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Post by Admin on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:24 pm

FIRST OF ALL, IB IS OUT TODAY ON DVD. TAKE HOME A COUPLE OF BASTERDS!

http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/blu-ray-capsule-review-inglourious-basterds


Blu-ray Capsule Review: Inglourious Basterds
Special features disappoint, but the film itself is too good to ignore
BY: Brad Brevet | December 15th 2009 at 3:20 AM
Inglourious Basterds

QUICK THOUGHTS: I guess we should get used to Quentin Tarantino films being released on home video without any kind of stand-out special features as this is the fourth Tarantino film in a row to feature little to nothing exciting to report outside the film itself. That said, I love this film and love Universal's fantastic Blu-ray transfer. Inglourious Basterds is not only one of my favorite films of the year, Robert Richardson's cinematography makes it one of the best looking films of the year. Both of these factors play highly into the film's overall value on the high definition format.

SUPPLEMENTS: While limited in interesting special features, that isn't to say this Blu-ray is entirely devoid of stuff to watch. In fact there is a lot to spend your time with here, but very little stands out as being all that "special." Perhaps "standard" is the best way to look at it. The package begins with three deleted/extended scenes, most interesting is an alternate opening to the Nation's Pride premiere and I actually would have enjoyed seeing left in the film.

It was of mild interest to watch the full version of the film-within-the-film, Nation's Pride, directed by Eli Roth, and there is also a short in-character mockumentary making-of featurette for the propoganda pic that instantly turned me off. Actor Rod Taylor (plays Winston Churchill in the film) gets two featurettes and there's a 30-minute roundtable discussion with Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Elvis Mitchell which adds little value to the overall package, and seems like an addition only due to availability.

My two favorite features offer zero information on the film overall. The first, "Quentin Tarantino's Camera Angel," is a montage of Quentin's clapperboard girl delivering several one-liners for a period of three minutes. It makes little sense to include it, but that's really what makes it so great on top of its comedic appeal. Next is "Hi Sallys," which is another behind-the-scenes look at the production in which Tarantino and his cast offer up a series of "hellos" to Tarantino's longtime editor Sally Menke. It's good for a laugh or two.

Finally, some love is offered up for Enzo G. Castellari's original Inglorious Bastards, which Tarantino's film gets its name from and I reviewed last July. Trailers, posters and a 60-question Inglourious Basterds quiz rounds out the package.

Two things are missing that would have made this a MUCH better package… An audio commentary and a picture-in-picture U-Control feature. Their absence is glaring making this pretty much an average array of special features. Considering Tarantino's love for older films and his studies of film in general, you would think he would want to offer film fans a similar look at his films. I guess we'll just have to wait to spend more money ten years down the line should Universal and the Weinsteins ever get around to giving QT fans what they really want.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Regardless of special features, this is a must buy in my book. I'm not sure where Inglourious Basterds is going to fall on my year-end top ten, but I can tell you now it will be near the top. This film gets better and better each time I see it and in high definition with a DTS audio track it can't be beat. Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and most notably, Christoph Waltz deliver performances to remember and I recommend you plunk down the necessary dollars to add this to your collection.


Last edited by greyeyegoddess on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Admin on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:25 pm

I'm disappointed that the dvd extras are crap. But I'm really happy to know that Michael's name is becoming one of the top names from the movie. It isn't just Brad and Quentin, there's Michael, Christoph and many more.

I'm also glad I'm not getting the bluray.
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Post by Admin on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:30 pm

http://www.mania.com/dvd-shopping-bag-inglourious-basterds-hits-bluray_article_119445.html

DVD Shopping Bag: Inglourious Basterds hits Blu-ray
The New Stars Emerge in this week's DVD Shopping Bag.

By Robert T. Trate December 15, 2009

Inglourious Basterds (2-Disc Special Edition) arrives just intime for the holidays.
©️ Universal Pictures/Robert Trate

While sitting there in the theater last August I sat on the brink of anticipation. Long had I waited for the Quentin Tarantino WW2 project to hit the big screen. It had been discussed in the media for quite some time but after both Kill Bills and The Grindhouse (a modern classic in my opinion) this Tarantino WW2 film was nowhere to be found. Then it happened. Brad Pitt was to lead a bunch of commandos and blah, blah, blah, who cares its Quentin Tarantino doing that WW2 pic! That first trailer was everything I hoped the film would be. There were guns, slow motion action shots, blood, chicks with guns and a monologue that I never got tired of.

Now back at the packed theater. After waiting in line for an hour and sitting through the commercials and trailers the film, finally, commenced. The first scene was totally out of left field. It was not what I expected at all. Two guys talking in two different languages with subtitles about a rats and squirrels. Where were the guns, blood and Brad Pitt? It was excruciating. This wasn’t what I signed up for. I wanted Tarantino! I quickly reminded myself that Tarantino likes to talk and so do his characters. All of his great action scenes have been preceded by scenes upon scenes of people talking; Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and so fourth. I settled back and watched the scene unfold. By it’s conclusion I was ready for whatever came next because this was not the movie the trailers dangled in front us. This was to be something better.

Inglourious Basterds (released today on Blu-ray and DVD) isn’t your typical WW2 movie with a Tarantino twist. It is exactly as its opening describes, “Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France…”. Inglourious Basterds is a fairy tale complete with monsters, heroes and damsels that know how to fight back. If you have seen the film you’ll understand its fairy tale quality, especially with the ending. However this is just more than another Tarantino film. It is a tour de force of directing and writing and introduces a plethora of actors that American audiences have never heard of.

The opening scene between Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and Perrier LaPadite (Denis Menochet) is an Academy Award worthy performance by Waltz. Here this tiny little man completely dissects this Paul Bunyan type, LaPadite, to the point of tears. How does he do this? Not with brute force or a sadistic taunt but complete charm and a string of words that not only convinces LaPadite to surrender but the audience as well. By the end of the scene, as vile as Landa is, the audience has long forgotten about Pitt and the Basterds and is ready to go on this journey. Surely Tarantino suckers in a lot of his audience with cool dialogue, blood and a lot of guns but here was something else. Tarantino displayed a maturity and brilliance that was obviously hinted at in Kill Bill but often gave way to genre gimmicks and homages. Here his focus stays true to the film, the characters and the audience.

Eventually we do get to the Basterds. Their screen time seems very limited in relationship to the trailer. That was our lure though. Revenge crazy Jewish soldiers let loose on Nazi Germany. We were bated and hooked. Could we have spent more time with them? Surely. Would the Inglourious Basterds have been a better film with more of them in it? No. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are all set up. Without an introduction to all the players the final acts are meaningless. The real meat of this piece comes in two slices. Obviously Pvt. Fredrick Zoller’s (Daniel Brühl) romantic pursuit of Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) leading to her revenge takes up a bulk of the film. The real piece to chew on is the rendezvous in the tavern basement. Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) could be seen as an additional character just thrown into the mix because Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine is a boorish backwater slob. Lt. Raine isn’t going to fool anybody at the Nazi premiere party. Tarantino appears to circumnavigate his Basterds once again. Fassbinder, to his credit, is cool, collected, charming and almost Wolf-like (Tarantino fans will get the reference). He’s the perfect spy and talks his way out of brilliant pickle until he makes that one final mistake. Enter the Basterds once again, only this time it is to save the day in the film.

The Basterds are the answer to the problem in the film and exactly what Tarantino needed to get an audience into the theater. To sit around and watch a bunch of foreign actors talk in another language with subtitles isn’t going to pack the house. It barely does it for some art house theaters. In this case Tarantino and his Basterds were all that was needed. It only seems appropriate that Tarantino opens yet another door for a different group of actors once again. He has become famous for re-introducing old talent to a new audience. He has launched several careers of indie actors as well. Now Tarantino has helped us all embrace the brilliance of Michael Fassbender, Mélanie Laurent, Daniel Brühl and, if there is any justice, the next Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz.

There is always a pressure and mystique to a Quentin Tarantino film. In the supplemental material on the Blu-ray Brad Pitt and Tarantino discuss making the end all, be all Nazi film. They may have just put a cap on that genre forever. A different mystique then what most Tarantino films receive. His next film will have a lot to live up to, as Lt. Aldo Raine may have been speaking for his creator as well as his handy work. Tarantino may have gone and created his masterpiece.
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Post by Admin on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:35 pm

http://www.papermag.com/blogs/2009/12/inglourious_basterds_special_e.php

Inglourious Basterds Special Edition DVD!
By Dennis Dermody

Out now is a special edition DVD of Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino's meta-war film. This glorious, violently entertaining pop fable that is my pick for the best film of this year. Considering the source -- Enzo G. Castellari's 1978 pulp action movie rip-off of The Dirty Dozen -- Tarantino's film is neither a send up of Italian exploitation nor a fan boy potpourri but almost a hallucinatory comic book of what war movies could be. Beginning with, "Once Upon A Time In Nazi-Occupied France," and set in five chapters, the film alternates between several story lines. One about a scalp-hungry commando team of Nazi killers led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and his dedicated crew (including a exuberantly witty turn by Hostel director Eli Roth). The other is about Shosanna (Melanie Laurent) who escaped death as a young girl at the hands of notorious "Jew Hunter" Col. Hans Landa (the astonishing Christoph Waltz) to reinvent herself as the owner of a movie palace who plots to trap and kill Nazi bigwigs planning a premiere at her theater. There are also brilliant costar turns by Michael Fassbender as a David Niven-like British spy and former film critic, Til Schweiger, as a feared German cut-throat, and Diane Kruger as a Mata Hari-like movie star. The fiery action-packed pay-off at the end is wildly outrageous, cinematically dazzling and ludicrously satisfying. Spring for the two disc special edition because there are great extras: A roundtable discussion with Tarantino, Pitt and critic Elvis Mitchell, the making of "Nation's Pride," a great talk with Rod Taylor (The Time Machine) who plays Winston Churchill in the film, and lots of other fun things.
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Post by Admin on Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:43 am

http://blogcritics.org/video/article/blu-ray-review-inglourious-basterds1/

The Film

Just when you thought Quentin Tarantino’s hipper-than-thou brand of eccentric and ultra-violent moviemaking had overstayed its welcome by a couple of films, he goes and makes Inglourious Basterds, his most mature and least idiosyncratic film yet — and it manages to be that while simultaneously rewriting World War II history in a blaze of fantasy revenge.

Basterds distills all that’s great about Tarantino — his vast love and knowledge of cinema and his obvious talent for creating memorable scenes — and is absent of some of his less desirable qualities — namely, that insufferable snarkiness — to create an undeniably absorbing and entertaining piece of work.

While the worship of Tarantino by the legions of fanboy film bloggers and new media is absurd (Total Film named him the 12th best director ever in 2007, ahead of guys like John Ford, Robert Altman, Jean Renoir, Luis Buñuel and Yasujiro Ozu), the guy knows his way around both a camera and a script, and it shows.

The titular Basterds occupy just one storyline of the film, and it’s easily the least compelling. Brad Pitt gets top billing as a redneck commander of a squad whose only goal is to kill Nazis and take as many scalps along the way as possible, but it’s Michael Fassbender as Lt. Archie Hicox and Eli Roth as a fearsome baseball bat-wielding slaughterer known as the Bear Jew who make the biggest impression.

The true star of the film though is Christoph Waltz, who is endlessly magnetic as the coolly ruthless Nazi Col. Hans Landa. Nicknamed the Jew Hunter, Landa does his job efficiently and as charismatically as an ethnic cleanser can be. Waltz will assuredly be Oscar-nominated and has to be considered the front winner to win for Best Supporting Actor.

Also winning is Mélanie Laurent as Shoshanna Dreyfus, a survivor of the murderous Landa who is hiding out in Paris as a movie theater proprietor. When a German war hero (Daniel Brühl) takes a liking to her, she’s put in position to host a gala Nazi film premiere, and she plots to burn down the theater. Elsewhere, the Basterds are planning a similar line of attack with the help of German film star Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger).

Although Inglourious Basterds is replete with the near-fetishistic depictions of violence that Tarantino has built a reputation on, these seem like less the centerpiece of this film than several extremely well crafted scenes that build from a slow burn to sizzling intensity. These include the film’s opening with Landa hunting for Jews at a dairy farmer’s home and a scene in a bar that begins with a card game and ends with a Mexican standoff.

Tarantino weaves together his various storylines cleanly and with an effortless air in Inglourious Basterds. It’s his mostly purely entertaining and structurally accomplished film yet. Sure, the soundtrack and typeface choices are of the somewhat grating Tarantino “ironic” variety, but in the elements that really count, Tarantino has delivered.

The Blu-ray Disc

Inglourious Basterds is presented in 1080p high definition with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Right from the start, it’s clear that the visual presentation will be gorgeous with the immaculately sharp and colorful shots of golden sunlight grazing a grass field. The film never loses any sharp detail over the course of its running time, and though it exists in a mostly earthy color palette, there are moments of pop-out color, like Shoshanna’s red dress. Contrast is superb, and black levels are deep and even, which is quite apparent in a striking scene where a character flicks a cigarette into a giant mound of film stock. The audio is presented in Dolby 5.1 DTS-HD, and it’s a louder-than-average mix that is discernibly flawless.

Special Features

The Inglourious Basterds Blu-ray is a two-disc affair, with the second disc being reserved for a Mac and PC compatible digital copy. Supplements on the first disc are annoyingly not all in high def, but those that are include a nice roundtable discussion with critic Elvis Mitchell, Tarantino and Pitt, as well as several deleted scenes, interviews with actor Rod Taylor, who played Winston Churchill in the film, and a humorous making-of of the film-within-a-film, Nation’s Pride. In standard def, Nation’s Pride is presented in its entirety (just six minutes), as well as a short look at the film that inspired the title, Enzo Castellari’s Inglorious Bastards, and some other ephemera, including posters and trailers.

The Bottom Line

The Tarantino geeks won’t be let down by Basterds, but it’s a strong film even for those who find themselves wanting to simply dismiss his work.
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Post by Admin on Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:16 am

http://top10dvdrentals.net/inglourious-basterds-two-disc-special-edition/

Inglourious Basterds (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Manufacturer: Universal Studios

Although Quentin Tarantino has cherished Enzo G. Castellari's 1978 "macaroni" war flick The Inglorious Bastards for most of his film-geek life, his own Inglourious Basterds is no remake. Instead, as hinted by the Tarantino-esque misspelling, this is a lunatic fantasia of WWII, a brazen re-imagining of both history and the behind-enemy-lines war film subgenre. There's a Dirty Not-Quite-Dozen of mostly Jewish commandos, led by a Tennessee good ol' boy named Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) who reckons each warrior owes him one hundred Nazi scalps--and he means that literally. Even as Raine's band strikes terror into the Nazi occupiers of France, a diabolically smart and self-assured German officer named Landa (Christoph Waltz) is busy validating his own legend as "The Jew Hunter." Along the way, he wipes out the rural family of a grave young girl (Melanie Laurent) who will reappear years later in Paris, dreaming of vengeance on an epic scale.

Now, this isn't one more big-screen comic book. As the masterly opening sequence reaffirms, Tarantino is a true filmmaker, with a deep respect for the integrity of screen space and the tension that can accumulate in contemplating two men seated at a table having a polite conversation. IB reunites QT with cinematographer Robert Richardson (who shot Kill Bill), and the colors and textures they serve up can be riveting, from the eerie red-hot glow of a tabletop in Adolf Hitler's den, to the creamy swirl of a Parisian pastry in which Landa parks his cigarette. The action has been divided, Pulp Fiction-like, into five chapters, each featuring at least one spellbinding set-piece. It's testimony to the integrity we mentioned that Tarantino can lock in the ferocious suspense of a scene for minutes on end, then explode the situation almost faster than the eye and ear can register, and then take the rest of the sequence to a new, wholly unanticipated level within seconds.

Again, be warned: This is not your "Greatest Generation," Saving Private Ryan WWII. The sadism of Raine and his boys can be as unsavory as the Nazi variety; Tarantino's latest cinematic protégé, Eli (director of Hostel) Roth, is aptly cast as a self-styled "golem" fond of pulping Nazis with a baseball bat. But get past that, and the sometimes disconcerting shifts to another location and another set of characters, and the movie should gather you up like a growing floodtide. Tarantino told the Cannes Film Festival audience that he wanted to show "Adolf Hitler defeated by cinema." Cinema wins. --Richard T. Jameson
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Post by Admin on Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:48 am

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Inglourious Basterds 2-Disc Special Edition DVD (2009)

By Paolo Sardinas
The thing about Quentin Tarantino is that he proves, time and time again, that he is one of the best directors around. With his debut Reservoir Dogs he showed he could combine both stylized violence and witty dialogue and create something which wasn't stupid, bland, or just plain dumb. Pulp Fiction is his magnum opus. While many fans believe he was robbed of the Best Director Oscar, Pulp Fiction is a classic. His homages to kung fu films (Kill Bill Parts 1&2), blaxploitation (Jackie Brown), and grindhouse features (Death Proof) are always entertaining to watch and are classics for the 21st century. His latest is Inglourious Basterds, his most audacious film to date and a complete thrill ride.

Now enough of my fan boy rambling, Inglourious Basterds is centered on a group of Jewish-American soldiers who are dropped into Nazi occupied France to kill Nazis. Plain and simple. Now parallel to that story is another centered around a young Jewish girl who, after witnessing her family's death to the Nazis, hides out in France and plans a scheme to rid the Nazis. The film is headlined by chapters, each of which prepares you for whats about to happen. The story may seem convoluted and lost but Tarantino pulls it off like only Tarantino could.

The film was advertised as a Brad Pitt vehicle but in all reality it isn't. The film is taken over by the rest of its outstanding cast. Sure Brad Pitt shines as the fast talking swastika carving leader of the American soldiers, but its the suppporting cast that really takes over the film and makes it what it is. Tarantino's two new femme fatales, Bridget von Hammersmark and Shosanna Dreyfus, played so wonderfully by Diane Kruger (Bridget) and Melaine Laurent (Shosanna). Each has their own fiery personality and their presence literally lights up the screen. Shosanna is our other story-line by the way. But the real scene stealer is Col Hans Landa played by Christoph Waltz. The austrian TV actor shines in the role of "The Jew Hunter". His villain is not only different and fresh its one of the best I've seen this decade. At times he's both charming and sophisticated, mastering five different languages, and in others he's vicious and brutal. Only a true actor can pull off such a role.

The "Basterds" are tremendously lead by Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine but the other scene stealer is Eli Roth as "The Bear Jew". The baseball bat swining, Nazi bashing "basterd" is a tremendous joy to watch and adds some humorous tone to the film. Another performance, which I think was a bit overlooked, that I enjoyed was that of Michael Fassbender as Lt. Archie Hicox. A lieutenant working for the Brits, a former film critic as well. He does a wonderful job in portraying this character even though he isn't around for much time. As with every Tarantino film that cast is what gives the film is entertainment value and with this one there are no exceptions.

Quentin Tarantino does an excellent job of creating a story that appeals to not only his hardcore fans but also to the inner "cinephile" in all of us. This is by far his most elaborate movie. The dialogue is spot on and each line is unique and sets the mood for whats to come. His opening scene, an interrogation of sorts between "Jew Hunter" and Shosanna's farmer family friend is filled with such suspense that it keeps you riveted and never loses your focus. Even though it does go on for about twenty minutes. Every scene is finely edited and each one has that signature Tarantino flare.

Inglourious Basterds is definitely one of Tarantino's best. You can even go as far as to say that its his best since Pulp Fiction. While its dialogue heavy scenes may bore some, I enjoyed every moment of this great summer film which may offend some but enthrall others. Even when the Basterds' job is done you can't help but wonder (and enjoy) the cruelty that the Nazis endured at their boot heels, and the edge of their knives.

The Extras
The half hour discussion between Brad Pitt, Tarantino, and Elvis Mitchell is one of the DVD's good extras. Most of which could have been better. The overall Special Features department of the DVD is a bit light and could have been assembled together allot better than it was. The other good extra is the full version of Nation's Pride. The other features a bit crappy, frankly, for such a well made movie. They're all a bit jokey and ridiculous including Eli Roth talking in a fake German accent about the making of Nation's Pride. It all could have been handled a bit better.


The Picture
The Basterds make a very fine transition over to the DVD format. While the video quality isn't as finely tuned as its Blu-Ray counterpart, this is still a very high quality video transfer. The colors have a bit of a soft appearance to them and I would have liked them to be a bit more crisp and sharp but it was an overall job well done.

The Audio
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and sound is pretty great actually. Most of the film is dialogue driven so when the dialogue is delivered each line is heard crisply and well. The music, and essential must in every QT film, is heard great throughout. Once again, it might not be as immersive as the Blu-Ray counterpart but its still a very nice transfer over to the small screen.

Overall
All in all, Inglourious Basterds is definitely one of the year's best films. Its well made, smartly written, and well acted. While this Two-Disc Special Edition release is not as great as the film, in terms of extras, its still features some rather entertaining bonus content. The audio and video qualities are good but not as great as the Blu-Ray release. But besides the little flaws, this is still one of the year's must haves for any movie fan.

The Feature: 5/5
The Extras: 3/5
The Video: 5/5
The Audio: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Posted by Paolo at 6:28 PM

Labels: Theatrical Reviews
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Post by Admin on Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:18 pm

http://tayshenweenie.blogspot.com/2009/12/one-with-those-bad-ass-legendary.html

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The One With those Bad-Ass, Legendary, Inglourious Basterds!
if you need heroes, send in the basterds!
I can now die happy! I have finally seen Inglourious Basterds! I was supposed to see this film in the cinema but sadly, I never actually got around to it. It was worth the wait to finally see it on DVD. Quentin Tarantino himself said that it would be a "big f#%@#&! night at the movies". Unfortunately, I missed that. Watching it in my own home was mind-blowing, I could only imagine what it would have been like in the cinema.
Nonetheless, I am completely in love with this film.

WARNING: This blog contains SPOILERS. I'm sorry, but I just have to comment on the brilliant events that take place in this film.

The story begins in Nazi-occupied France where Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witness her whole family being massacred by Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and his men. She only just escapes and flees to Paris where she changes her name and is the owner of a cinema.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) puts together a group of Jewish-American soldiers, known to the enemy as "The Basterds", to scalp and brutally kill all Nazis. The Basterds then join German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) in taking down the leaders of the Third Reich. Fates merge when the Basterds plan their revenge on the Nazis meanwhile Shosanna has a plan to do the same thing...in the same place...

Tarantino has absolutely out-done himself in terms of his characters. They are all so interesting & important.

Mélanie Laurent is Shosanna Dreyfus
Her best lines:
1. "Because, Marcel, my sweet, we're going to make a film. Just for the Nazis."
2. "My name is Shosanna Dreyfus and THIS is the face... of Jewish vengeance!"
3. "And I want you to look deep into the face of the Jew who's going to do it!"

Shosanna is brilliant. As stated in the plot outline, she witnesses her entire family being murdered by Nazis. She is scared out of her mind when she flees to Paris covered in her family's blood. She is an amazingly strong character also, especially when we see her with Col. Hans Landa four years later under her new French identity holding back her terrible feelings towards him.
Shosanna is truly a hero and her ultimate revenge plan was perfect. Seeing the cinema go up in flames and all those Nazis getting burnt was awesome!
It was such a shame that she got shot though. She really deserved to live to see her revenge plan in action.
Laurent was outstanding in this role. I would really love to see her in more films. She is such a great talent.

Til Schweiger is Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz
His best lines:
1. "Say "auf Wiedersehen" to your Nazi balls."
2. "And at this range, I'm a real Frederick Zoller."

Hugo Stiglitz hates Nazis. He used to kill them himself and eventually was sent to jail for that. The Basterds, who are fans of his, set him free and Stiglitz joins them on their mission to kill Nazis.
I think Stiglitz was super cool. I love how before he was apart of the Basterds, he took matters in his own hands and killed all of those Nazis. What a legend!

Daniel Brühl is Pvt. Fredrick Zoller
His best line:
- [In the film 'Nation's Pride] "Who wants to send a message to Germany?"

He is somewhat of a likable German, but I was suspicious of him all along. We learn that he is a propaganda hero and killed hundreds of American soldiers. That makes him an asshole in my book. Also, he is the one that shoots Shosanna and I'm so glad that she shot him first! He deserved it, big time.
For me to hate Zoller so much proves that Brühl is a good actor. His character really got to me and I was happy when he died. Nice, Brühl!

Diane Kruger is Bridget Von Hammersmark
Her best line:
- [all the dialogue during the celebrity heads game]

Bridget Von Hammersmark is a German actress but she's also a double agent. Unlike any of the cast so far, she is not out to kill. As Kruger herself as stated, "She's actually quite vulnerable", which I have got to say is quite true.
I have heard of Kruger but I have not seen her in anything else. I thought she was fantastic in her role. It was a shame that she died as well, just as she joined the Basterds. The dialogue between her and Col. Hans Landa during her death scene is great!

Christoph Waltz is Col. Hans Landa
His best lines:
1. "Attendez la crème!"
2. "That's a bingo!"
3. "I love rumours!"
4. "Before I go, could I have another glass of your delicious milk?"

The Jew Hunter. That says it all, doesn't it?
Now, as many people know, I possess strong feelings about the holocaust and think of it as the most horrible time in history, so of course; I loathed this guy. From the moment that he started comparing Jewish people to rats and saying that they are repulsive, I couldn't wait for this guy to get hurt. The end [where Lt. Aldo Raine carves the swastika into his forehead] was brilliant, simply genius! I actually think I enjoyed that a little too much Smile
Waltz was so amazing in this role and really deserves the golden globe for best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a motion picture! If he doesn't get it, I'll eat my hat!

Michael Fassbender is Lt. Archibald Hicox
His Best Line:
- "Why do you have a Luger pointed at my testicles?"

Lt. Archibald Hicox is a British solider, a Basterd. He's smart and like a movie star. He's basically George Sanders. He's not so important to the plot but he's equally as enjoyable.
The scene with General Ed Fenech (Mike Myers) was very good, jolly good.

Brad Pitt is Lt. Aldo Raine
His Best Lines:
1. "You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, Business is a-boomin'."
2. "We got a German here who wants to die for his country! Oblige him!"
3. "Arriverderci."
4. "I'm gonna give you a little somethin' you can't take off."
5. "They're the footsoldiers of a Jew-hatin', mass-murderin' maniac, and they need to be dee-stroyed."

Lt. Aldo Raine is from Tennessee. He's the head of the guerrilla outfit in Nazi-occupied France that is out to seek ultimate revenge on the Nazis.
I loved Aldo Raine! He was hilarious. I have no idea why people say that Pitt over-acted or any of that, I thought he was amazing. When he said "Arriverderci", I just cracked up laughing! He's so laid-back and cool, Aldo definitely knows what he's doing.

Eli Roth is Sgt. Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz!
His Best Lines/Gesture:
1. "Teddy f@&#$%!' Williams knocks it out of the park! Fenway Park on its feet for Teddy! f@&#$%!' ballgame! He went yardo on that one, on to f@&#$%!' Lansdowne Street!"
2. "We punch those goons out, take their machine guns, and burst in there blasting!"
3. "You know, Lieutenant, you're getting pretty good at that."
4. "After I kill that guy, you have 30 feet to get to that guy. Can you do it?"
5. "Get the f&#! up! You're on deck!"
6. [AND THAT ITALIAN HAND GESTURE, oh, that hand gesture!]

Obviously, I have saved the best 'till last. Donny, also known as 'the Bear Jew', is a Jewish guy from Boston. He is a baseball fan and beats Nazis to death with his baseball bat.
The Bear Jew is the greatest character I think I have ever seen in a film. The scene where he comes out of that cave gives me chills! When he beats Sgt. Werner Rachtman; a Nazi that refuses to give Raine information, to death with his baseball bat is brilliant.
This guy is a legend! Wanna know why? HE KILLS HITLER! He kills him with an MP-40, true Tony Montana style! That scene is truly one of the best I've seen in a film.
Roth is scary, hilarious and intense as the Bear Jew. He ought to be commended on his amazing, unforgettable performance. It was just top-notch! Sgt. Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz is my favourite character by far and I was so upset when he died.
Roth should definitely consider being in more films with bigger roles because he was so amazing in this film, as well as Death Proof; which is also by Tarantino. I mean, why shouldn't he? He's all kinds of talented and very dedicated [he put on 40 pounds for his role as the Bear Jew] and obviously, he's gorgeous!

Note: The Nation's Pride, Goebbels's propaganda film starring Pvt. Fredrick Zoller as himself, is actually directed by Eli Roth. I have yet to see this, and it is on the special features of the DVD so I will definitely get around to watching that soon Smile


The violence in this film is the best. He see scalping, we see swastikas getting carved into foreheads and, of course, Hitler getting blown apart by Donny with an MP-40. I love to see violence in a film, I hate it when filmmakers hold back and Tarantino didn't hold back at all!
Notably, we also see Lt. Aldo Raine stick his finger into Bridget Von Hammersmark's bullet wound. That would make audience's wince, but I thought it was really cool.

This film is also full of intelligence. Although it is obviously not based on true events, I really wish it was. This story is fantastic. I had high expectations for this long-awaited film and Tarantino delivered, baby! Quentin Tarantino deserves the golden globe for best director. I say that as whole-heartedly as possible. I have never been so affected by a film before, this film deserves all the awards that they are nominated for, which is pretty much every category relevant to the film.

Originally, Tarantino was going to make Inglourious Basterds a mini-series. That certainly would have been interesting, but I love it as a film and I want to see it win all the Golden Globes and Oscars in 2010!

Inglourious Basterds received an 11 minute standing ovation after its first screening at Cannes. And that standing ovation was absolutely well deserved. Everything about this film is astounding. Bravo to an amazing cast and Mr. Tarantino!

I give it 4 out of 4 stars!
I enjoyed every single minute.
I will watch this film again and again.

The trailer of Inglourious Basterds is the most amazing trailer I've ever seen. It's got great music and the feel of it is extraordinary! It actually gives me goosebumps.
Watch it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sQhTVz5IjQ

Rating: R
Runtime: 153 mins.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:30 am

http://dixflix.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/whats-in-my-dvd-player/

What’s in my DVD player?

December 29, 2009 by dixflix

Inglourious Basterds

If Christmas can be relied upon anything, it’s that I’ll score a few great DVDs. This year’s batch included Quentin Tarantino’s WWII fantasy, Inglourious Basterds. I saw this film a couple of times in theatres, and now watching it on DVD, I have to say it gets better upon every viewing. And considering I f#%@#&! loved it the first time I saw it; well I’m going nuts about it now. I ranked the film at number 3 on my year’s best of list at Switch 1197, but the more I watch it, the higher it climbs. I don’t think I had as much fun at a movie this year as I did with this one. Tarantino truly is a master – a walking, talking film encyclopaedia who has the ability the recycle old ideas, and pay homage to obscure films and make them seem entirely fresh. From Brad Pitt’s hillbilly Basterd, to Michael Fassbender’s wonderfully British captain, to Christoph Waltz’s unforgettable villain, Inglourious Basterds is an absolute treat from start to finish. I never thought Tarantino would top Pulp Fiction. I still don’t think he has. But come back to me in ten years, and who knows how much I’ll love this film then?
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:43 am

http://www.toledofreepress.com/2009/12/25/dvd-review-inglourious-basterds/

DVD review: ‘Inglourious Basterds’
Written by Michael Siebenaler | | news@toledofreepress.com

“The German will be sickened by us, the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us,” Brad Pitt says as Lt. Aldo Raine, who leads the rag-tag group of World War II Nazi killers named The Basterds in director Quentin Tarantino’s two hour and 33 minute war drama, Inglourious Basterds, now available on a two-disc special edition DVD.

The even-keeled, Southern charmer Aldo has some formidable adversaries including Christophe Waltz in a star-making role as Nazi Col. Hans Landa, an incredibly observant and intelligent “Jew Hunter” who drives the plot and delivers his dialogue well. The more physical threat is Nazi Major Dieter Hellstrom, played by August Diehl. Both Nazi officers are intelligent threats who would make crack detectives in any other situation. In the obvious hero-villain scenarios, their Nazi association creates fear based on audience knowledge. Tarantino puts this film in the hands of his characters, not history, though audiences can easily spot several historical characters from various nations.

French actress Melanie Laurent delivers a standout performance as Shosanna Dreyfus, a French cinema manager who meets Fredrick Zoller, played by Daniel Bruhl, who’s a cinema fan, an admirer of Shosanna’s and also a Nazi officer. Their predictably complicated relationship fits perfectly into the plot. Hostel writer/director Eli Roth fits right into the violence as Sgt. Donny Donowitz, a.k.a. “The Bear Jew.” The Basterds love watching him do his work on the Nazis, which involves a baseball bat. “It’s the closest to movies we get,” says Raine about Donowitz. Besides his love of baseball, audiences get limited character background, as Donowitz mainly engages in some intense action, including the indelible climax sequence with Pfc. Omar Ulmer, played by Omar Doom.

Til Schweiger plays Nazi defector Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz. He gets a great introduction and even better background story as the film switches gears a bit into modern times. The Basterds recruit him and

Cpt. Wilhelm Wicki, played by Gedeon Burkhard, to “go pro” and get payback on their former allies. B.J. Novak has a small but notable role as Basterd team member Pfc. Smithson Utivich while Mike Myers reflects the British Allies’ role in a key sequence as General Ed Fenech who briefs Lt. Archie Hicox, played by Michael Fassbender, on a special mission.

Tarantino includes several crowd-pleasing elements and considerations throughout the plot including a fictional Nazi regime “endgame” scenario that every Allied soldier might imagine at that time. The screenplay would have more appeal with an increased focus on The Basterds while the director works wonders with his material. His doorway shot in the beginning sequence echoes great Westerns like The Searchers while great point-of-view angles and a top angled tracking shot of Shosanna entering the theater lobby makes audiences forget about the film’s considerable length. The only notable edit would be an unnecessary flashback that repeats a sequence between Landa and an escapee.

The first disc contains the “film within the film” – Nation’s Pride, three extended and alternate scenes plus U.S., international and Japanese previews of this film’s theatrical release. The DVD extras on the second disc include more detailed supplementary materials, especially a roundtable discussion with Pitt, film historian/New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell (who also appears in a ten minute poster gallery featurette explaining inspirations behind this film), and Tarantino doing what he does best – talk. His infectious excitement and explanatory stories add an extra kick to the special features, which also include a making of Nation’s Pride featurette, a salute to the original 1978 film and two conversation style featurettes with Rod Taylor who portrays Winston Churchill in the film. The “Hi Sallys” greetings to editor Sally Menke and “Camera Angel” featurettes capture comical moments among the filming.

Digital copy included. Languages and subtitles available in English, French and Spanish. This film definitely warrants a high recommendation (***1/2 and creates a unique cinematic experience, which keeps people talking, especially about a few open-ended elements like what happened to a Frenchman’s three daughters. Rated R for strong graphic violence, menace, language and brief sexuality. Also available on Blu-ray and single disc DVD edition.
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Post by Admin on Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:59 am

http://projectionbooth.blogspot.com/2010/02/inglourious-basterds.html

2.05.2010
Inglourious Basterds
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Screenplay by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Jacky Ido, B.J. Novak, Omar Doom, August Diehl, Sylvester Groth, Martin Wuttke and Mike Myers
2009, Rated R, 152 minutes

Amidst the discussion surrounding the release of Inglourious Basterds, the one point that seemed both most vital and most frequently lost on detractors was one of simple designation: this movie is not about World War II. Like the titular vessel of the now-dethroned box office king Titanic (if you actually believe it ever really was to begin with), the war is merely a setting, a player in the story, a catalyst here. Here, history is filtered through the mythic cultural lens of film (a priceless early scene juxtaposing Hitler against a still-unfinished mural sets the tone), rendering Inglourious Basterds with a loopy, ouroboros quality. Always figuratively, Basterds is the first Tarantino film to be literally about itself.

Such qualities and more preclude me from sharing the you-can't-touch-that! attitudes of Jonathan Rosenbaum and others, who take offense to the less-than-solemn vision of war and apparent arrogance implicit in historical revision, who see only deliberately courted controversy and "adolescent snicker". Basterds is not entirely relevant when divorced from actual historical understanding, but in Rosenbaum's defense, he's probably had more exposure to historically ignorant upstarts than I, something I'm sure could over-fuel anyone's bullshit detector. (In the same fashion, I'm sure some still fault The Producers' treatment of Hitler; great comedy - which, in its moments of choosing, Inglourious Basterds is - must always offend some.)

But I've read (and adored) Hannah Arendt and studied the Holocaust at length, and both are as hip as the next thing (intellectually speaking, I groove on them). What makes it worth more than callous teenage sneer? Sure, it's partly true that Basterds is a revenge-fantasy (and a comedy and a guys-on-a-mission movie and a feature-length Looney Tune and...), but it's also incredibly self-critical about the feelings that genre intends to conjure, deliberately conjuring its own imagery in the vein of well-known WWII atrocities. Call it a brilliantly (and morally) played bait-and-switch. Such shock-and-awe poses are struck like falling dominoes for specific reactions in a specific order -- to see only the rage at the surface of the script is to ignore the deeper inner workings.

By engages with historical legend and eschewing cliche via empathetic characterizations, Inglourious Basterds directly counters reductive expectations and becomes a work of moral weight and worth, most directly in the plot thread in which Jewish refugee Shoshanna (Laurent) must deflect the courting of German soldier Frederick Zoller (Brühl). Says Slant's Ed Gonzalez, "A lushly intriguing grappling with morality, ideology, nepotism, and authorship, the entire chapter may be the deepest Tarantino has ever gotten." His words mean more than mine, but I'll go one further and call it the base of Tarantino's latest summit.

Mounting such, the film takes an obvious stance against Nazi evils, even imparts "be intolerant of intolerance" virtues in what seems to me a passive approval of the Basterds' no-mercy war tactics. Nevertheless, it doesn't stop the camera from pulling back at the sight of the bat-wielding Bear Jew in action (a shrill-free equivalent to turning one's head). The only character the film makes a point in gleefully repudiating is Hans Landa (Oscar spotlight Christoph Waltz), who is swayed not by love or revenge of country, but the prospect of personal gain over all else. Basterds condemns evil through banality, but more ruthless is its treatment of the greedy, the root of all evil.

Drunk from frame one on its own movie-ness, Basterds is a slow-ticking bomb that sporadically explodes with streaks of glorious, tangible violence, the punctuation marks in what amounts to a deliberate and precise arrangement of cinematic chess pieces. (On paper, Tarantino's revelations are as obvious as anything in Shyamalan's canon, but where his impress more surprise is in his reveling of storytelling details -- we're too intoxicated to see the strings.) Several jerks of the rug later, and WHAM!, the movie has hauled you down an unprecedentedly complex path, complicating assumed notions of good and evil, scrutinizing itself (and the viewer) via a deceptively brilliant, self-devouring plot device (one of the great movies-within-a-movie and the best thing Eli Roth has made since Cabin Fever), and yes, affirming the righteous social power of cinema. Only a work so personal and dependent on love for the medium could actually get away with it. Inglourious Basterds is worthy of Dr. Strangelove.
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Post by Pilar on Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:47 am

I finally saw it tonight. I'm SO glad I bought it. Blew me away. There are images in that film that will haunt me for a long time...

Michael did not disappoint. (When he spoke in German it went straight to my nether regions, lol!) God, he's an incredible actor. They all were but he's a natural....and I can't say that about my other favorites.
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Post by Admin on Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:44 pm

awww...I'm glad you got it. It's an incredible film. I wish I could have watched it more in the theater. My sister picked up the dvd and I've yet to see it again.
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Post by Admin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:39 pm

http://lightsinthedusk.blogspot.com/2010/02/inglourious-basterds.html

Friday, 12 February 2010
Inglourious Basterds

If the initial trailer and the subsequent promotional materials seemed to suggest a kind of ultra-violent, men on a mission style Nazisploitation picture - in which a group of revenge-seeking Jewish-American soldiers form a band of scalp-hunting executioners literally carving a path of vengeance through the forests of occupied France - then the eventual experience of Inglourious Basterds (2009), as a complete film, will no doubt be a surprising one. Far more rewarding than The Dirty Dozen (1967) meets Hostel (2005) approach that the studios seemed to be encouraging with their publicity images of bloodied knives, baseball bats and rifle butts, the actual thrill of Inglourious Basterds is never exclusive to the presupposed notions of carnage and retribution that such intentionally provocative images might normally suggest. Instead, it can be found in the film's particular emphasis on language. Not necessarily the languages that are spoken by the various characters - or how such languages are used (or not used) to further a possible plan of action - but the more important languages of fiction and film.

This, as an idea, is something that Tarantino has been refining for the majority of his career. From the seemingly meaningless but ultimately character-building pop culture-heavy chitchat of films like Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994), to the more self-aware, self-referential patter of the subsequent Kill Bill, Volumes 1&2 (2003-2004) - where the general form of the thing could potentially be seen as a filmed commentary or dissertation on the genre(s) being explored - the ability of dialogue to suggest multiple ways of looking at the film through the creation of stories within stories was always one of the director's greatest strengths. As an extension of this, Inglourious Basterds is perhaps the first film by Tarantino where the power of language is really looked at within a greater dramatic context. Only during The Second World War - the last real war in which the protagonists were, predominantly, Caucasian, and therefore more able to adopt a particular language in order to feign cover behind enemy lines - could the use of language be considered as deadly as the Walther PP or the Bowie knife. The notion of words as weaponry is therefore an important device in Tarantino's film; not only establishing the dramatic motivation of the later plot development (as in - the deliberately hackneyed plot to blow up Hitler?) but also the psychological aspects as well.

The words themselves may seem fairly innocuous, as various characters, largely unknown to one another, sit down to discuss work, or movies, or the benefits of cream with strudel, but through these quirks of conversation Tarantino is able to achieve the creation of a world, based in fact but defined by fiction, where one single, half-mumbled gesture from a previously anonymous dairy-farmer - a devoted husband and father no less - can result in the massacre of a sheltering Jewish family. These ideas, relating to language and the power of words, are made definite in the film's much talked about opening sequence; which, on a more obvious level, establishes the dramatic elements of loyalty, role-play, justice and retribution, and yet beyond this initial interpretation, seems to suggest the by now familiar Tarantino approach of postmodern appropriation: where the references to film, fiction and the general pop culture create a recognisable grammar for the film itself. Although the dialogue in Tarantino's work is often leisurely, idiosyncratic and arguably self-indulgent, revelling as it does in the awkward speech patterns, prose and anecdotal asides that his characters slip in and out of during a single conversation, it is nonetheless essential in developing these characters: not simply as people that we can relate to or care about, but as signifiers; where the subject matter discussed - or the particular way in which said discussions pan out - suggests hidden layers of interpretation and characterisation.

With an opening chapter title boldly announcing the location, "Once Upon a Time... in Nazi-Occupied France" - immediately followed by a suitably heroic widescreen composition depicting the abovementioned farmer chopping wood in a long-shot that frames his small house as if it were a studio recreation of some forgotten frontiers homestead (a literal 'little house on the prairie') - it becomes immediately obvious what Tarantino is attempting to achieve through the visual style alone. The iconography throughout is crucial, with at least three shorthand references to the work of Sergio Leone and a general nod to the work of John Ford creating a sense that this is a mythical story, again with ties to history, but somehow greater than the reality; a cinematic history, in the grand tradition of Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Once Upon a Time in the West (C'era una volta il West, 1968). However, the shorthand references to Ford and Leone aren't simply examples of Tarantino showing off his movie geek obsessiveness. On the contrary, both serve a definite purpose. These elements of obvious homage create a world for the viewer that is immediately recognisable; establishing the relationships between characters - or the ideas of loyalty and betrayal - and a certain logic (movie-logic?) that forewarns the viewer that there's something slightly more self-aware going on behind the violence, conflict and assassination attempts; something that plays on the more recognisable codes and conventions of the war movie, in the greater, historical sense.

This opening sequence, which introduces us to the literally larger than life character of SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) - a "Jew hunter" who considers himself to be a serious detective, and applies a method-actor's logic to sniffing out his prey - seems designed to capture that sense of anticipation so evident in Leone's work: with the two most memorable scenes in the aforementioned Once Upon a Time in the West (the arrival of "Harmonica" by train, and the subsequent massacre of the McBain family by Frank and his gang) setting something of an obvious template. It also plays into the Leonian idea of the confrontation; where the build up to a moment of violence is often so prolonged and so focused on the personal, idiosyncratic rituals that make such sequences resonate on a deeper level of emotional investment, that the violence, when it does occur, seems all the more unexpected and cruel. The form of the film, in this respect, isn't merely an attempt to juxtapose the style of the Spaghetti Western with the political conventions of the Hollywood war drama - which, in itself, was already characteristic of the Italian Zapata Westerns of the 1970s: films such as Damiano Damiani's A Bullet for the General (El Chucho, quién sabe?, 1967), Sergio Corbucci's Compañeros (Vamos a matar, compañeros, 1970) and Leone's own Giù la testa (released as Duck, You Sucker! and A Fistful of Dynamtie respectively, 1971), which was a critique of the Zapata subgenre, as well as a perfect example of it. Instead, these juxtapositions and associations create something approaching stenography for the viewer; a kind of cinematic slang very much in keeping with the standard Tarantino dialogue - which plays on a kind of stylised conversational approach steeped in self-reference - making the passage of information between the director and his audience much more direct.

We can see an obvious example of this in the use of the film's title and its particular function in describing (or branding) the supporting characters (the aforementioned Nazi-scalp-hunters) through an accented misspelling: presenting the title as the characters themselves might pronounce it, therefore giving the notion of language within the film a recognisable voice. The title itself is by now obvious to most viewers as a direct reference to the Enzo G. Castellari film The Inglorious Bastards (Quel maledetto treno blindato, or literally That Damned Armoured Train, 1978). Through this, Tarantino establishes, briefly, a sense of the men on a mission, action adventure movie that Castellari's film attempts to replicate, while also self-consciously endearing itself to the Euro War, or "Macaroni Combat" subgenre; a sort of European (usually Italian, but not exclusively) pastiche of the Hollywood War Movies popular at the time. So, what we have in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is, on some level, a parody of a parody; which is perfect in its own way of illustrating the director's quite interesting idea of using the conventions of a film like The Eagles Over London (La battaglia d'Inghilterra, 1969) or Salt in the Wound (Il dito nella piaga, 1970) (and their own references to movies like The Dirty Dozen and Where Eagles Dare), to create his own commentary on the outlandishness of war and the ridiculousness of a conflict between two human beings, both from the same ethnic background, class and generation, conditioned into hating one another for the benefit of an abstract cause.

Of course, in Tarantino's work, the notion of conflict isn't simply restricted to the depiction of "war" in the real-life sense, but of the idea of a cinematic conflict: as in the conflict of various juxtaposing styles, ideas and philosophies. Although most critics and viewers are quick to point out the more obvious lifts from the work of Ford and Leone, the driving force behind Tarantino's intellectual experiments seems closer to his early idol, Jean-Luc Godard. There are some superficial though no less relevant Godardian touches littered throughout the film, with the particular references to real-life figures in a fictional framework, exaggerated for the purposes of satire. So we have the character of Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) presented as a would-be Hollywood film producer, full a would-be Hollywood film producer's bluster and bullshit, which, rather than simply creating a mockery out of the real-life Goebbels, manages to humanise him in a way that is a benefit to the film's actual creative intent. There is also the naming of certain characters in a way that is significant, culturally, to Tarantino's primary influences: names such as Hugo Stiglitz (the Mexican cult-actor) or Omar Ulmer (a play on the film director Edgar G. Ulmer), or the use of the alias Antonio Margheriti (the director of Cannibal Apocalypse, 1980), which would, in spirit at least, suggest the influence of a film like Alphaville (1965) or Made in U.S.A. (1966).

Though the reliance on the more obvious movie caricature of films like Death Proof (2007) and Kill Bill seems to be more subtle here, certain examples of it can still be found. Not necessarily in the previously discussed opening sequence, but in the smaller, seemingly throwaway moments, which seem handpicked in order to establish an underlining message that "violence begets violence". Such examples could include the shot of Aldo "The Apache" (Brad Pitt) and The Bear Jew (Eli Roth) staring down, into the camera (showing us the POV of one of their recent victims) in a manner that recalls the near-iconic shot of a masked Malcolm McDowell taunting the prone Patrick Magee in Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of A Clockwork Orange (1971); or perhaps through the later references to Brian De Palma's Scarface (1983), Elem Klimov's Come and See (Idi i smotri, 1985) and Lamberto Bava's Demons (Dèmoni, 1985), which all occur during the penultimate sequence set during the premier of the fictional propaganda film Nation's Pride, where the kaleidoscope of references seem deliberately chosen in order to illustrate the various potential presentations of violence on film (the lurid, to the surreal, to the pure exploitation).

Such suggestions can also be found in the general feeling of the war-time Parisian setting, the meeting between the displaced Jewish farm girl turned cinema owner Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) and the German war hero Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl), and the espionage film subplot of the Basterds and their double-agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) attempting to formulate a plan. Each of these segments open out like the plot of a self-contained film; almost as if each instalment could carry its own independent narrative - be it a film about a noble family man struggling with his conscience and a loyalty to his children as he takes in a neighbouring family of sheltering Jews, or even a burgeoning war-time romance between two people from either side of the conflict (as just two single examples). Instead, Tarantino uses these short scenes to construct a much larger-tapestry of events; employing the literary use of chapter-points familiar from Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, and therefore encouraging this idea of each element of the narrative becoming its own miniature drama, both self-contained mini-movie and an integral part of the actual film as a whole.

There are other examples too, like the introduction of Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender), looking like a stunt double Sean Connery just walked off the set of Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far (1977) and straight into a typically serious, stiff-upper-lipped, War-Time propaganda piece from the early 1940s (surprisingly no less distracting for featuring a ridiculous Mike Myers characterisation and an appearance from a stogie-puffing Winston Churchill), or the extraordinary "Putting Out Fire" sequence, in which the transformation of Shosanna from innocent country girl to 40s femme-fatale is presented as an 80s pop cinema cliché: with the use of David Bowie's title song from the Paul Schrader remake of The Cat People (1982) offering an anachronistic commentary of the central themes of the film. In this sequence in particular, the cultural reference points, and the way in which each element of the iconography can be interpreted by the viewer, is simply jaw-dropping. Through montage, Tarantino shows the metamorphosis of Shosanna as if she were an actress preparing for a role: choosing a costume, applying makeup, etc. He also further suggests that the exaggeration of the violence and the retribution still to come is in many ways filtered back through the general, recognisable symbols of the cinema itself.

In striping two lines of red lipstick across either side of her face Shosanna establishes an explicit connection with the Apache theme of the Basterds, while also further illustrating the film's continual quotation of the western genre (in this instance, the classic westerns of John Ford, or the spirit of Debbie from The Searchers). By the end of the sequence she is reborn, cinematically, as the archetypical Fassbinder heroine. As she adjusts a netted veil, framed by the infamous black, white and red of a distant Swastika, she could just as easily be Maria Braun or Veronika Voss; the great symbols of post-war Germany in Fassbinder's later work. What these moments do, besides maintaining the plot and illustrating Tarantino's individual approach to the genre (or the pastiche of it), is to set up a far greater thread of interpretation that runs throughout the film: specifically the depiction of a world, both contemporary and historical, that is entirely reflected through the magic of the silver screen.

In several interviews supporting Inglourious Basterds at the time of its initial release, Tarantino suggested that what his film was really about, beyond the more recognisable genre practicalities of war-time espionage and personal retribution, was the true, all conquering power of the cinema itself. It is here, in Tarantino's film, that we see the invention of a cinema that acts as a creative force somehow strong enough to bring down the Third Reich; not simply in the metaphorical sense, but in the realisation that film is a deadly weapon; an actual combustible celluloid, as well as a creative medium with the ability to offer a group-forum for the communication of ideas. In this sense, the ideology goes back to Godard's 60s belief that the cinema could be used to change the world, and although Tarantino seems less interested in changing the world in a contemporary sense, with any attempt to read the film as a critique of the current situations in Iraq or Afghanistan (or anywhere else for that matter) seeming somewhat limited, it is no less remarkable as a central idea.

In the final chapters of the film, Operation Kino and Revenge of the Giant Face respectively, the idea of a cinema that is about cinema (the creation and the viewing of it) is confirmed, not just through the self-reflexive chapter-titles, but through Tarantino's direction of the film's major scene. In the attack on the cinema, Tarantino creates an astounding sequence that works on at least several layers; offering the obvious thrill of the climax, in which various strands of the narrative converge in a kind of closure, but also intensifying his theme of the cinema as a force to be reckoned with. The juxtaposition between images of celluloid being loaded into film canisters (or projectors) with bullets being loaded into magazine-clips had already been made during the scene of Shosanna's Bowie-scored transformation. However, in the cinema massacre sequence, the cross-cutting between the endless machine gun fire of the on-screen soldiers and the shots of celluloid running through the projector seem designed to make such connections all the more explicit. There is also the pertinent image of Fredrick Zoller, larger than life on the frame-within a frame cinema screen, pointing his blazing machine gun out at the audience, and then the fantastic mirroring of this, life vs. art, as the real-world audience (the one that we saw the movie with) cheer the eventual slaughter of this Nazi audience, who themselves were previously cheering the massacre of the opposing forces in the film within a film. Could this particular presentation be seen as Tarantino quite radically flipping the film's creative purpose, turning it back against the audience - against an audience that had always embraced the violence of his earlier work, but failed to question his own creative intentions? - Possibly. In Tarantino's film, the violence is as unforgiving as that of his characters, resulting in a powerful anti-war commentary where the recognisable distinction between the heroes and the villains is completely removed.

As the narrative develops, it is almost as if the initial plot - the two strands of revenge, from the Basterds to Shosanna - becomes less important; or at least, less important in the sense of paying off in the final act. Although the theme of revenge is carried right the way through the film, you could argue that this is really more of a study of vengeance, as an ideology, rather than simply a film about the character's pursuit of it. Like Richard Lester's cult classic How I Won the War (1967), the stylisations of Inglourious Basterds seem deliberately tailored to reduce the spectacle of war to a kind of comic book fodder; showing up the absurdity and irrationality of it, on a philosophical level, and lampooning it mercilously. So the end product is less an anti-war film than an "anti anti-war film" (Lester's classification); a riposte to the overly serious presentation of something like Saving Private Ryan (1999), where Spielberg attempted to produce a film that would place the audience right alongside his characters, so that we could experience, as close to first hand, the real horrors of combat, but instead made the whole thing rather exciting, and thrilling.

If Death Proof was essentially about transcending the casual misogyny of the horror film genre, then Inglourious Basterds could be seen as an attempt to strip away the supposed nobility of war; illustrating the conflict from numerous narrative and character perspectives - from the Americans, to the French, to the British and the Germans - and ultimately exposing the futility of it. That rather tragic notion that these people, who can (and do) hold conversations, show charm and charisma, sit side by side undetected, are conditioned into blowing each other away with bombs and machine gun fire. While many critics consider Tarantino to be nothing more than a shallow purveyor of hardcore violence - or worse, a sardonic hipster who glamorises cruelty and makes the thrill of bloodshed akin to a celebration - the actual brutality of Tarantino's work is never superficial. The violence of Inglourious Basterds is conspicuous, but never explicit. Perhaps because the film exists so far beyond the parameters of cinematic realism - rewriting history for its own satirical ends - so that these characters are ultimately robed of a recognisable humanity; reduced to symbols of status, religion, ethnicity or nationality; much like actual human beings during an extended period of war.
Inglourious Basterds is currently available on Region 2 DVD from Universal Pictures.
Posted by Linden Arden at 23:38
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Post by Admin on Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:17 pm

http://buckmire.blogspot.com/2010/02/video-review-inglourious-basterds.html

Thursday, February 18, 2010
VIDEO REVIEW: Inglourious Basterds

I finally saw Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds on home video a few weeks ago. It was the first Blu-Ray movie I have seen from Netflix and I was very favorably impressed with the latest film from the man who brought the world Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

The film uses a similar conceit that was employed in Kill Bill, in that the story is split into chapters, which are basically filmed set pieces.

Of course, most films are actually structured as a series of filmed set pieces, but Tarantino writes and directs his film in such a way that the narrative backbone is immediately apparent to the viewer.

Although Inglourious Basterds was released in 2009, I didn't see it until the first few days of 2010, so although it would have definitely made my Top 10 (probably even the Top 5) list of best movies of 2009 and I want to be a stickler about the rules.

Inglourious Basterds has now been nominated for 8 Academy Awards: Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Sound Editing and Best Supporting Actor. In fact, Christoph Walz has won nearly every Best Supporting Actor award this year (Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, etc etc) and is considered a lock for the Oscar. He plays Cololnel Hans Landa, an urbane Nazi, more commonly known as "The Jew Hunter." It is a part which tears up the scenery, but I am not really that big a fan of the performance.

The film's plot contains typical Tarantino flourishes: sparkling dialogue, bloody violence, broad humor and strong female characters. The story has been described as a Jewish revenge fantasy, since it is about an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler (and most of the top leaders of the Third Reich). It also features Brad Pitt as Lieutenant Aldo Raine who recruits and leads a team of Jewish-American soldiers to kill and scalp Nazi soldiers. Aldo and his gang become so successful that even Hitler himself knows their name. I thought Brad Pitt was excellent in the part. Other standouts for me were Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmarck and Michael Fassbender as Archie Hickox. Mike Myers has an amusing cameo as British general with a pitch perfect British accent.

Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino's most commercially successful film and is probably his best film to date (although I have a soft spot for the Kill Bill movies, although it really shouldn't take 4 hours and to movies to tell that tale).

Running Time: 2 hour, 33 minutes. MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality.

OVERALL GRADE: A/A-.

ACTING: A.
IMAGERY: A-.
PLOT: A.
IMPACT: A-.
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Post by Pilar on Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:55 am

Watching it a second time tonight, I'm under the distinct impression that one of Michael's idols had to be David Niven. In his British accent, he spoke just like him. I also didn't recognize Mike Myers until this second viewing.

The tenseness in that basement was palpable. And Christophe Waltz was just amazing.

I love this movie.
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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:34 am

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