I just got back from watching the film. It was highly enjoyable,funny yet very frustrating. there can’t no longer be any doubt in my mind that Tarantino is a good director but he gets in his own way. He’s like a petulant child with a camera that exercises no self control whatsoever. The film nicely builds up to what turns out to be the most self indulgent and hairbrained climax I have seen in a long time. I can only hope that it wasn’t meant to be cathartic. If that’s the case then It failed at least for me. Also, I guess this movie confirms for me that the whole “gratuitous violence done with style” thing is not a phase but part of his signature mark. To which I say, thanks but no thanks…
Still, this was a highly enjoyable viewing enhanced by skilled performances from the cast.
What are some other reactions to the film?
PS This site is the first place I saw mentionned the “Tarantino fanboys” phenomenon and had never experienced it beforehand. Tonight I did and it’s pretty funny. I saw quite a good number of people guys working themselves into a frenzy over the marvel tha’s the film. They stood and clapped at the end…
I thought it was really great. I won’t be surprised by many award nominations.
In other news…what about the teaser for Inception? I am very intrigued. Youth in Revolt looks fun too.
Haha I clapped but I clap after every movie I like because it seems the least I could do since making a film is really hard, and making a good film is 100 times harder.
Ok here’s the thing. Before going into the movie I knew I would get one of two things. Either it would be entertaining but not much a film or an actual good film that happens to be insanely entertaining. What I got was this: two movies, one in category A and the other in B. The Shosanna portion was absolute brilliance and fantastic filmmaking. The Basterds were a lot of fun.
I can usually contain myself in a theatre but when the actor/“hero” was in the projectionist booth I was saying “Shoot him!” out loud and when she did I cheered. And then when the next part happened I was totally off guard. The opening was great, and when she ends up getting her revenge I had abig smile on my face. I really think if the Shosanna story had been cut as a separate movie (with a bit more obviously) I would say it was his best film yet.
Still I do not want to take away from the Basterds. Some of those scenes were shocking, hilarious, and awesome.
What I really admired about the film is how well he built up tension at times. So many scenes I felt like I was going to explode.
I enjoyed every minute of it. Yay!
You can clap and scream stuff during films? Damn, the cinema culture here is lacking a lot.
Ok, well I’m goin anyway. Essentially I thought the movie would have been much stronger had it been titled Shoshanna and completely excised the Basterds storyline, which was almost completely unnecessary to the plot.
Non-English-speaking scenes, dialouge, and story.
The bar scene, which was about fifteen minutes of dialoug, and very fun.
In places it’s a somewhat more serious film than we’re used to from him.
Subtext on the nature of evil and the commentary on movies throughout (and the commentary on language).
Beautiful ending, maybe the best of any of his films (and I mean the theater scenes).
Brad Pitt is embarrassingly bad. I couldn’t believe how bad he was in this. Terrible delivery of EVERY line and that stupid smirk… just didn’t work.
Timeline is too truncated: the basterds form and we jump four years to them executing a Nazi captain.
None of the Basterds are fleshed out characters.
Narration is terrible and likely a function of a much truncated film.
Eli Roth is mostly not good.
Again, The Basterds were completely unnecessary to the plot.
Ultimately NOT his masterpiece, but a step in the right direction, even if that same foot does step into a pile of shit.
Woh man our brains are connected.
I didn’t get why none of the Basterds had the same character development as the Bear and the German. And even they aren’t fleshed out enough.
Law, It depends on the type of crowd and the film, but yes clapping and hollering more than actually screaming words though. I did say “shoot him” rather loud though.
I think there was a lot of this film on the editing room floor. After Kill Bill and Grindhouse I think he was probably limited to 2.5 hrs. I would love to see more of this film fleshed out, particularly if it does not include Brad Pitt.
I am 100% with you about the Shoshanna storyline—as I said that should have been the title of the film and if it had focused more on that, we could have gotten something from Tarantino.
It feels like he wanted that to be the movie, but he was too in love with his idea of the men-on-a-mission concept to let it go. The juxtaposition didn’t work.
Josh, If he picked up all the edited stuff from the Shosanna part and added it back, and cut out the Basterds, I would pay to see Shosanna: A Jewish Girl’s Revenge.
It does show that one of these days Tarantino may be able to abandon his normal self and make an actual masterpiece of a film.
No matter I stand by enjoying the Basterds sections as pure entertainment (even Pitt and his smirk).
I think I’d call it Shoshanna and leave it at that, but the entire thing would be in French, German, and Italian.
Haha Josh it was a joke, since you just know Tarantino would want to add a little thing like that.
This was the first time I’ve seen a Tarantino film and felt like, “Well, shit. That was it?”
Really? Do you think it was due to expectations? For me I was just expecting the Basterds, so the whole Shosanna story was a very nice surprise. I left fully satisfied (what a climax!).
I believe it would have been a better 5 hour film though.
The climax was beautiful, but the Basterds storyline was so goddam weak it tainted the whole for me. The rest was very good, and possibly among his best material.
@ flemmon, youth in revolt looks good. I read the book and it was a good read
I was actually hoping the Basterds would fail because I much more wanted to see Shosanna get her revenge, than the Basterds kill a few more Nazis.
Did you at least find the Basterds sequences entertaining (even with the weaknesses)?
Just got back from the theater. Liked it a lot. Yeah, lots of talking and certailny boring at parts. QT will not go down as one of the greats of cinema, that’s for sure. But for pure popcorn entertainment, his films are sure fun to watch.
Fredo, What do you think about Shosanna vs. Basterds?
I liked the Basterds stuff, particularly the stuff with Landa and the bar room sequence. I think had it just been Shoshanna’s story, the film would have been much weaker and the story thin (aka Kill Bill). Yeah, the basterds were not flushed out characters but that’s sort of the point. I mean, if you didn’t get it during the film, you certainly got the absurdity of it at the end. And I have to say, that was a great ending. He certainly went for broke with that sequence at the theater.
This film is nowhere near his first three films but I will say I think it’s better than Kill Bill and maybe even Death Proof. Or at the very least it’s on par with Death Proof. I just can’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of QT and the shit he gets away with. Good for him and good for us for getting to take part in his fantasies as a filmmaker.
Well what we are saying is take the Shosanna part and make it less thin. haha
Fredo, I guess the characters don’t need to be fully fleshed out but at least as much as the German and Bear. Or not at all. To highlight two of them, made it uneven, and strange that they were just there as people to kill and get killed.
I guess we have to talk about where it ranks with his other films. Its not Pulp Fiction or Jackie Brown. I would say its on par with Reservoir Dogs and Grindhouse. I don’t know it was more flawed then those two, but had sequences far better than both. But better than Kill Bill.
It’s so hard to rate Basterds against his other films. I think it has some of his best moments ever but maybe some of his worse too.During the first chapter, I could not believe I was actually watching a QT film.
But I was cringing so hard during that big climax. I get that it’s supposed to be some sort of revenge fantasy. But whose fantasy? Surely, Tarantino is not that juvenile
But i guess I still like it more than reservoir dogs and possibly kill bill 2
Michel, The end was great, but I liked Shosanna getting her revenge more than Eli Roth shooting Hitler. I like the idea of Hitler being killed with the rest of his people in a fire, more than him being placed above them and killed specifically.
I agree the beginning was great in a film sort of way, not a Tarantino way, and gives me hope someday he will make a film all like that.
Reservoir Dogs will always hold a special place in my heart; it’s a tight film and that’s something we’ll probably never see from QT again. There were gasps in the audience tonight when the usher announced that the film was two hours and forty five minutes. But that’s usually what happens when a self indulgent filmmaker gets power (see PT Anderson).
I think there was a nice contrast to the Shosanna stuff with the Basterds stuff and making the film solely about her would have been redundant. QT has already made a female revenge film and while we can agree all of his films are pretty much a variation of the same thing, it would have been odd for him to make another film about a woman exacting revenge for the death of her family. And like I said, that stuff with the Basterds provided a nice contrast to the seriousness of her storyline and gave us some scenes with some much needed humor.
I loved it, though I may want to see it again before passing final judgment on it. Unfortunately, my second viewing will likely not be in a theater, but who knows. Since I got back from the theater, I have been reading just about any review I can find, professional or amateur and reading the comments to these reviews to get an idea of what others thought and I have to say I disagree with those who thought it was slow. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if it were longer as I would have liked to have known the rest of the Basterds a bit more (Samm Levine, anyone? C’mon, I haven’t seen this fellow since Freaks and Geeks and then he’s only on-screen for two seconds?!) along with the British spy, if only so that I can get a bit more accustomed to seeing their faces and knowing who’s who before they die.
“I like the idea of Hitler being killed with the rest of his people in a fire, more than him being placed above them and killed specifically.”
I was actually really shocked that Hitler died – for some reason I thought QT would follow history (I’m not really sure why I thought this). So when you see him get shot, it’s kind of cathartic because you know that so many people have wanted to kill Hitler the way Roth did. If Hitler was going to die in the film, I think it would have been weak for him to just burn in the fire. He HAD to be shot in the face like that b/c that’s what people want! When I saw that, I just couldn’t believe what I was watching. Also when Shosanna dies – it’s SOOO over the top and cheesy grindhouse/b-movie type filmmaking. But it works b/c it’s Tarantino and he can get away with that stuff.
Fredo, I know it is a fantasy of many, but I would have liked the film better if he had just burned (then again they needed to merge the Basterds with Shosanna somehow). And why is Shosanna’s death grindhouse/b-movie?
Hank, I too didn’t find it slow at all.
One question, do you think Shosanna’s boyfriend survive?
Her death was just really over the top. I mean, if someone were to complain about QT and his glorifying violence, I can see that scene as one they would point to. It just felt very cheesy and while I’m not suggesting it’s bad, the way he shot it certainly took me by surprise.
I just got back from a screening, and my immediate reaction is that I still find QT to be one of the most purely entertaining directors ever.
The only drawback to “Inglorious Basterds” is that he doesn’t contain the dialogue a little bit. He does seem to enjoy people talking to the point that he doesn’t know where or when to put on the breaks.
But, that’s a pretty minor complaint for me. Frankly, it was just fun to watch. I’m going to need to think about it a little more before I’m able to say anything more than that.
I think when people say there was a lot of stuff on the editing floor and that the bastards story was insignificant are forgetting how Tarantino’s best films work. They’re not driven by narrative or even coherency. His films take place in a brilliantly and imaginatively thought out world, down to the last detail, and what we’re given is a privileged but limited insight into that world. The effect is that it leaves us wanting more but in the best possible way – it inspires our imagination. Just think of the characters like Hugo Stiglitz – such a badass character who only has a few scenes but I wish he owned the whole movie. Or Brad Pitt’s hangman’s noose mark. That’s not a criticism of the film but a sign of my love for it. It’s a world you really want to dive into.
Tarantino’s films are often criticised for being self referential but (at their best) they’re not smug films. Watching a Tarantino film is like being let in on a secret, a secret that only the power of cinema can encapsulate. If any of his films explore that the most it’s Inglorious Bastards. So much of the film seems concerned with the way characters are viewed, a secret that is a mystery even to the characters themselves. Think of Hans Landa’s ambiguous discussion of his nickname (first he likes it because he’s earnt it, then he disowns it). Or the card game played in the tavern where others are aware of your identity but you are not. The scene when Shosanna discovers how Zoller is seen by the public. Hitler’s angry response to the legend of the Bear Jew and other tales of the basterds. When Raine tells the German officer that the Bear Jew is the closest thing they have to the movies – does he mean the baseball bat violence or the anticipation of that violence fueled by legend? The amount of time the film focuses on anticipation would seem to suggest the latter. It’s the pleasure in the tension of a secret that is both revealed and hidden.
So many of the scenes are detective like scenes – with one character trying to find the secret of the other. Lans who calls himself a detective, Archie Hicox the film critic (another kind of detective), the detecting of the accents by the German officer in the tavern (indeed the use of multiple languages reveals other secrets that English speakers wouldn’t pick up on), and Zoller’s fascination with the mysterious and resistant Shosanna. It seems to be that tension that Tarantino believes cinema embodies and also reveals. The final scene is a magnificent catharsis of everything cinema can reveal and also hide. Not only does it take place in a alternative, non-existent history, a fantasy that contradicts so much of what we know, but it seems to be a crime perpetrated by dead people – from Zoller’s posthumous image that draws you in to Shosanna’s beyond-the-grave speech. Inglorious Basterds is a film that almost exists outside of itself, beyond its closing credits.
I will say that I think Christoph Waltz will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor. I highly inspired performance and definitely one of the highlights of the film.
Fredo, Sorry but I disagree completely. I thought that scene was very effective and very sad. I went through a range of emotions in those 5-10 minutes. It was actually one of my favorite parts. lol
David, I agree completely in regards to the tension.