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Inglourious Basterds – they’re… well… glorious

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment

So it’s a little late in coming, but this is my first film review. I wanted to start off with a bit of a bang, rather than reviewing some b-grade trash. So I thought what better way to start than with reviewing Inglourious Basterds.

Inglourious Basterds is a war film that was both written and directed by Quentin Tarantino – one of the most prolific directors of our time… in my opinion. The film tells the story of two separate plots to assassinate the top tier of the German high command, and in so doing ending the war (WW2). One plot is planned by a young, Jewish cinema owner who, four years prior, witnessed her entire family being killed by Nazis. The second plot is put in motion by a team of American soldiers known as ‘The Basterds’ who have been sent deep into enemy territory to masacre Germans.

The film is, in a word, excellent. It is gripping right from the word go with excellent (as always) camera work from Tarantino, a fantastic script, engaging characters and an interesting and engaging storyline.

In terms of individual performances I think that two stand out – Chritoph Waltz is a complete revelation in the role of Standartenführen Hans Landa aka ‘The Jew Hunter’. The character is charming, intelligent, witty, ruthless and violent… a strange combination which leaves you a bit confused as to whether you like him or hate him. But it’s that sort of character that makes Tarantino such a genius. Waltz won the Best Actor Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for his role, and I reckon he’s got a good chance of winning a little gold man statue.

The other stand out is Brad Pitt as 1st Lieutenant Aldo Raine aka ‘Aldo the Apache’. The character is a hardcore, vengeance driven soldier with his roots in the deep south, who also happens to have a pretty good sense of humour – again making for a strangely endearing character.

It is a definite must see, especially if you profess to know anything about films. Some have gone so far as to call it Tarantino’s masterpiece – including the director himself (pay attention to the last line of the film for the self reference) – but I wouldn’t go that far. I’d say it’s definitely his best work since Pulp Fiction, but they are probably pretty neck and neck in terms of awesomeness. And what makes it even more palatable for the masses is that it isn’t as heavy on swearing and violence as some of his other films – a fact which had a large role to play in it making over $120 million at the box office.

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