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23 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I kind of agree with Brad Pitt..., October 25, 2010
This review is from: Inglourious Basterds (Single-Disc Edition) (DVD)
At the end of the film, Pitt states "I think this may be my masterpiece" (or something to that nature) and in regards to Tarantino and his directorial efforts, I think that statement may apply here (however, not in regards to Brad Pitt who, sadly, is that acting `weak link' in this film). Yes, Tarantino will have legions of fans bickering in rabid fashion over which gargantuan cult classic is the best (most will cheer for `Pulp Fiction', some `Kill Bill' and, until I saw this film, I was all about `Reservoir Dogs') but at the end of the day, when you stack everything back to back to back, his latest effort makes it very clear that he has learned and certainly grown as a director over the course of his career.

This film is nearly perfect.

I could go on all day dissecting this film and layer my review with countless praise-littered sentiments, but I'm going to try and refrain, just a little.

I'm often told I'm a tad longwinded.

The story itself is a fabricated fantasy piece set in the times of the Nazi regime where Tarantino has a group of violence-fascinated `Nazi Killers' waging war with a `Jew Hunter' and his reign of terror. They aren't alone in their mission of hate-filled executions though. At the films outset we are introduced to Landa, the `Jew Hunter', as he slaughters a Jewish family taking refuge in another man's home. One of the family members, a young girl, escapes. She in turn, years later, is presented with a rare opportunity that she cannot let slip through her fingers; revenge.

The film never once appears lacking in rich Tarantino style, but it also carries with it a layer of sophistication that is not found in most of his work. It is more polished; crisper if you will. While some will balk at my statement and point out that `Pulp Fiction' itself is `sophisticated' (an assessment I will stand behind), I feel compelled to point out that while I love both films, this latest entry in the Tarantino roster surely shows much maturing since Tarantino's 90's heyday. The narrative flow feels far less like a gimmick (yes, that is an accusation made against `Pulp Fiction', and one that bares some truth) and more like a fully fleshed out plot piece. And while Tarantino has shown great visual flare in many of his films, especially his `Kill Bill' epic, he has never exuded so much class into his visual opuses as he does here. Just look at the opening sequence. It is breathtakingly staged, brilliantly acted and flawlessly captured. The visual is fresh, rich and certainly eye-catching, but it isn't over-the-top. The spectacle of it all doesn't take away from the seriousness of it all. There is the tension, the dread, the emotional gut punch; not to mention the perfectly times flares of humor that take the scene to a whole new level. In fact, that opening sequence should be preserved in a room for all struggling artists to venture when needing inspiration (that and the opening sequence to Fincher's `The Social Network'). It is a brilliant and inspired way to open a film, setting the tone effortlessly and inviting us (or should I say CONVINCING US) to walk right alongside Tarantino for the entire journey.

Oh lord; I am getting longwinded, aren't I?

I wanted to touch upon the acting, because as an ensemble it really does shine (and Christoph Waltz's Oscar win was VERY deserved). Yes, Pitt is here and he is decent but he is also a tad overdone and certainly the films weakest performance. In fact, Fassbender has a VERY short scene and yet he acts circles around anything Pitt does, adding an entire back-story to his devilishly charming grin. That said; Waltz is just phenomenal, layering Landa with so much unintentional wit that you can't help but totally `get this guy'. Sure, he's a creep, but you want him around. Besides, Waltz really understood how to work with his fellow actors. He plays off of them in each and every scene, and it actually boosts the performances of the entire cast. In fact, some of the best moments come from other actors working off of Waltz's presence. The other GIGANTIC standout here is Melanie Laurent. She is mesmerizing here, and totally nails the inner tension that presents itself in her character. She is not only stunning (seriously, gorgeous to look at) but she embodies the films moral core (yes, it has one) and exudes a sense of profound entitlement that I think is necessary to accepting the film as more than torture-porn.

There is a method to Tarantino's madness, and Laurent holds the key.

In the end I'm totally in this films corner. It really should have swept at the Oscars (at least when you consider the films it was nominated against). This film is far more entertaining, creative, stylistic, memorable and profound than James Cameron's opus of gigantic smurf people and their protests to `save the planet'.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 27, 2010 6:30:12 AM PDT
Hey there twin,

I liked this one a lot. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more "basterds" action, but I think once you know that this isn't that film, you see it for the great movie that it is. I love Pulp Fiction and at the time it was sort of cutting edge. I can kind of watch it any time. I have had Kill Bill(both volumes) unopened for years and I just can't seem to get in the right mood to watch them. I've never seen more than a minute of either film(channel surfing)! Can you believe it? :-O!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2010 6:06:31 AM PDT
The first film is pure genius...the second film, while very good, feels like leftovers :-P

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2010 10:06:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2010 10:07:14 AM PDT
You are indeed long winded, but thank you for it. Because of your lengthy discussion of this movie, I have decided to buy it for my "second-world-war-loving" husband.

Thanks again, Joe's wife

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2010 10:09:11 AM PDT
Awwww, thank you for loving my longwindedness!!! I hope he loves the film!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011 12:39:16 PM PDT
Yeah I can believe it! I think those films the weak link in Tarantino's discography. Though
mighty impressed with "Basterds" I'm unfortunately not as up on it as the much vaunted "Reservoir Dogs" or "Jackie Brown" for that matter. Let's just say I'm not unhappy with this rather inexpensive purchase....I do enjoy it!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2011 8:54:13 PM PDT
T. Ching says:
@Joe's wife:

hmm as you may have discovered already, this film is not so much a story of the second world war as it is a exposition of the human nature, regardless of morale standing or upbringing. Hopefully you two still found capacity to enjoy it, as several colleagues of mine have expressed disdain upon seeing the carnage while expecting a straightforward (albeit one-dimensional) war film.

Tarantino at his finest, so i'm glad you two still had the chance to watch it!

Posted on Dec 19, 2011 5:39:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2011 5:40:50 AM PST
dvd watcher says:
I wonder how many people that like Tarantino films are single males that live in their parents basements playing console games online shooting things.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2011 5:43:38 AM PST
LOL, well, I'm sure there are many. I happen to be a married father of two, but whatever ;-)
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