Friday, August 21, 2009

“Inglourious” is bloody glorious!

"Inglourious Basterds"
Three Stars

By Thomas Tracy

Somewhere deep in everyone’s heart of hearts, we wished the Jews persecuted in World War II got medieval on their Nazi oppressors — at least a little.

This wish comes true in the gloriously bloody, gloriously violent “Inglourious Basterds.”In the alternate reality fantasy helmed by writer/director Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs”) a scene-stealing Brad Pitt gathers together a dirty, dastardly and downright dangerous dozen of Jewish soldiers and goes across occupied France to exact some righteous vengeance on whatever German officer they come across in probably one of the sickest, twisted guerrilla wars ever captured on celluloid.

The deadly crew are after Nazi scalps. If one of their victims doesn’t have hair, they settle for carving a Nazi symbol in their foreheads with a big-ass Bowie knife they wield with vicious glee.

Pitt shucks off his pretty boy image as he slips on the cigar-chomping, carnage-loving southern lieutenant that leads the motley crew of murderous malcontents with a bone-head bravado that you can’t help but treasure (you almost giggle every time he says “Nazis,” which somehow comes out as “Naatzeys”).

But he and his team are one part of a much bigger picture. The team gets to increase their body count — and maybe even take out Adolf Hitler himself — during a ballsy plan to blow up a French theater run by a Jewish escapee-turned-Parisian socialite (Melanie Laurent).At the same time an evil Nazi Colonel (played to perfection by European actor Christoph Waltz) who can be just as vicious as the Basterds is hot on the crew’s trial.

Much like “Pulp Fiction,” Tarantino focuses on the three leads and then link them together through a series of explosive coincidences.

The audience is left riveted thanks to Tarantino’s signature rapid fire, off-the-wall dialogue that doesn’t manage to get lost in the translation (most of the movie is spoken in French and German).

“Inglourious Basterds.” Starring Brad Pitt and Melanie Laurent. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Running time: 153 minutes. Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality.


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