Saturday, November 13, 2010

Capsule Review: Inglourious Basterds (2009)

inglourious-basterds-posterAfter a set of films mythologizing the exploitation films of his youth, you could be forgiven for thinking that Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds – which was initially presented as a remake of Enzo G. Castellari’s 1978 Dirty Dozen rip-off The Inglorious Bastards – would continue the trend. Instead, while the film embraces the gritty set pieces of war films (and includes a references to Castellari’s films and others) it’s a strikingly brave and original piece that shows Tarantino’s writing – this time being delivered by an international cast of actors – has evolved significantly. Initial audiences – particularly during its debut at Cannes – seemed confused by the revisionist World War II tale, but upon release it was immediately embraced, particularly the  performance of Christoph Walz who walks away with his scenes as the “Jew Hunter” Col. Hans Landa and nabbed a best supporting actor Oscar for the role. While the long scenes of dialogue seemed to get tiresome in his previous film Death Proof, here they build to moments of incredible tension with some immediate (and often violent) payoff. Tarantino’s best film since Pulp Fiction.

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