Sunday, July 17, 2011

50/50: Inglourious Basterds

Well, I did it. I managed to get through my first official 50 films list.

Within the next few days I will have a recap of the 50 films, but first let's get to my final film - and boy was it worth the wait.

I don't know why I have waited so long to get into Quentin Tarantino films. I watched Jackie Brown in the theaters when it first came out, but that was my first and only film of his I had ever watched. And, although I enjoyed it, is quite possibly his worst film.

I'll tell you one thing, I will definitely have a hard time picking which of his films is my favorite - because I absolutely loved Inglourious Basterds.

The film is basically an alternate version of Nazi takeover in Paris, France.

First, we meet Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), or 'The Jew Hunter' as he has been named for his outstanding ability to locate the Jewish inhabitants - which he is now doing in Paris.

On the other side of things we have 'The Basterds', a band of Jewish-American military men led by Lt. Aldo Raine, or 'Aldo the Apache'. His motto is to kill every Nazi in uniform that they find - and every man is to bring him 100 Nazi scalps.

So those are the main characters, but we are also introduced (sort of) to Shosanna (Melanie Laurent) in the very first scene with Col. Landa. She is the only one to escape a mass murder and ends up as the owner of a theater.

What is so relevant about this? Well, it just so happens that her theater is now the home of 'Nazi Night', where a new film by Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) will be shown - and a ton of Nazi officials will be in attendance. So, it's obvious that 'The Basterds' will do their best to hit this theater and take out as many Nazis at once as they can.

But, what actually happens is pretty interesting.

First off, just amazing acting all around. Two standouts, however, as Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz were just downright spectacular. Laurent, who I had never heard of before, was also a standout as Shosanna.

Second, Mike Myers was in this film. Yeah, that Mike Myers. You know, Wayne? Schwing?

And, you know what. He was great in his small role. It actually gave me hope that Myers could do something outside of comedy (the cameo reminded me a lot of Cruise in Tropic Thunder, but just not as long).

I was worried a little about the blood and gore factor in this film, as I had heard it was a little more than in his previous films - but it wasn't too bad. Nothing was too much for me to handle.

The only true question I had coming away from the film was where was Samm Levine's character at the conclusion of the film? Levine played Pfc. Hirschberg, part of 'The Basterds'. But, at the conclusion - when I believe everyone has been accounted for, he is missing. I just found it odd that he was introduced, but lost at the end.

So, there you have it. My final film - and I am glad I went out with a bang. If you haven't seen it, make sure you do.


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