Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Inglorious Basterds is bloody funny – though not as funny as I was expecting from the trailers and marketing. Clever funny is more apt – the dialogue is superb. Plenty bloody and violent though. Sensitive tummies may want to stay away.
And as I was curious as to why bastards was changed slightly to basterds, well: there was a 1978 film of that name with a similar plot starring Fred “The Hammer” Williamson.
You know the basics. Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine (do I see an Aldo Ray reference where there is none?) reminds me of his performance in Burn After Reading. He’s good enough, but not at his best. I think George Clooney does roles like this better than Pitt – and I like Pitt a lot. He delivers his performance behind a Tennessee accent that begins to grate after awhile. Could have done without that. Pitt just doesn’t seem to get how to play wise-ass comedy, or a parody thereof, without a smirk on his face. Check out Clooney as a guide.
In 5 cinematic Chapters, QT tells his story of a small band of hand-picked basterds who wreak havoc with the Nazi occupation of France over several years. This all culminates in a plot to kill Hitler and his entire top staff. All the big names. Here, one is tempted to say that Tarantino rewrites history. But not really. He simply chooses to ignore it. After all, actual history has nothing to do with what he’s set out to do. As one of the characters, Nazi SS Col. Hans Landa says early in the film, rumors are so much more interesting than facts. And speaking of the Colonel.
Christoph Waltz, who seems to have a long list of German film and TV credits to his resume won the best actor award at this years Cannes. He should receive and Oscar nomination for either Best or Supporting. His was a truly inspired performance. The film is worth a look if for that reason only.