Director: Quentin Tarantino (2009)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth
Quentin Tarantino's feature-length remake/adaptation of Allo Allo certainly takes some liberties with the source material and even history itself. The titular Basterds are a team of Nazi-hunting Jews and allies, working like a band of old fashioned outlaws to bring down Hitler and his Nazis. You've all seen the bit in the trailer where Brad Pitt demands him some scalps. Well, there's a little less of that than one might imagine and a lot of talking. Inglourious Basterds is even talkier than the thoroughly talky Death Proof (of which I'm actually a fan). And at around 3 hours runtime, that's a helluva lot of talking. But it turns out that talking is a lot more interesting when the orator is someone worth listening to. Whiny Stuntman Mike in Death Proof? Not really interesting. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds? Compelling. I'd listen to him read the phonebook. Over to the Review Hole's guest reviewer and resident scholar of Nazi:
Mel: Man, there's only one reason to watch Inglorious Bastards, and that sure as shit ain't for the Jews. I mean, fighting Jews? Who's gonna believe a thing like that? No, the only reason to watch Inglorious Bastards is for the Nazi Jew Hunter fella, Hans Landa. I really dug that cat and wanted to see him get all those Jews shot real dead.
Porkhead: Thanks Mel. Gotta agree to disagree though, there's plenty of fun in watching the Basterds do their stuff. My only complaint would be that they don't do it nearly enough. I particularly would've liked to see more of Michael Fassbender and Sgt. Stiglitz. In fact, one could argue that this isn't even their movie. This film truly belongs to Landa and French cinema owner Emmanuelle (Laurent)
Mel: She sure has got herself some sugar tits.
Porkhead: Indeed. Laurent is all kinds of adorable and great as Emmanuelle. It's to hers and Tarantino's credit that none of the scenes really drag as one might expect them to. Even more so when you consider that Inglourious Basterds is little more than a set of lengthy dialogues, one after the other. Stupid people will probably hate this movie, thanks to its extensive use of subtitles.
Mel: Subtitles are cool.
Porkhead: That said, the movie could definitely have done with a little trimming here and there. Get rid of Eli Roth, for example (not just in this movie - in general, please). And did we really need a cameo from Mike Myers? His scenes serve as little more than a lecture on the joys of German propaganda. Inglourious Basterds is a love-letter to both cinema and Diane Kruger's feet. Diane's feet get nearly as much screentime as her face.
Mel: Those feet look like they're gonna get raped by a pack of -
Porkhead: Not the time or place, Mel. Like much of Tarantino's recent output, Inglourious Basterds is a divisive piece. Some will think it overly talky and self-indulgent, whilst others will enjoy its well-written dialogues, fun characters and clever reworking of WWII cinema tropes. Me, I enjoyed it and I hope others did too. It's been a long time coming, but Inglourious Basterds was worth the wait. Special thanks to Mel Gibson for his insightful views. Cheers, Mel.
Mel: Heil Hitler.