres well and is competent in each one. His last 3 films were a throwback to grindhouse features, a two part revenge story that mixes the spaghetti western and the Asian martial arts and finally a novel adaptation. Yet his praise is mostly in his writing, which is why he has an Oscar in the first place.

Inglorious Basterds is yet another film from Tarantino in which he mixes violence with characters who seem too cool for school. Brad Pitt plays Aldo Raine, the leader of the Basterds and one who can speak almost fluent Italian. He has a scar around his neck, yet it is never answered as to why, and he seems to be having too good a time here, killing Nazi's. He enlists 8 men to be apart of his squad of Basterds, along with his 2nd in command (I'm assuming) Donny Donowitz, played by Eli Roth. Who for once does not annoy me. His best scene involves the most brutal part of the film, reminiscent of Pesci's scene in Casino. Two more men join the Basterds, one is Til Schweiger, who is famous for killing 13 Nazi's in cruel and inhuman ways. The second is Michael Fassbender, a Scottish soldier posing as a German to initiate Operation Kino. A secret mission that will involve explosions and death. Seems like a lot of "Basterds" to keep track of, and it was. Tarantino loses half of them half way through. Missing scenes from trailers would indicate there was more story for each of them, but for the film as it stands now, it's incomplete. These characters are forgettable faces, this film needed more time with it's title characters.

In a Tarantino flick you can guarantee a couple things and getting good performances from his actors is definitely one of them. Brad Pitt is hilarious as Aldo and Roth is menacing as Donowitz. The short scenes with the Basterds are good, good enough to want more and feel disappointed when you don't get it. Krueger, from National Treasure fame, plays a famous actress working for the English, posing as a German. She has a thick accent and pulls off her scenes quite well. I didn't find her annoying at all, and even though Mélanie Laurent does a decent job as the Jewish girl posing as a French woman, her subplot with a German Private is boring and almost forgettable. It's not till the ending of this sub plot does it become remotely interesting, but it seems too late. The stand out is without a doubt is Christoph Waltz, playing a German who is nicknamed "The Jew Hunter". He plays the guy with enough kindness to make him creepy and enough crazy to make him fearful.

This film tells two different stories that meet up at the end. Each one has their own fair share of subplots, that seem to distract from more time with the Basterds. There are numerous scenes that are quite shocking and will leave you with a big smile, or a disgusted look of disdain. The violence here is more gritty and real, thus it feels more involving. Kill Bill has limbs flying and gallons of blood, but it was too over the top and comical to be taken seriously. Here it has that gritty feel to it that it just makes you wince when it happens.

Not Tarantino's best work, but then again will he ever top Pulp Fiction? Instead it's a welcome addition to his resume of films that I can say I enjoy. The length of this one is a little long and it may drag in some places, but the overall feel at the end is enjoyment. He takes his characters and lets them takeover the story, which is why the historical facts in this film are more interesting than others. There are countless war films that are plagued with people already knowing the outcome. Valkyrie is an example of a film that the audience knew how it was going to end. This one throws it all out the window.

A tighter running time and more time spent with the people who want to see would have made this film even more fun for me, but I'll take what I can get.

I think I'll have to see this one again today somehow , my theatre messed up the sound for this - which was quite distracting.

Inglourious Basterds (1 view)

Tarantino's long awaited war epic is finally here and despite a few script cuts , he actually got this very exciting/cinematic script to the screen how it should be.

The fact of the matter is Basterds is in simplicity , only a handful of very large scenes - it's very dialogue driven and exactly what you've come to expect from this now great director/writer. The two main attraction performances "Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz" deserve their attention grabbing important reputation fueled characters , but it's all the other roles ranging from sub-important to minor which continue to feed the fire at the heart of this one. Melanie Laurent puts a lot of life into the surprise star Shoshana , as does her German counterpart Daniel Bruhl.

Is it wrong that it feels like the summary of his filmography mixed and matched together ? Not really , because he takes the best parts of his past movies and melts them into a really satisfying product - interesting dialogue , colorful characters , and a wonderful licensed soundtrack : you may ask what new does it offer than ? Dread and tip toe suspense , you know that at any second the pace could snap and someones going to end up all shot up.

Visually it's the best looking film out of his bunch , beautiful clear cinematography and all of the brutal action scenes raise the bar even higher. It's really more important than you'd think , because Inglourious Basterds is mostly a very gentle movie and it absorbs these tiny visual details with each breath - and occasionally gets blood all over the nice scenery.

It's enormous and impossible to judge on a first viewing , but I have a feeling I'll be watching this one many more times.


I quite fancy catching this one again, even though by filmic standards it had it's flaws, as a Tarantino film was pretty good

Inglourious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino, 2009

After waiting almost a year now, even though it’s not as long as some people have been waiting, I’ve finally gotten to see this. I had heard from earlier reviews that Tarantino had finally topped Pulp Fiction. I don’t think so, actually, this didn’t top Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, or either Kill Bill’s. This was by far his most fun movie that he’s made so far. I can see myself watching this more than any of his previous films.

One of the little things I did have a problem with, though, is that the soundtrack seemed like a bad attempt at copying Ennio Morricone. I know that Tarantino wanted to make this seem like a spaghetti western, but trying to copy Morricone’s score for the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly just didn’t work. I wish that Ennio Morricone would’ve came on and did the score, but he didn’t, so don’t try using a score that sounds incredibly similar to it.

One of the things that I have been hearing, and agree with, is the lack of character development. I think for the film’s runtime it had too many characters with a lot of focus. I think it would’ve turned out better if Tarantino had added an extra hour on to the movie, or do something like Kill Bill and break it into two different parts. Last I heard, though, Tarantino was working on a prequel for this, and I’d totally back it up. Brad Pitt was pretty great in it, though he should’ve been in it much longer. Donnie and Hugo were my two favorite characters; they were badass. They didn’t get anywhere near as much screen-time as it was suggested they were going to get, though. I think a better name for the movie should’ve been chosen, like the original title ‘Once Upon a Time…In a Nazi Occupied France’.

It never really got that serious, which is something I was pretty surprised about. I mean even though Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown were kind of ‘black comedies’ in a way, all of his films, other than Inglourious Basterds, from the past decade have been pretty damn serious. It was great to see Tarantino to go back to the kind of films he started with was refreshing to see, though. There were some scenes that were serious, though, because all of Tarantino’s films have at least three-fourth of the film dialogue filled.

All the action in this really surprised me, because as I said before, usually Tarantino’s films are dialogue filled. The closest that Tarantino has even gotten to an action film was Kill Bill, Vol. 1, and even that was only the last 20 minutes when the Bride fought the crazy eighty-eights. Even though this technically wasn’t an action film, it had quite a bit of action throughout. The one scene that I’m particularly talking about is the final chapter in the movie which is an incredibly well-done action scene.

I’m definitely going to try and see it at least one more time before it leaves theaters, but the R rating is going to make that difficult. I wish I would’ve saw this in a better theater, though, because the sound in the theater I went to seemed to be messed up.