Friday, September 11, 2009

G-MAN reviews "Inglourious Basterds"

So I finally got to see Quintin Tarrantino's latest war epic, "Inglourious Basterds". But before I start, I want to ask something: what is up with that title?!? Was there a censorship problem? Were the filmmakers threatened with lawsuits because it bared a similar title to a 1970s Italian war movie (which was also Tarrantino's inspiration for this film)?

"Inglourious Basterds" tells multiple stories (that are tied up together in the end, of course). The title characters, The Basterds, are a group of vengeance seeking Jewish-Americans lead by Aldo "The Apache" Raine (played by Brad Pitt). Their basic goal is to go around Nazi occupied France & spread fear into the hearts of the Nazis, through, as Aldo describes it as, "an apache indian style revolution".
Oddly enough, despite the fact that The Basterds are the title characters, they aren't the film's focus. The film's main plot involves an escaped Jewish girl, Shosanna Dreyfus (played by Mélanie Laurent), who opens a movie theater in France. But when she's offered to hold the premiere of a Nazi propaganda film, she takes advantage of the situation (I'm not gonna spoil it, but I think that you know what she's gonna do).

First off, this is the closest thing I've seen to 60s / 70s movie in a long time. The cinematography, atmosphere, dialog, soundtrack, & even the title sequences scream 70s movie.

And while I'm on the subject of the soundtrack, I'd like to mention my thoughts on the music. There doesn't appear to be ANY original music in this film, which that works quite well here. The use of Ennio Morricone is perfect. Also, the film has the strangest (& that's saying a lot!) use of David Bowie music I've heard in a film.

Acting wise, the film was great. The best actor in the film was, with no doubt, Christopher Waltz as the main Nazi, Hans Landa. This is a great villain. He's not at all over the top. He's calm, & yet really intimidating. Undoubtedly a contender for Best Supporting Actor.
But the funniest actor was Brad Pitt as Aldo Raine. At first, I thought he was doing his worst John Wayne impersonation, but then I realized that he was parodying George W. Bush. No joke! Just watch the movie, & you'll see what I mean!

I'm also glad that it wasn't as violent as I expected (though that's not saying much). Normally, I hate gory movies, but this didn't focus on the violence to much.

The pacing was perfect. It was two-and-a-half hours, but the story was engaging enough that I lost track of time. In fact, I was hoping that the movie would be a bit longer. It was THAT entertaining!

There are only two flaws that come to mind. First, The Basterds are the best characters in the film, & yet they're not in the film as much as you'd hope.
Second, this isn't a problem with me, but I know that a lot of people will be irritated by the aspect of the film. All I can say without spoiling the film is that if you're a fan of historical accuracy, you're gonna hate this film with a passion.

HITS
Feels like an old movie
Great pacing
Great acting
Awesome soundtrack
Light on the gore

MISSES
The Basterds aren't in the movie that much
Historically inaccurate (I don't have a problem with this apect of the film)

IN CLOSING: I actually enjoyed this more than "District 9". "District 9" is a better movie overall, but I found this to be more satisfying. I just hope that Tarrantino doesn't make a prequel like I've heard. Other wise, that would really ruin this film.

G-MAN gives "Inglourious Basterds" a "Perfect Ten" out of "Ten"!

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