Inglorious Basterds is written and directed by the master of film making Quentin Tarantino. His previous work has brought us the brilliant Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill series and Jackie Brown. He has a status and style in the film making industry that his films are quite unique and very much one of a kind. Such as Pulp Fiction, there is no other film like it. For those who haven't seen it firstly - why not!? and and secondly the film is made and then mixed about and played not in chronological order, the ending of the film is at the beginning middle at the end and so on. This film is quite similar to that in the fact that it has four different narratives which all intertwine into the plot and fit together for the ending portion of the movie.
The movie is set during World War II during the Nazi-Occupied France. A group of American soldiers are sent into Europe with one mission, simply to Kill Nazi's. They have become so good at it that the Germans refer to them as the Basterds. Later, they work with a British officer who was sent to formalise a plan to kill several high ranking German officers a the premiere of a movie depicting the 'heroics' of a German Solider. Also attending the premiere is the leading four members of the Nazi party, including The Führer Hitler himself. But something goes wrong at the meeting with their contact, a German actress, all of the members of the team who speak German are killed which complicates the plans. So the leader of the Basterds Lt. Raine (Brad Pitt) comes up with an alternative. And another complication is the screening is being moved to a small theatre because the man depicted in the movie takes a liking to the owner of the theatre. And unknown to them, she is a Jew whose entire family was massacred by a Nazi officer, who was tasked with rounding up the Jews and is now the security officer of the screening. And also unknown is that she has her own plans.
The opening to the film is like no other, it does something very risky that could possibly lose the audience on the first part. But it twists and buries that and proves to be something very clever. The beginning of the film features Christopher Waltz character - Colonel Hans Landa meeting at a house in France interrogating locals about the location of missing local Jewish families - his meeting being with Mr LaPadite the owner of a house and farm. Featuring some very clever camera angles and dialogue the scene is masterful and builds up the entire movie from the start. The sequence is around fifthteen minutes long and features various languages that include French, German and English - another possible trick to lose the touch of the audience but once again it is cleverly done. The film does require more intellect that say Toy Story. But it is worth every bit of it.
Alongside Aldo the Apache, is The Bear Jew. Feared by even Hitler himself. He is famously known for beating Nazi's to death with just a baseball bat. His entrance to the film is very noteworthy and one of my favourite in cinematic entrances. Eli Roth who portrayed the Bear Jew slowly walks up through a dark alleyway hitting his bat against the wall, taunting the Nazi victim who is waiting for his gruesome death.
Also in the group is Hugo Stiglitz. A German who killed thirteen Gestapo officers. For his punishment for his crimes he was to be transferred to Germany, however once the Basterds heard of him, he never got there and was taken in to go pro as a 'Nazi killer'. In a clever montage, with voice over by the legendary Samuel L Jackson he is shown killing the Nazi Victims. Of which the movie is very graphic and shows some brilliant death scenes. Perhaps not for the squirmish; people get there heads skinned, throats cut and strangled and much more! Just your average movie then? No, the movie reveals all in the killings - with close ups nice and clearly.
The character of Christopher Waltz is developed very early in the film, he is featured or mentioned in most the film and is built up as a villainous role, one shown worse than Hitler, although non of his antics were shown on screen. He plays Colonel Hans Landa of the SAS, a character that the actor suites so well. He has earn him self the nick-name of 'The Jew Hunter'. A name that he is particularly proud of. It shows his brutal and ruthlessness and that he is himself a deadly hunter of people. He is multi-lingual and speaks several languages throughout the whole film including English, French, German and Italian. Considering that this films main market is English.. Only thirty percent of the film is actually in English dialogue - but don't let that scare you away from the film at all. Col Landa proves to be a very intelligent and menacing villain, and quite the gentleman.. But mainly a villain of course.
The group itself, the Basterds is made out of some very special cast. Build on legend itself. There mission, simple, kill Nazi's. The head of the group Lt 'Aldo The Apache' Raine is portrayed by Brad Pitt. In his American role if there is a chance, he is very very American. He brings great dialogue and humour throughout. He does a great role in the film - for example at one point he must infiltrate the Nazi premiere as a Italian stunt man with the alias Enzo Gorlamme. How better to be in disguise than attending in a bright white smoked dinner jacket. Very suttle indeed. And not being able to speak any German, French, but three lines of Italian. Well done. Very well done in the film though!
You haven't seen war until you've seen it through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino. This is, if it can be counted as one of my favourite war movie. It is complete utter fiction, but is complete fun. Almost every scene is memorable to myself- yet very funny in some considering the plot and tone of the film.
Musically the movie is a stun. By Legendary composer Ennio Morricone each and every one of the scenes are supported by his excellent music that fits perfectly. The sound produced fits right into the time setting well. With added techno, electronic sounds for the 'special parts' of the film that are either flashbacks, memories or feelings is just perfect. The film is definitely made perfect by the little things. The little things have made the film work as well as it does. Such as the cream going onto a strudel, or lighting a pipe bigger than your head. Very little things right, how can they make an entire movie? but they all add up to make the big thing, adding extra detail and extravagants. The humour of the film is very controlled and is in all the right places, such as the bigger pipe scene, and the infamous nein, nein, nein, nein phrases that sold the films trailer. Speaking of which, what is the rating for this film?
Nominated eight times at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, Inglorious Basterds is a riveting thrill ride that everyone should try. Holding some awesome scenes that are some of my favourite in cinema, another being the marvellous Mexican stand-off scene the film is a triumph in cinema. It is a hybrid genre movie, where the gangsters have been replaced by Nazis and the police by the Basterds. A great movie overall - Tarantino proves that you don't need CGI to make a good movie, just a good script and a bit of Tarantino mix-up magic. His next film feature Django Unchained due out early 2012 should also be a very good movie if his follows his standard.