Basterds" begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna
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.
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
Quentin Tarantino movies are known to contain non-stop yakking and while his movies have lots of cult following, they mostly do not appeal to the mainstream audience. With Inglourious Basterds, the rapid-mouth director has stirred up a nice mix of spaghetti western and war drama that only the man himself is capable of concocting. Thus if you are expecting something along the line of Saving Private Ryan or We Were Soldiers, I suggest you look elsewhere for your weekend home entertainment slot.
The story begins with Nazi-occupied France whereby a young girl, Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) narrowly escaped from the clutches of the evil Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) known as ‘The Jew Hunter’ and escaped to Paris. Four years later, Shosanna has become a cinema operator and she hatched a plan to blow up the theater whereby Hilter will be attending a premiere. In another segment, we are introduced to a Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) who is given the task to assemble a platoon of men and infiltrate France to kill as many Nazis as possible together with the help of actress/double agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) and the British force.
Inglourious Basterds is smartly spilt into somewhat five different acts and chapters, complex yet tangible enough to be accessible. Each of the protagonists is given substantial screentime to flesh out their characters. Even if Mr Brad Pitt’s image is adorned on the front cover of this DVD and the theatrical one-sheet, Pitt is just another tremendous well-cast actor in this ensemble piece (at the end of the day you need someone who can sell tickets) while German actor Christoph Waltz is the one who stole the show with its delicious portrayal of the equally charming and cunning Landa, switching between German to French to English and Italian, he is obviously gifted in the linguistic department at least to me. I’m sure the first twenty minutes opening sequence with Waltz will surely impressed you and perhaps you might see a glass of milk differently next time.
Other lesser known faces such as director Eli Roth (Hostel), Michael Fassbender, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger (Rabbit Without Ears) and Diane Kruger (Troy) turns in impressive supporting performances and don’t miss a cameo by funnyman Mike Meyers in a serious role. Whatever it is, if you are watching Basterds purely for Pitt, you might be somewhat disappointed.
Kill Bill definitely unleashes more gore and fake blood than any QT’s movies combined. Fortunately Inglourious Basterds features lesser of this B-grade violence and blood-soaked madness consider it’s supposedly a war movie, it’s pretty much subdued as Tarantino is much focused on the smartly-written dialogue for the cast members. With the exception of a scalping exercise in the jungle, a messy shootout in a pub and a massive explosion in the finale, the movie spent a whole lot of time crafting meticulously a desirable amount of dark humour, suspense and thrills in all the layered dialogues to engage the audience.
Just as the war genre has been done to death by a number of respective filmmakers, QT revives it with a war movie that has not been seen by people for years. How ironic it seems that the only dominating weapons featured here is an old baseball bat and a dozen characters with outrageously prolonged moments of uncontrollably chattering. Even the score which is made up of past Ennio Morricone’s music pieces is a joy to indulge in. Clocking in at 152 minutes, Inglourious Basterds marks Tarantino at his best. He is well-known in the industry as a film geek and a film geek can do no wrong if he puts his heart into making one.
There are three Extended & Alternate Scenes which runs a total of 11 minutes. The rumoured Maggie Chueng deleted scene however is not contained here.
Nation’s Pride is the film-within-a-film amusing feature directed by Eli Roth and his brother.
The movie’s teaser, domestic, international and Japanese trailers round up the extras for this Code 3 DVD.
The visual transfer is highly detailed and colours are vivid and natural. Since Tarantino is known for his selection of music and dialog, the audio presented here is more than capable to deliver QT’s vision. The occasional gunshots and explosion is loud and powerful but of course sound a lot tamer than the average war flick.
Review by Linus Tee
Posted on 19 January 2010