Saturday, September 12, 2009

Raptor is a Bastard

Every now and then there is a movie that’s just fun to watch. Inglorious Bastards is one of those movies. Directed and Written by Quinten Tarantino, like him or hate him you know you’re going to get a movie that isn’t like the rest. Tarantino has put together a cast of charismatic bastards that really step up to the plate and hit a home run. The movie is set in during World War II occupied France and the Americans have sent over a group of elite soldiers called the Inglorious Bastards, so named by the Germans. Well just The Bastards to them really. The bastards are sent on a mission to kill a number of German Officers at a movie Theatre screening a terrible German propaganda film about a Private Frederick Zoller, a sniper and war hero who killed over 300 enemy soldiers over 3 days. The movie pretty much just shows one sniper kill after another. The Bastards find out that Hitler and his inner circle are going to be attending the screening so the mission becomes more important and much more risky.

Do these pants make me look gay?
Do these pants make me look gay?
We begin the story with a French family hiding a Jewish family. In comes Col. Hans Landa “The Hunter” played brilliantly by Christoph Waltz as a cunning, charming and flamboyant self serving Nazi Jew hunter. The scene and dialogue where he corners the French farmer into revealing the Jewish family is truly masterful. He orders his men to kill the Jewish family but one of the daughters manages to flee. This is Shosanna Freyfus (Melanie Laurent) who becomes the owner of the theatre and has her own designs of finishing of the Nazis leaders by burning down the theatre.

gun and bat? I think he is over compensating?
Gun and bat? I think he is over compensating?
The Bastards are lead by Lt. Aldo Raine played hilariously by Brad Pitt as a chin thrust out no nonsense military man with an American Indian blood line. With his band and his second in command Sgt Donny Donowitz, the club beating “Bear Jew” played by Eli Roth they start a campaign of gorilla warfare designed to unnerve the Germans. I would have to say Pitt and Roth probably have the funniest scene in the movie with a “Who speaks the best Italian” skit.

When they are asked to meet an undercover contact, Bridget von Hammersmark (Dianne Kruger) a famous German movie actress, a British officer, Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender), is sent in with two of the bastards. Things don’t go as planned when they find that a there is a small party in the tavern selected for the meeting for a German Staff Sergeant becoming a father and also cunning SS Officer. The fire fight that ensures leaves everyone dead but Hammersmark. Unfortunately the aftermath ends up being investigated by Col. Hans Landa who puts a snag in their grand plot.  Speaking of dead, I would have liked to have seen more of Michael Fassbender with the almost Ian Fleming style British officer but alas eggs had to be broken.

Hi, I'm 5ft 8'' arian features, like long walks on the beach and oh I'm a Nazi.
Hi, I'm 5ft 8'' arian features, like long walks on the beach and oh I'm a Nazi.
Back to Christoph Waltz, he is in my mind the centre of this movie, you could say its Melanie Laurent but she paled in comparison to the performance given by Laurent. He was so likeable that I kept thinking man this guys is going to get you but hey so what! He’s the man. This is when he is in control and has all his moves planned out but as one scene shows with Hammersmark he can be extremely violent and irrational when betrayed.

Visually the movie is spectacular and the costumes and settings are very authentic. The violence goes from violent to over the top. There are club beatings, Scalping (The Bastards trademark) and yes gun fights and explosions and frankly all good fun. The script is rattles along at a good pace and the only real problem is the size of the cast. You may want to see more of one character but being so many some of them obviously some get left on the cutting room floor. Still after all that I have to say that the best parts of Inglorious Bastards is the dialogue between characters which in my mind tend to be clever without becoming pretentious.

Score! Booby shot from the origional.
Score! Booby shot from the original.

Inglorious Bastards is a great World War II action movie, a great script and great actors. I give this one 8.5/10. Blow the next thing up thanks.

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