Review: Inglourious Basterds

inglourious basterds

Quentin Tarantino is a kid in a candy store. He loves movies. He loves making movies. He has complete control over his movies, basically he gets to do whatever he wants. In Inglourious Basterds, he mixes some of his favorite genres (spaghetti western, spy thriller, etc.) to make one big and tasty cumulative stew. Tarantino has made his best movie since Pulp Fiction in 1994, and all of the flair and intensity of his earlier work is back intact.

There are two seperate stories that drive Inglourious Basterds. In the first story, a young Jewish woman, Shoshana, plots revenge against  Col. Hans Landa, the Nazi officer that slaughtered her family. In the second  story, Lt. Aldo Raine leads a group of Jewish-American recruits behind enemy lines to kill and terrorize the Nazi army. The two stories converge at the end, as it seems Shoshana and Raine come to have the same target.

Tarantino lets the stories run long (but never boring) as he relishes in the dialogue and characters, especially the arch-villain Landa. Landa reminds me of the villain Anton Chighur from No Country For Old Men; each using cunning and brutality, each playing cat and mouse with their victims. Christoph Waltz played Hans Landa to perfection, earning him the best actor award at Cannes.

inglourious_basterds-posterI took my wife to see Inglourious Basterds on a date. This was not exactly the best date movie. Nazis being beaten to death with a baseball bat and being scalped doesn’t give one a warm and fuzzy feeling.

But the thing that struck me about this film that I don’t hear anyone else talking about is the pervading aspect of suspense. Every scene and almost every conversation could have erupted in violence. Waiting for that violence to happen as the scenes went forward pretty much had me at the edge of my seat. How can a Nazi officer ordering a glass of milk be more suspenseful than a woman walking into a dark alley? Tarantino masterfully builds suspense just as well as any movie director out there, and he makes it look easy.

fish-bone4

Four fishbones out of four

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2 Responses to “Review: Inglourious Basterds”

  1. Jackie Says:

    I cannot WAIT to see this movie! I only wish I had seen it in theatres…

    • J. Marshall Teegarden Says:

      Inglourious Basterds will be available to rent next Tuesday (12-15). You should see it, it’s great.

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