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Post by Admin on Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:00 pm

http://movie-on.blogspot.com/2009/11/inglourious-basterds.html

Inglourious Basterds

A friend of mine told me that wanted to see the latest Brad Pitt movie and after using my memory archive I said: " you better think twice because that’s not Pitt’s movie; is a Quentin Tarantino’s movie. You know, the one with the Kill Bill series that you didn’t like". Oh boy! You have no idea how right I was as this is not Pitt’s best performance and this is 100% Tarantino at its best playing around with cinema styles, old music scores, some smarty dialogue, violence, WWII, and a very amusing fictional story around the last days of Hitler.

Since I saw all the celebrity marketing for Pitt and so little for other actors or even the director, I was concerned about watching the movie as for me he’s more a celebrity than an actor; thus I delayed seeing as they were making too much noise for Pitt. Please do not do as me, this is a must be seen movie even if you haven’t much enjoyed Tarantino’s films before. Why? Long answer, but let’s try to make it short.

For starters this is not your typical American war (or not war) movie, this feels and looks absolutely European cinema! There is one exception for me, the segment where we meet Brad Pitt character. Then you can’t miss the incredibly outstanding performance by Christoph Waltz! Some have been saying that he has the best role and I don’t agree. Is his excellent performance what makes his Col. Hans Landa eye-catching since the very first segment where you will be exposed to excellent conversation with Perrier LaPadite (Denis Menochet). In this first segment (from five) I couldn’t take my eyes from the screen and my ears were having a true delight. What a performance! As many will recall he won the Best Actor award at 2009 Cannes and even if is not likely, he should get a nomination for the Oscar. Yes, that’s how good Waltz performance is in this segment and the entire film.

Also with an outstanding performance is Mélanie Laurent and to me it was obvious that Tarantino gave her the most spectacular scenes that totally showcased her beauty. The rest of the cast gave very good performances especially Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger and Daniel Brühl. See, the best performers are European and most speak their original language and easily -and very credibly in the story- switch to English. I like this as to me reflects real life in Europe.

Enough about actors. Production values are excellent with good indoor and outdoor cinematography and some arresting scenes like the one in the end, the amazing forest where someone surrenders to Brad Pitt character. I imagine that Tarantino had lots of fun writing this script and more (good) crazy fun directing this film. You can tell as the film is implacable and for 153 minutes you will ride his oeuvre that in many moments it feels like a “war western” and is done on purpose as he says the film is a spaghetti western that just happens to be in WWII. Gosh, you have no idea how good and entertaining the film is.

The story. Not easy to describe but starts with a young Jewish woman Shosanna (Laurent) escaping from Col. Landa (Waltz); next we meet the Basterds, a group of very violent men under Lt. Aldo Raine (Pitt) command whose only purpose is to kill Nazis and collect their scalps. Shosanna is older, living in Paris and has a movie theater, Pvt Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl) is a movie buff that falls for her and decides to help her by switching a movie premiere to her theater. What follows is how the British (Fassbender) with the help of the Basterds plus a German actress (Diane Kruger) plan to blow the theater while Shosanna plans her revenge. The grandiose final act shows the most crazy-good movie premiere.

I liked a lot the movie but I know that those that want to see it because Pitt or because is a war movie will be totally disappointed. This is an excellent Tarantino crazy-good film with many references to other movies and if you really enjoy and know your cinema, you will immediately get them.

Another good movie from Cannes that’s more mainstream than what the fest usually showcases and if producers didn’t marketed as a Pitt film, viewers will probably enjoy it a lot more.

Me, I had lots of fun watching this crazy-good film, when was over I wanted MORE and strongly recommend it to those that like Tarantino.

Big Enjoy!!!
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Post by Admin on Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:26 pm

http://lindamargarita.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/youre-gettin-pretty-good-at-that/

Inglourious Basterds

Directed By: Quentin Tarantino [2009]

Diane Kruger & Michael Fassbender in "Inglourious Basterds"

Tarantino delivers another cinematic accomplishment with Inglourious Basterds. The film opens with a chilling scene. A simple character study, but it holds its own as the best scene in the movie. Like the standout scene, the real standout in the film is Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, who is a scene stealer and plays one of the best villians of the decade. He plays up his devilish charm as Col. Hans Landa and has the ability to terrify audiences in four languages.

Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa

The movie is divided in chapters. It introduces and interlopes characters until they end when they are physically together at the same event. The comic of the cast is Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine, a goofy Southerner with a passion for hunting Nazis. His character is completely ridiculous but Pitt embraces it. He, along with the other “Basterds” scalp Nazis or try to recruit them. This film is an ensemble piece, with Tarantino creating memorable characters. It’s a long film, with scenes dragging on longer than they should. But nonetheless, the cast is terrific including Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mike Myers, B.J. Novak, the wonderful Melanie Laurent and the always magnificent Michael Fassbender. It’s not an average WWII film, with it’s sharp script, it’s clear that it’s a Tarantino WWII film. B



Noms/Wins [11-25-09]

Best Picture

Best Original Screenplay

Best Supporting Actor- Christoph Waltz

Best Supporting Actress- Melanie Laurent
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Post by Admin on Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:48 am

http://underaspreadingchesnuttree.blogspot.com/2009/11/for-want-of-words-few-notes-on-language.html

Last weekend was a weekend for entertainments of the cinematic variety, and since the LOTR marathon got culled owing to many primary participants being in Cork at the time, we settled down to watch Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. A clever and violent little film, but very good; I recommend it to those of you have a strong constitution when it comes to your history being challenged and your usual dose of movie gore tripled in true Tarantino style.

The film, whilst it is being an inglorious bastard to many of its characters, is also making fun of a number of its own elements, including the genre of American war films in general. (This much most everyone who saw the trailer knew.) Here we have heroes doing unheroic things in an unheroic fashion, the momentum of this coming to a head in Hugo Stiglitz, the mass-murderer roped in by the Basterds who gets a superhero-esque title fly-in when his name is mentioned. The film industry gets another well-timed baseball bat to the knees with the premise of the film within the film, the propagandist Nation’s Pride (which, if you’ve been living where I have for two months, sounds a lot like a company that bakes bread.)

What little we see of the film is full of hammy, overdramatic acting at its finest, and from the reactions of the audience you’d think it was Oscar award-winning material. It is here that we find the angelic, pristinely uniformed, bring-him-home-to-your-mother-for-tea-and-scones hero we’re used to seeing in war films. Beside the Basterds, Private Fredrick Zoller (a very cute Daniel Brühl) is nothing more than a fop. And how we hate him!

The Basterds, headed up by their ridiculously other-end-of-the-war-movie-stereotype leader, Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt in a flash of comic genius) are the absolute parody of the World War two action hero. These guys aren’t fighting for nationalism – they’re just out to, as Raine succinently puts it, “Kill us some Natzis.” The Americans are counterbalanced by a brilliant cast playing the Europeans, and here Tarantino gets out the baseball bat again, this time taking a wack at American identity in the world today.

This is where the bit on language comes in – I told you I’d get there eventually! All the other characters in this film speak at least two languages – Colonel Landa, the German head honcho in France regarding the jewish problem, converses easily in French, German, Italian, and English, and I’m pretty sure if there had been a few Red Guards wandering in and out we would have found he speaks Russian, too. (The actor portraying Landa, Christoph Waltz, apparently had to study really hard to get his English as good as it is in this film. Lemme tell you, he nailed it. This man is AWESOME.) But the Americans only speak one language – English. This, of course, lands them into trouble when their more culturally competent allies (including a deliciously British, upper-crust, toffee-nosed-and-useless army officer/film critic played by Michael Fassbender) all get shot in an underground barroom brawl, leaving only one maimed moviestar (the always gorgeous Diane Kruger) to help carry out their plans.

The point is obvious – If the Americans really want their finger in every pie and their ear at every door like Landa is, they’d better make sure the ears at the doors know what’s being said about them and their average citizens can at least converse in something other than their mother tongue.

Language is always a great way to show intercultural competency (and I use that term only because it seems to be a concept being feted in the academic administrative world at the moment.) In Literature class now, we’ve just finished reading Brien Friel’s Translations, a wonderful little play about the land survey of the 1830s that went around ‘standardizing’ Irish placenames by Anglicizing them. The play is written and performed under the understanding that, while all the characters are delivering their lines in English, some are really speaking in Gaelic. The two British officers sent in to conduct this survey (only one of the many translations of the title) take two opposing roles, one the man willing to learn the language of the place he is in, and the other the consummate imperialist ready to let translators do his job for him even if some of his meaning is lost in the process.

Several of the characters speak in Latin and Greek as well as Gaelic and English, and Friel’s message with these characters is the same as Tarantino’s – the more languages you know, the more perceptive you are to the world around you and the more open you are to change.
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Post by Admin on Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:55 pm

http://www.cult-labs.com/forums/blog.php?b=342

Pedromonkey's DVD Review Corner.....PART 2 OF 4 DEC 09

And now it's time for Part 2 of this weeks Dvd review corner, Today im gonna look at Quentin Tarantino's follow up to last years lackluster DEATHPROOF.....

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

The first time i heard the name Quentin Tarantino, i was 11 years old, that was when his second film appeared in theaters amid a hail of controversy due to it outbursts of graphic Violence, that film was Pulp Fiction. It was 1994, 1 year before i was due to go to high school, now i know like pretty much everyone else that Dogs came out in 1991, but i was only 8 and still obssessed with my G.I Joe figures. I remember this because my mother took me to town to do some christmas shopping and we walked into Virgin Megastores and right infront of me was vhs box with a picture of a group of men silouhetted agains the white case with blood splattered across the cover and the words Reservoir Dogs empblazend over the blood.

I looked at my mum and i asked her if i could have it and being only 11 years old i was told no. cut to three years later, im now 14 and the previous night, C4 were showing From Dusk Till Dawn, now i knew my parents had recorded it so i decied to fake being ill to get the day of school, so at 10am when the house was empty i went down stairs, found the tape popped it into the VCR and my entire world changed, i had never seen anything like it before, You could say that Dawn introduced me to the Horror genre. The closest i'd ever gotten to watching a horror film was when my dad decided it would be a good idea to show me Aliens at the age of 9. That was a bad idea, i had nightmares for days. Back to 1997 and i discover True romance, that film introduced me to crime cinema, the next year was Reservoir Dogs, Pulp fiction and Jackie Brown, three films that i believe made me into the movie mad maniac that i am to day, after Jackie Brown Tarantino made nothing for 7 years then in 2004, at the age of 21 i hear that Tarantino as announced that he would be making his first film since 1997, an epic martial arts bloodbath called KILL BILL, i had no idea who the shaw brothers were, what lady snow blood was and knew of David Carridine only as Cane from the T.V series Kung fu and knew Daryl Hannah as the mermaid that Tom Hanks fancied in Splash.

Now i will go on record as saying that Quentin Tarantino, unintentionally got me hooked on genre movies which inturn has led me to this site, the wonderful Cult-labs.com, and this brings me to the reason for todays blog because his 8th film, entitled INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, gets it's dvd release on monday 7th of december 2009, and what can i say about this long awaited film.....WOW!!!

Now this film has been in the making since Jackie Brown, it's taken him 13 years to finally bring his "masterpiece" to the screen and boy does he do it in style. The film starts with a Frence Farmer outside his house chopping wood, in the distance is a Nazi motorcade, the Germans pull up to the house and a German Officer steps out and introduces himself, The man is Lt, Hans Landa, played by german actor Christophe Waltz, a Performance that basically steals the movie, this actor is a revelation and i do beleive that because of this film he will definately gain more attention, anyway back to the film, what follows is a twenty minute conversation between Landa and the Farmer, 20 minutes of pure tension as he searchs for hidden Jews, yet he know the farmer is lying but wants to make him endure the pressure he's willing put upon this poor man, the scene ends with an eruption of gun fire and the escape of a young Jewish woman called Shoshanna, we cut to an open courtyard, a line of young jewish Americans are stood to attention as Brad Pitt enters, mustach and strong texan accent, he tells them that their mission is to drop into france as civilians and cause as much hurt and death to the Nazi's as possible, These men are the Basterds of the title.

Now i don't want to give the entire plot away so from here on i shall tell you of some really stand out scenes.

Firstly is a rendezvous in a french basement tavern that includes a game involving, a double agent, two of the basterds, a british spy and a suspicous SS officer, this scene starts of quite jolly, people drinking, laughing and having fun then BAM!! serious tense conversation, that ends in a hail of gun fire. A fantastic scene set in a restaurant between a Shoshanna, a german private called Fredrik Zolla and Goerbals, that ends with shoshanna sat alone with Hans Landa, the fear and tenstion on the young girls face is almost unbearable. This is a very difficult scene to watch becaise Landa is such and evil basterd. And the last scene is the finale set in the cinema. i won't say what happens but i will say that if this did happen in the second world war then Eli Roth's Character would be the most important person of the second world war.

Now onto the cast. The cast for this film is outstanding when western audiences have never really heard of many of the actors.

first off id Brad Pitt, ridiculed by movie geeks the internet over because of the teaser trailer, now Pitt is an exceptionally good actor, look at David Fincher's Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Pitt is Fantastic in the Role of Lt Aldo Raine, the leader of the basterds, a man with a thick Texan accent who is if truth be told a bit of an idiot, yet Pitt manages to pull of the seriousness and Deadpan comedy his role requires. He is very good. Next we have Christophe Waltz as Col. Hans Landa, a small man but very ruthless a bit like Ronald Lacey's Toht from Raiders of the Lost Ark, he brings a menacing evil to the role and as i stated earlier complete steals the movie, a role that won him the best actor award at this years Cannes Film Festival. Then we have the wonderfuly beautiful Diane Kruger as the double agent, German film star, Bridgette Von Hammersmark, She is very good in her role as a sort of demi femme fatale. Adding a bit of genre to the film is Hostel director Eli Roth in a role many people thought was a case of he's me mate and im sticking him in me movie, sort of agreement, but Roth is acctually pretty good as the Informous "Bear Jew" Donny Donowitz, the Basterd who like to club Nazi's to death with a baseball bat. Then there's rising British actor Michael Fassbender as Lt. Archie Hicox, the british agent sent in to the join the basters. He's very intelligent and speaks Germanic and lastly we have Shoshanna herself played by beautiful french actress Melanie Laurent, i am not familier with her work but after watching her in this i am intrigued to search out her previous movies, She brings an innocence to a role that would have been sorely missed if a big name hollywood actress had played the part.
There are also other actors in the film that are recognisable from Mike Myers, Rod Taylor, B.J Novak, Samm Levine, Julie Dreyfuss and a certain mr Samuel L Jackson as the narrator.

Okay we've covered a little history of Tarantino and the standout moments and cast now onto the writing and the direction....

Firstly the script, I like many people managed to read the script online before seeing the film and i managed to read the entire 162 page script in let than 2 1/2 hours, and at the time it was the best screenplay i'd ever read, the way QT writes is just so fluid and his dialog is very very well written, the only problem i had was that the narrative was a little over place, a problem that was corrected when he eventually started filming. There are alot of dialog heavy scenes that are expertly written that while you watch the film you'd think it was the actors speaking without a script. The direction is crisp, the cinematography is outstanding and you can definately see how far Tarantino has come since the days of Reservoir Dogs, is he a master of cinema? Not yet but he's almost there, is this his masterpiece? yes, it's his Goodfellas, his Schindler's list, His Godfather part 2, and to the people who say " i didn't know it was a remake", it's not, the only thing these films share is a title and a men on a mission plotline, the rest is pure Tarantino. I will leave you with a warning though, this film is 85% in different languages, so you will need to read subtitles, this was not an issue for me but that should not stop you from watching this film, infact please see this movie......

Pedromonkey's score...

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS - 6/5
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Post by Admin on Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:58 pm

http://www.puremovies.co.uk/reviews/dvdbluray/inglourious-basterds/

Inglourious Basterds

2009 | Drama | Universal

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Staring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Brühl, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender

PM rating: ★★★★☆

Written by Ben Hobson, 4th December 2009

Inglourious BasterdsLet’s not beat about the bush: Inglourious Basterds is superb. There has been so much talk and controversy surrounding the film before its European release – capped by a contentious appearance at this year’s Cannes – that I feel it’s important to state right away just how much I enjoyed Quentin Tarantino’s latest offering. Make no mistake, Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino’s best film since Pulp Fiction by a long way.

The film has a certain swagger to it right from the off. “Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France…” is the movie’s tagline, and after some stunning establishing shots of a remote and bleak French farm, the camera focuses in on the farmhouse for a scene that is steeped in all the sweat and grit of a Sergio Leone spaghetti Western. It’s a straightforward homage to the great Italian director in many ways, but Tarantino – perhaps the ultimate film buff – does it with such vigour that the results are spectacular.

Much has been said about Brad Pitt’s performance – as with the film itself, critical reception seems to be divided – but this opening scene is dominated by two lesser known actors: Denis Menochet and the quite brilliant Christoph Waltz. Menochet is a French farmer hiding a Jewish family under the floorboards of his house while Waltz plays Hans “The Jew Hunter” Landa, an S.S. commander charged with rooting out the last remaining Jews in France. It is impossible to convey the sheer tension Tarantino builds up as Landa arrives, sits himself down in a chair right above the family’s hiding place, and calmly asks for a glass of milk from the trembling farmer. The outcome of Landa’s visit is, of course, inevitable, but Tarantino skilfully draws out the scene so that when the moment of brutality finally comes, it really hits home.

This, in itself, is somewhat of a departure from his more recent films. We are used to Tarantino movies being brutally violent, but while Kill Bill or Death Proof – to use two obvious examples – are unrelenting gore-fests, Inglourious Basterds is more sparing with its use of violence and is all the more effective because of it. The violent climax of the film, for example, is one of the most thrilling and disturbing moments in any Tarantino film; not because it is excessively gory – though this is no movie for the squeamish – but because the film builds up to the moment so impeccably.

In this respect Inglourious Basterds is more akin to Tarantino’s earlier work. Sure, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are violent, but what makes those films so great isn’t simply their brutality, it’s the dialogue of their characters. Similarly, it is the dialogue that sets Inglourious Basterds apart. There is a charming moment in the opening scene – which starts off entirely in French – when Landa apologises for his poor French and asks the farmer if they can continue their conversation in English, thus allowing the rest of the scene to continue without subtitles. It’s a wonderfully knowing nod to the Hollywood tendency to fill the world outside America with characters that speak impeccable English with a foreign accent (à la Harrison Ford in The Widowmaker), and Inglourious Basterds is littered with such moments of self-referential humour.

Brad Pitt is responsible for much of the less subtle comedy in the film. As the stiff-jawed Lieutenant Aldo Raine, he leads a crack-team of American Jews on a Nazi-scalping revenge mission in France, and it is this strand of the story that provides most of the slapstick laughs, as well as the more typical Tarantino gore (the scalping is particularly graphic). Pitt is neither as amazing as some sources have suggested, nor as terrible as others have claimed. Perhaps he hams it up a bit too much, and, while he certainly has his fair share of hilarious moments, he’s upstaged as soon as Michael Fassbender arrives on the scene. Fassbender isn’t known for his comic acting, but he is brilliant as the film-critic-cum-SAS-commando Archie Hicox. One of my few reservations about the film is that he doesn’t get the screen time he deserves.

There are other problems with Inglourious Basterds. Despite what the trailers suggest, there are actually two storylines that make up the movie (both of which are rather on the thin side) and the two are never really satisfactorily brought together. Pitt’s men-on-a-mission storyline is actually dominated by the separate revenge story of a French-Jewish cinema owner called Shoshana, who, when her cinema is chosen to host the French premier of a German war film, plans to burn it down with most of the leaders of the Third Reich trapped inside. This storyline is as implausible as it is historically inaccurate and is rather bogged down by an unceasing stream of movie references. Tarantino has always referenced other movies, but Inglourious Basterds takes it to new levels. German filmmakers Leni Riefenstahl and Georg Pabst are constantly referred to and Tarantino even borrows bits of soundtrack from classic war films such as The Battle of Algiers and The Alamo. A little less reflectivity and a bit more plot would have been welcome.

But, in a sense, Inglourious Basterds is about cinema as much as it is about anything else. Of course, during the Second World War many European directors – the Douglas Sirks and Jean Renoirs of this world – moved to America to escape the Nazis and made explicitly anti-Nazi movies, what are often referred to as the American propaganda movies. Inglourious Basterds can be considered Tarantino’s literal take on the idea that cinema could fight the Nazis, and ultimately it is Tarantino’s love for cinema makes the film so enjoyable. Inglourious Basterds has been crafted with such obvious care, attention to detail, and – most importantly – sense of humour, that, despite its flaws, it is almost impossible to dislike.
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Post by Admin on Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:11 am

http://www.indielondon.co.uk/DVD-Review/inglourious-basterds

Inglourious Basterds

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

QUENTIN Tarantino is never one to do things by half measures. Hence, if he’s going to change the course of history during his World War II epic Inglourious Basterds, he’s going to do it in the most outrageous way possible.

By presenting it as an adult fairytale, or a “once upon a time in Nazi occupied France” he gets away with it. What’s more, he’s created one of the most distinctive and unique war epics of all time.

Inglourious Basterds plays like a cross between men on a mission movies such as Where Eagles Dare and the Spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, albeit with a generous dose of that trademark Tarantino dialogue to spice up proceedings.

It’s split into five chapters, unfolds from several different perspectives and is choc full of memorable verbal exchanges and short, sharp bursts of ultra-violence. In short, it’s everything you could possibly wish for from a Tarantino war movie… and more.

Some may argue that it’s wordily self-indulgent and wildly OTT. But the writer-director wouldn’t have it any other way and his fans should lap up every single lovingly crafted frame.

The story divides its time between several characters, including Brad Pitt’s Lt Aldo Raine, the battle-scarred leader of the Basterds, who is on a mission behind enemy lines to claim as many Nazi scalps as possible, Melanie Laurent’s Shosanna Dreyfus, a Jewish cinema owner seeking revenge for the slaughter of her family, and Christoph Waltz’s scene-stealing Col Hans Landa, the Nazi Jew hunter everyone wants to kill.

Events come together at Shosanna’s cinema for an explosive finale that could ultimately bring down the Third Reich and change the course of the war.

Admittedly, Inglourious Basterds does occasionally struggle to justify its two and a half hour running time and is very wordy in places.

But it’s a movie of mesmerising moments that perfectly illustrate Tarantino’s unrivalled mastery of vocabulary.

The opening chapter, for instance, between Waltz’s Landa and Jew-harbouring suspect Denis Menochet is a masterclass in tension and one of the best scenes of this or any year.

While several other moments excel, including a game of charades between Michael Fassbender’s Archie Hicox and some curious German ‘comrades’, Pitt’s torture of several German soldiers, a delightful Mike Myers cameo and the overblown finale that mixes laugh out loud humour, high tension and ultra-violence to seemless effect.

Performances-wise, everybody rises to the challenges presented by Tarantino’s wordy script, with Pitt as cool as ever and revelling in another accent, Laurent a revelation as Shosanna, and everyone from Fassbender and Diane Kruger to Eli Roth registering in some way.

Pick of the players, though, is Christoph Waltz’s mesmerising Hans Landa, a complex, charismatic and deeply scheming Jew hunter whose performance deserves every accolade thrown at it. He is the compelling reason for seeing it, providing a multi-lingual tour-de-force that exhilarates whenever he is on-screen.

Tarantino bashers may insist that the writer-director needs to get his ego in check and hasn’t made a good film since Pulp Fiction or Jackie Brown. Inglourious Basterds may do little to adjust their opinion.

But if you like cinema that dares to be different, that’s knowingly reverential and fiercely unique, and which boasts a cavalier spirit that’s second to none, Inglourious Basterds is hard to beat.

Certificate: 18
Running time: 2hrs 25mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: December 7, 2009
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Post by Admin on Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:57 pm

http://pellnell.livejournal.com/224533.html

06 December 2009 @ 11:19 pm
I read the signs, I got all my stars aligned.
Nerd alert, as normal.

I'm studying for my Modern Art final tomorrow, and I just, like, really saw Van Gogh's "Le Café de nuit" for the first time.

One of the things that I love about my film class this term is that it challenges me to view films as inherently inspired by paintings and other great works of art. It's impossible for me to think of Fur without thinking about Meret Oppenheimer's "Luncheon in Fur," for the sensual expression of life through fur imposed on the mundane, or to think about Antichrist without thinking about Edvard Munch's "Ashes," for the notions of women being intrinsically connected to the natural world in a powerful, sexual way. I am not going to be able to watch Inglourious Basterds without thinking of Van Gogh, I think. The way he expresses the little restaurant feels so similar to the manner in which Tarantino portrays La Louisiane. The colors are incredibly different, but the tone feels incredibly similar.

My textbook, like Wikipedia, quotes Van Gogh on the piece:

In my picture of the Night Café I have tried to express the idea that the café is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime. So I have tried to express, as it were, the powers of darkness in a low public house, by soft Louis XV green and malachite, contrasting with yellow-green and harsh blue-greens, and all this in an atmosphere like a devil's furnace, of pale sulphur. And all with an appearance of Japanese gaiety, and the good nature of Tartarin.

It's like, looking at this picture, I'm suddenly able to see the bar for what it is: this den where, under the guise of drunken happiness, the potential for violence and death is always tangible. I know a lot of people find the scene to be jarring, but to think about Van Gogh's depiction of a place where souls essentially go to die, I feel like that interaction between the Germans and the Allies is so much more meaningful. Tarantino has always played with the notion that harshness can be best expressed in unlikely places, like cheerful, neighborhood haunts and the bathrooms of gimmicky chain restaurants, but the one in Inglourious Basterds just feels like the full expression of that, where every word spoken and every sip of schnapps is a damning moment, like threads that weave into one another before the inevitable actualization of tension and violence. I think Aldo and Hicox get that (Donny, to an extent, but his actual relation to the reality is minimized by his posture when he calls it "the death trap rendezvous" because he's got his feet propped up and his hands behind his head like the lazy security guard in every heist film) and are in complete understanding of what the bar represents, and that's so incredibly chilling to me now. Because La Lousiane and Café de la Gare are the physical embodiment of that surreal dance between life and death. They function as a sort of purgatory, the waiting stop before one is cast into perdition.

I've only ever really seen one other artwork that moved me in such a profound way that I started crying because I felt like, f&#!, I just get it. It's so amazing to me to see the tangible transformative power of art, of that moment of really seeing pieces for the first time even if you've physically seen them before and written about them in notebooks, or to feel like you get this mystifying bit of a film finally.

Never tell me that Tarantino is not a purposeful director because, even if he's not even aware of this painting's existence, the role of the La Lousiane scene is about so much more than dazzling us with his fanboy intelligence or the sharpness of his dialogue. Michael Fassbender is going to turn me into a big wreck every time I see him now. If that man does not get the power of the scene to cut right into a person, I resign.
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Post by Admin on Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:36 am

http://entertainment.ie/DVD_review/Inglourious_Basterds/6736.htm

Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds rated 4

Watch TrailerView this trailer
Director: Quentin Tarantino.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurant, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender.
Details: US/Germany/France / 153 mins (16).

"This might be my masterpiece," is the last line of Tarantino’s new movie, which could be the director’s contentment with his farcical WWII actioner, a movie he’s been planning for ten years. It may not be a masterpiece, or even his masterpiece, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun - Tarantino is back making movies for the audience and not just his mates.

Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine heads up a small team of eight soldiers whose sole mission is to take one hundred Nazi scalps in occupied France. That we know - the posters and trailer have sold us a nutty WWII action-packed revenge movie - but that’s not what Inglourious Basterds is all about. In a jaw-dropping opening sequence (that shows Tarantino still has an air for great dialogue that doesn’t have to be pop culture waffle), Jewish Shosanna (Laurant), who has been hiding from the Germans, escapes clever ‘Jew hunter’ Col. Hans Landa (Waltz, in a show-stealing performance). Shosanna makes for Paris where she inherits her aunt’s cinema, which catches the eye of German war hero and movie fan Zoller (Daniel Bruhl). Zoller brings her cinema to the attention of Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth), who decides that it would be the perfect place to premiere Nation’s Pride, a movie depicting Zoller’s war efforts (and starring Zoller as himself). The premiere will be attended by the Nazi top brass, including Hitler (Martin Wuttke), who has learned of Raine and co.’s exploits, and Raine’s boys have heard he’s coming...

Taking its name and not much else from Enzo G. Castelleri’s obscure 1978 Inglorious Bastards, Tarantino whips up a loony western with touches of The Dirty Dozen and as many movie references he could poke a bayonet at. With all this going on, Inglourious Basterds can be accused of being unfocussed, of forgetting its main narrative thrust. That’s true, but it’s so zany and odd and bizarre, the best way to enjoy it is let it wash over you. Those expecting guns and shootouts and whatnot will be disappointed, as it’s not as violent as we’re led to believe, but that’s okay too because the movie works better in its quieter moments. These moments usually star Christoph Waltz but there’s one stonker of scene where he’s absent - just wait for the tavern scene - where Michael Fassbender’s tally-ho English officer poses as a German officer.

Pitt might be the marquee name but he’s part of an ensemble cast. If Fassbender was given more screen time he might have outshone Waltz, but the Austrian actor makes the film his own.
Switching effortlessly from German to English to French (only a third of the movie is in English, by the way) and back again, he plays with Waltz in an almost camp fashion; he has fun with Landa, and the audience is caught between smiling and running scared. Diane Kruger, playing famous German movie star, weighs in with a steady performance and Mike Meyers is unrecognisable as an English toff.
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Post by Admin on Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:18 am

http://autoblog107.blogspot.com/2009/12/inglourious-basterds-2-disc-special.html

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Inglourious Basterds (2-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
Genre : DVD ( Blu-ray )
Release : 2009/12/15
Price : $18.99

Product Description
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

Brilliant
If you are going to 'break the rules' you have to do it well. Inglorious Basterds does it perfectly. Well done Quentin, well done.

Fantastic filmmaking and performances...one of Tarantino's finest.
A group of Jewish American soldiers in WWII has had enough, and is going deep behind enemy lines. Lt. Aldo Raine wants 100 Nazi scalps from each man in his unit, and he means that literally. But the Basterds will have to go against Colonel Hanz Landa of the SS, an insidious wrung-climber who will stop at nothing to get whatever it is that he wants. Who will win?

The winner, of course, is Tarantino, who has reinvented history with INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, a truly glorious film that defies categorization. It doesn't even, at times, feel like a Tarantino film; that opening scene between Landa and the dairy farmer is so full of tension, you'll have soaked your clothes in sweat within the first ten minutes. And the whole film is somewhat sluggishly paced, which actually serves Tarantino's plot well; while we never really get close to the Basterds (for good reason; these aren't your lovable flag-waving soldiers, these guys are almost as sadistic as the Nazis they're pursuing), we spend plenty of time with Landa, as well as Shossana Dryfus, who escapes Landa as a child, only to re-encounter him years later. The point is, we get close to some of these people--we learn to chear for Shossana, and learn to loathe Landa with every inch of our being.

You'll watch this movie for one of three reasons, I'm sure:
1) You're a Tarantino fan, and so will watch whatever he puts out, even if it's a documentary of his bowel movements. I won't judge; I probably would too.
2) You like war movies. Well, you may not get what you want here--this is revisionist cinema at its finest, and this ain't your granddaddy's war movie. It's loud and gory and with so much moral ambiguity, you'll actually consider rooting for the bad guys.
3) You've heard about the fine performances. Eli Roth is slightly miscast, though he has so much fun in his role, it's forgivable. Michael Fassbender is so smooth and cool, you'll wish there was more of him. Michael Meyers is Michael Meyers (really, Quentin? Not your worst casting choice ever, but it's up there.) Brad Pitt is hamming it up hardcore and loving every single second of it. Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger as the femme fatales are a blast to watch. But the real gold here, as I'm sure you've heard, is Cristoph Waltz, who brings the movie villain to a whole new role. Every single actor who plays a Nazi from here on out will study Waltz's flawless performance, and wish they were half as good. Hanz Landa is the definition of "smooth criminal"--a dastardly, multi-lingual genius who has a knack for sniffing out Jews (hence his name, The Jew Hunter), though we're never really sure what his motives are. Waltz--fluent in German, French, and English, and with a decent grasp of Italian pronunciation--plays his role to the hilt through four languages, and steals every single scene he's in. If you don't want to watch this movie for any other reason, watch it for him.

INGLORIOUS BASTERDS is easily one of Tarantino's best; for me, it ranks only behind RESEVOIR DOGS (though if somebody wants to argue for PULP FICTION, I'll understand). This film is relentless, and is sure to piss off some people with its rather unflattering portrayal of the American WWII soldier, not to mention the guts Tarantino displays near the end. Throughout, it is one violent, bloody ride, with laughter and terror and everything between. It is a beautiful film, it is a brutal film, and it should not be missed.

Tarantino's New Classic
Brad Pitt (FIGHT CLUB; OCEAN'S ELEVEN), Eli Roth (CABIN FEVER; HOSTEL), Christoph Waltz (the upcoming GREEN HORNET starring Seth Rogen), Melanie Laurent, Til Schweiger, Michael Fassbender, Jacky Ido, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Omar Doom, B.J. Novak, Sylvester Groth, Mike Myers (SHREK; AUSTIN POWERS), Paul Rust (I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER) and Martin Wuttke star in my favorite Tarantino movie to date. I have a lot to say about this movie but I will say my favorite moments. I love it when Eli Roth (who plays the Bear Jew) keeps having to introduce himself to the Nazi (played by Christoph Waltz) because of him saying Margirini in such a strange Italian accent voice and there are a lot of other ones too but I will most likely talk more about them in a YouTube movie review I plan to make. I am going to buy this when it comes out and nothing will stop me! Infinity of infinity star rating.

Great film
I've seen this movie twice and just ordered the DVD, so obviously I enjoyed it. It is a very entertaining film and Tarantino fans should be quite pleased. It was, however, not quite up to Kill Bill standards in my book. I've tried to put my finger on why and haven't yet been able to figure it out. They both had great actors, great dialogue, great cinematography and they were even both revenge flicks, but Basterds just misses the mark slightly for some reason. If Amazon allowed it, I would have given it 4 1/2 stars because of that vague feeling of something not being quite right. But heck, how many movies these days are even 4 1/2 stars? See it; it's definitely worth the time.

Truly Great Stuff!
QT is the sort of film maker who can in fact, sneak up on you.

I didn't want to like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Death Proof, etc...but dammit...I did.

If there is one thing about this film to contrast it to QT's previous works, it's the subtly he employed. That's right...you read the word "subtle" in context to a QT film. Let's face it, the man is not shy about gore...and this one could have been SO over the top...World War two? Nazis? The theme absolutely vibrated with the whole "splash another bucket" wantonness.

But instead Tarentino produced a movie that I was half in love with.

Improbable as the story line was, (and let's face it...to say liberties were taken with history is a bland understatement.) it WORKED.

It reminded me of the films of the thirties and forties because there is no doubt that some of the scenes were LOVINGLY shot...giving the whole film a patina that is as unforgettable as some of the classic lines we will be repeating into our golden years.

Bravo to Tarentino...for managing to surprise us yet again...this one is a keeper!
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Post by MissL on Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:00 pm

Michael Fassbender is so smooth and cool, you'll wish there was more of him.

I just got the DVD i do he was in the movie more but i do likr the movie

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Post by Admin on Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:19 pm

Very cool that you got it.

And a lot of people feel the same way...Michael was so good in it, they wish he was in it more.
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Post by MissL on Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:26 pm

yes i know

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Post by Admin on Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:54 pm

http://www.jsonline.com/entertainment/movies/78983162.html

New DVDs due for release

Posted: Dec. 10, 2009 4:00 p.m.
DUE OUT TUESDAY

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (Universal) Vividly scripted and often gripping World War II fantasy revenge flick in which a Pattonesque drawling country boy, played by Brad Pitt, leads a Dirty Dozen group of Jewish American GIs on a mission to ruthlessly murder Nazis. In a parallel story, Melanie Laurent is the young Jewish owner of a Parisian cinema forced to show a German propaganda film. And Michael Fassbender is a foppish British officer dropped behind German lines to disrupt the screening. Writer-director Quentin Tarantino divides the story into chapters, some of which are more satisfying than others. But what it lacks as a satisfying whole, it makes up for in the sum total of its assertive parts. (R; graphic violence, language, mild sex). ***

(HA! Only mention of Brad, Melanie and Michael! I love it!)
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Post by Admin on Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:46 pm

http://thefourohfive.com/reviews/1407

DVD: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
December 11, 2009, 3 comments
Written by Krystal Sim

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Release Date: 7 December

Any movie that begins with the words “Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France” earns my instant respect. It speaks volumes for writer/director Quentin Tarantino. He’s a man unafraid to laugh at even the most horrifying of circumstances. Think of the hilarious, yet graphic eye squidging in Kill Bill Vol II; Jules on brain detail in Pulp Fiction. Tarantino knows his audience and he knows what they want.

He’s also a director who continually subverts our expectations, offering us mashups of movies with smatterings of influences and frames of reference snatched from his obviously varied interests. Inglourious Basterds is somewhere between war flick and spaghetti western, with some leaps of artistic faith thrown into the mix.

This is no historical epic. Tarantino uses World War II merely as a cultural framework, then brazenly makes his own alternative timeline. True to form he offers us disparate yet interlocking stories, replete with fleshed out characters. No matter how long these people appear on screen - and some are not there for long - you care about them.

The film opens in 1941. Colonel Hans Landa, affectionately nicknamed “The Jew Hunter,” is interviewing a French farmer, on the trail of a missing Jewish family. His cold speech about the similarities between the Jew and the rat is a breathtaking introduction. He’s an instantly repugnant and compelling character.

Landa discovers and wipes out this family save one: Shoshanna (Mélanie Laurent). She escapes and next time we see her, the movie skipping merrily to 1944, she is living under an assumed name and running her own cinema in Paris.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Aldo “the Apache” Raine, played by Brad Pitt, has assembled a squad of Jewish soldiers with the sole intent of killing as many Nazis as they can lay their hands on. The Basterds take no prisoners with each of their attacks, but leave one man alive, but with a Swastika carved into his forehead by Aldo himself, to tell the tale and spread fear throughout the Third Reich.

They learn that the Fuhrer himself is to attend a film premiere in Paris (guess which cinema) and hatch a scheme to blow the entire German High Command sky high. At the same time, Shoshanna begins her own plans for revenge under the Germans’ very noses.

Now if Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull taught me anything, besides that George Lucas can now officially kiss my grits, it’s that I’ve missed the Nazis. As cinematic foes go, they are bloody marvellous. Tarantino makes excellent use of their very real evils to great effect, albeit in a stylised and exaggerated way.

Inglourious Basterds is another great example of Tarantino as a master of subversion and of bringing together separate but equally gripping vignettes into one overarching narrative. Not as action-packed as you might expect, the movie’s power is in its dialogue; scenes which use the conversation to rack up the tension.

Much like the aforementioned titlecard, any movie where Eli Roth plays a character called the “Bear Jew” is most definitely worth a look. Let’s just all take a moment to appreciate that nickname.

Brad Pitt, with his southern drawl and poor grasp of Italian pronunciation, is hilarious throughout the movie Michael Fassbender also makes a worthy appearance as British officer Archie Hicox.

However, special “creepy bastard” mention has to go to Christoph Waltz as Landa. Waltz took home the Best Actor award at Cannes this year and believe me it was well-earned. Every scene that he inhabits is a tense, buttock-clenching affair. Every move he makes is considered, every gesture is a threat veiled under a smile. This man will make you nervous just by asking for a glass of milk.

The story, while a complete flight of fancy from history, is engaging, and style is at once evocative of the spaghetti western style while being very much its own creature. One beautiful shot early on in the film instantly reminded me of a shot of John Wayne at the very end of the Searchers, but it was more of a respectful nod than a steal. He’s paid geeky attention to the soundtrack too, throwing in Morricone and even in a bit of Bowie for good measure.

One thing I feel I must say though: Quentin – enough already about feet. Every movie he makes, particularly the ones starring Uma Thurman, there’s a thing about a woman’s feet in there somewhere. Bridget Fonda in Jackie Brown, Selma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn, “wiggle your big toe”, the list goes on. I’ve started looking for it now. (This time it’s Diane Kruger’s turn as the glamorous German actress and double-agent Bridget von Hammersmark.) The man’s obviously got feet issues. But I digress.

Inglourious Basterds is wonderfully cast and scripted, plays with history in the best possible way and takes the tried and tested genres of the western and the war epic, making something new of both.

Expect a light amount of DVD extras: the usual deleted scenes, featurettes and trailers mix. There are more extras to be savoured on the Blu Ray edition: interviews, a 30 minute roundtable with Tarantino, Pitt and film critic Elvis Mitchell and a nifty collection of prints for those who spash out on the limited edition.

Rating: 8/10
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Post by Admin on Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:21 am

http://ruthnicola.blogspot.com/2009/10/movie-reviews-inglourious-basterds-and.html

Movie Reviews - Inglourious Basterds and Mesrine
I went to see Inglourious Basterds the other week. I really really liked it. I'd heard mixed reviews beforehand but went with an open mind. I thought it was an excellent piece of film-making with Tarantino's direction assured and masterful. The cast was excellent with Michael Fassbender as a particular standout with his British army captain looking and sounding uncannily like a young Laurence Olivier, top notch. Also Brad Pitt was on excellent form with his brilliantly witty and OTT American soldier. It had brilliant moments of dark comedy and was super stylish with deft little touches from QT such as the little chapter headings and the good old fashioned noir voiceover. It was a film about film with QT fashioning a love letter to the power of cinema and making a genre movie with a twist.
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Post by Admin on Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:22 pm

http://damrb.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/devils-dvd-advocacy-inglourious-basterds/

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Inglourious Basterds
Written by Mike Pampinella

Right away, I’ll put this out there, into the ether…this was a brilliant film. I absolutely dug it in a big way. Tarantino is in top form, with what has been billed a war film, but we all know better. It’s another revenge film. Revenge wrought upon the Nazis by the people they have tormented. It is revenge and it is justified. Just like Kill Bill or even Pulp Fiction (Bruce Willis’ thread in the film was very revenge driven). The story is grand in scale and the acting matches it to a tee. Brad Pitt is, for lack of a better word, fun in his role (I’ll touch on this more in the latter part of my review) and director/actor Eli Roth brings the much needed intensity a film of this caliber requires. Another actor worth mentioning is Michael Fassbender, whose appearance is brief (in Tarantino terms, a solid half hour of screen-time is brief), but commands the viewers attention the entire time he is present. And Christoph Waltz must, and I mean must, receive a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role. He was utterly brilliant as the Nazi detective, Col. Hans Landa and talk about demanding (he spoke four different languages throughout the course of the film).

Inglourious Basterds is a very dialogue heavy film, which I love. I am a sucker for well written, well delivered words. There were points, though, where it was almost too much. Many of the scenes went on far longer than necessary, because of conversations that frankly could’ve been condensed. Why would I restrict Tarantino in that manner?

One thing I wish that I could’ve seen much more of in this movie was the Basterds being bastards. We’re introduced to this rag tag group of Jewish-American soldiers the same time we’re introduced to the premise of the film. As Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raines says,

“We’re gonna be doing one thing and one thing only… killing Nazis.”

Unfortunately, the movie itself didn’t hear that speech, because we get very few Nazi killing scenes involving the Basterds. Instead we see a great deal of subterfuge and planning, but little action. The premise of the film is overshadowed by Tarantino’s desire to grant audiences the best possible verbal discourse. Again, not a bad thing, but it really depends on where the trailer for the film placed your expectations.

As for the acting, I meant what I said. It was superb. Parts were played to perfection. That said, even with no Sam Jackson in the film (he did a bit of narration, however), there was still a lot of scenery being chewed. I mentioned that Brad Pitt was “fun” in his role, but that comes out of the “overacted” and “over indulged” part of the ballpark. This of course could have been entirely intentional, but Pitt did jump head first into Raines, with a zeal that could be viewed as either wonderful method acting or extremely histrionic. I like to believe it’s method acting, but an argument can easily be made for the latter.

Is Inglourious Basterds an important film about WWII or the Holocaust? Far from it. It will, however, speak to audiences. It will speak, and speak, and speak some more. That is Tarantino’s bread and butter, though. When people ponder on his films it typically invokes thoughts of the conversations that took place, rather than the action. And if action and violence are what you seek, this may not be your best choice. Again, I’m a dialogue guy, but even I wanted to see those soldiers collecting their hundreds of Nazi scalps.
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Post by Admin on Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:32 am

http://armchairc.blogspot.com/2009/12/inglourious-basterds-second-thoughts.html

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Second Thoughts: Inglourious Basterds
Warning -- contains spoilers

The first time I tried out one of these companion pieces to an old review, for Adventureland, I re-evaluated my positive but simplistic reading of the film, finding justification for the four stars I originally gave it and delving deep enough into the source material without the specter of my paper’s word limit to hamper me. In the case of Inglourious Basterds, I already gave it five stars, giving it nowhere to go but down, but I’ll be damned if I knock it one bit. I also agree with everything I said about it, which makes this a relatively useless post. Yet watching it for the third time, now able to pause and jot down notes as opposed to scribbling shorthand in the dark, I find even more to celebrate.

As I noted in my reviews of the Kill Bill movies (Basterds’ logical antecedent, aesthetically and morally), Tarantino displayed a surprising maturity coming off of the bloodbath that was Vol. 1, steering his revenge fantasy into not exactly a sobering meditation on the idea of vengeance but certainly a deeper looks at the subject under all that fun. It is of course easy to simplify Tarantino’s work into that of a trash-loving, sub-Godardian man-child, a notion that can largely be traced to Tarantino himself and the public image he’s crafted. Yet a careful review of his corpus reveals him to be one of the most notable moralists in modern cinema, albeit one who stresses the visceral enjoyment of his films over strict messaging (God bless you, Quentin). Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown all concern characters who, like those in Scorsese’s crime pictures such as Mean Streets or GoodFellas, are trapped in lives of crime, unable or unwilling to break free into normalcy. Kill Bill, especially in light of its upcoming sequels, details a cycle of violence and revenge doomed to repeat forever.

Tarantino examines a similar idea with Basterds, only where Kill Bill demonstrated the cyclical nature of revenge Basterds shows the utterly destructive impact of revenge. Admittedly, the idea of a Jewish revenge fantasy against the Nazis has a certain appeal to it, and Tarantino’s style is so frenetic and informed by pop culture ensures that Basterds will be a fun ride. But, over the course of 2-1/2 hours of brilliant dialogue and frenzied mimesis, the film presents the darker side of vengeance.

Because, first and foremost, Inglourious Basterds is a Western, one that reshapes the whole of America into the Old West and presents Europe as the civilized East. Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is a Tennessean hillbilly, sporting what appears to be a lynching scar. These traits, however, do not stray too terribly far from Western tropes: numerous Western protagonists are ex-Confederates like this violent good ol’ boy, and a lynching scar could just as easily be a failed hanging out in the desert. Raine’s assertion that he “has a little Injun in [him]” only further ties him to the idea of the West – he reminds me in some small way of Ethan Edwards from The Searchers, a film that is openly referenced at the beginning as the camera watches Shosanna flee the farm through a door frame. Westerns, of course, revolve chiefly around the idea of personal morality in a world where the “law” is the biggest criminal of all. If Europe represents the more developed East, then those in the West understandably do not trust the powers that be. With Europe under the control of a “Jew-hatin', mass murderin' maniac,” men like Raine feel the need to enact their own brand of justice to find sense in the world.

Yet Tarantino presents Raine, more than any of the other characters, as a rigid, inane fool, unable to process anything other than the desire to kill. Perhaps his heart is in the right place – he assembles a team of Jewish soldiers to seek vengeance for the Nazis’ anti-Semitism, and for all we know he received his neck scar while attempting to help African-Americans in some capacity – but his approach is brutal. Interestingly, Tarantino cuts from Raine’s speech about the “cruelty” they will inflict upon the Germans not to a vision of that cruelty but first to Hitler himself, every bit as narrow-minded and over-the-top as the lieutenant. By cutting to Hitler before showing the actions of the Basterds, Tarantino stresses the link between the atrocities of the two, Hitler’s own outrage at the horrors inflicted upon him as hypocritical as Aldo’s. To bring back the Searchers connection, Aldo’s punishment of carving swastikas into the foreheads of the Nazis he allows to live recalls Ethan’s tendency to shoot out the eyes of every dead Comanche. Ethan knew enough about the race he hated that he mutilated bodies according to their customs, while Aldo’s “branding” has a horrific real-life corollary to Nazis etching Stars of David into rabbis before executing them. Other connections between the “good” Basterds and the “bad” Nazis exist, such as the nicknaming of supporting characters, Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz and SS Colonel Hans “Jew Hunter” Landa. Both express a fondness for their titles, as both have earned them. And just as Landa treats Jew hunting as a form of sport (to the point that he lets Shosanna go free simply to give him something to do later), so too do the Basterds regard Donny’s vicious method of killing, clubbing Nazis with a wooden baseball bat, as “the closest we ever get to going to the movies.”

Some critics, including Jonathan Rosenbaum and Daniel Mendelsohn, charged the movie with turning Jews into Nazis, which is precisely the point. Yes, Inglourious Basterds is a celebratory affair, what with its mass appropriation of Morricone scores, perverted New Wave ideals and a sudden break in the narrative so Samuel L. Jackson can provide a back-story straight out of an exploitation movie for a character named for an exploitation actor. His camera movements also have a wit to them, as when his camera moves back and forth between Aldo, Wicki and the co-operative German soldier as Aldo arrogantly barks demands, which Wicki calmly translates before the soldier immediately obeys every command in terror. But as for the story itself, one should note that most of the characters engaged in various schemes for vengeance die; some, like Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent), before even knowing the satisfaction of her vengeance.

Orphaned by Landa, Shosanna hides out in Paris for three years until opportunity knocks: Pvt. Zoller, a lovestruck German hero (Daniel Brühl) convinces Goebbels to hold the premiere of his latest propaganda film at Shosanna’s theater. She concocts a plan to lock the doors and burn the place to the ground and for the rest of the film is blinded by her desire for revenge. Her hatred is understandable, but it corrupts her. Just as The Bride had moments of cold realization and regret after killing both O-Ren and Bill, Shosanna sobers when she looks upon Zoller’s (seemingly) dead body, juxtaposed against a shot on the theater screen of his cherubic face, still lined with baby fat, and she understands in that moment that Zoller’s life, while not as terrible as her own, was also forcibly shaped by the Nazis1. And when she turns him over only to find him alive, he takes his revenge upon her just as she took out her Nazi hatred on him.

In my original review, I compared the climactic slaughter in the theater to Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom. It is not a perfect analogy: Powell’s film was a disturbing thriller that detailed the audience’s role as voyeur at the Cineplex, positioning its tortured protagonist as the representative of both the director and audience, deriving a certain psychosexual pleasure from his kills even as the film’s true audience blanched and protested. Similarly, Tarantino uses the German propaganda film and its audience to contrast with the reaction of the Inglourious Basterds audience which, if my two theatrical viewings were any indication, wild enthusiasm. Without forcing the point or lessening the visceral impact of the moment, Tarantino paints us as no different from the Nazis cheering the mounting pile of dead Americans on-screen, something Americans are accustomed to when the dead in question are German or, depending on what costumes are being worn, British. Of the four “good” guys who enter, only one escapes alive, the rest killed either by a momentary lapse of planning or through an off-putting display of terrorism. One could potentially assign a relevancy to Kill Bill, its cycle of violence mirroring America’s retaliatory strikes and the future generation of terrorists they bred, but Basterds’ connection to the present is unmistakable: here it shows the Americans, somewhat justified in their hatred of an identifiable evil, losing themselves in their own atrocity to stop that force.

The readings don’t stop there, however. Moving beyond Tarantino’s exploration of revenge, one can view Inglourious Basterds as a film about language. In a roundtable discussion with Tarantino, Pitt and Elvis Mitchell included on the DVD and Blu-Ray, the director explained that the idea of all the actors speaking English “with an accent” repulsed him. His conversations have always created tension from their loquacity, framing heavy chunks of dialogue around brief, darkly funny but brutal spurts of violence. Removing the language barriers would cast aside the potential for great suspense. In the opening scene, Landa has the farmer switch to English because, as we discover 10 minutes later, it allowed them to converse without alerting the Jews hiding under M. LaPadite’s floorboards.

In an even longer sequence, the masterfully drawn-out half hour in the cellar of a tavern, Tarantino reaches the apotheosis of the lingual explorations of his career. In the same roundtable discussion, Tarantino noted that, while someone could obviously speak multiple languages, the idea that simple fluency would allow unlimited access for a spy is just as basic and false as the rewriting of all parts into English. The tavern scene is an exercise in restraint (you heard me), the likes of which is rarely seen in modern American cinema: it relies entirely on the suspense of a situation meant to be simple and painless that goes wrong from the start. The two German Bastards, Wicki and Stiglitz, accompany the British spy Lt. Hicox (Michael Fassbender), a hilariously stiff-upper-lipped chap channeling his inner Sean Connery, to the tavern to meet German film star/Allied spy Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Krüger). It was supposed to be a simple meet-and-greet followed by a return to the rest of the Basterds, but a German NCO became a father and thus took the gang out to celebrate. Half of the sequence plays out as a joke, with the group of Germans playing their silly guess-who? game and the spies lingering so as not to draw suspicion by leaving just as they arrived. Then, the Brit begins to give himself away; his German never falters, but his accent is funny, and a Gestapo major steps in and drags out the scene further until, at last, Hicox reveals himself by holding up three fingers to order shots in the English, not the German (or French, if I recall my classes correctly) manner.

Of course, this sequence serves to thin the Basterds of their German-speaking crew, allowing for a deliriously funny bit that plays on the American indifference to other languages. Bridget, wounded but capable of making the premiere, fatalistically asks if any of the surviving Basterds can speak a language, any language, but English, three of them – Raine, Donowitz, and Pvt. Omar Ulmer – volunteer to speak Italian; Ulmer can’t even speak the language, but that still makes him “third best” at it. Brad Pitt only has one note to play in this warped opera, but damned if he doesn’t bring the house down with his delivery of “Bongiorno.” That moment is pure comedy, but it’s even funnier because it proves Tarantino’s point that using American and English actors for foreign roles is absurd. It also establishes that Raine, comparative to the rest of the major cast, is incapable of change: the man we meet two hours ago is the exact same man we see in this vanilla-colored tux (of course he would dress himself in pure, noble white), and he will be the same man at the very end.

That’s what makes Landa such a perfect foil for the American. Compared to the rigid, two-dimensional Aldo, Landa is a chameleon, able to adapt to any situation to exploit it to his benefit. Fluent in German, English, French and Italian (God knows if he’s got any other dialects bouncing around in his head), Landa was not born to exterminate Jews, and he seems to have no real anti-Semitic hatred of them. He takes to the title of “the Jew Hunter” because his own ability to read situations gives him an insight into a group of people doing everything at their disposal to gain what they want, namely survival. He discerns the Basterds’ plot but decides to “help,” simply because he understands that the success of D-Day will eventually break Nazi rule and he wants to get out while the gettin’s good (not to mention the sizable profit he extracts from the U.S. government). Landa is possibly Tarantino’s finest creation, and inarguably one of the best screen villains ever written, played to perfect by Christoph Waltz, who finds just the right note of peevish arrogance under Landa’s collected, erudite exterior. Like so many brilliant villains, Landa can foresee every contingency save the most simple and glaring: he’s such a masterful schemer and reader of men that he meets his match in Raine, a man too stupid and implacable to be read.

If it seems I am reading too much into the film, that I’m projecting what I perceive as depth onto a filmmaker primarily known for an open foot fetish and discussions about Madonna and Big Macs, perhaps that’s true. But I cannot help but feel that just about everyone, detractors and supporters alike, sell him short. His film quotation may lack the intellectual reasoning of Godard’s, even Jarmusch’s, but his enthusiasm is just as bountiful as theirs. Furthermore, where the characters who inhabit Godard and Jarmusch’s worlds typically exist to explore philosophical conceits, the people who roam Tarantino’s odd creations are fully realized and tangible, no matter how absurd. I believe a clear distinction should be made between Quentin Tarantino, the artist who has bridged the gap between art film and populist entertainment better than anyone outside the New Hollywood group, and “QT,” over-simplifying self-promoter extraordinaire, the man who discusses his films in terms of the movies he’s referencing or playing up how sexy his leading ladies are (though he’s actually written some of the finer parts for women in modern American movies) Zoller’s life, while not as terrible as her own, was also forcibly shaped by the Nazis2. Tarantino’s films are all worlds that beckon the audience to come inside even as the characters are desperate to break out of it. For all of its fist-pumping, Nazi-killin’ glee, Inglourious Basterds is a decidedly bleak affair, one that uses its exuberant use of film history and quotation not simply to parade the director’s pop culture knowledge but as an integral part of its structure, then applies that elation into a sobering look at the effects of terrorism on both sides of the ideological line. Inglourious Basterds isn’t simply the best movie of the year; it is a reminder that great films can still be fun as hell.


1In Tarantino's script, the director adds a passage for this moment that reads thusly:

Her eyes go from the audience...
.up to the big screen...
.Which holds FREDRICK ZOLLER in a tight handsome CLOSE UP.
The Face on the silver screen, breaks the young girl's
heart...

2I think it's revealing that Tarantino, never at a loss for words, never records a DVD commentary for his own work (save a track for True Romance, which he didn't direct)
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Post by Admin on Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:11 am

http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/12/dvd-releases-december-15-december-22.html

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
DVD Releases: December 15 & December 22
I forgot to do this one last week, so I will include the releases from then as well. Some of the year’s best films are finding their way to DVD just in time for Christmas. In addition to the titles listed below, you may want to check out It Might Get Loud and The Headless Woman which supposedly hit DVD this week – I know I will since I missed both in theaters.

Inglourious Basterds ****
The year’s best film is Quentin Tarantino’s WWII farce/men on a mission/revisionist history/tribute to cinema past. This is a mind bogglingly entertaining film. Violent, witty, funny, disturbing and downright brilliant. The film is about the power of film, the importance of language, and like all of Tarantino’s films it is balls to the wall filmmaking. Christoph Waltz delivers by far the best performance of the year as the “Jew Hunter” Hans Landa, but the entire cast is brilliant. Brad Pitt shows up the flair for comedy as he did in the Coen’s Burn After Reading last year (this time Roger Ebert compared him to a Marx brother, and that is not far off), Melanie Laurent is great as the vengeful Shosanna, Diane Kruger wonderful as a German film star and double agent, and Michael Fassbender is marvelous as a British soldier. In total, this is THE must see film of the year. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/08/movie-review-inglorious-basterds.html
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:09 am

http://justanotherego.blogspot.com/2010/01/bon-jorno.html

Monday, 4 January 2010
Bon Jorno.
Yes, I know that is not how you spell the Italian, but bear with me.

We all love to love and hate Quentin Tarantino. Few major directors manage to maintain the profile and acclaim he has whilst pissing off so many people. Reading reviews of his films, I never really seem able to determine if the writer felt it was good or bad. There is a grudging respect for this enfant terrible of the Hollywood system even as many people decide they don’t like his films.

I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure what I feel about him either. On the one hand, I do believe I love Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill duo, but on the other hand, there are so many things about them that truly just s$#! me to tears. I think it is his incredible knowledge of film history and styles, and his unnerving penchant for referencing so much that has come before him. It is uber-conscious filmmaking, and that is something that is generally so distancing for an audience.

What sets Tarantino apart, however, from other directors who attempt this level of derivation is that his films are so damned fun. They’re generally very entertaining, well constructed, with great casts and stunning visuals. Inglourious Basterds (it is SO hard to type that title out without misspelling it - that is, without correcting the spelling to make it correct) fits neatly into his oeuvre, though I feel that his own neurotic referencing tendencies are subdued, to probably make this one of his most generally palatable films, even if it isn’t the best.

The Inglourious Basterds of the title are a ragtag mix of Jewish American soldiers fighting Nazis during the second world war, led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt.) The mission apparent in this film is to destroy a premiere screening of the new Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) propaganda film in Paris, where much of the glitterati of the Nazi party will be present, including our dear friend Adolf himself. The employ the help of Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), a German superstar actress working as a secret agent for the Nazis, though they don’t realise that the owner of the cinema Shosanna Dreyfuss (Melanie Laurent), a Jew who escaped the murder of her family earlier in the war and has now assumed a new identity, has hatched a similar plan, unknowingly helped by a German soldier, Pvt. Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl) who has developed quite an infatuation for her.

That is the dominant plot-line here, which interestingly doesn’t really feature any description of the standout performer Christoph Waltz, who plays SS agent Col. Hans Landa with an uncanny ability to sniff out and kill Jews and traitors - his performance is netting him every supporting actor award going at the moment.

Needless to say there is a hell of a lot more going on in this film (it does go for two and a half hours, after all, which says nothing for the fact that our darling Tarantino loves convoluted and interlocking multi-narrative stories), but that is the primary crux. Along the way there are graphic scalpings, beating deaths with baseball bats (courtesy of Eli Roth), incredible gunfights in very small spaces (involving the amazing Michael Fassbender playing a British soldier joining the Basterds undercover), and just general terrific fighting sequences - Tarantino has proven himself more than proficient with this element before, though it is much less stylised and much more dramatically effective than the almost comic scenes in this regard in, for example, his Kill Bill films.

But more than this, the storyline is cohesive and coherent, the performances are all solid (Pitt does well, though he never seems to really put his back into it - though, it looks like he’s not putting his back into it, and that suits the character, so maybe he put his back into it much more than one might initially suspect.) Bruehl and Fassbender and long term loves of mine, and they are terrific, and Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger and both exceptional in their very different roles. The film looks superb courtesy of Robert Richardson (who also shot the Kill Bills), and the production and costume designs are absolutely exquisite. The blood-work is very realisitic, and props to the film for pulling that off on such a mammoth scale.

Inglourious Basterds is an exceptional film, worth the slog, and worth checking out if you have derived even the slightest inkling of enjoyment from Tarantino films in the past - you could find yourself pleasantly surprised. 4.5 stars.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:31 am

http://my-year-in-review.blogspot.com/2010/01/inglourious-basterds-2009.html

Friday, January 8, 2010
Inglourious Basterds (2009)

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009)
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Daniel Bruhl, Til Schweiger and Melanie Laurent
Produced by A Band Apart and Zehnte Babelsberg
Distributed by The Weinstein Company and Universal Studios

01/08/2010

This is another fairly short one. Yay filler!
With the recent DVD and Blu-ray release of Inglourious Basterds, I figure now is a decent time to revisit the film. I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about it after I saw it in theaters (I liked it, but didn't necessarily love it) so a second viewing was certainly in order.

I liked it more the second go-around, though I still believe it's among the weakest Tarantino films. I would order them like this I think:

1. Pulp Fiction
2. Reservoir Dogs
3. Kill Bill, Vol. 1-2
4. Inglourious Basterds
5. Jackie Brown
6. Death Proof

However, that is not to say it is a bad film. In fact, it's a very entertaining one. If anything can be said about Tarantino, it's that his work is never, ever boring.

The downside to attempting to write about this film now is that everything has already been said about it. So if this is all the usual stuff, I apologize.

So let's start with the one thing everybody has talked about: Christoph Waltz's interpretation of the villainous Hans Landa. I don't think I have to say much. He's fantastic, from beginning to end. He will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and he will probably win it. I'd argue Brad Pitt's performance was also great fun (he is an actor I am growing to respect more and more).

Although I enjoyed the film quite a bit, I certainly found it imperfect. Tarantino has fallen in love with his own writing, and in some cases it's hard to see beyond his own hubris. Conversations last much longer than they need to. A bar scene in the middle of the film that lasts almost 30 minutes is probably the most glaring example. It seems to me that after Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, everybody told him that he is great at writing dialogue, so as a result he doesn't bother editing himself anymore. With that said, the extensive and often overindulgent dialogue helps to give the film the feel of a Tarantino film. Nobody does it quite like him.

Say what you will about the alternate history of World War II depicted in the final scenes, but I thought it played out quite nicely, and I loved the almost Looney Toons-ish rediculousness of the whole affair. That, coupled with the fantastic climactic scenes between Melanie Laurent and Daniel Bruhl, close out the movie with an almost perfect final act. The only issue I have with the final ending is Brad Pitt's final line, which I found a bit on the nose. Oh well.

Overall, a great fun film that will probably age well, as Tarantino movies tend to (I can't believe Pulp Fiction is over fifteen years old). Oh, and the Mike Myers cameo was pretty fun. Maybe I'll have less-boring things to say the third time I watch it.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:40 pm

http://hoopla.nu/films/inglourious-basterds/inglourious-basterds.html

Stuart:

Is there anyone that gets as much of a kick out of their job as Tarantino? As we all know, he loves his movies. And it shows.

This time around he's exploiting the Second World War and the Third Reich, and why the hell not? Inglourious Basterds gleefully rewrites history, not letting pesky details such as 'true events' get in the way of a good story. If you found Valkyrie disappointing, then perhaps this will be more to your taste.Inglourious Basterds

The 'basterds' are a group of Jewish Americans cutting their way through enemy lines and torturing and killing Nazis as they go. Led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt in his best performance of late) this bunch of psychos is sneaking around Hitler's Europe butchering his best and finest. Strangely enough, I didn't see as much killing as I expected. Most of the film focuses on one particular scheme that aims to strike at the very heart of the Nazi war machine.

Lt. Raine has a vaguely interesting bunch of characters following him. In a terrible move, Tarantino cast his pal Eli Roth (director of Cabin Fever, Hostel and Hostel: Part II) in a prime role - that of Sgt. Donny Donowitz AKA the Bear Jew, who dispatches with his enemies in his own unique style. Roth clearly isn't an actor, and though he certainly looks the part, there are performers out there who would have made the role more memorable. Michael Fassbinder plays Lt. Archie Hicox wonderfully, and it's the 'legitimates' such as he that make the film. Mélanie Laurent is fantastic as survivor Shosanna Dreyfus whilst Christoph Waltz absolutely steals the show as Col. Hans Lander, the most jolly of Nazis.

The problems I have with Inglourious Basterds are the same ones I have with most of Tarantino's work. He makes scenes, not movies. To be sure, they're fantastic, brilliantly executed scenes most of the time, but I've yet to see a narrative of his that flowed all the way through. This flick is basically six or seven really long scenes (that somehow add up to two and a half hours) marked by chapters that don't fit together very well at all. I was also mystified by the fact that the film has two concurrent narratives that don't complement each other at all.

Tarantino's storytelling mechanics are pretty recognisable after all these years, and it's strange that he hasn't created smoother films. Inglourious Basterds has many, many high points (no one will be surprised to learn that the music is fantastic) and it seems fitting that it's coming in at the tail end of Hollywood's recent Nazi themed obsession, but it can't escape a clunky and overlong construction.

If you're a fan of this master auteur, then you're not going to be disappointed. For everyone else, I really couldn't say - you could love it, hate it or profess ambivalence. It's a violent, merry journey into a vengeful history that never happened.
Rating: Gold StarGold StarGold StarGold Star
Review by Stuart Wilson, 25th August 2009
Hoopla Factor: Gold StarGold StarGold Star
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Post by Admin on Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:44 am

http://thecoolkidztable.blogspot.com/2010/01/paragraph-plus-movie-reviews-inglorious.html

Sunday, January 17, 2010
Paragraph (Plus) Movie Reviews: Inglorious Basterds
If you don't have plans to see this movie, you can check the spoilers here and then come back.

As many good reviews as I had heard of Inglorious Basterds before sitting down to watch it, I still wondered if there were too many factors working against it at least in the battle for my enjoyment. At over two and a half hours, would it be too long? Would the majority of the lines being spoken in French or German with English subtitles be a drag? Would the violence be too much? Not only did the movie overcome each of these potential pratfalls, I daresay it actually used each to its advantage on its way to standing out as one of he honest to gosh best films I've seen in quite awhile. I didn't notice the length because I was enjoying myself so much, the language switches allowed some actors to work greater levels of depth into their characters and the violence was used in such a way that it both conveyed importance and was just a nice adrenaline kick never used just for its own sake. I've always somewhat ambivalent or at least only quietly enthusiastic about Quentin Tarantino's work as a filmmaker, but with this piece I totally *got* why folks place him a level above. From the eclectic music choices (I love in particular Bowie's "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" as pump-up jam) to the constant movement of the camera angle and flourishes such as the title chapter cards, it's a smash job from the directorial end while the screenplay skillfully threaded a huge cast and disparate plot threads into a killer tapestry of kick ass. There was nary a scene not dripping with tension where I didn't cringe every time a character reached in their pocket or picked up a pen for fear of what was coming next, and yet at the same time the whole thing was just tremendous fun.

Christoph Waltz as the antagonistic Hans Landa is the talk of awards season for his breakout performance, and it's well-earned from scene one. Waltz more than anybody utilizes the rotation of languages I referred to earlier as he speaks four throughout the film (German, French, English and Italian) and utilizes each shift to completely alter his demeanor, effectively becoming a new character literally with each sentence. He is charming in the smarmiest of ways, terrifying in his unshakeable efficiency, and an absolute creep who you want to see get his but fear will get away with it all because he's that damn good--it's a tour de force. I was actually a bit concerned going in that Brad Pitt was just going to coast on the novelty of his name and a funny accent, but damn, the man knows exactly which buttons to push and really does bring every dramatic tool available to the table as he inhabits his Nazi-hating Aldo Raine. Pitt is a pleasure to watch at work and made me want to cheer; he really is one of the best of this generation and it's not said enough. Aside from the dueling leads, I thought Melanie Laurent was especially brilliant as the sole surviving Jewish victim of one of Landa's massacres, pulling off tortured, irritated and dangerously sexy all in one. Michael Fassbender is also a treat as a smooth-talking and smarmy Brit who gets not nearly enough screentime. Eli Roth, Diane Kruger and the rest of the ensemble were all good, but more in an "as advertised" kind of way (Roth has some great moments though).

At the end of the day though, it's really Tarantino's ball and he runs it straight into the endzone (though he credits the film being able to succeed at all in large part to Waltz, and I can totally see that, as the character is crucial and not many actors, even good ones, could have pulled it off like he did). If I was down on the movie about anything, it's that I did want to see more of the Basterds in action, building their legend, but I suppose that's something of a backhanded compliment as it just means I would have gladly watched another hour.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:23 am

http://www.reelreview.co.uk/?p=466

Review: Inglourious Basterds
Posted by reelreview On January - 17 - 2010

Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France …

Inglourious Basterds begins in German-occupied France, where Shoshanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as “The Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own…

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Christoph Waltz, Melanie Laurent, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth
Duration: 2hrs 32 mins

Quentin Tarantino is back, with what he hoped would be one of the best things he’d ever written.

After spending over a decade writing and developing the script, principal photography finally began in October 2008 in Germany. The film had a budget of approximately $70m and so far has an estimated gross revenue of $320m. It’s a project that he feels proud of, as do the leading cast. And it’s typical Tarantino. You could start watching the film half way through, and still be aware that it’s his film. The music, the scenes, the dialogue. All typical of Tarantino. It’s a case of love it, or hate it but for Inglourious Basterds, it works.

The film is split into five chapters - Chapter 1: Once Upon A Time .. In Nazi Occupied France, Chapter 2: Inglourious Basterds, Chapter 3: A German Night In Paris, Chapter 4: Operation Kino and lastly, Chapter 5: Revenge Of The Giant Face. Though in this case, not a strange concept for a film, Tarantino’s different style of filmmaking over the years has earned him many accolades worldwide.

But what about Inglourious Basterds? The film is long, but it’s flamboyant and confident, and this sees you through to the very end. I found it impressive that an American director could make a subtitled film with real French and German actors (unlike Edward Zwick – Defiance – who had English speaking Polish characters).

Entertaining and edgy. Sometimes tense, and always thrilling. It may be long, but it’s splattered with gore. And it’s intelligent. You can see why it’s received its four Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz).

Watching interviews with Quentin Tarantino is always intriguing. Absolute Radio filmed a fantastic interview with Tarantino which you can see here, showing just how passionate he is about his film making.

Great war film, even if it isn’t one you could give to your grandparents for Christmas.

Rating: (3.5/5)
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:37 am

http://videopub-film.blogspot.com/2010/01/inglourious-basterds.html

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Inglourious Basterds

I have to admit, I was kind of put off when I first heard about "Inglourious Basterds." I was not a big fan of Tarantino's Kill Bill movies and never really had an urge to watch "Death Proof." And then I saw how he mispelled the words in the title to be mysterious and cool, and I just found that annoying. Then I started hearing rumors of some graphic scalping scenes and I just really didn't want to deal with that. So I wrote it off.

I'm glad I changed my mind and eventually sat down and watched it. Because despite the fact that I still think some of the gore is unnecessary and the mispelling of the title is still lame, "Inglourious Basterds" is easily Tarantino's best film since "Pulp Fiction."

The plot is pretty complicated, with a lot of different chess pieces slowly inching towards each other - there is Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and his Inglourious Basterds - Jewish-American soldiers who are fighting a guerilla war in France and striking fear into the hearts of Nazis everywhere. There is Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), a SS detective and security officer who hunts down Jews trying to escape from Nazi-occupied France. Which leads us to Shosanna (Melanie Laurent), a young Jewish women whose parents were killed by Landa earlier in the war. Now she owns a movie theater in Paris and is being wooed by a bothersome German war hero (Daniel Bruhl). But then there is also British officer Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) who is working with double agent, Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) to bring down some high ranking members of the Third Reich. All the characters have their separate stories, boldly interweaving and jumping around without a care in the world. I don't want to spoil how the stories weave together - for me, watching how everything connects was half the fun.

In many ways, "Inglourious Basterds" is a big breakthrough for Tarantino. He launches into a true period piece and despite its fantastical and unrealistic characters and plot developments, he has created a World War II setting that is entirely believable and real. Everything feels, looks, and mostly sounds right. It helps that he lets everyone speak in their proper language (the Germans speak German, the French speak French, and so on). Having military buff and filmmaker John Milius (director of "Conan the Barbarian" and writer of "Apocalypse Now") as a consultant certainly helped, as well. Either way, this is an impressive feat of filmmaking and writing.

The acting is also top notch. Christoph Waltz as the main villain is superb - his line readings alternating between smooth, charming, menacing, and then suddenly outright bizarre (check out how he giggles, "Biiinnngggooo!!!"). It is a great performance. But I expected that - everyone talked about how amazing he was, and he lived up to those expectations. What I was not expecting was how much I loved A) Brad Pitt as Aldo Raine, the tough and witty leader of the Basterds. His Tennessee accent is over-the-top without being a parody and he gets many of the best lines; B) Michael Fassbender, who made Zero impression on me in "300" is excellent as Archie Hicox. And I think I may have been watching the actor who eventually replaces Daniel Craig as James Bond in another five years or so. Fassbender is so much like a young Connery. Watch the scene where he is briefed by Winston Churchill and tell me it doesn't remind you of "Thunderball" or "From Russia With Love." And watch his grace under pressure in the tavern scene and tell me you don't think he'd be a good Bond. Count me a fan; And C) Diane Kruger as German actress/double agent. I have never been a fan of Kruger thanks to forgettable performances in "Troy" and "National Treasure," but here she shows true depth and a remarkable range. To be honest, at the end of the movie, I was most concerned about whether her character would live or die, and it mostly due to Kruger's work.

If I have any complaints about the film, and I have a few, it has to do with the length. He could have trimmed a good 20-minutes out. That said, I don't really know what he could cut out. He creates a number of set pieces - only instead of action set pieces, they are drawn out conversations between adversaries, dripping with suspense and double meanings. They are all fabulously written and acted and take their time to develop. I wouldn't want to cut any of them. The problem is that after five or six of these scenes, your butt just begins to fall asleep. There's really no way around that. But what would I take out? Hell if I know...I would also like to complain again about the gore - not that the bad guys don't deserve it, but that doesn't mean I need to watch all the scalping and carving and baseball bat beating. Yuck. Another minor complaint - the use of David Bowie's song from "Cat People" is completely inappropriate -it plays while Shosanna is preparing to attend a big Nazi party. It's supposed to make her badass. Instead it makes it seem like she's attending a politically incorrect costume party in the 1980s.

MVP: Well, the MVP has to be Tarantino. For the first time in a long time, he actually reigns in his excesses and uses them in service of the movie - this includes his monologues. All too often his speeches are in his own voice, as if Tarantino is commenting on the scene in the film. While certainly well written and interesting, they are often completely out of character and throw me out of the movie - yeah, I'm looking at you "Kill Bill 2" and your lame Superman speech that totally ruins the climax of the film! Yet here, the extensive dialogue and speeches are all in character, all of them service the film perfectly and do not slow the momentum down at all; on the contrary, they only ratchets up the suspense. Tarantino mentioned he wanted to make a Medieval film some day soon. At first, I was really not happy about that. But now that I've seen what he is capable of doing with a true period piece, count me in. Just keep David Bowie off the soundtrack.

TRIVIA: Tarantino almost cast two funny men in roles that I would have never have imagined - Adam Sandler almost played Basterd Donny Donowitz, the hulking warrior who likes to beat Nazi heads in with his baseball bat. And Simon Pegg ("Shawn of the Dead") almost played Archie Hicox. Both would have been interesting choices, if strange. Luckily, both had scheduling conflicts (Sandler was working on "Funny People" and I'm not sure what Pegg was working on - probably "Star Trek"). All's well that ends well, I suppose. I like Eli Roth as Donowitz and have already discussed Fassbender above.

BEST LINE: You know as embarrassing as this is - with all the wealth of good dialogue in this movie, what I remember most is the way Brad Pitt says "Arrivederci." I completely lost it. You watch the movie; you'll see why. It's the funniest sequence in the film...
Posted by Videopub at 8:16 PM
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Post by Admin on Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:45 am

http://civvo.com/filmmaking/index.php/archives/409

Inglourious Basterds Review (UGO – UnderGroundOnline)
Posted in Filmmaking News
02Feb

There’s a very tongue-in-cheek moment in Francois Truffaut’s ode to the backbreaking craft of filmmaking Day For Night wherein the Director (played by Truffaut himself) cries out “Cinema is King!” Only in French it sounds much better as “Le Cinéma est Roi!” It is pretentious and it is idiotic and anyone who has spent their entire life devoted to the making or study of movies can completely identify. Quentin Tarantino, who has for better or worse occupied the seat of First Film Student in American culture, has made an entire movie out of this one moment.

Inglourious Basterds is a love letter to the lovers of cinema. In its world, the movies, on a very literal level, are a weapon. Peel the “This Machine Kills Fascists” off of Woody Guthrie’s guitar and slap it on Quentin Tarantino’s film projector. Every moment of genre-mashing, basking in the glow of left-field sound cues or funking up a scene’s rhythm with unexpected edits has been a dress rehearsal of sorts for Inglourious Basterds. Moreover, the “where-the-hell-is-this-going” marathons of peculiarly theatrical dialogue are pushed to the absolute limit of audience tolerability. As I reported elsewhere, Inglourious Basterds ends with a character looking directly at the audience and declaring “I think this might be my masterpiece.”

And, in a way, it is a masterpiece. It is not, however, much of a crowd-pleaser, or even altogether that much fun, and it certainly won’t get the repeat DVD viewings of a Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs or Kill Bill Vol. 1. While the trailers may suggest that Brad Pitt and his band of muscle-bound Hebraic warriors will lead you on a guns-blazin’ tour of Europe, this is not how most of the film’s running time is spent.

I can best describe the meat of Inglourious Basterds as an exercise in tension. Think back on the last scene of Pulp Fiction – the “we’re gonna’ be like three little Fonzies here” scene. Now imagine this scene about twelve times. (And, much like in Pulp Fiction, most of these scenes are set at tables.) Death Proof is clearly not a one-off. These drawn-out dances of unpredictable dialogue over ticking time bombs of action are the clay from which Tarantino is sculpting these days.

In between these gigantic, puzzling set pieces are glimpses of what a normal director would make into a movie. Some shooting here, some planning there. Brad Pitt’s speech, as seen in the trailer, is arguably his most prominent moment. I enjoyed Pitt’s performance, as well as the kill-happy “Basterds,” but the best turns are from Christoph Waltz as “The Jew Hunter,” Melanie Laurent as a movie theater owner hiding her identity in plain sight, Diane Kruger as a German double agent and Michael Fassbender as a British insurgent posing as a German officer.

The star of Inglourious Basterds is the movie itself as it swerves between the wry (Mike Meyers’ British officer’s pronunciation of “Leff-tenant”) to the ridiculous (you first see Adolf Hitler wearing a flowing cape like Bela Lugosi.) It’ll take a second viewing to catch all the movie references (there has to be some Army of Shadows in there somewhere), however Christoph Waltz framed as Ethan from The Searchers and Bowie’s theme from Cat People are tied as my first time favorites.

I don’t quite know how to “grade” a movie like Inglourious Basterds. I can say, though, that we’ve had an interesting summer of respected directors making their own (long) movies their way, dammit! Unlike Michael Mann’s Public Enemies and Judd Apatow’s Funny People, however, I’m itching to see Inglourious Basterds again and can’t wait to argue about it with other movie snobs. Le Cinéma est, indeed, Roi!

Inglourious Basterds

Ratings:
Overall: A-

Vitals:
Release Date: August 21, 2009
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, B.J. Novak
Genre: All
MPAA Rating: R
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