I watched this 2 hour and 45 minute movie twice since it's release on Friday. I liked it the first time and I loved it the second time. I think the reason for that is, there were a couple aspects of the movie that were unexpected and slightly off-putting at first. Since I've decided that I would have liked to know them before I saw Inglourious Basterds, I'm going to tell you now. Skip the next paragraph if you don't want to know, but don't worry, there are absolutely no plot spoilers.
While Brad Pitt may be the biggest name in the movie, he really isn't in it all that much. The story isn't necessarily about the Basterds, they're just a part of it. The movie is set in Nazi occupied France and therefore most of the characters are French or German and speak in their respective languages... so... subtitles. A lot of them. If you can't stand reading subtitles, you'll have a hard time enjoying this.
The movie was surprisingly linear for a Tarantino flick. With the exception of a few flashbacks, it started at the beginning and ended at the end. Other than that, it's Tarantino through and through with all of his trademark storytelling devices; bloody violence, foul-mouthed wordsmiths speaking in monologues, and the film is organized by chapter. One of the things I love about Quentin Tarantino's films is his ability build tension with words that aren't particularly threatening. The Big Kahuna Burger speech from Pulp Fiction, much of what Bill says in Kill Bill, and just about everything that Hans Landa says in Inglourious Basterds, specifically the scene about milk and the scene about strudel (mmmm... ). Christoph Waltz will be nominated for supporting actor at this year's Academy Awards and if they were given out now, he'd win. I don't know how they do it; if he wins, the supporting actor award will have gone to three of the scariest movie villains in as many years. Make no mistake, Pitt may be the face of this movie, but the real star of Inglourious Basterds is Christoph Waltz.
If you can get past the afore mentioned omissions from the marketing campaign (the lack of Brad Pitt and the subtitles), you should LOVE Inglourious Basterds. Just don't rely on it for a history lesson, like Titanic, it's set against the backdrop of a historical event but that doesn't mean it's based on a true story.
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