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Inglourious Basterds back to reviews
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Not glorious at all
So from the start, I had a feeling it would be some kind of western — the music in the beginning reminded me of Ennio Morricone — and I had also read about it being Tarantino's big epic Spaghetti Western — but I had forgotten up until I was reminded by the score. As i watched the opening scene, I was constantly thinking "This is a lot like Sergio Leone's films". The almost casual dialogue (Tarantino at his best) between Landa and the french farmer helped to build the tension in the scene. Like any good Spaghetti Western, there is a lot of scene setting. There are long stretches of film where nothing (in the action sense) happens punctuated by short bursts of horrific violence. And the violence was horrific. Characters are introduced only to be shortly killed thereafter. A memorable scene that stands out for me is when a few of the Basterds are in a bar where several Germans are having a drink and there is a short mexican standoff that ends with everyone (except for a movie star) getting gunned down.

I'm not sure what Tarantino was trying to do with this movie. It definitely wasn't an antiwar movie; I don't think it's supposed to really be about anything. It's just a story that he wanted to tell. You can't root for the Americans. In my opinion, they are just as bad as the Nazis they're scalping — i would go so far as to say that there are two villains in the movie: Aldo and Landa. The scene that really got to me was the forest scalping where the German troop leader didn't want to expose his men to the horrors of the Basterds and chose to die by bat.

I'm not sure how I feel about the movie. What did surprise me was the ending. I had no idea it was an alternate history story. That was pretty cool. I like it when the heroes go out in an explosion.

I recommend it, but I don't think I'll be watching it again.
"the music in the beginning reminded me of Ennio Morricone"

That's because it was Ennio Morricone.
comment #872 JCaesar 22nd Aug 09
oh yea i looked it up after writing the review. i guess it turns out a few of the songs were by ennio morricone excellent composer. my favorite of his is still "Man with the Harmonica"
comment #873 guan 22nd Aug 09 (edited by: guan)
"You can't root for the Americans. In my opinion, they are just as bad as the Nazis they're scalping — i would go so far as to say that there are two villains in the movie: Aldo and Landa."

What did you expect? The protagonists of the movie are the inglourious basterds, not some clean glorious or magnificent heros.
comment #888 Grand Prince Paul II. 24th Aug 09 (edited by: Grand Prince Paul II.)
No, you can root for the Americans. Because the people they are scalping are Nazis. If they were scalping JEWS I would agree.
comment #921 67.124.88.79 1st Sep 09
The title of your review made me think you didn't like the movie, but after reading it, I understood why. I couldn't find myself rooting for the Americans either, but I don't thnk that's a bad thing, I mean, this is Tarantino, I'm not used to root for his main characters even when they are killing notable bad guys like the Nazis. Anyway, I agree with most of the stuff you said but I would watch this movie again.
comment #1165 Radlum 19th Oct 09
This movie is so immature. When you're first learn of the Holocaust, and you're say, 12, and you're a Jew, Romani or a Slav, you wish that you could have superpowers, torture the Germans and kill Hitler.

The movie is about two hours of blatant wish-fulfillment.
comment #1220 Erpegis 2nd Nov 09
Epergis: Your point being? Movies are all about wish fulfillment. That's what they do.
comment #1226 Dracomicron 4th Nov 09
The way I see it, there is a completely valid point that most of Nazi soldiers were no monsters and certainly didn't deserve scalping and torture. Yeah, they were invaders, but it's not like it was *their own* choice - in fact, they probably didn't have any. So I really couldn't bring myself to root for Basterds and especially Pitt's character. In fact I preferred Landa to him - at least, he was cool :) Overall, film was something I most definitely didn't expect, and not in a good way. But I suppose that's because I usually hate all war drama and Nazi thematic specifically, and checked this one only because I happen to like Tarantino's previous work.
comment #1384 FurryFury 26th Nov 09
@Furry Fury

Not all villains are mustache twirling guys in black. But just because they're like you or me, doesn't give them a free ride. They didn't flee or oppose what was being done, so that makes them guilty. Not as guilty as Hitler, but still guilty enough to face death and torture in a time of war. And...the Basterds did end the war faster after all.
comment #1539 Jack Uphill 26th Dec 09
The whole point of the movie was that in times of war, there is no such thing as morality. There's no good side, there's no bad side, there's just the side you're on and the side you're not on. It's not a nazi snuff film at all. It mocks that trend with the fake "Nations Pride" film, where many of the people I've talked to felt angry on seeing the nazis cheering zoller on while hes killing americans, but those same people cheered the basterds on when they were killing helpless germans in the burning theatere and killing innocent soldiers. There wasn't a good side at all, and it was a very anti-war movie. Same with Kill Bill being about how destructive revenge is.
comment #1549 76.184.250.63 27th Dec 09
I had no idea it was an alternate history movie either. Because it wasn't. I was just as surprised to see Hitler die at the end, but I don't consider it alternate history. The whole point of alternate history stories is to speculate on what would've happened if x happened instead of y and go from there. The fact that the world-altering event didn't happen til the end of the movie made it seem like an afterthought. "Ahh, let's just have them kill Hitler too."

What really bugged me about it though, was that although he was the main villain of the war in real life, he wasn't the villain of the movie. Landa was. And he got off scot-free. He got a nasty scar, yeah, but that's what reconstructive surgery is for. The first scene set up the rest of the movie, and the last scene made the rest of the movie pointless. Shosanna's family was killed, and for the rest of the movie she's plotting her revenge against the son-of-a-bitch that killed them. What happens? She's killed by some Nazi stooge, and the son-of-a-bitch gets away. I might've been able to forgive all the boring scenes of lengthy, irrelevant conversation, and the fact that the titular characters of the movie had little screen time if Landa had died in the theatre instead of Hitler. That just ruined the whole thing for me. The whole movie was a misguided, self-indulgent mess. So I guess that's my review...
comment #4412 SickBoy 14th Sep 10
I guess movies where the villains don't all die and the heroes walk home happy aren't your type of cake.
comment #4416 150.212.51.238 14th Sep 10
"Movies are all about wish fulfillment"

No. No they're not.
comment #4419 70.56.160.66 14th Sep 10
"The whole point of alternate history stories is to speculate on what would've happened if x happened instead of y and go from there"

That's one way (and a common way) to do it, but there's no rule saying an alternate history can't be about what happens leading up to a big twist. In fact, most alt-histories start off with the X you mention, then go on to speculate a bunch of different circumstances, finally hitting you with a big twist a la Hitler dying early anyway. I read one once that speculated that if the Greeks hadn't beaten the Persians at the battle of Salamis a bunch of stuff would've happened, leading eventually to modern Western civilization never existing (duh, duh, DUH!).
comment #4420 70.56.160.66 14th Sep 10
"The whole point of the movie was that in times of war, there is no such thing as morality. There's no good side, there's no bad side"

That is an insanely misguided interpretation. What was the point of lingering over Hitler's fiery, bullet-riddled doubledose of death and Landa's carved forehead if Nazis are beyond good and bad? If we're not meant to root against the Nazis, up is down, water is dry, and hamburgers eat people.
comment #4421 70.56.160.66 14th Sep 10
WWII was really greyish black vs black.
comment #4422 150.212.51.238 14th Sep 10
"WWII was really greyish black vs black"

Well, when it came to its bloodiest part (Nazis vs. commies, not included in this film), yes.
comment #4423 70.56.160.66 14th Sep 10
"WWII was really greyish black vs black"

Oh, by the way, black and black do not make gray. They make black.
comment #4424 70.56.160.66 14th Sep 10
Inglourious Basterds is a movie about two things: Movies and HATE.
comment #7044 Heretic 25th Mar 11
Hate is what makes the world go around.
comment #7050 130.49.70.200 26th Mar 11
"Your point being? Movies are all about wish fulfillment. That's what they do."

A) That's only part of what they do. B) The guy did say "blatant" wish fulfillment, and that's different than wish fulfillment pure and simple.
comment #7063 63.231.137.243 26th Mar 11
"The whole point of the movie was that in times of war, there is no such thing as morality."

Then I guess the holocaust was a-okay and the Nuremberg trials a hypocritical waste of time.

"It mocks that trend with the fake 'Nations Pride' film, where many of the people I've talked to felt angry on seeing the nazis cheering zoller on while hes killing americans, but those same people cheered the basterds on when they were killing helpless germans in the burning theatere and killing innocent soldiers."

If the movie itself didn't cheer the bastards for killing Hitler and carving Landa's head, then I don't know anything. If Nazis weren't the villains, I'll eat my hat.
comment #7064 63.231.137.243 26th Mar 11
Just FYI, the Nazis believed the Jews were as evil as we now believe the Nazis were. And if they could go back and kill Nazis, most people would. It's not that morality doesn't exist, it's that morality is subjective.

In the eyes of the Nazis, the Holocaust was like an act of heroism against evil monsters. Hitler was a charismatic bastard, plain and simple.
comment #7099 Heartbreaker 28th Mar 11
(Comment deleted for incivility. You're starting to get personal. In addition, extended discussions of the movie should go in the forums. —Morven)
comment #7104 130.49.71.236 28th Mar 11 (edited by: Morven)
What's this obsession with deciding who are "the" villains of this movie? This really isn't a movie about the Good Guys versus the Bad Guys; it really is, in the original reviewer's words, "just a story he wanted to tell". Hitler is despicable. Landa is despicable. And the Basterds, by most sensible moral standards, are also despicable. What, exactly, is wrong with that? You can feel a visceral satisfaction watching them kill Hitler and carve a swaztika into Landa's head without having to decide they must then be Good Guys whose side you're supposed to be on.

There are no good guys or bad guys in this movie; there are just different characters each with their own motivations and the story that unfolds as a result of what these characters do. And that's fine. It's exactly what it wants to do and it does it fantastically, at least in my opinion. If you think it's just mindless Nazi-killing wish-fulfillment, explain why Tarantino felt compelled to include the Nazi general who bravely refused to give away the location of the other militia even in the face of the Basterds' threats of horrifying death, or the innocent German soldier who just happened to be at the pub celebrating the birth of his son with his companions and ended up brutally killed, leaving his infant needlessly orphaned. Those are not the sorts of characters you put in a movie on the "villainous" side if you're just trying to make the audience rejoice in their suffering.

At the same time, I don't think the movie is trying to make a point about how there is no morality in war. It could have done that better in dozens of ways than the film as it stands does; it doesn't really make a point of condemning the Basterds' actions, for one, and the main villain of the narrative is clearly Hans Landa. I don't think it's trying to make any sort of point at all: it's just telling its story, nothing more. Does Tarantino generally try to make a point in his movies? I've only watched three (this one, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs), but none of them have given me any kind of a making-a-point vibe - he's a storyteller, telling stories about characters, not a speaker for a cause or a point or a message.

...and I suppose that's my review.
comment #7390 antialiasis 23rd Apr 11 (edited by: antialiasis)
Is no one here even aware of the Heroic Sociopath trope?

None of the characters have any sort of redeeming quality. The basterds are tried and true sociopaths, Landa is a self serving manipulator, Hitler is, well, Hitler. Even Shoshanna, arguably the only likable character in the movie, is motivated by hate, bloodlust, and a crazed revenge.

The whole movie, to me, pointed out just how far people fall when it comes to war. Shoshanna became a murderous psychopath, the basterds found an enemy they could kill, and the Nazis (whether they enlisted of their own free will or not) are also treated as a Seen One, Seen Them All fair.
comment #8943 Xaldien 29th Jul 11
"The basterds are tried and true sociopaths."

Except that they aren't. Look how far Raine was willing to go to let Wilhelm live; von Hammersmark was the one who killed him, and if Raine's response in the next scene is anything to go by ("Oh, I remember Wilhelm!"), he was pissed about it. As for Private Butz, it's not clear how deep the scar was or just how it affected him psychologically, but the important thing to him was clearly that the Basterds spared his life, that he was able to go home and hug his mother, like he wanted.

Those two characters are the only ones on the Nazi side I have any sympathy for, and no, Rachtmann doesn't count ("Fuck you, Jew dogs!" pretty much cemented my opinion that he deserved to have his brains bashed out). The Basterds are anti-heroes, no doubt, and it's likely Tarantino wanted to "make a point" with the whole "Hitler laughs at the movie like you laughed at this" bit, but I'm not buying it.
comment #11455 Robotnik 18th Nov 11
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