Monday, March 29, 2010

Inglourious Basterds

I was one of the winners of a free DVD code for Rebox over at Susieqtpies Scraps of Life 
and rented the Quentin Tarantino movie "Inglourious Basterds", which is historical fiction.   I have to say that while I have liked several of Tarantino's screenplays ("From Dusk Til Dawn" being my favorite), I have never been a fan of his directorial productions - sometimes I think I am the only person in the free world that didn't find "Pulp Fiction" to be a work of art.   Nor am I am fan of war movies because I already know how it is going to end.  Despite those two points, I liked this movie because it was well scripted, has some powerful performances and does have a historically inaccurate ending that was not expected.

Another signature of Tarantino is to "pay homage" to other films and copy scenes and/or sets from other films.  I could not identify anything specific, but even the people I watched this with commented more than once "Haven't I seen this before?" at certain points.

Much like the style of "Pulp Fiction", it is divided into different segments that at first seem fragmented but do tie up nicely at the end.   The first segment starts out in a farm in France where "Jew Hunter" Col. Hans Landa (portrayed by Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar for the role) which comes across even more sinister than Hitler in this movie, who looking for a Jew family and has his solders shoot the floorboards after the homeowner confesses to Landa that the Jews are hiding under there, but a teen Shoshana Dreyfuss escapes.

The next segment is of the "Basterds", which were a small group Jewish American Special Forces unit led by Lt. Aldo Raine (portrayed by Brad Pitt) sent to Europe to bring terror to and extinguish the Nazi regime. Brad Pitt's "Aldo" brings to life a southern drawled leader that is calm and laid back in every situation.  He tells his me he is part Apache and directs them to each kill 100 Nazi's and take their scalps (the scalping was a little to real and very hard to watch, but it was germane to the story line and gore is part of Tarantino's signature in a film) to create terror in the Nazi regime in flashbacks where Hitler is interrogating the lone surviving Nazi soldier after his encounter with the "Basterds" relays his experience.

I don't want to give away then ending, but the next three chapters expand the characters and the story and ultimately weave together into a very unexpected ending.  

The downsides of the movie:
  • It is Rated "R" due to graphic violence and language.   This is not one "the whole family" to watch.  I would recommend no younger than high school age - I did allowed my 16 year old to watch because he did have a class on the Holocaust last semester and some of the real images and stories of things that actually happened were worse than anything in this film. 
  • Many segments are in French, German and some Italian with subtitles that are hard to read on a standard TV if you eyesight is not perfect or you don't speak those languages.  I don't speak French or Italian and I have used German in over 20 years, so this is one I wish I had seen on the big screen as we had to play it back several parts to get what was going on because it was hard to keep up with the subtitles in parts.
  • It is historical fiction and if you are a history buff and hung up on history always being portrayed as being accurate, this one is going to bother you.
I find the movie was worth watching despite the above downsides and can recommend it, but at your own discretion.

    1 comment:

    Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

    I didn't care for Pulp Fiction either, and I know what you mean about feeling like you're the only one! So many people seem to think it was a real work of art. Go figure!