Thursday, November 5, 2009
Day 260: Inglorious Basterds (2009) - Rank 5/5
It could be argued that the film's are nothing more than cinematic masturbation on the director's part. He takes the kitchy elements of the film genres he digs (blaxploitation, kung fu, spaghetti westerns, etc), pumps them full of steroidal violence and ties up his sequences of cruelty with dialogue that often feels to clever for its own good. But I'll be damned if this predictable and self-serving form of showmanship fails to entertain.
The story is centered around a pack of Jewish-American soldiers who are sent behind enemy lines to pick off as many Nazis as they can. The men accept this mission, headed by Lieutenant Raine (Brad Pitt), and together they terrorize the French countryside, torturing and scalping Germans with utter glee. In a parallel tale, Shosanna Dreyfus, the owner of a French cinema, will be welcoming the Nazi elite to her theatre for the premiere of Joseph Goebbels latest propaganda film. Unbeknownst to the Germans, she plans to burn down the theatre on the night of the premiere. Both missions inexorably begin to converge, but are also threatened by the actions of a sly S.S. officer, who is known for his Jew-killing revelry.
Now, before I say this, please keep in mind that I love the "Kill Bill" saga, as well as "Pulp Fiction," but "Inglorious Basterds" has will undoubtedly assume the rank of "favorite Tarantino film" in my mind. It's one of the director's more accessible films to the general public, yet it also regresses into one of the most violent climaxes I've ever seen; it was a moment that made me realized that Tarantino has become the new Ken Russell where excess for the sake of excess is concerned. One forewarning though - I was thrown off by my misconceptions as to what could happen based on history and found myself pondering how the film would accommodate itself to reality. Keep in mind that Tarantino's film brings only two words to mind: "Fuck history!"
Watch the Trailer