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Inglourious Basterds [Blu-ray]
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Although Quentin Tarantino has cherished Enzo G. Castellari's 1978 "macaroni" war flick The Inglorious Bastards for most of his film-geek life, his own Inglourious Basterds is no remake. Instead, as hinted by the Tarantino-esque misspelling, this is a lunatic fantasia of WWII, a brazen re-imagining of both history and the behind-enemy-lines war film subgenre. There's a Dirty Not-Quite-Dozen of mostly Jewish commandos, led by a Tennessee good ol' boy named Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) who reckons each warrior owes him one hundred Nazi scalps--and he means that literally. Even as Raine's band strikes terror into the Nazi occupiers of France, a diabolically smart and self-assured German officer named Landa (Christoph Waltz) is busy validating his own legend as "The Jew Hunter." Along the way, he wipes out the rural family of a grave young girl (Melanie Laurent) who will reappear years later in Paris, dreaming of vengeance on an epic scale. Now, this isn't one more big-screen comic book. As the masterly opening sequence reaffirms, Tarantino is a true filmmaker, with a deep respect for the integrity of screen space and the tension that can accumulate in contemplating two men seated at a table having a polite conversation. IB reunites QT with cinematographer Robert Richardson (who shot Kill Bill), and the colors and textures they serve up can be riveting, from the eerie red-hot glow of a tabletop in Adolf Hitler's den, to the creamy swirl of a Parisian pastry in which Landa parks his cigarette. The action has been divided, Pulp Fiction-like, into five chapters, each featuring at least one spellbinding set-piece. It's testimony to the integrity we mentioned that Tarantino can lock in the ferocious suspense of a scene for minutes on end, then explode the situation almost faster than the eye and ear can register, and then take the rest of the sequence to a new, wholly unanticipated level within seconds. Again, be warned: This is not your "Greatest Generation," Saving Private Ryan WWII. The sadism of Raine and his boys can be as unsavory as the Nazi variety; Tarantino's latest cinematic protégé, Eli (director of Hostel) Roth, is aptly cast as a self-styled "golem" fond of pulping Nazis with a baseball bat. But get past that, and the sometimes disconcerting shifts to another location and another set of characters, and the movie should gather you up like a growing floodtide. Tarantino told the Cannes Film Festival audience that he wanted to show "Adolf Hitler defeated by cinema." Cinema wins. --Richard T. Jameson
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Top Customer Reviews
I think it mainly depends on whether you can appreciate Tarantino's style. If you are expecting to see your ordinary Hollywood movie, chances are you are going to wind up upset, like some of the negative reviews I've read on here.
The movie can, indeed, be quite gruesome. You'll have to be able to see some artistic quality in that. I can, even though I do not particularly enjoy it. What I enjoy most, however, is the awesome acting. Christopher Waltz, the German officer-bad guy, carries a conversation for almost half an hour with a farmer who is hiding Jews. It's almost like a verbal battle, with sorties, retreats, tactical reforms, minor victories for both sides, until one side finally manages to get the upper hand.
The impeccable costumes, the humor, the jab at Americans and American culture, the completely unhistoric (and therefore to me, unexpected) climax and the great attention to detail, I think, make this a superb movie for those that can appreciate this quality. If you'd rather see an action-packed run-of-the-mill movie, though, this one might not be for you!
The acting in this movie is top notch. Brad Pitt offers one of his funniest performances in years as a charismatic southern army lieutenant with a knack for carving swastikas into the foreheads of Nazi soldiers. Christoph Walz will surely receive an Oscar nomination for his scene-stealing performance as the ruthless and cunning Col. Landa. Several impressive supporting performances appear as well.
The score (as with Tarantino's other recent films) contains music taken from classic 70's soundtracks. I recognized bits from "White Lightning" and "Kelly's Heroes". There is some good spaghetti western music included as well.
No doubt this was an entertaining film to watch and certainly a unique story and characters which has become a painfully absent commodity in Hollywood for quite a few years now.Read more ›
My only problem is not with the movie but with my purchase. I am interested in viewing this on different devices, which is why I was excited to have a Digital Copy included with my purchase. However, when I insert the Digital Copy disc (disc 2) into my computer, I am told to enter the authorization code I can find on the insert in the case in order to get it. Problem is, there is no insert in my case. I have emailed Universal about this and am currently waiting to hear back. Here's hoping for a quick resolution (fingers crossed!).
Great movie though.
I contacted Amazon and Universal, and received a new authorization code. My problem was solved within a matter of hours. Thank you very much.
Forget Brad Pitt. Forget B.J Novak. Christoph Waltz is amazing in this film, and so are several other less-than-famous actors. Inglourious Basterds is pure Tarantino brilliance, in spite of what the trailers made it look like.