Okay, so to start, I'm not a Quention Tarantino fan. I have enjoyed some of his movies, but I don't drool for them the way some folks seem to. I think his style can really fall flat in some films (Deathproof, his half of Grindhouse, being the most egregious example of a film in which his style really ruined a movie for me.)
That being said, Inglorious Basterds just might be his masterpiece.
I was not in the mood to go see this movie when the Bear Squad headed down to the local cinema to take it in. Previews for other movies - especially the remake of Universal's the Wolfman - made me wish we were seeing something else. But the movie started, and it started slowly, but with a great scene that really set the pace and feel for the rest of the film. Without giving too much away, the film revolves around a young Jewish woman, a group of American soldiers, a plot to kill Hitler, and a movie cinema. The film is broken into chapters, each one feeding another thread of story into the whole. Some of the main characters never even meet, but it all comes together into a believable and captivating whole.
Christoph Waltz might be fairly unknown in American cinema, but I think he can pretty much write his own ticket after this performance. He's unbelievable.
Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, and the rest of the actors who make up the Basterds themselves are all excellent, and the film is always alive whenever they're on screen.
Melanie Laurent is, again, not a known quantity in American cinema, but she conveys a lot with eyes and body language...more actors and actresses could take cues from her subtle but evocative performance, especially it's disturbing, unearthly climax.
With twists, turns, and tension aplenty, this film uses one of Tarantino's fortes/downfalls to great advantage - there's a lot of talking in this film. In many cases, the tension grows, as you wait for someone to give things away and cause what's likely to be an explosive end to the conversation. When it does happen, it's like a fantastic punctuation mark at the end of a lengthy but meaningful sentence.
I really don't want to spoil the plot, or the ending, because I had heard nothing, and I was shocked. It does not disappoint. See this movie. :)
- The Happy Bear