Friday, March 12, 2010

These Basterds Are Truly Glorious!

I am a huge Tarantino Fan and that is an understatement. Still I will not let my fandomness get in the way of at least being critical of some of his works. Reservoir Dogs was his first film and although it's not a good film by any means, you see that he has talent which became more developed thanks to Pulp Fiction. You can see his maturity in Jackie Brown, but he seems to regress a little bit to his Fanboy state in Kill Bill and Death Proof. I will give the guy some credit, at least he has strong female characters in most of his later films.

It's no surprise that Quentin has come full circle in his maturity with Inglorious Basterds. I know this is the most polarizing of his works, but I will say that this film is excellent, ballsy and what filmmaking should be about. I'm not saying that in order to make a great film, you have to follow the Tarantino Formula, but what makes a film great is the willingness to take a risk with your work. Tarantino always has taken risks with his works and they have always paid off (for the most part, but he seems to be the type of director that doesn't care about winning Oscars anyway).

I understand why people have an issue with this film, it is violent, offensive and gory, but then again you expect that from Tarantino at this point. Tarantino also rewrites history so that the film essentially becomes a Jewish Revenge film. If I were Jewish, I would take delight in seeing Hitler and all of his cronies getting their faces blown to bits, but I can also understand Jews being offended by this film as well seeing as how historically Jews were not able to act out the very same actions that were done in this film which would subtly imply that the Jewish Community did not fight back hard enough during this time.

The acting is superb in this film. Christoph Waltz truly deserves his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role of the charming but ruthless Col. Hans Landa. My only other gripe is that the Academy ignored the superb and thunderous debut of Melanie Laurent in favor of giving the nomination to everyone's favorite mediocre Romantic Comedy go-to, Sandra Bullock, who in turn won for Best Actress, but I digress. Although, Brad Pitt's performance as Lt. Aldo Raine, hams it up slightly, Pitt somehow manages to be incredibly endearing and charming despite the cheesiness of his accent.

The story is well written and this is also expected from Tarantino who has said that if he weren't a filmmaker he would've been a novelist. I cannot explain it but the movie flowed for me in all of the right places. The pacing of the shots, the editing, the movement of the actors and the story made this film complete and almost perfect.

The film still has its problems. The subject matter for one is polarizing and is guaranteed to offend. The film is also very violent and gory and it times tends to loose itself in its violence and goriness almost celebrating it at times.

My overall opinion is that this is Tarantino's best film to date and his most mature, but I can also understand why it is polarizing. My recommendation would be to see this film anyway and if you do not like it then tell all your friends about it, either way its free publicity for the film. If you liked it well then good for you, you and I have the same taste in movies fr the most part.


  1. I would disagree on the negatives being negatives. Violence and gore are subjective; gore in Saw is far more extreme than in Basterds. I think I have met more people who like or love Basterds than they do Pulp Fiction, which is just was violent and gory.

    I believe this film is better than anything else Tarantino did. He exceeded the quality of Pulp Fiction, and now he is going to have a harder time surpassing Basterds. The messages in Basterds are far more universal than any of his other films, and the motivations of the characters, other than Lt. Raine's, more complex. I would argue that Basterds was the best film from last year, and I saw almost every major film from last year.

    I would also disagree on Reservoir Dogs not being a good film. It is an immature film, but a fascinating one. It is far more of a short story than the novel like films he would make later, but I still love it.

  2. True and perhaps immature was a much better word that I could've used. but I do like to make a compromise concerning how people feel about violence and gore and you are correct in saying that it is subjective.

    Another filmmaker that I would recommend that brings this very interesting point is Michael Haneke. Check out Benny's Video and Funny Games (The Austrian Version). Both extremely well made films that examines violence and gore in cinema.