Pass the Popcorn: Basterds = Glorious Fun

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

It has been a long time since I walked out of a movie almost speechless other than an occassional “WOW…I mean………WOW!!!!”

Inglorious Basterds, a Quentin Tarrantino film a decade in the making, did the trick.

This flick will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Par for the course for QT, there is grisly violence. Described as a Spagetti Western set in Nazi occupied France, the film struck me as being longer than it ought to have been. Having said that, Inglorious Basterds is a great example of post modern film and a roller coaster of fun.

The film has dual subplots. In the first, Brad Pitt plays a charismatic Tennessee redneck army officer who recruits a team of Jewish soldiers to infiltrate occupied France to terrorize the Nazis. Pitt is out to terrorize the Nazis, and emulating the Apaches, demands 100 Nazi scalps from each of his troops. Pitt was magnificent in this role, and I found myself wanting to get back to his psycho-cartoon while the other plot developed.

The second plot features a young covertly Jewish woman in Paris who owns a movie theatre, and develops a plot to kill the Nazi high command, including Hitler himself, at a film screening. Here’s the trailer:

The name of this movie could just have easily been Nazis Need Killin’!!!! or I want my scalps!!!!!!

Christopher Waltz’s chillingly evil but elegant portrayal of an SS officer earned him a well deserved best actor nomination at Cannes.

As alternative universe World War II spagetti-western psycho Nazi killing revenge fantasies go, this  one is aces. It builds to an amazing cresendo, and left me wanting to turn around and see it again.

One Response to Pass the Popcorn: Basterds = Glorious Fun

  1. I finally saw it and entirely agree, Matt. My concern with past QT films is that they aren’t really about anything other than references to other pop culture. It’s cool just for the sake of cool and that grates on me.

    But this moview has all of those pop culture references and cool but it also has what I think is a real message — Nazis do need killin’. Some critics have picked up on this theme and find it morally repuslive. I find it morally profound. If we can’t identify evil in the world and enthusiastically destroy it, then we are really denying that good and evil exist.

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