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I Bet You Didn't See... Inglorious Basterds


I wouldn't say it is worth it, particularly. With a name take from a 1978 WW2 version of The Dirty Dozen, Quentin Tarantino certainly didn't drop his style or standards here. But I will be perfectly honest, I am not a fan of Tarantino, probably for the simple fact that he is a character and an ego I do not get along with... and I don't enjoy his movies much.

Inglorious tells the story of a fictional band of Jewish soldiers working through France to kill off Nazi soldiers. They are merciless and ruthless, killing in increasingly violent ways and leaving one survivor from each attack alive with a "squared" Swastika on their forehead to brand them for life.

Waltz as Hans Landa

Their story builds up alongside the story of Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), a charismatic officer of the SS who is tasked with hunting down the French Jews in hiding. He is as ruthless in his task as the Basterds are in theirs. Ultimately, the two story lines meets at the films climax.

In true Tarantino style, the film is brutally graphic, stupidly unrealistic and more about pushing the boundaries of the viewers comfort than telling a compelling or relatable story.

The Basterds are led by an American soldier Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt). They are Jewish-American soldiers, plus one infamous Nazi hating German, who ambush and sabotage German soldiers. Raine claims to be part Apache, and so makes the group scalp their victims and wants them to collect 100 scalps each.

Tarantino tries to make Raine look like he is using this to drive his men to avenge their people and heritage, while having an excuse to quench his blood-lust. He appears to me as a character who would rather be at war for the sake of war than liberating a country, and that seems like an insult to the thousands of Jewish men and women who actually rose up against the Nazis in the concentration camps, Polish ghettos and underground resistance movements around Europe (particularly France).

The film also exaggerates the portrayal of all Nazis as evil people. In the first attack, establishing the brutality and reputation of the Basterds, a young German soldier is left alive with the carved Swastika on his forehead. He is scared for his life. He gives up information easily and is sent back to spread the word of what all his comrades now need to fear. I feel Tarantino has made an excessive film in his own style that ignores the poor conscripts that served without a choice.

I know it is not a film aimed at being historically accurate, but there is a truth behind resistance fighters, and those soldiers who went undercover as double agents, that needs to be respected and isn't here. It may be a completely fictional story, but show some respect

Pitt after having said "Bonjourno" in his outrageous accent

Raine has a thick Tennessee accent but in his one line in Italian they are not uncovered, he makes the Basterds looks almost unforgiving in how they achieve their goals and makes a mockery of the success of spies used by the British Military. He might even be taking the piss out of British upper class "stiff upper-lip" attitude and the American stereotype of "shoot now, ask questions later".

There is awkwardly painful (both visually and physically) scene in the basement tavern where Lt. Hicox (Michael Fassbender) of the British Army has teamed up with the Basterds to meet a double agent (Diane Kruger) to discuss attacking a Nazi Propaganda event. They turn up as SS officers (Raine hidden away as back up) and, unfortunately, they find German soldiers there. Sgt. Stiglitz (Til Schweiger) is one of the fake officers. Since he has been in the German papers for murdering numerous Gestapo officers, it is amazing he is not recognised. It is just an awfully directed scene as the genuine German soldiers are drunk and messing around in front of supposed superiors, and a further high ranking officer appears to challenge the newcomers. The meeting, unsurprisingly, goes badly.

Fassbender & Kruger realising this film will be forgotten behind the sofas of their careers

The only golden light about this film is Christoph Waltz. He is suave, charismatic and sinister all in one package, just as Tarantino wanted. It's sad to say that as he is the main villain but that is how it goes.

It's a poor film and an endurance test as well, and over 150 minutes. I think it is done in poor taste really, but Tarantino is not know for "taste".

Written & Directed by: Quentin Notalentino

Starring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, Michael Fassbender

Released: May 20, 2009

My Rating: 2/10

Waltz offers us a chance to call Hollywood for our money back

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