TV Party Tonight! #102

TV Party Tonight! #102

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Inglourious Basterds
[4K/Blu-Ray combo]

Rewatching it many years later, I’m surprised by how much my opinion of this movie has changed. I used to think it was another masterpiece, but now I’m not so sure. Tarantino had been working on this script for over a decade before he decided to finish it, and he made Kill Bill in the meantime. And the script is quite solid, but what irks me is the casting, or maybe how these actors play the characters. I’m speaking of the entire American cast and just how cartoonish, over-the-top, and unnatural they are. Is this why they all have nicknames, like the Apache, the Bear, etc? Maybe there’s a deeper meaning there, but I don’t quite get it. It’s hard to imagine that Brad Pitt’s delivery of an impossible southern drawl wasn’t intentional, because Aldo Rayne doesn’t sound southern, he sounds like he’s from a made-up country. And Eli Roth’s the Bear Jew doesn’t sound like he’s from Boston, he sounds like he has a speech impediment, that is whenever he chooses to have an accent. So every time these characters say anything, it completely takes you out of the movie. Maybe they’re just bad actors? Again, it’s hard to imagine Tarantino not picking up on these, or maybe his script is just undeliverable and this is the best he could get. There are a lot of peculiarities here.

But luckily for the movie, everything that ISN’T a sequence that has the American actors is simply a delight to watch. Inglourious Basterds has some incredible suspenseful moments (just the opening scene alone!) and some wonderful performances by actors American moviegoers wouldn’t have a chance to see, and maybe the greatest villain in any Tarantino movie played by the great Christoph Waltz, who absolutely cements this movie together. His character of Hans Landa is intriguing, cunning, unpredictable and impossible to nail down. The fact that Tarantino is clearly making fictionalized history doesn’t even matter as the story and characters are gripping.

Inglourious Basterds finally gets the 4K treatment it deserves and the package is loaded with cool bonus features, like extended and deleted scenes, roundtable discussions with the cast and crew, and more  bonus contents like the original Nation’s Pride film and the making of it. As always, Tarantino doesn’t do commentary and that would have been a nice plus. But, you take what you can get.

Inglourious Basterds isn’t exactly a masterpiece, but it very nearly is one. It’s divisive for sure, but also a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

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