starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Brühl, Sylvester Groth and the voice of Samuel Jackson
written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
It’s a good movie, but a bit too long. I suppose it is too long because Quentin Tarantino tried to incorporate too many cinematic tricks - showing off his encyclopedic film knowledge like he is wont to do, and indulging in film arcana strictly for his own pleasure. I thought Tarantino was over-reaching himself a bit, especially late in the movie when the voice of Samuel Jackson came on to narrate one segment. It’s a funny movie - funny ha ha as well as funny strange with sporadic scenes of Harold Pinter-esque absurdist dialogue - and gratuitously violent, which we always expect in a Tarantino film. You can call it more than one movie. It’s a war movie. But it’s also kind of comedic. It is certainly not historical since it ends with a fantasy ending to WWII. With all the hype about Inglorious Basterds (a play on the English title of the 1978 Italian war movie The Inglorious Bastards) that accompanied it in the 2009 Academy Awards season I am sure many of you might be familiar with the story.
Brad Pitt plays Lieutenant Aldo Raine who leads a commando team of American Jewish soldiers in German-occupied Francewith one objective: to capture torture, kill and scalp Nazis and spread terror. Along the way he mixes with one weird character after another.
Christoph Waltz’s performance as Col. Hans Landa is brilliant and is the cornerstone of the whole movie. Watching him, listening to him, and anticipating what his character is about to do are consistently tension-filled moments. In comparison, Lt. Raine was just annoying.