The opening credits roll and the music score picks up, and right from the jump its vintage Tarantino. I can’t help but notice the similar tone in the music scores of that in The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. Unsurprisingly so since that is one of Quentin’s favorite movies of all time. Even today you can see the influence as the musical scores in his movies play a key part to the overall essence of the scenes as opposed to being just lowly background music. Inglourious Basterds is an enjoyable movie watching experience for any of those not faint at the heart. Although, their really is only three gruesome or nerve racking scenes in the entire movie. (IMO) The flick clocks in at around 2.5 hours and has plenty of character development integrated nicely with intelligent and many times witty dialogue.
Speaking of the dialogue, I hope you don’t mind subtitles at times as the film stays true to form and captures the realism with all the different languages. (English, German, French) I actually prefer it, although sometimes I got to be in the right mood to take in an all subtitled film like City of God for instance. (Another film I’d like to see on Blu-ray) Before this film came to be Tarantino often referred to it as a Spaghetti World War II movie he was going to make. Those not familiar with the term “Spaghetti” in the sense of film making can check out a popular spaghetti western Here (Sukiyaki Western Django) for a more intuitive insight. Point being, although this movie does have a few action sequences it is definitely not some rockin, rippin, action movie like some may digest from the trailers.
Inglourious Basterds is a remake of an older version but the story is nowhere near the same. More so, it just so happens to use the same name. True story, the old director (Enzo) only allowed him to use the name if he could play a role and got cast for a small cameo in the final theater scene.
Inglourious Basterds tells the completely fabricated story of how World War II might have ended had a group of bloodthirsty, highly trained American Jews in the army been allowed to infiltrate Nazi occupied France where they owed their Lt. Aldon Raine Nazi scalps! And on their way, that mission needed to collide with one fateful night when all the top leadership of Germany attended the gala opening of a new propaganda film held at a movie theatre owned by a beautiful French girl (Shosana) who was actually was a Jew who had escaped the slaying of her entire family and now she’s bent on revenge at any cost. Not to forget mentioning how her goal crosses paths with that of an undercover British agent who just happens to be a German double agent who happens to be a movie star.
Albeit this probably already sounds unrealistic and far fetched but Tarantino has a way of making it easy to digest by putting this longer than average flick into chapters. Folks who don’t know of Quentin’s writing style and zanyness in his movies probably shouldn’t start with this flick or at least go into this totally open minded. There is much pleasure to be had in watching WWII reinvented by Quentin Tarantino.
The film can take you for a wild ride though since it starts out VERY serious and with exceptionally superb acting by Christoph Waltz who plays an SS officer Col. Hans Landa. Waltz performs one of the most chilling portrayals of a Nazi to ever grace film. Landa is feared by all, he can smell BS a mile away and can root out deception at every turn. In the opening scene, which what I referred to earlier as a more tense serious one that could make you then thrown back a bit when the movie takes a turn is a true peice of art. Landa comes to an old French farmhouse and speaks with the owner. The owner is hiding Jews beneath his floorboard, and we’re pretty sure Landa knows it too. Landa drills out information, through one of the most tense interrogation scenes you’ll ever see, and you’ll be at the edge of your seat throughout. The coolest part about it is that it’s done without yelling or rage but instead through intensity of mannerisms. You could cut it with a knife! Superb writing and amazing acting by Waltz really made this character shine.
The rest of the film moves at different paces, while fast when the Basterds confront some Nazi soilders but yet slow when in the bar. Brad Pitt is a humorous charm as Aldo Raine, leader of the Basterds. His Basterds, including folks like director Eli Roth (Hostel) aka “The Bear Jew” and B.J. Novak from TV’s “The Office” are fairly interchangeable. Oddly, we look forward to them conducting brutal mayhem, yet they actually use relatively little screentime portraying such action. There is one infamous scene of their brand of interrogation but I felt the movie could’ve used a few more scenes sprinkled throughout.
Another showstopper is that of Melanie Laurant, who plays Shosana the vengeful theater owner. I’ve never seen her before, and she is refreshing charm, whether in casual slacks or a gorgeous formal red dress. She dominates the final portions of the film.
All in all, for any casual or hardcore fans of Tarantino movies this is a must watch and more than likely must own. It’s one of those movies that you can enjoy in multiple viewings all with in the same year, which is a present in itself. The film seems to be one of amazement when you think about all the countries around the world who’s notable actors appeared in it. It connects a lot of countries together to make a world wide success and something even Germans can be proud of and have fun watching instead of thinking badly abotu their past which many are ashamed of. Great movie.
Inglourious Basterds makes its way on to Blu-ray disc with a 1080p AVC-Encoded transfer on a BD-50 disc. Tarantino’s adaptation is stunning, the costumes are remarkable, and the high attention to detail really come to life in this Blu-ray transfer. Deep blacks are sprinkled throughout and rich detail and clarity can be seen in almost every scene. Light instances of grain, but nothing to write home about. Flesh tones are warm and are extremely life like as if you could reach out and touch. There really isn’t much to gripe about here except for a couple small muggy like sequences that I thought could’ve maybe popped a bit more. Even the smallest of small characteristics shine amazingly with rich detail. The Louisville slugger bat with all the notches on it and the carvings on the back end of the rifle etched with “Inglourious Basterds” on it are perfect proof of this sentiment. No videophiles will be moaning about this one that’s for sure.
Blu-ray Screen Shot Gallery:
The audio quality is riveting. Universal’s DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio track is one that amazes. A great tight mix allows for pure dialogue reproduction. Clarity is high coming out of your center channel and the bass is used to precision in you sub-woofer as well as your mid range. Background noises and special effects have great detail in your rears that really engulf you in to the scenes. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when they are asking the Nazi’s when confronted in the woods if they know of the Bear Jew and then Eli Roth is heard knocking on a wall inside the bunker(?) with his baseball bat before coming out to rain down mayhem. I mark for this scene in the audio department as you can really feel that bat swinging from a far in an enclosed area and perhaps against the wall or on the concrete. It’s definitely a tense scene and they truly utilized great recording techniques for that or had some great special effects for the audio track. That scene will get your blood pumping. Gun shots and explosions are amazing and skull cracking is insanely detailed with authenticity. All in all their really isn’t many negative points in this film’s audio track and most audioholics will be more than enthusiastic to get their hands on this one.
The supplemental package of Inglourious Basterds is questionably outstanding. (Hehe) It definitely delivers if you like the nazi killin’ trivia game and can give the “Round Table” discussion the time of day. I think if you do give the “Round Table” a play you will enjoy it like myself which really takes the cake in this package. The reason I said questionably is for the simple fact that I figured their would be more out takes or deleted scenes. Although I didn’t want to score it down any for a lack there of if their just really weren’t any extra deleted scenes. Enough of the rambling, check out the detailed list below!
“Nation’s Pride” Full Feature: This is awesome, in its entirety is the feature Nation’s Pride which the film plays off of in its storyline.
Extended & Alternate Scenes: “Lunch with Goebbels” Extended Version, “La Louisiane Card Game” Extended Version, “Nation’s Pride Begins” Alternate Version. Three scenes including two extended versions and one alternate scene. I kind of thought maybe their would be more deleted scenes and such but I guess not. They may be being held for anniversary releases years later, who knows.
Roundtable Discussion: Discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, and Elvis Mitchell (1080p) This right here is the bread and butter. A very interesting and amusing interview session between the three. You just cant turn it off, you’ll watch it to the end. A true treat!
The Making of Nation’s Pride: This is amusing as they talk as if this film is real and so are the characters they portray. Good stuff. Roth plays a part as if he is the director.
The Original Inglorious Bastards: A showcase of the original director and one of the main actors who got small cameo’s in the new film. Also it shows tons of snippets woven together from the original Inglorious Bastards film.
A Conversation With Rod Taylor: (1080p) Rod Taylor is a famous director and actor from the 50’s and stars in this film as Winston Churchill and sheds light on Tarantino’s directing habits.
Rod Taylor On Victoria Bitter: (1080p) Rod tells a story about meeting Tarantino and Tarantino busting at his hotel door with a bucket of cold Victoria Bitter which come from the makers of Fosters Beer which can only be found in Australia which Tarantino had in Germany. Rod speaks on how nice and kid-like Quentin is.
Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel: (480p) This is a showcase of the “Action!” camera girl who uses every word and expression but “Action!” … it’s quite amusing. Heh.
Hi Sallys: Tarantino has referred to Sally Menke as his greatest collaborator. Menke has edited all of Quentin’s films. This is a funny and amusing peice that basically shows actors bloopers and then telling Sally Hi since they know she will be editing it. Heh.
Film Poster Gallery Tour: A Tour of Film Posters with Elvis Mitchell; Mitchell goes into detail and depth of all the movie posters spread throughout the actual film and their reality and origin of them all. He touches on the history of “Nation’s Pride” as well.
Killin’ Nazis Trivia Challenge: This is really cool especially for true fans, you get to answer questions and even questions after clips and get ranked at the end. Has a few modes too and shows you your overall stat % compared to the rest of the user community to have played.
Inglourious Basterds Poster Gallery: Tons of posters from every country imaginable the film was played in. Pretty cool posters, great artwork.
Trailers: Includes the Teaser Trailer, Domestic, International & Japanese Trailer.
My Scenes: Really cool function, while watching the film you can create your own scenes and choose the beginning and end and save them.
DBOX – Motion Code: For use with DBOX Integrated Systems.
What can be said that hasn’t already been said many times over? Another Quentin Tarrantino classic to add to his already established library of cult favorites and blockbuster hits. The movie is definitely worth a watch by all movie fans alike if not a purchase or even blind purchase for that matter. I myself find a lot of watchability (multiple viewings) in this title, and thus mark for the film. This movie has a terrific cast that really nails their parts that make this a more enjoyable experience. The blu-ray offers top notch video and audio quality that will make all hi-def systems happy when you feed it this gem of a disc. The supplemental package is packed with interesting tid bits and a more than intriguing round table discussion with Brad Pitt and QT that really steals the show.
infact, a little unknown fact (burried inside this discussion) is that originally the role of Lt. Aldo Raine was written and cast as Tarantino himself. Obviously you now know that mega-star Brad Pitt ended up with the role and played it perfectly. (Even in QT’s mind.) What makes Inglourious Basterds special is that even though Brad Pitt stars in the movie he doesn’t have to lead the movie. He himself states that this cast is an ensemble. I believe it’s Tarantino’s direction that derives that as each cast slot isn’t necessarily given out, it’s chosen based upon the simple fact if that role is for you. Thus, the actors really portray their characters to an exceptional degree.
If you’re looking for another film to add to your blu-ray library that has an all around bang for your buck, euro, etc. Then I’m proud to recommend Inglourious Basterds due to its high quality transfer in both the A/V department, supplemental package, and its amazing show of acting. The Bottom Line: 5 disc rating here at BRC.