Wednesday, January 13, 2010

#8-Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds

The latest film from influential American writer-director Quentin Tarantino, comes with the very provocative title of Inglorius Basterds. Now the title alone leaves a lot of ground to cover, to live up to a title of that quality takes some skill, but my trust was in Tarantino from the beggining. Now, I am a fan of Tarantino's other works. Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, the list can go on. The films are notable for the outstanding camera work, dialouge and acting that he makes sure to keep in for his fans, and fans of film in general. His movies usually tend to be omages to film genres that have come to pass, and are usually not expored by todays Hollywood controled cinema. Tarantino certainly has the writing chops for his films, they are all very unique, and stand out against so many films that are the same. While Tarantino used to be an independent film maker, the success of Kill Bill, and an already very heavy cult staus propelled him into new found stardome. Upon hearing about this film coming out, and being his first REAL film since Kill Bill, I was a little suspicious that he may have fallen into the trap of typical filmmaking. But boy, did he ever prove me wrong.

Inglourius Basterds was in the writing process nearly as long as Avatar. Tarantino had started the work before, and during the filming of Pulp Fiction, back in 1995. However, he was halted from the project, from having a little writers block, as well as him and Uma Thurman creating the character of The Bride while on set. So Tarantino pushed aside his WWII film in favor of Kill Bill. He was stopped once again during writing to work on his half of Grindhouse, Death Proof. And that is when Inglorious Basterds finally came to fruition. Nearly 14 years after the original idea.

The plot of this film is very fun. The plot follows the Basterds who are sent into Nazi occupied France as civilains. The find, kill, and scalp the Nazi's they find, and leave the bodies behind. While the film was advertised as only following the Basterds, we also have the plot of Shoshanna, whose theatre has been selected by the Nazi party to have the premiere of a film. And she, is Jewish. There is also another plot thread, that I wish to not spoil here.

"Sound good?"

As always, I really enjoyed Tarantino's writing. Not only his dialouge, but his writing in general. I actually heard the interesting idea yesterday, that Inglorious Basterds could easily be turned into a stage production, as many scenes are very lengthy and take place in single rooms. On the topic of lengthy scenes, this movie is two and a half hours long, which may turn some people off, but please, stick with it, this kind of film needs attention, as it is so great, yet very underused.

From a technical standpoint, the film is very nice as well. The pacing is even, the effects are nice, the costumes are very much from that era, and the sets are well constructed. I would also like to point out that this movie does feature a typical Tarantino soundtrack, that consists of Western tunes, and pop/punk ballads. I always love the music in his films, it gives the scenes a sense of, urgency, and his credits, which typically have nothing going on in the background, are always fun to watch for the music. Also worth note, this like many Tarantino films, a very violent, and very bloody.

The acting in this film is great by nearly everyone involved. Brad Pitt does an excellent job as Lt. Aldo Rain. I was a bit skeptical upon hearing about his casting, but was greatly surprised. Christoph Waltz, who plays the Jew Hunter, is the best villian since Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, and the supporting cast does great as well. The only acting problem was in Eli Roth. I know he's friends with Quentin, and he's a great director, but he can't act.

Overall, as you can tell, I really enjoyed this movie. And, while it doesn't quite recive a 5/5 (which I save for my Best Picture, made me cry films) it certainly gets very close. The direction is great as always. It's fun to listen to the characters talk, the techincal lighting and pacing is nice, and both Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz should at least get Oscar nods for their preformances. I just loved this movie, and it is another to add to Tarantino's long line of success's.

I Give Inglorious Basterds A:


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