By Peter Ricci – VasoRich – Flix|Critic

Tarantino has done it again with taking the old and revamping it into an original piece of movie history. May it not be as remarkable as his magnificent film “Kill Bill,” Tarantino does come through with “Inglorious Basterds.” An idea which came to Quentin over 10 years ago when his friends and colleagues used to talk about “Men on A Mission” an espionage film that ended up borrowing the title from Enzo Castellari’s 1978 film “ “Inglorious Basterds.” In fact, Tarantino gave Enzo Castellari’s a small cameo in the film to commend him for his valiant movie.

Inglorious Basterds is one of Tarantino’s best works, even though “Kill Bill” may still be my favorite, “Basterds” brings the Tarantino charm, intensity and gore as expected. His eye for detail and creative comedy, intense situations, captivates you like a rollercoaster twisting and turning you unexpectedly, hurdling your body and mind through a riveting slue of emotions. “Basterds” is the man’s man film of the year. It’s gutsy, gross, sexy, funny, and plain right tough.

Basterds is an ingenious body of work; a spaghetti western turned a rye, a WWII iconographic style film. Tarantino gives his fans an outrageous Holocaust History, the “Inglorious Basterds” way. “Basterds” is a true fight back film. It’s the mind of the director on hyper –drive, with moment of powerful banality, meaningless absurdity that all smashes into one another in a collision like no other creating brilliant movie magic. Even though some scenes in the film are a little over the top in detail, over-panning in and away from the characters “Basterds” cream still rises to the top of it’s game and delivers the goods to audiences. Now don’t be shocked when you need to read subtitles throughout the film, which offers viewer an original and ideally smart jest to give the film authenticity to its characters.

Now is “Basterds” Successful in its delivery? We think yes. It’s a cutting edge to the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns and strapping World War II action flicks like “The Great Escape’’ and Enzo Castellari’s 1978 “The Inglorious Bastards,’’ which Quentin was able to wrangle his title from and much of the plot re-stylized and depicted. Is it faithful to history? Well, not so much, it is manically made up fantasy of phantasmic derived from the prior films and predecessors. A great mish mosh of fantasy and delivery of a story told if Hitler’s was so easily found and killed.

“Inglorious Basterds,” when broken down to a scene-by-scene basis the film is one of Tarantino’s quick witted, smart spoken, and well-worn films. It is filled with hard-boiled men and women, much primal intensity, smart dialogue in which some scenes lag and go on forever. On the real, 20 minutes of the film could be cut as it takes from the momentum of the films overall alacrity. There are spurts of violence blended within the overdrawn scenes and extremely long meticulous moments that explode to wipe the slate clean, so the cycle can start again. Yet unlike “Kill Bill,” where you are compelled to see her get revenge, “Inglorious Basterds,” falls a little short on it expectations. Tarantino is one of cinemas best writers of our time, we all have our hits and misses, but this film seems to fall in-between the line. It delivers what is expected of Tarantino, but it ill-fated due to over extended scenes throughout the film.

Brad Pitt one of Hollywood’s prominent stars, plays Lieutenant Aldo Raine, a macho hillbilly country bumpkin who is the leader of the Basterds, an American squadron of Jewish GIs in occupied France whose mandate is to kill, scalp, and sow terror into as many Nazis as possible. Pitt really gives it his all in this film with his charismatic charm, wit and empathy of a Nazi killer. His character is reminiscent of his character Early in one of his first films “Kalifonia.” A well written part for the incomparable Pitt as his portrayal of Raine drives the comical edge and mayhem of the film. But its Austrian actor Christoph Waltz who plays Colonel Hans Landa of the SS, one of Hitler’s most snide, cruel, unforgiving, Jew killer, he is their worst enemy in France. Christoph is remarkable as he really brought out the humor of Hans Landa hatred towards non-German. He is so good in the film you hate him, in which to me, he did the part justice. Christoph aka Hans Landa, mission is to bring down the Basterds, the only thing is he is continually engulfed in his own pleasures of killing.

Hence, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), a young Jewish woman who watches the murder of her family and then escapes Landa’s clutches in the opening sequence, as you watch her running through an open field bloody and in fear of her life. She later turns up running a movie house in Paris and one night while she is putting up a new billboard Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl), a Nazi war hero, who woos her as he is taken by her beauty. She claims she is a French woman, hiding the fact that she is Jewish. He is the star of Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) a film based on Zoller’s exploits. His costar in the exploit film is German film star and “Basterds”double agent played by Diane Kruger, from the “National Treasure’’ movies.

“Inglorious Basterds’’ is comprised of five chapters, some in which could serve as stand-alone shorts, but the menagerie of prolonged, outrageously suspenseful showdown in a basement bier-garten may be the film’s high point yet a little lengthy. Leading up to the film’s end, a show down during a gathering of all the 5 leaders joining together to watch the German exploitation film. As the Basterds derive their own plan of attack, so does Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), who has a scheme of her own to take the Hitler regime down herself as revenge or killing her family. It all goes down at Shosanna’s little theater, where Zoller’s movie will premiere to an audience of Nazi brass, including Hitler himself (Martin Wuttke). It’s one of the best parts of the film and Tarantino outshines himself for the detail and intensity of the climatic end. If you are expecting actual real history here, then this film is not for you. It’s a “what if this happened” style, you could almost say it’s a Tarantino pop-art-exploitation film of our time.

“Inglorious Basterds’’ is an entertaining film yet it has some minor issues overall, such as, the “Basterds” a key element of the film wasn’t scene enough throughout and some of Tarantino intensity is lost from lackluster drawn out scenes. It was great to see Mike Myers as a British officer, a deft, Peter Sellers-like cameo, in fact one of his best works he has done in years. But Myers was only in the film for a brief moment. Til Schweiger part was way too brief throughout the film. His character could have had more edge and development as a hulking ex-Nazi who has joined the Basterds to take the Nazi’s down. Then the British actor Michael Fassbender as the drily capable Lieutenant Archie Hicox, a key player in that beer hall scene, in which, his Character could have thrived if developed more throughout the film, was barely in “Basterds,” leaving us asking why?

Tarantino’s love for D-List films of the 70’s shines through but it’s his other recent works, like “Death Proof,” that proves Tarantino to be grade A. I still enjoyed “Inglorious Basterds,” but expected a little more from Tarantino as his other works have been so superb. Basterds is a great film, a man film, focused on thrill and gore, but Tarantino could have taken one last read through and cut some of the slack off the film as it runs a slightly long 153 minutes of virtuoso stalling, which may have you checking your watch a little more than twice.

Courtesy of Red Sea Entertainment – Thank you Anna and Tagan!

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