Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Inglourious Basterds

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV


Country of origin:USA / Germany
Director:Quentin Tarantino
Genre:Lightweight Tarantino
Starring:Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl
IMDB link:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361748/
Tagline:Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France...
Favourite line:"You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'."

Genre botherer Tarantino’s most ambitious film to date?

The plot:
1: A group of American soldiers, collectively known as The Basterds, enter Nazi-occupied France.
Their mission?
Kill as many Nazi’s as they can, in the most brutal fashion possible, to invoke fear in every German soldier who hears their name. Scalping, crushing skulls and generally butchering any Nazi they encounter, their legend walks before them. 2: A young Jewish woman, living in Paris under an assumed French name, owns a cinema which, much to her chagrin, is to be used to premiere Herr Goebbels latest cinematic offering, Nation’s Pride, a glorious tale of a brave German soldier holding back hordes of Italian traitors single-handedly.
Can she somehow turn the event in her favour, to exact a terrible revenge on those who killed her family?
3: Three British soldiers, each fluent in German, are sent in undercover, to take out as many of the high ranking Nazi’s due to attend the movie premiere as possible. Trouble is, though the language is fluent, one of them has an accent that sounds suspiciously artificial…..

Well, he’s done a heist movie.
He’s done a pulp story mash-up.
He’s done horror and martial arts, and there’s a Western due out late 2012, so inevitably there is a war movie in Tarantino’s back catalogue.
Brad Pitt stars as Aldo, leader of The Basterds, though ‘stars’ is stretching it, as he doesn’t get much in the way of screen time, most of the focus of the movie spent on the ‘cinema’ storyline.
When present, Brad chews the fucking place up, and is not particularly convincing, his extreme Southern drawl seeming unnecessarily over the top, even to English ears.
The stand-out performers, really, are Christoph Waltz as super-evil Hans Landa, dubbed The Jew Hunter, a softly spoken figure of outright menace, and Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna the Jewish girl, hiding in plain sight as a native French woman.
Presented in chapters, Tarantino’s preferred modus operandi, this really should be fantastic. Buried somewhere deep is something spectacular, a straight ten out of ten movie that blows your fucking socks off, but the good stuff is weighed down by so much flab it really loses its way at times.
The film is two and a half hours long, and there’s really no excuse for it. Shave off forty five minutes and you’d have a punchy, intense, dynamic experience.
Instead, here we have to wade through treacle to get to the fireworks.
And when they come, they’re great, don’t get me wrong.
Some great writing.
Some moments of genuine tension, high drama and outright violence.
But Christ we have to wait for them.
Another slight issue is the presence of Eli ‘Hostel’ Roth as Sgt. Donowitz. He’s fucking useless, and is surely only present as he is one of Tarantino’s mates.
At time of writing, this sits at number 102 on the IMDB list of best movies of all time.
Well, all I can think is: Some people are easily pleased.
It’s OK, folks, but that’s as far as you can go.

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