|The stars stand out on the stylish poster for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds|
A group of Jewish American soldiers known as the Basterds and a Jewish French cinema owner, who has had her family obliterated by the Nazis, join forces to blow up her cinema at the night when it will contain Hitler, Goebbels and more top Nazi leaders.
Inglourious Basterds is the 8th feature from Tennessean master writer-director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction (1994)). It is his first major film, (that is, not counting his first, My Best Friend's Birthday (1987), which I have yet to see), which I at first viewing thought was a bad movie. On second viewing I have revised this opinion some, though I still can't profess to really like this war dramedy exploitation escapade that puts a fictional end to the Nazis of WWII, and I will definitely call it overrated.
Brad Pitt (Babel (2006)) is good as Basterd leader, lieutenant Aldo Raine, and he is featured in most of the film's funny moments. The title of the film is a reference to Enzo G. Castellari's The Inglorious Bastards/Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato (1978), but Inglourious Basterds is not a remake of the latter film, and the strange title, which deliberately contains two spelling mistakes (an extra u in inglorious and an e instead of an a in bastards) may be a way of setting the newer film aside from Castellari's, or of securing it against any copyright liability in connection with the older film.
Inglourious Basterds has some good ideas in it but is terribly overlong and demonstratively pompous. Christoph Waltz (Our God's Brother (1997)) won his first Oscar for his energetic, endlessly aggravating performance as psychopath pedant colonel Hans Landa. Co-starring actor-filmmaker Eli Roth (Rock of Ages (2012)) directed the Nation's Pride propaganda film in Inglourious Basterds.
Tarantino's wrestling with WWII is opulent, enjoyable, bloated and tense.
Quentin Tarantino: 2012 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED III]
2012 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED II]
Django Unchained (2012) - Tarantino's gutsy, colorful 'Southern'
Top 10: Best car chases in movies reviewed by Film Excess to date
Death Proof (2007) - Tarantino's awesome, rubber-burning Grindhouse homage
Desperado (1995) - Rodriguez' second Mexico actioner is a sexy, latino fireball (actor)
Watch a trailer for the film here
Cost: 70 mil. $
Box office: 321.4 mil. $
= Big hit
[Inglourious Basterds premiered 20 May (Cannes) and runs 153 minutes. Tarantino wrote the first script in 1998 but struggled with the film's ending and made Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), Death Proof (2007) and other smaller projects in the meantime, believing that Inglourious Basterds would be a masterpiece. Casting the previously widely unknown Austrian-German actor Waltz, Tarantino has said, "gave me my movie." Shooting took place from October 2008 - February 2009 in Paris, France and in Germany, including in Brandenburg's Studio Babelsberg. SPOILER Tarantino has stated that he used his own hands in the scene where Diane Kruger (Mr. Nobody (2009)) gets strangled. The final draft script for the film was leaked online prior to the film's release. Promotion of the film in Germany required digitally altering posters to remove the swastikas, which are illegal to flaunt in public but allowed in works of art such as in the film itself. The film opened #1 to a 38 mil. $ first weekend in North America, Tarantino's best opening up to that point. It spent 5 consecutive weeks in the top 5 (#1-#2-#2-#2-#3) there and grossed 120.5 mil. $ (37.5 % of the total gross). The film also did terrific business abroad; its 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were France with 24.9 mil. $ (7.7 %) and Germany with 23.5 mil. $ (7.3 %). It became Tarantino's highest-grossing film until beaten by his next, Django Unchained (2012). Roger Ebert gave the film a 4/4 star rating, translating to two notches higher than this review. The film was nominated for 8 Oscars, winning one for Waltz as Best Supporting Actor. It lost Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Editing and Sound Editing to Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker and Cinematography to James Cameron's masterpiece Avatar. It was also nominated for 4 Golden Globes, winning one, 6 BAFTAs, winning one; it won Waltz the Best Actor award in Cannes, a David di Donatello award, was one of National Board of Review's Top 10 Films of the Year, along with many other awards and honors. Inglourious Basterds is certified fresh at 89 % with a 7.8 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]
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