Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Inglourious Basterds: Verdict - Must Watch!

Full disclosure: I'm a Quentin Tarantino fan, so it's only natural that Inglourious Basterds was a helluva ride for me. So if you're familiar with Tarantino's style - the lengthy but sharp dialogues, cool cameos (kudos if you've spotted Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson - I only did the latter), tons of references to other Tarantino films, homages to Tarantino's film faves, lotsa campy blood, OTT characters and of course, all lovingly cradled together with a glorious soundtrack - then Inglourious Basterds is for you!

I honestly had no expectations of the movie, especially after Death Proof which was quite disappointing. And, I'm not fan of WWII movies. But I can't wait to watch the movie again when it's out on DVD - just so I can pause, rewind and replay scenes as needed! And trust me, with any Tarantino film, that's a must do. Great acting - did you know that this is Christoph Waltz (Col. Hans Landa) first American movie? He's only done German films in the past but it felt like he completely belonged in the Tarantino universe, with his stoic yet hilarious without trying delivery of the lines! For those interested, Waltz's next film is The Green Hornet! And props to Brad Pitt playing a down-home Yankee Apache - he has some of the best lines and delivers them to a tee! I loved the scene when Pitt's character Lt. Aldo Raine is masquerading as an Italian and he says: Bonjourno *insert heavy Southern accent*

It felt like the cast & crew of Inglourious Basterds had a super fun time making the movie, and it shows - it's a super fun movie to watch! On a personal note, here's a quick take on why I loved the film, besides everything above!
  • Eli Roth cleans up well! From certain angles, he reminds me of Zachary Quinto. Mmm - must add "have coffee with Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino while they discuss their next project" to my list of things of I would love to do one day! And Roth is actually a pretty good actor.

  • Various scenes in Inglourious Basterds evoked memories of me watching other movies, which is strange sensation because typically it's a sense of smell that evokes memories but this was a visual & auditory feast - as Shosanna dramatically stands in front of the oversized round windows getting dressed for the Nation Pride premiere, it made me think of Blade Runner and I love that we could see a movie poster starring Bridget von Hammersmark outside the window; the shootdown between Frederick and Shosanna reminded me of True Romance; and the first time Fredrick meets Shosanna outside the cinema had tinges of Cinema Paradiso
  • The bar scene was classic - from references to King Kong to how Hugo Stiglitz's reaction to Major Dieter Hellstrom's presence at the table.
  • I loved how the script flows to and fro from French, German and English (and Italian!), and coupled with the fact that there were Germans speaking French, Americans speaking German, French speaking German - phew!

And to top it off, here's a selection of trivia from IMDB. PS: I spotted Samuel L. Jackson as the narrator! Muahaha. What's driving me nuts - where are the Red Apple cigs?
  • Quentin Tarantino started writing this movie before Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) but could not decide on a good ending
  • Tarantino approached Adam Sandler to play Sgt. Donny Donowitz. But Sandler had to turn it down because the schedule conflicted with the filming of Funny People (2009).
  • Did you recognize Goebbels' French interpreter Francesca Mondino? Yup - that's Julie Dreyfus, who played Sofia Fatale in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
  • If you stayed for the credits, you'll notice that Maggie Cheung is near the top of the list of people that Tarantino thanks - why? Cheung was cast as Madame Mimieux, the previous owner of the cinema but the role was cut out of the final film - darn!
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was the first choice for Col. Hans Landa, but Quentin Tarantino then decided that a German speaking actor should play the part.
  • The very first scalping shown in the film on a dead Nazi is a dummy of Quentin Tarantino.
  • The final cut of the film ran 3 Hours and ten minutes.entin Tarantino and Sally Menke cut it down to it final length in 2 days before its first public showing.
  • Lt. Aldo Raine bears many similarities with Tristan Ludlow in Legends of the Fall (1994), also played by Brad Pitt. Both characters are American renegades fighting the Germans taking their victims scalps and they engage or have engaged in moon-shining. Ahhh, Legends of the Fall - my first Pitt movie.
  • Why King Kong (1933)? Apparently it was one of Adolf Hitler's favorite movies.
  • In the scene where Col. Landa (Christoph Waltz) strangles Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), the hands doing the strangling are those of Quentin Tarantino.



Blogger Shilka said...

Oh my! I didn't spot any of the cameos! But then again I'm no Tarantino connoisseu ;)

Watching the movie I had very mixed feeling, because I knew how Hitler died, so to the last minute I tot the whole plan of main characters was meant to fail. Also knowing how Americans denied Europe help for the first years of war made this movie seem a bit of historic re-painting. But whatever, was nice to watch ;)

1:46 AM  
Blogger audreytang said...

Hi Shilka: I thought their assassination attempt was going to fail too, so it was interesting that Tarantino decided to go against history, after all, the movie's not meant to be based on history.

You missed the cameos? No worries, that's what makes Tarantino movies fun to to watch over and over again! Glad you liked it!

9:30 AM  

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