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Tarantino's best film in a decade, and killing Nazis

Updated on January 13, 2015

Christoph Waltz, absolutely amazing

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"Inglorious Basterds", a brief review

I finally got the chance to see "Inglorious Basterds" a couple of weeks ago, somehow having avoided this particular Quentin Tarantino movie in the theaters (having seen most of them first run from Pulp Fiction on), and somehow not having watched it on a friend's DVD player (I stream most movies nowadays).

I was not disappointed, and this film was worth the wait. It's sort of a fictional "alternative history" take on World War II's potential conclusion in Germany, as all of these super important German Nazi dudes are planning to attend the premiere of this Nazi propaganda movie that is going to play (ironically) at this Jewish woman's movie theater. Anyway, the plan is to assassinate all of these leaders, including Hitler, en masse at the theater.

Brad Pitt's hillbilly soldier is pretty damn funny, sporting a ridiculous mustache and a terrible Tennessee accent. His crew of miscreants are notorious for slaughtering Nazis (pronounced "nah-tsee" by Pitt throughout the film) and then scalping them, as Pitt's character is part Apache Indian.

But Christoph Waltz (new to me when I first started watching this), playing German commander Hans Landa, really steals the show and makes "Inglorious Basterds" totally worth watching. Waltz's portrayal of Landa is simultaneously very convincing and terrifying, but also hilarious. Landa is a brilliant soldier who speaks at least 4 languages fluently, with only a trace of an accent, and who masterminds an amazing double cross, outsmarting almost everyone with aplomb.

Tarantino's directorial style is very typical for him. There's lots of gratuitous violence in all its glory, and lots of terrible puns.

How does it compare?

"Inglorious Basterds" is no "Pulp Fiction", but it's nevertheless among Tarantino's finest films. I personally would rank it somewhere in between "True Romance" (Christian Slater, Christopher Walken, etc) and "Reservoir Dogs" (not quite as good as the latter classic). These films bear repeated viewing, and "Basterds" does, too, particularly some of the beautiful period shots. As per usual, Tarantino's historical accuracy is terrific.

If you enjoy World War II fiction that has surprising accuracy (but also tends to be a little playful), then you're going to love "Inglorious Basterds." You've got to have a playful attitude coming in, and if you do, you're sure to love it as much as I did. If anything, "Inglorious Basterds" actually lit up my interest in historical fiction, as I didn't really consider myself much of a fan before watching this.

A tense bar scene

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