Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Universal Pictures, 2009
By Bill Walsh
Tarantino’s been worrying me lately. The last Tarantino flick I saw was Death Proof and a fan I was not. Death Proof came off like one of those “I Know What You Did Last Summer” movies that anyone could have directed, and the only thing that made it seem like a Tarantino flick were the long, drawn out dialogues about everyday situations.
To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of Kill Bill either. While Kill Bill oozed with style and kung-fu (which is awesome), some of the dialogue went a little too long — and if I’m supposed to be watching a super-cool kung-fu movie, I want to see super cool kung-fu.
Now, this movie. Oh, this movie. It’s great. Inglourious Bastards is about a squad set up in France during the Nazi occupation basically to scare the hell out of the Nazis by first killing them in horrendous ways and then scalping them like the Apaches in the old days of the Wild West. Nice simple plot just like mom used to make.
It has Tarantino’s style all over it. Tarantino’s drawn-out, long dialogue is best suited for use as build up to a really freaky scene. Take Pulp Fiction: Jules and Vincent have a long conversation about foot massages (which is funny), which is then followed by an interrogation scene (which was also funny), followed by a gruesome killing of a bunch of guys in an apartment. He makes the violence more shocking because you’ve been cradled along with humorous dialogue only to be shot in the face with the reality of a guy getting shot in the face.
This movie does this perfectly. The dialogue adds masterfully to a build up and moreover it is genuinely funny. I mean, I actually laughed out loud during a World War II movie, which I don’t think has ever happened in my long life of seeing movie after movie until I just wish someone would give me a life.
The performances were great, and everyone brought their A game; Pitt’s character is actually a character I’d like to see carried into a later Tarantino flick perhaps as a cameo. Now, the posters will have you believe this is a Brad Pitt freakout and it’s all about him and how awesome he is, but don’t be fooled — it’s just a ruse to get your girlfriend (if you have one) to go and see it with you. The real gem in this movie is Christoph Waltz, who deserves his lengthy screentime. Tarantino went out of his way to cast actors that were actually what they were: the Germans were all Germans, the Americans were all Americans, and so on and so forth. Now, this Christoph Waltz guy is something. He looks like the devil wearing a nice guy mask and even in the face of a simple victory he seems to take his time and relish it. Now, his acting is sweet, but on a technical level it’s incredible. He’s playing the same role, but speaks four languages during the course of the movie and even though he’s speaking in different languages, he still comes off as the exact same character. You might see this guy up for an Oscar.
There’s a narration by a Tarantino alum, see if you catch it — and don’t run to check IMDB, that’s cheating and it’s lame.
So, needless to say, I’m really happy with this one, it’s a solid 4 out of 5 stars for me. The audience seemed to enjoy it; they clapped at the end, which I personally think is stupid. I mean, who are they clapping for? Do they think Tarantino himself is in the audience and wanted to see specifically what the people at the Scarborough AMC Theatre thought about the movie? Are they clapping for the projectionist? What the hell, people?