Q: What’s the movie about?
A: Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) leads a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as the ‘Basterds’ in killing Nazis during World War II and taking a central part in a plot to end the war in writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s re-imagining of history.
Q: Who’s in the movie?
A: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Bruhl, B.J. Novak, Martin Wuttke, Sylvester Groth, Mike Meyers, Julie Dreyfus
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?
A: Proceed with Caution. If you like (or even love) Quentin Tarantino’s films, then just go ahead and pretend like the little traffic signal over there on the left is flashing green for you. Because Inglourious Basterds will be right up your alley; the movie is easily as good as some of his best. For everyone else not in the above category, I’m not really sure what to say to you, but my guess would be that you probably hate going on roller coasters. To which I say: life is short, so why not ride one once in a while.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?
A: Brad Pitt (+) absurd Tennessee accent (÷) by period mustache (x) eye-catching scar on neck (=) more laughs than you might expect. Other stuff will make you laugh too, if your sense of humor veers toward the dark side.
Q: Will this movie make me cry?
A: No. Unless you generally find yourself crying while watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?
A: If this film is nominated for Best Picture, it will say a lot about how the academy is feeling towards Quentin Tarantino these days. Beyond that, the acting is spectacular and will most likely be noticed once award season hits.
Q: How is the Acting?
A: Christoph Waltz as ‘Jew Hunter’ Col. Hans Landa is getting a lot of attention for his work in this movie and it’s all deserved. He takes every cliché ever put on screen of the “scary Nazi” and deconstructs it so thoroughly that the almost cuddly teddy bear he creates has the odd (and purposeful) result of becoming one of the most unique and scariest Nazis ever put on film. But he is just the start of a cast that makes an indelible mark, including the femme-fatales, Diane Kruger and Melanie Laurent, who can connive and consort with the best of spies; male or female. And as is usually the case, the further Brad Pitt disappears into a real character, the better he is, and that is no less true here as his Lt. Aldo Raine borders on comic genius.
Q: How is the Directing?
A: As great of a screenwriter Tarantino has proven to be over the years, at this point in his career he’s probably a better director. Inglourious Basterds is another testament to that; you can just feel the energy coming off the screen from someone who truly loves what he does for a living. But I do wish he displayed more discipline as an editor because more than a few scenes go on way too long (yes I’m looking at you Scene-in-Cellar that should be cut by half). But back to directing: Tarantino’s camera never makes a false move, and it’s always fun to see how he uses the tools of cinema like a master painter in complete control of his medium. Tarantino knows how to tell a story through pictures like few directors, and this one is no exception.
Q: How is the story/script?
A: Once again Tarantino uses an unconventional structure to tell the story here, although not in a time-shifting jumble like Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. Unfolding in ‘chapters’ the story leaves central characters for long stretches to set up new characters in subsequent sections, only to have all the central players come together for an explosive climax. Like many of his past screenplays, the dialogue is sharp and the conflict within any given scene is oftentimes surprising and jarring. And I can’t heap praise on the actors without acknowledging the characters Tarantino created and the dialogue and actions he wrote for them to say and do. But due to the subject matter, Inglourious Basterds plays more like a cartoon than any of his other films, yet in many ways it’s also impossible to view it simply as that. It rides an extremely fine line between reality and fantasy and as the story unfolds it delves further into wish fulfillment that is ultimately as cathartic as its author intended.
Q: Where can I see the trailer?
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