Thursday, July 7, 2016

1002. Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

I should probably develop some sort of system in selecting the order in which I complete the rest of the Lists.  Otherwise I will end up just writing about all my favorites and being left with such disasterpieces as Field of Dreams and Lincoln.  My only idea for themes so far is to write about horror movies for the month of October.  With these creativity skills, it's hard to believe that I keep getting turned down for jobs.

In Nazi-occupied France, Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the slaughter of her entire family by Colonel Hans Landa, who is known by the moniker "The Jew Hunter."  She plots her revenge a few years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller arranges to have the film based on his wartime exploits premiere at the theater she runs.  Meanwhile, Lt Aldo Raine leads a group of ruthless Nazi hunters, nicknamed the "Basterds." The film premiere, which will be attended by nearly every Nazi officer, attracts the attention of the Basterds, who plan their own attack.

Come to think of it, writing about films I enjoy is much harder than writing about movies I hate.  Maybe I will go through all the ones I expect to dislike first.  Basically, I think this film is brilliant.  To me, Quentin Tarantino's world is very simple.  People die young, violence solves everything, etc.  In his world, it makes sense for the Jewish population to attack the Germans just as mercilessly as they have been attacked.  It is also grimly satisfying to watch.  We all know violence only makes things worse, an eye for the eye makes the whole world blind, blah blah blah.  Sometimes it is nice to see evil people get swastikas carved into their skin.

I probably keep making this claim, but this time I mean it: Colonel Hans Landa has got to be the greatest movie villain of all time.  The only performance that I thought was a little off was Eli Roth's, but that might just have to be because of the strangeness of his character.

Love, love, love this movie and I might be back to talk about Django in a bit.  I'm kind of on a Tarantino kick right now.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Eli Roth and Omar Doom were almost burned alive during the fire sequence.  They were later treated for minor burns.

Shot sequentially.


  1. As sad and somewhat gruesome as this movie was, it is one of my favorites. Excellent performances and somewhat satisfying to see evil rewarded with...evil.

  2. I have difficulty making my mind up about Tarantino. There isa lot of clever stuff, a lot of knowing film knowledge in his stuff, and maybe even something clever to say ..

    BUT.. How come I get the feeling he is far to pleased with himself that he is showing off how super clever he thinks he is?
    And how come I feel that the vast majority of the people watching him are .. sorry, I sound a bit smug and elitist myself here ....a bunch of pissed immature 'blokes' not getting any message, any intelligent social comment just lots and lots of 'PHwarrr, did you see the bit where he blew the ******'s head off? ****ing great wannit? ****ing blood ****ing everywhere want there?
    And .. and this is perhaps more important, Tarantino KNOWS that is who (mostly) watches his films, and plays to his known audience.
    I'm sure I've said something very similar about his other films.. but the studied, self conscious Look how 'cool' I am grates.
    OK people, I here what you are saying .. I'm too old to watching his stuff .. Fair comment ..

  3. Agreed Diana. And I agree Ray, I think he is very self indulgent. The Hateful Eight (while still enjoyable) was just dripping with pretension. I feel the same way about Pulp Fiction too. But this and Django were really entertaining to me. I am not entirely sure what the difference for me was. I guess the acting and stories were stronger in those two films.

  4. He's a fine film maker and I'm happy to accept his defence of "I make violent films. Some people make comedies, some people make romances, I make violent films. So if you don't like violent films then you won't like my films, but that's just a question of taste." (paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to look up the quotes)

    But I do have a problem with this. I was born thirty years after WW2 finished, but I still grew up in its shadow, survivors talking at our school etc. And maybe it's also because I'm European so the topics resonate more. But essentially here we're having a bit of a "cool!" chuckle around the genocide of six million Jews and rewriting large parts of history where it makes things funnier. Also, whilst agreeing that Christoph Waltz performed exceptionally well, the SS weren't stylish, smart psychopaths; they were just plain-old, oafish, uneducated thugs.

  5. To a few people who know who I am talking about, but today is Andrews birthday .. so, all together now .. Happy Birthday to you dear Andrew ...

  6. Yes, Happy Birthday to Andrew if he reads this anymore, which I am not sure he does.

    I felt like he wasn't trying to make WWII funnier, but rather happier or more satisfying. By oversimplifying everything (i.e. making all the Germans psychopaths and having everything be solved with violence) he was telling us the story of WWII as we would want to hear it. It would get on my nerves if every filmmaker did this but I thought it was a cool concept.