You can find a lot of reviews of Inglourious Basterds online, but this one will be better. Twice as good actually, because today, I'm reviewing 2 movies both called Inglorious Bastards. The first is Inglourious Basterds, "the new film by Quentin Tarantino" and the second is The Inglorious Bastards a 1981 film from Italy. Bastards was an inspiration for Basterds even though both movies are very different.
So, I recently went to see Inglourious Basterds. I wound up at a 10am showing after not sleeping and was pleasantly surprised to find out it was only $5 to see. The movie was great and is definitely more similar to classic Tarantino movies like Resivoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction than his recent films like Kill Bill. This means that the movie is suspenseful and exciting without a lot of action. Fans of Tarantino's high body count films may be disappointed while at the same time, those who don't like Tarantino films may not like this film no matter what. However, this is a good enough film that both groups of movie goers should enjoy it.
The acting is great and I'm not surprised to see talk of Christoph Waltz potentially winning an Oscar, though I would be surprised to see anyone win for their roll as Jew Hunter. Brad Pitt is good as always. The only problem I had with the acting was B J Novak. Most of the actors are relatively un-known or well disguised in their rolls (I spent the entire movie looking for Austin Powers), however Novak's roll as a Jewish Soldier was overshadowed by his roll as an office temp. Also, he is a better writer/director than he is a serious actor.
The plot of the movie was fine though may annoy anyone expecting a historically accurate movie. Basterds covers three separate plots and connects them in a way that is similar to Pulp Fiction without the out of sequence writing. A group of soldiers looking for revenge behind German lines, a theater owner looking to host the hottest event in France and a German officer looking to live up to his nickname. These 3 cross paths during the film before the explosive conclusion. The interactions in the movie are incredibly suspenseful and even a casual conversation will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Overall, Inglourious Basterds was a great movie and I would recommend that even people who don't consider themselves Quentin Tarantino fans should see it. Fans of Tarantino's films are going to see it anyway and enjoy it and there is even enough Foot Fetish stuff to appeal to Tarantino himself. For those who felt that they didn't see enough dead Nahtzees, check out the next movie, the original The Inglorious Bastards.
The Inglorious Bastards was released in Italy in 1978 and then in the US in 1981 as G.I. BRO. If that isn't enough to convince people to see it, then nothing may be. It was recently re-released uncut on DVD to coincide with Basterds release in theaters. You can find the movie at a local redbox for only a dollar.
Bastard's plot is basically the same as the A-Team. It is interesting to note that this film came out in the US 2 years before the A-Team aired. In 1944, a group of soldiers was sent to prison by a military court for a variety of crimes they did commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security transport to the French underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The Inglorious Bastards. The cast of the film is also pretty much the same as the A-Team. You have the charismatic leader, the crazy guy, the black dude and the pretty boy. The core of the plot (a group of soldiers making trouble for the Nazis in France) is the basis for Inglourious Basterds, however the rest of the plot differs significantly. This is the type of movie where you don't really watch it for the plot and don't really care why a group of rocket scientists would conduct their work on a moving train through a war zone using a live rocket, you just know it is awesome.
Instead of the suspenseful interactions and interweaving of 3 plots, these Bastards pretty much just shoot everything (except for one scene where according to the commentary, prop automatic weapons were banned so they used crossbows and battle axes) to solve their problems and make new ones. Don't watch this movie if you are expecting a serious war movie, but if you are looking for a campy 80's action film check it out. At the very least, if you like Basterds, check out Bastards to see Tarantino's inspiration.