INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, is now out on DVD and I finally got to watch the new Tarantino opus. I'm a massive Tarnantino fan, though I've been disappointed with each of his films since Jackie Brown. The Kill Bill movies have their moments but they left me somewhat underwhelmed. Most people prefer the second part of Kill Bill but I have no preference for either - though they do feel better when viewed back to back. And Tarnantino's half of the grindhouse films was bloody good fun but it was merely a stop-gap until the next Tarantino proper.
At one point there were rumours he was making a spaghetti type western and in many ways these rumours were correct. Inglorious Basterd may be set during World War II but its structured like an Italian oater - shit the opening in the French farm even looks as if Leone was behind the camera. There are long shots, swooping operatic music and extreme lingering close ups on the actors faces.
The trademark Tarantino dialogue is also present and correct and the sudden extreme violence is never far away. Brad Pitt is excellent,playing it light which makes his character all the more chilling, particularly in the way he wisecracks as he carves a swastika in another German's forehead. It is Christopher Waltz as the sadistic Colonel Hans Landa who takes the top acting honours and he steals every scene with his seething Nazi. Hitler is presented as a maniac whose intensity almost takes him into the realms of comic book character which is perfect for the film as Tarantino's vision of the war is very much like an extreme comic book,one of those that hold the warning, "for mature readers".
I very much enjoyed this film - equal parts art film as all out action-pic and the plot involving film nerds and the Third Reich could only exist in Tarantino's own universe. The film has made the most money of any Tarantino film since Pulp Fiction and it sits far easier alongside his early classics than either Kill Bill or the Grindhouse project.
The DVD is poor in terms of special features which will allow for the inevitable Special Edition. If extras are your thing - all you get here are several alternative scenes and the full cut of the film within a film, Pride of a Nation - you may be better off renting and waiting for the supplemental material packed special edition.