As those who know me, and if such a person exists, cyberstalk me, know I created this blog after writing on another site, which shall remain nameless, for a while. The point is, I have material sitting around waiting to be re-used on occasion I will re-post them here. Some of those articles or reviews may have been extemporaneous at the time but are slightly random now, hence the new title and little intro, regardless enjoy!
There are some mild spoilers within, forewarned is forearmed
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Inglourious Basterds is Quentin Tarantino’s delightfully twisted and decidedly Tarantino retelling of World War II. Sticking with his rococo chapter structure tales of disparate intrigue are told that are bound to collide – and they do with fantastic and explosive results.
Already prized at Cannes, all the hype and buzz surrounds Christoph Waltz’s performance, and it is certainly deserved as he is fabulous. However, the hype machine overshadows several standout performances in this film, and the film itself.
Other standouts include:
Mélanie Laurent, as Shosanna Dreyfus: an actress I was unfamiliar with, but who in a surprising turn literally carried herself and acted like a 1940s starlet. Brad Pitt, as Lt. Aldo Raine: who is one of the more frustrating movie stars working today because he can turn it on when he feels like it but doesn’t always feel like it. He is on in this performance, and very funny.
Diane Kruger, as Bridget Von Hammersmark: was great as a drunk, a flirt and in agonizing pain. The smaller parts are also very well cast even though Tarantino’s choices might make you do a double-take work brilliantly. Eli Roth as the so-called Bear Jew is hilarious and effective, as is Mike Myers, as an aging British General. It was great to see him get this character work and do well after having a bad 2008 in some people’s opinions this critic notwithstanding. There are several touches Tarantino adds to an otherwise very straightforward story: two cuts to back-story/explanation with Samuel L. Jackson narration, a cut to Goebbels being intimate with a translator, cut to a Hitler monologue and a few other things. The cinematography in this film is great starting in the very first scene where Landa (Waltz) is interrogating a man accused of harboring Jews. It starts with very well-framed shots and then gets more intricate with a beautiful circle shot that moves down below the floorboards to those being hidden.
Tarantino’s dialogue is tempered not overly-profane, verbose or arcane, things he can be even in a good way. It was always on point. The only scene that might’ve run a little long was the rendezvous in the bar because the German officer wasn’t immediately questioning them and then when the interrogation finally began anew we didn’t know he was caught. The dialogue told us. It is the kind of scene that does need to be reexamined as it likely works better on second viewing so it can’t quite be faulted. All in all it’s an excellent film you should go out and see especially if there’s nothing new out compelling you. I personally want to see it again. It is a movie that you keep thinking about, and it gets better with time.