Inglourious Basterds

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Brad Pitt, Mike Myers, Diane Kruger. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Action/adventure/spoof.

FILM SYNOPSIS: After seeing her family executed by a German colonel, a young Jewish woman flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner of a local cinema. During this same time, a U.S. soldier leads a band of Jewish Resistance fighters known as Inglourious Basterds on mini-missions impossible against targeted Nazis. As these acts of retribution become more successful, the rebels are emboldened and go undercover to strike the leaders of the Third Reich. Soon, the cinema owner joins their group, with a plan of vengeance all her own. It seems Hitler and his officials are to attend the premiere at her theater of a film that celebrates a sniper’s killing of over 300 of the enemy.

Like a DVD game, WWII is used here as a psychological wish fulfillment against the Superior Race. Perhaps the aim of this flight of fancy is to also ridicule all the injustice doers of this world. Or would that be giving Mr. Tarantino more credit than he is due?

PREVIEW REVIEW:Inglourious Basterds is the ultimate fantasy for anyone with a grudge against Adolph and the boys from Berlin. It is a wartime action thriller, but one that borrows little from reality. An oft surreal dream/nightmare tinged with dark humor, the film allows viewers to sit comfortably in cinemas all over the world (well, maybe not in Germany) and view an alternative ending to the paper hanger and his Nazi Party. Trouble is, there doesn’t seem to be much point and certainly not much of a moral past an eye-for-an-eye dogma. It doesn’t play out like last year’s fact-based Valkyrie, where a group of unsatisfied generals decided to off their Fuehrer. Here it’s a gang of Jewish rebels doing the planning and being led by an American good-old-boy from Tennessee who believes the only decent Nazi is a scalped one. That’s right, I said scalped. It appears our patriot from the Deep South is also part “injun,” and orders his men to collect the scalps from the recently deceased “krauts.” Tarantino’s gift is that he can make us laugh and cringe at the same time. Watching men with knives removing hair and scalp from the pates of dead Hun soldiers would be the example. Hard to imagine audiences able to do that, but that’s what Tarantino brings out in us.

Quentin Tarantino's unique kink on entertainment cannot be denied. Because the auteur relates more to style than substance, however, his wit, camera use and reverential panache for all things mediocre serve to turn the activities surrounding the Third Reich into a grotesque burlesque. I expected someone to start up with a chorus of “Springtime For Hitler.”

If that's your taste, pitch-black humor with more than just a dash of Kill Bill cruelty, then you won't be disappointed by these Inglourious Basterds.

MOVIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE REALLY, REALLY BAD by Phil Boatwright, is an incisive, often humorous revelation of the cinema’s cultural impact, one loaded with DVD suggestions for the entire family – even moms! For more info on the book, go to our home page.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
The Weinstein Company/Universal

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Some crude moments, mostly visual.

Obscene Language: Around 25 obscenities, mostly the f-word, and mostly from Brad Pitt, who also does the majority of the profanity of God’s name.

Profanity: Around 10 profane uses of God’s name.

Violence: he violence, like the humor, is macabre and grisly in nature and delivery; though it is used more sparingly than in the Kill Bill series, it is graphic and desensitizing; people are knifed, shot, strangled, tortured and slaughtered not so much in an attempt to show the horrors of war, but to relieve the filmmaker’s debauched sense of reality. Blood: Lots of blood splattered.

Sex: One brief, but graphic scene as a couple is having intercourse.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some social drinking, with several soldiers becoming inebriated

Other: None

Running Time: 152 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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