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Monday, October 26, 2009

Inglourious Basterds - My Review

I finally went to see Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. I like Tarantino films. I have no problem with their violence or their wordiness. In fact, I rather love the wordiness. I especially love it when all those words are spoken by fantastic actors like Christoph Waltz and Brad Pitt.

From the opening scene when Christoph Waltz as S.S. Col. Hans Landa, AKA The Jew Hunter, sits down with a dairy farmer and with calm charm and twinkling eyes, hypnotically talks and talks the farmer into revealing what Landa wants to know, I knew exactly what I was in for and I was excited. Essentially the film was just successive talky vignettes of such fun and witty dialogue that it could have gone on forever and I wouldn't have noticed. I was shocked once the film was over to find that it had run two and a half hours.

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, the head of an elite, semi-rogue group of Jewish-American Nazi killing soldiers, using Apache tactics to terrorize the Germans, was a hoot. He obviously savored every word Tarantino gave him and delivered his lines with humor, vigor, and a devilish wink of his eye. I'd like an Inglourious Basterds spin off where Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine is the main character and appears in every scene. And throw in a romantic entanglement. I'd love to see how this guy woos a woman.

Also enjoyable were the femme fatales of this film played by Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger. Over the years Tarantino has become more and more adept at writing strong, capable women and these two were a joy to see onscreen.

Athough the film did have its share of gruesome images (scalpings, beatings, gunshot wounds, etc.) typical of a Tarantino film, it also had a good amount of tension created by uncomfortable silences, slips of the tongue and crafty conversation. I was often on the edge of my seat during the labyrinthine conversations that permeated the film waiting in fear for whatever reveal was coming and I didn't miss the bang bang violence in the least.

All in all Inglourious Basterds was an alternative reality WWII film filled with witty dialogue, biting satire, enough film references to satisfy any film geek, and fantastic performances by actors obviously having a blast.

Not a bad way to spend two and a half hours at the movies.

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