Summer ’09 – Blockbuster #12 – “Inglourious Basterds”

Stupidly mispelled title aside, I was really looking forward to this new Tarantino work, because, according to the pattern, I should like it.  Here's the pattern.  I like every other Tarantino film.

"Resevoir Dogs" — Didn't see it, but I heard about the ear.  So I don't think I'll like it.

"Pulp Fiction" — Absolutely perfect movie.

"Jackie Brown" — Boring!

"Kill Bill" — I believe that this is a single film, despite the fact that he broke it into two parts for release.  I loved it.

"Deathproof" – This was the Tarantino-directed, Kurt-Russell-starring half of "Grindhouse".  And it was by far the lesser half.

So, now, a Jewish band of soldiers infiltrates Nazi Germany late in the war to commit horrifying atrocities, thus undermining the Germans' faith in their leadership.  They are led by an accent-and-scar-sporting Brad Pitt.  They are helped by a blithe-yet-deadly Diane Kruger.  And the temp from "The Office".  No, really.

Now, if the film had been just about the "Bastards", then I might have liked it more.  But it was also about Shoshanna, a French Jew who watches her entire family get killed by Nazis, and vows to have her revenge.  (I won't go into the manner of the revenge.  But it's pretty cool.)

Similarly, if the film was just about Shoshanna, then I might have liked it more.  But there was all this very Tarantinoesque shifting of perspective.  Even that wouldn't have bothered me, except that, in the finale, when the two groups start to collide.. they don't really.  Neither story was significantly altered by the other.  It was an fascinating structure, to be sure, but not one that increased my cinematic joy at the experience.  I wanted more interesting, intersecting stuff to happen.

The very ending is remarkable, and caps the film very well.  But I can't give IB more than a half-hearted thumbs up.

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