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Monday, January 11, 2016


Quentin Tarantino gave some kind of banal reason for spelling the title of Inglourious Basterds the way he did, but I honestly never really cared why. To me, this is just another example of Tarantino being Tarantino, and I was able to get past the weird title without much problem. As with all Tarantino movies, you either love or hate this movie. There are very few people who could take or leave Inglourious Basterds. To me, it is a classic. Allow me to explain.

First of all, I am a sucker for a movie about World War II historical fiction. Secondly, there is just something about Christoph Waltz playing a smart ass Nazi that seems to fit so perfectly into the grand scheme of everything. This movie was perfectly cast, and that includes the fact that Tarantino does not appear in any scene. When I saw this movie for the first time, I cannot tell you how happy I was that Tarantino is not in it.

To me, this movie is absolutely perfect. Yes, I like how Brad Pitt played his role of hardened American Lieutenant Aldo Raine. Yes, I thought Michael Fassbender was absolutely brilliant in his role Lieutenant Archie Hicox. Yes, I thought Mike Myers was completely convincing as a British intelligence officer. It all worked for me, from the casting to the camera work. This is an example of a perfect movie, from start to finish.

There is some action in Inglourious Basterds, but the movie is centered more around the verbal establishment of certain types of situations. The film opens with a gripping scene that has Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (played by Waltz) systematically breaking down a French farmer until that farmer confesses that he is hiding Jewish people under his floor boards. The dialogue was gripping, the tension was palpable, and the execution of the scene was flawless. There are probably five or six extended scenes like this in the movie that rely on emotion to push them through, and every one of them works.

I always felt that the people who criticized Brad Pitt’s performance in this movie simply do not understand what acting is. Pitt is playing a caricature, and he does it extremely well. Waltz is also playing a caricature, and he may have pulled off his performance even better than Pitt’s. I find that people who do not like Quentin Tarantino movies will often criticize the more obvious elements of those movies as being childish or weak. Once again, either you love Quentin Tarantino movies, or you hate them.

Tarantino’s framing of this movie is very deliberate, and he uses his extended scenes as the foundation for the entire story. You can talk about the scene at the French farm or the scene at the German basement pub as though they were their own movies because they could literally stand on their own. The fact that Tarantino weaves it all together into a movie is absolutely amazing. The fact that the movie works makes this a classic.

There will be those who dismiss this review and the movie as more Tarantino garbage, and I understand that. I would even think that Quentin Tarantino understands that as well. But for people who just love good movies, this is one that you should see. If you wanted to see two movies that would be entertaining regardless as to whether or not you liked Quentin Tarantino, then you would see this movie and Django Unchained. But that is a discussion for a different review. For now, I will just say that if you do not at least give Inglourious Basterds a chance, then you are missing out on one of the more unique movies ever made. Who knows? You may even like Brad Pitt’s performance. I know I do.

Rating: 5 out of 5

+George N Root III is a drive-in addict who is patiently waiting for the drive-in season to start. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at georgenroot3@gmail.com.



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