It was well worth the wait!
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction)
It’s safe to say I’ve been waiting very impatiently since Kill Bill was released in 2004 for the next Quentin Tarantino film. When word came out it would be a film called Inglourious Basterds, I got pretty excited. However, as with most QT things it took a long time to get done. We even got Grindhouse in between the wait. Finally when the script was finished and then leaked online we knew it had to be getting close to the day we finally saw this film. I even read the script, and after reading it I got more excited because I thought it was really good.
So finally the wait for me was over. I didn’t get to see this movie in theaters, I waited for the DVD. After getting side-tracked over and over again, the day came where I finally got Inglourious Basterds on DVD. And I am more than satisfied.
In Nazi occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa. Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the “Basterds”, a group of Jewish-American guerrilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine. As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl’s plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history.
I think it’s safe to say that with this film Tarantino is back to true form and if we ignore the full length version of Death Proof, which was never meant to be a stand alone film, we can say he never left form. Inglourious Basterds is a film that mixes the right amount of QT style dialogue, action, and style to be every much the epic that it was intended to be. My sole complaint would be Brad Pitt’s Tennessee accent doesn’t really sound like a real accent from there, trust me, I’d know.
While called Inglourious Basterds, the “basterds” are mere co-stars in the movie rather than the main focus point of the film. Sure they are great when they are on the screen and yes, they they play a major part in things but at times it almost seems like the real story is of Shosanna Dreyfus and her plot for revenge on the Nazis for what happened to her family some years before. Sure this movie has a lot of subtitles to read but the acting is so strong is shines through no matter what language it’s spoken in.
As odd as it sounded to cast both Mike Myers and Eli Roth in serious roles for such a film as this, I’m pleased to say it works just fine. Myers isn’t goofy at all in his role of General Ed Fenech and Roth, oddly enough, works great as “The Bear Jew”. A pissed off Jewish man who loves bashing in heads with a baseball bat. As I said, I had read the script before I ever saw the movie and among the changes from the two was a scene showing how Donnie (The Bear Jew) got his bat. I hated to see that scene left out. But the film clocks in at 2+ hours anyway so I guess changes HAD to be made.
One of the hold ups that kept the script from being finalized for so long was the trouble Tarantino had finding an ending he was happy with. I think the ending he came up with fits perfectly and wraps up things very nicely in a true QT fashion. Was this better than Pulp Fiction? Not hardly, but I do believe this film comes pretty close in many ways. Keeping the same elements of past Tarantino films and even adding in a few new ones, Inglourious Basterds is a film I think more people will love rather than hate.
Once again, I can’t put it over Pulp Fiction and I’m torn on how I’d rank it with Kill Bill, but I think Inglourious Basterds is at least the third best Tarantino film hands down. And yes, I’d put it over Reservoir Dogs, and that’s saying a lot. Great performances from Mélanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz, topped off with some great moments and dialogue makes a very memorable film.
The Rating (9/10)