Inglorious Basterds

A nazi-eye view of the Basterds

This is a war film through the eyes of director Quention Tarantino. It is about a band of Jewish-American soldiers who sneak behind enemy lines, killing Nazis by the score and collecting their scalps along the way. We also see the story through the eyes of hiding Jews and the Nazis who are tracking them.

The film stars Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, a jut-jawed mountain man, who leads the Basterds. Christoph Waltz co-stars and Col. Hans Landa, in his Academy-award winning roll as “The Jew Hunter,” an SS office in a relentless pursuit of Jews.

Rating: 9 our of 10

Perhaps Tarantino’s greatest asset as a filmmaker is his patience. He is never in a hurry to rush through a story, or impatient enough to let it resolve with a cheap car chase or action sequence.

Basterds is another great example of his patience. In the opening sequence we physically feel the rising tension between the humble French farmer and the SS “Jew Hunter,” played so sharply by Christoph Waltz. We don’t know — for what seems like an eternity — that Jews are hiding in the floorboards. The resolution is dark, but real, and it sets the tone for the entire film where we are given moments of levity and moments where we’re dangling on a cliff side by the weakest of saplings.

There are several stories woven with the care and expertise of a Persian rug, showing the horror of World War II while mixing a blend of vigilantly fantasy and pulp sensibility.

This should have won best picture over “Hurt Locker” (which was a very good film). Tarantino’s best effort since “Pulp Fiction” will be remembered forever. “Hurt Locker” will be one of those movies where you say, “Oh yea, I think I saw that. It was pretty good, right?”

If you have seen Basterds, you know you’ll never forget it.


Rating: 10 our of 10

What do you get when you combine the “Dirty Dozen” and “Pulp Fiction” and set it in Word War II?  Well, you get “Inglorious Basterds.”  The newest Tarantino creation is an absolute gem of a film that combines the usual Tarantino cocktail of amazing dialogue, humor, and violence, creating a truly special motion picture.

We are truly living in the age of some of the greatest screen villains of all time with both Heath Ledger as the joker in “The Dark Knight” and Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men.”  Well, add Christoph Waltz to that list.  His turn as the “Jew Killer” adds a sense of tension to every scene he’s in.  This is first-rate film making and my pick as the best film of 2009.


One response to “Inglorious Basterds

  1. Pingback: Valkyrie « The Movie Brothers

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