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on 20 June 2012
This is the kind of movie only Quentin Tarantino seems able to get away with. A typically irreverent, cunning and scatological piece of flotsam that does everything against the accepted movie-making conventions but mostly works nonetheless.

Watching it, I kept thinking about all those `how to write a screenplay' courses and instruction books and reflecting on how the writing for `Inglorious Basterds' would probably fail all the standard academic criteria for success. Here is a 153 minute long movie that largely consists of lengthy conversations between two or more characters, usually sitting statically at tables and ranging around all sorts of commonplace chit-chat before getting to the point. The point, when eventually reached, then usually climaxes in a short, brutal moment of extreme violence. The film also pays scant attention to its titular characters, who are mostly just there to supply the key moments of violence. Tarantino prefers to turn conventions around and promote nominal supporting roles into the predominant leads. Finally, there's the intriguing awareness that this screenplay could probably be adapted as a theatre play with minimal change and a pretty modest budget. In fact, if somebody told you the whole thing was a filmed stage play you'd probably believe it.

Tarantino's usual indulgences are as much to the fore as ever - pastiche, self-awareness, smugness, overlength and endless movie references. The whole thing starts with a lengthy tribute to the opening of Once Upon a Time in the West and another long scene, involving the French heroine played by Melanie Laurent, looks like something lifted straight from a late-50s New Wave classic by Goddard or Truffaut. The trouble, as is always the case in Tarantino films, is that its hard to get sucked into the plot or care about the characters as he simply isn't interested in creating realistic worlds. You finish watching his movies feeling pleased that your film knowledge is strong enough to survive all the references and tributes thrown at you and then you end up feeling irritated that you have allowed yourself to get drawn into some kind of self-inflicted movie geek film quiz rather than simply going along to watch the picture.

Such is the power of the Auteur!

And yet, and yet....... Inglorious Basterds is fascinating, engaging, funny, clever, well-made and simply miles better than most mainstream movies you're likely to see in any given year. Yes, the scenes are all too long - yet they never bore and they often create superb tension. Yes, the characters often appear stereotypes - until a piece of dialogue reveals something new and unexpected. Yes, the film appears little more than a series of individual set pieces - until something important comes up that relates directly to an earlier scene.

My one problem with the picture is with the climax, which, though it tie's up all the loose ends and leads to a literally explosive resolution, nevertheless overdoes the alternative history lesson. Up until this point the film largely plays within the facts of WWII history, but the finale's rampant fiction somehow makes what has gone before a little meaningless and irrelevant. It also somewhat compromises a couple of key characters, whose actions contradict - and not in a believable way - much that has been carefully established about them in the preceding two hours.

And the acting? Well in an ensemble cast Brad Pitt enjoys himself immensely as the leader of the Basterds and Diane Kruger, as a Dietrich-like movie star and double agent, is much less stilted and more engaging than in any previous film. However pride of place goes to largely unknown Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, playing a relentless SS Jew hunter whose viciousness is hidden by an outwardly charming manner. A pity that it is his character who is most compromised by the finale.

All in all, well done Quentin - you've managed to pull it off yet again. I suspect I'll always have my reservations about you, but the fact remains that nobody does it quite the way you do.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 January 2013
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, "Inglorious Basterds" is a fictitious, visceral story of WW II in which a small group of American Jewish commandos led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine played by Brad Pitt turn the tables on Hitler and his Nazis. The movie is set in Paris during the German occupation. Besides Pitt, the major character is the Nazi "Jew Hunter" Hans Landa played by Austrian actor Christoph Waltz. Landa is suave, intelligent, shrewd, and deadly. Waltz does an extraordinary job of acting in portraying this difficult character.

The movie movies swiftly and held my attention throughout its 150 minutes. The movie is violent and crude with many scenes of beatings, cuttings, and killings. It captures the brutality of the war. In the movie, while not in fact, the Nazis get a deserved and swift comeuppance. It is a movie of vengeance.

I was engaged with this movie but found it valuable to step back and remember that it is a work of fiction. Some intelligent criticism has suggested that in this film that roles of the Nazis and the Jews has, if not been reversed, at least been somewhat equated. As in some other WW II movies, German top leadership is portrayed as consisting of buffoons. Tragically, WW II did not happen like this.

The movie was absorbing, dark, and wrenching but not especially probing. I did not find it nearly as effective or entertaining as Tarantino's more recent movie, "Django Unchained". Christoph Waltz is oustandining in both films.

Robin Friedman
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on 8 February 2010
Where do you start with this peculiar film?
It is a mess but it includes some magnificent moments of sheer virtuousity. The acting is generally highly accomplished with the exception of Brad Pitt who appears painfully constipated throughout. His part requires minimal effort and it seems that that was all Pitt was prepared to make. Having said that it may be Tarantino's directing to blame for Pitt's wooden approach.
On the other hand Christoph Waltz is simply incredible. His performance is a tour de force with a skilfully delivered balance achieved between palpable menace and grotesque comedy. Waltz is a significant find; a towering talent whose skills in this film deserve recognition with an Oscar. It is worth watching just for his performance alone. The opening scene is deftly done and appears to promise an intelligent adult film that Hollywood did so well in the late sixties and early seventies but the film from there onward fluctuates between farce and magnificence.
There is an excellently choreographed set-piece in a Parisian cellar bar that is reminiscent of the best of Sergio Leone and much of the film is a homage to the classic Spaghetti Westerns of the sixties as well as Sam Pekinpah. Even the musical score brings to mind those great Westerns. However, too much of the film is downright infantile and ridiculous with little sense of direction.

Worth watching once but only once. Borrow.
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on 4 February 2016
This is the first Tarantino film that I have ever seen. Yes really! And, I enjoyed it. It is a spoof of course, with lots of action and lots of gore. But it is an entertainment and it kept me gripped from beginning to end. I might now be tempted to take a look at Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, etc.
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`Inglourious Basterds' is a typical Tarantino film and if you are a fan of his films then this will right up your street. This is set in WW2 and follows a group of American commandos who are behind enemy lines and who terrorize nazi soldiers to lower morale. It also features a Jewish cinema owner who plans to enact her own form of revenge; both stories weave their way separately through the film and join up at the end. This is shot in a series of vignettes (very much in the pulp fiction style) and each little episode provides an extra element to the overall story. Some of the dialogue and behaviour of the Basterds will make you laugh, that is until the retribution begins and then you get the usual Tarantino ultra violence that will make you wince as you watch. The Basterds behaviour is as deplorable as the nazis at times, but their delivery and flair raise a wry smile throughout. There is an excellent cast, with many decent actors playing small roles as well as main characters and whilst the direction is stylised it is easily as good as previous films by Tarantino. The ending is ludicrous but is shot with tongue firmly in cheek and although complete fantasy, it is the ending you would want to make this a satisfying film experience. It's not real, but it is good cinema. This was better than I expected and is worth a watch at some point, just note that it is an 18 certificate for a reason.

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on 26 May 2016
One of the best films i have seen in a while, definately one of Tarantino's better films.
Great performances from everyone involved it is a visceral and hillarious treat.
If only the war ended the way it did in the film.
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Do you know what, the film is so 'way-out' ....it's actually pretty good.
Maybe the best thing 'Quentin Tarantino' has done so far ?
The film itself contains glimpses of a warped reality from 'World War '2' along with a measure of 'graphic' violence, and of course much 'tongue -in -cheek' humour.
The story ? ....a novel and of course fictional early end to the war, prior to which 'a hit-squad' are placed in occupied 'France' around the time of the 'Normandy' landings, task.....to kill as many 'German's' as they possibly can.
As i say the film is pretty entertaining to watch, and is no question 'worth a spin'
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on 16 February 2016
From start to finish I was loving the Blu-Ray version of this film! Gripping, engaging and just start to finish action! Highly recommend! Great price and very speedy delivery! What more could I ask for!
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VINE VOICEon 5 March 2012
THE STORY:
During WWII, the Basterds of the title are a commando group dedicated to bringing death and bloody ruin to the Nazis in Europe. Meanwhile, a Jewish girl who escaped the murder of her family plots her ultimate revenge. Hunting both the Basterds and the girl is Colonel Hans Landa, an SS officer with a keen intellect and a ruthless reputation.

WHAT'S GOOD:
Cristoph Waltz puts in an excellent performance as Landa; managing to pull off the feat of being simultaneously charismatic and chilling. Michael Fassbender's turn as a British special agent attached to the Basterds is also particularly noteworthy. Add to these Tarantino's unique talent for stylishly delivered action sequences and you've got this film's three redeeming features.

WHAT'S BAD:
Tarantino, a master of the witty underworld-based flick, badly overplays his hand by attempting a war film. He is clearly attempting to homage the likes of 'The Dirty Dozen' (even going so far as to include the music used in that film's final set-piece) but fails to capture the wry, downbeat tone of those sort of movies. Similarly this film doesn't work as any other subgenre of war film either. It's too gung-ho and historically ridiculous to work as a serious war film and if it's a morality tale-type war film, then the moral seems to be that everyone, regardless of what their background is or what side their on, is basically a sadistic thug. Throw into the mix an appalling performance by Brad Pitt and a truly bizarre cameo by Mike Myers and you've got a recipe for disaster. Where the likes of 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Reservoir Dogs' benefit greatly from their fractured storylines, here we're just presented with a mess more unpleasant than the head of the German who gets his brains bashed out with a baseball bat.

OVERALL:
Proof that some writer/directors should really just stick with what they already know.
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on 23 June 2015
An amazingly good movie. Personally I am not a fan of Tarantino's other blockbuster - Pulp Fiction - but this is all together different. Violent in parts - yes but with an original story line and fine acting all round.
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