Daily News header

Inglourious Basterds Movie Review

By     get stories by email

Memory can play strange tricks on the human mind, as can movies about memory in even more extreme ways. And taking the lead as a kind of second wave of movies about WWII by an unshackled generation of filmmakers entirely cut off from the impact of those sobering, troubled times, and free to lend alternately teasing and reverential tribute to the past, is Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. In other words, in Tarantino's playful hands, WWII rocks.

Borrowing the bluster if not the basics of Enzo G. Castellari's 1978 warsploit slaughter spree, The Inglorious Bastards,(Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato), Tarantino takes to heart - and scalp - Castellari's flamboyant tag line, 'Whatever The Dirty Dozen Did - They Do Dirtier.' Playing out in Nazi occupied France, the movie stars Brad Pitt as Lieutenant Raine, the leader of a regiment of eight American Jewish soldiers dropped behind enemy lines and going undercover in often spiffy civilian spywear. A southern redneck descendant of bootlegging moonshiners and proud of it, Raine dabbles in fearless heroics, while also perfecting carving swastikas into Nazi faces. And demanding in cocky bloodthirsty mode, one hundred extracted Nazi scalps per soldier, or else 'die trying.' And he's also the sort of guy who relishes chomping on a French pastry while his squad pulverizes Nazi brains with baseball bats.

Inglourious Basterds Movie

At the same time, Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent), the sole Jewish survivor of a massacre led by sinister SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) at the home of a countryside cow farmer, escapes to Paris where she inexplicably runs a cinema. Under an assumed identity, she again crosses paths with the treacherous Landa, who orders her to arrange a VIP premiere of the patriotic German war movie Nation's Pride, with Hitler and Goebbels as guests. And Shosanna grabs the opportunity to arrange the incineration of the theater with the many Nazi swells in attendance, by setting on fire all the highly inflammable old school nitrate film stock stored there.

And in a parallel plot to also burn down the theater, but unbeknownst to Shosanna, is fifth columnist celebrity German movie star Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), in league with a currently dapper, tuxedoed Raine. While a sidebar Nazi groin targeted cellar saloon shootout in pure vintage Tarantino style and bathed in bursting testicle blood, sidetracks the fiery and fabulous femme fatale in a tragic turn of events, related to her misplaced designer shoes.

Sorted out haphazardly into chapters and juggling heavily American accented foreign languages with lost and found subtitles, Inglourious Basterds' Western European western periodically struggles for a consistent tone alternating between serious minded tragedy and satire. But a literally explosive finale titled Revenge of The Giant Face, nicely ties up the many dangling threads, while also elevating Tarantino into fresh territory as a maturing filmmaker who has lots of suprisingly profound stuff to say. That is, when the hip noir mood strikes him.

The Weinstein Company
Rated R
3 1/2 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Movie reviewer Kam Williams interviews actor Marlon Wayans about his new movie, A Haunted House 2 and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams gives the film, Small Time 3 stars. He said it is very good and realistic, a slice-of-life drama highlighting the plight of a teen with a hole in his soul who's understandably torn between moving on with his life.
Kam Williams reviews The Railway Man, an introspective story of Eric Lomax, one of 60,000+ POWs forced to build the Burma Railway, known as the Death Railway, because so many died.
Movie review Kam Williams interviews Bridget Moynahan about the movie Small Time. Here she talks about the coming-of-age drama co-starring Christopher Meloni, Devon Bostick and Dean Norris.
Prairie Miller talks to filmmaker Lars von Trier discussing what this work in progress several years ago at Cannes, may or may not have to do with Hitler, heresy, hedonism and existential despair - before being booted from the festival.
Prairie Miller talks to people's performer David Rovics on guitar in his musical depiction of that insurrectionary time with his song, Landlord.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site