#103: Inglourious Basterds (2008)

When and how did I watch this?

September 12th, 2016, on Amazon Instant Video.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

I’d heard about this film and was actually interested in seeing it someday.  More recently, a friend recommended it to me.  I didn’t realize it was a Tarantino film until just before turning it on.

What do I know about it now?

In a brash attempt to revise history, Tarantino successfully combines his patented gratuitous violence and empowered feminine roles with a setting and period often done in film, but never in this way. Surely, these character’s are memorable: Aldo the bombastic Naht-zi killer, and Hans Landa the terrifying SS officer with incredible senses. There are indeed redeeming qualities to the film, and a gratifying conclusion, but what makes the film absolutely terrible is Tarantino’s insistence on “getting away with stuff.” Over and over, there are moments of ridiculousness, silliness, and huge mistakes. Why were Aldo’s henchmen shooting at people burning to death in the theater?  How were they able to breathe during an intense fire?  Why is Hitler’s face exposed to be shot at a hundred times? Why did Landa suddenly turn from being a stone cold killer wholly aligned with the Nazi regime into a sympathetic negotiator for power in the U.S.? This is just in the final 10 minutes when it all counts. It’s okay to be absurd — Tarantino probably doesn’t care about these questions anyway — but the stakes are too high for a movie like this one.

What are some themes in the film?

WWII, a secret society of Nazi killers, revenge, pride

Did this affect me personally?

Hitler’s death was pretty bizarre.

Why is this ranked #103?

Because Tarantino fanboys can’t help themselves.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She hated it.

Would I watch it again?

Absolutely not.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

My friends probably like this one.  For the rest of you with a sensible head about quality films, don’t waste your time. Maybe it’s good when you’re intoxicated, but I wouldn’t know from experience.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Again, this has shards of greatness. However, it’s also unbelievably absurd, silly, and nonsensical. Combined, you get a middling movie no better than some on the bottom of the IMDb top 250.

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