Saturday, May 21, 2011

Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino's much anticipated follow-up to Kill Bill volume 2, Inglourious Basterds tells the story of a fictional troop of Jewish-American soldiers fighting in WWII. Led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine, played by Brad Pitt, this troop called the Basterds is chosen specifically to go into Nazi-occupied France and kill Nazis. They team up with Bridget vom Hammersmark, and famous German actress turned English spy played by Diane Kruger to take down some of the leaders of the Third Reich. At the same time, Jews in Europe are being hunted down by Hans Landa, played brilliantly by Christoph Waltz. As the Basterds plan to destroy the Nazis, Landa does everything in his power to exterminate them before they get the chance.

I would like to take the time in this post to thank Quentin Tarantino for introducing America to Christoph Waltz. Hopefully this isn't their last time to collaborate. But as far as Inglourious Basterds is concerned, this tandem produces a unique kind of movie experience. The audience has a serious problem deciding who to root for because Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa is the perfect type of antagonist. He his charismatic and funny and ruthless as hell. Honestly he'd probably be who most people root for if it weren't for the whole Nazi thing. That shouldn't take credit away from Brad Pitt however. He also shines as the bloodthirsty, Nazi-hating leader of the Basterds. This movie holds true to many of Tarantino's common directing techniques including chapters within the film and the long take. It is clear to see why it took him so long to write. Diane Kruger performs well in her native German as well and she plays the 40's movie star perfectly. The one thing keeping this film from being an A in my book is that there were too many subtitles for my taste.

Grade: A-

Complex themes and concepts - Oscar
High billed actors - Box office and Oscar
Notorious director/writer - Oscar and Box office
Unique and creative direction - Oscar
Original storyline - Oscar

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