DVD Shopping Bag: Inglourious Basterds hits Blu-ray - Mania.com



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DVD Shopping Bag: Inglourious Basterds hits Blu-ray

The New Stars Emerge in this week's DVD Shopping Bag.

By Robert T. Trate     December 15, 2009


Inglourious Basterds (2-Disc Special Edition) arrives just intime for the holidays.
© Universal Pictures/Robert Trate

 

While sitting there in the theater last August I sat on the brink of anticipation. Long had I waited for the Quentin Tarantino WW2 project to hit the big screen. It had been discussed in the media for quite some time but after both Kill Bills and The Grindhouse (a modern classic in my opinion) this Tarantino WW2 film was nowhere to be found. Then it happened. Brad Pitt was to lead a bunch of commandos and blah, blah, blah, who cares its Quentin Tarantino doing that WW2 pic! That first trailer was everything I hoped the film would be. There were guns, slow motion action shots, blood, chicks with guns and a monologue that I never got tired of.
 
Now back at the packed theater. After waiting in line for an hour and sitting through the commercials and trailers the film, finally, commenced. The first scene was totally out of left field. It was not what I expected at all. Two guys talking in two different languages with subtitles about a rats and squirrels. Where were the guns, blood and Brad Pitt? It was excruciating. This wasn’t what I signed up for. I wanted Tarantino! I quickly reminded myself that Tarantino likes to talk and so do his characters. All of his great action scenes have been preceded by scenes upon scenes of people talking; Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and so fourth. I settled back and watched the scene unfold. By it’s conclusion I was ready for whatever came next because this was not the movie the trailers dangled in front us. This was to be something better.
 
Inglourious Basterds (released today on Blu-ray and DVD) isn’t your typical WW2 movie with a Tarantino twist. It is exactly as its opening describes, “Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France…”. Inglourious Basterds is a fairy tale complete with monsters, heroes and damsels that know how to fight back. If you have seen the film you’ll understand its fairy tale quality, especially with the ending. However this is just more than another Tarantino film. It is a tour de force of directing and writing and introduces a plethora of actors that American audiences have never heard of.   
 
The opening scene between Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and Perrier LaPadite (Denis Menochet) is an Academy Award worthy performance by Waltz. Here this tiny little man completely dissects this Paul Bunyan type, LaPadite, to the point of tears. How does he do this? Not with brute force or a sadistic taunt but complete charm and a string of words that not only convinces LaPadite to surrender but the audience as well. By the end of the scene, as vile as Landa is, the audience has long forgotten about Pitt and the Basterds and is ready to go on this journey. Surely Tarantino suckers in a lot of his audience with cool dialogue, blood and a lot of guns but here was something else. Tarantino displayed a maturity and brilliance that was obviously hinted at in Kill Bill but often gave way to genre gimmicks and homages. Here his focus stays true to the film, the characters and the audience.
 
Eventually we do get to the Basterds. Their screen time seems very limited in relationship to the trailer. That was our lure though. Revenge crazy Jewish soldiers let loose on Nazi Germany. We were bated and hooked. Could we have spent more time with them? Surely. Would the Inglourious Basterds have been a better film with more of them in it? No. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are all set up. Without an introduction to all the players the final acts are meaningless. The real meat of this piece comes in two slices. Obviously Pvt. Fredrick Zoller’s (Daniel Brühl) romantic pursuit of Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) leading to her revenge takes up a bulk of the film. The real piece to chew on is the rendezvous in the tavern basement. Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) could be seen as an additional character just thrown into the mix because Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine is a boorish backwater slob. Lt. Raine isn’t going to fool anybody at the Nazi premiere party. Tarantino appears to circumnavigate his Basterds once again. Fassbinder, to his credit, is cool, collected, charming and almost Wolf-like (Tarantino fans will get the reference). He’s the perfect spy and talks his way out of brilliant pickle until he makes that one final mistake. Enter the Basterds once again, only this time it is to save the day in the film.
 
The Basterds are the answer to the problem in the film and exactly what Tarantino needed to get an audience into the theater. To sit around and watch a bunch of foreign actors talk in another language with subtitles isn’t going to pack the house. It barely does it for some art house theaters. In this case Tarantino and his Basterds were all that was needed. It only seems appropriate that Tarantino opens yet another door for a different group of actors once again. He has become famous for re-introducing old talent to a new audience. He has launched several careers of indie actors as well. Now Tarantino has helped us all embrace the brilliance of Michael Fassbender, Mélanie Laurent, Daniel Brühl and, if there is any justice, the next Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz.
 
There is always a pressure and mystique to a Quentin Tarantino film. In the supplemental material on the Blu-ray Brad Pitt and Tarantino discuss making the end all, be all Nazi film. They may have just put a cap on that genre forever. A different mystique then what most Tarantino films receive. His next film will have a lot to live up to, as Lt. Aldo Raine may have been speaking for his creator as well as his handy work. Tarantino may have gone and created his masterpiece.
 
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
18 Fingers of Death ~ Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, Robin Shou, Bokeem Woodbine, and Lorenzo Lamas
 
20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End ~ Teruyuki Kagawa, Etsushi Toyokawa, Toshiaki Karasawa, and Arata
 
Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers ~ Jintara Poonlarp, Bongkoj Khongmalai, and Supakson Chaimongkol
 
Domino Effect ~ Shaun Taylor, Phil McFadden, and Rachel Ancheril
 
The Group ~ Candice Bergen, Joan Hackett, Elizabeth Hartman, and Shirley Knight
 
The Headless Woman ~ Maria Onetto, Claudia Cantero, Ines Efron, and Daniel Genoud
 
Inglourious Basterds (2-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray] ~ Brad Pitt, David Krumholtz, Mike Myers, and André Penvern
 
Inglourious Basterds (Single-Disc Edition)
 
Inglourious Basterds (Two-Disc Special Edition)
 
In The Blink Of An Eye ~ Eric Roberts
 
Miike Collection (4pc) (Ws Dub Sub) ~ Kenichi Endo
 
Murder by Decree ~ Christopher Plummer, James Mason, David Hemmings, and Susan Clark
 
The Other Man ~ Antonio Banderas, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, and Amanda Drew
 
The Other Man [Blu-ray]
 
Presenting Roger Corman's ... Best of the B*s Collection 1: Hot Bikes, Cool Cars & Bad Babes ~ Gary Busey
 
Throttle ~ Grayson McCouch
 
Trunk ~ Jennifer Day
 
ANIME
 
Basilisk: The Complete Series (Viridian Collection) [Blu-ray] ~ Laura Bailey
 
Bleach, Vol. 23
 
Case Closed: The Last Wizard of the Century Movie ~ Alison Retzloff, Jerry Jewell, and Colleen Clinkenbeard
 
El Cazador de la Bruja, Volume 1 ~ Maxey Whitehead
 
El Cazador de la Bruja, Volume 2
 
Ghost Hound: Collection 2
 
One Piece: Season Two, Fourth Voyage ~ Brina Palencia, Caitlin Glass, Christopher R. Sabat, and Colleen Clinkenbeard
 
Samurai Champloo: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] ~ Kari Wahlgren
 
To Love-Ru: Collection 1
 
CARTOONS
 
The Head: The Complete Series
 
The Maxx: The Complete Series
 
Robot Chicken: Season Four
 
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
 
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead ~ Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy, John Getz, and Josh Charles
 
Taking Woodstock ~ Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, Imelda Staunton, and Liev Schreiber
 
Taking Woodstock [Blu-ray]
 
The Hangover (Unrated Edition) [Blu-ray] ~ Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Justin Bartha
 
The Hangover (Unrated Two-Disc Special Edition)
 
The Hangover (R-Rated Single-Disc Edition)
 
Legends of Laughter: Abbott & Costello ~ Bud Abbott
 
HORROR
 
Beyond Remedy ~ Rick Yune, Marie Zielcke, David Gant, and Daniel Krauss
 
Mental Scars ~ Richard Myles, Sonny Landham, and Theresa Alexandria
 
Red Canyon ~ Christine Lakin
 
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (Cinema Insomnia Slime Line) ~ Mr. Lobo, Pia Zadora, and John Call
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie ~ Selena Gomez
 
TV LAND
 
Lovejoy: The Complete Season One ~ Ian McShane, Phyllis Logan, Dudley Sutton, and Malcolm Tierney
 
Lovejoy: The Complete Season Two ~ Ian McShane, Phyllis Logan, Chris Jury, and Caroline Blakiston
 
Lovejoy: The Complete Season Three ~ Ian McShane, Phyllis Logan, Dudley Sutton, and Chris Jury
 
Lovejoy: The Complete Season Four ~ Ian McShane, Phyllis Logan, Dudley Sutton, and Chris Jury
 
Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 3 [Blu-ray] ~ William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and James Doohan
 
The Tudors: The Complete Third Season ~ Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, and James Frain
 
Wagon Train - The Complete First Season - Special Limited Edition - 39 episodes! ~ Ward Bond, Robert Horton, Frank McGrath, and Terry Wilson
 
UNDENIABLE CLASSICS
 
Antony and Cleopatra (1913) ~ Gianna Terribili-Gonzales, Elsa Lenard, Ida Carloni Talli, Bruto Castellani Amleto Novelli
 
Miss Mend ~ Natalya Glan, Boris Barnet, Igor Ilyinsky, and Vladimir Fogel
 
Spartacus (1913) ~ Enrico Bracci, Alberto Capozzi, Signor Fretti, Maria Gandini Luciano Albertini
 
BOX SETS
 
The Mel Brooks Collection [Blu-ray] ~ Mel Brooks
 
Robot Chicken: Seasons 1-4
 
The Sherlock Holmes Collection ~ Peter Cushing, Nigel Stock, Douglas Wilmer, and Peter Madden
 
The Sherlock Holmes Collection ~ Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely, and Christopher Lee
 
Star Trek: The Original Series - Seasons 1-3 [Blu-ray] ~ William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and James Doohan
 
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
1 
DaForce1 12/15/2009 3:59:40 AM

My money will be going to the far superior The Hangover.

jppintar326 12/15/2009 4:24:49 AM

Forget another overrated Tarantino picture.  Boogie Nights is available on Blu-ray only at Best Buy.  I'll be buying that instead.

jedibanner 12/15/2009 5:44:03 AM

Another overrated Tarantino pictures???

Geez......how come people are so blind these days is beyond me. Why is that movie not good in your eyes jpp? Is it the french talking? The german tlaking? I'm sure what you consider a good movie is lots of killing ansd shooting...

In any case, inglorious Basterds was an excellent movie in most of the ciritcs out there and that is usually a sign of a good movie.

redhairs99 12/15/2009 7:58:17 AM

The Grindhouse would've been a modern classic if not for Tarantino's half of the picture.  I'm sorry but Death Proof was quite possibly one of the most boring films that I've ever seen.  Hey let's get this group of really hot chicks together...we can get them all to sit around this table and I'll just film them talking for 90 minutes!  What I terrible idea that was! 

Maybe I'm overly harsh but after watching Planet Terror and the fake trailers, Death Proof failed to deliver.  That and I think Tarantino is highly overrated too.  Yes, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs were great films.  Jackie Brown, not so much.  Kill Bill was decent, but would have been greatly improved had it been one film with about a 2 hour and 15 minute runtime.  Still, I will see Inglorious Bastards, but I know Tarantino is hit or miss, so I don't set my expectations very high so I can enjoy the film more.

dbrock06 12/15/2009 8:29:44 AM

Inglorious Basterds is a great Flick!  You have to see it.

My money this week will be spent on The Hangover Blu-Ray.  Breakout movie of the year.  Non-stop Hilarity.  Can't wait to see the extras.  Especially the extra 100 pics.

themovielord 12/15/2009 10:13:54 AM

dbrock06, I already saw the extra pics... nothing amazing... the rest of the special features are okay and the extened version is all right too. I loved the film but the Blu-ray/ DVD is all okay, expect another one soon, probably be a super special edition for the sequel!

hanso 12/15/2009 10:27:16 AM

Inglorious Basterds is great, definitely check it out. I do agree with you Redhairs, Deathproof sucked balls, if Rodriguez hadn't delivered Planet Terror, Grindhouse would've been epic fail.  I don't know how Trate thinks it's a modern classic.

Having said that, The Hangover FTW bitches!  Now that is something to behold, straight up the funniest flick I've seen in a long time.  It just got a Golden Globe Nomination in the Best Picture/Comedy/Musical category and I believe the American Film Institute had it in it's top 10 for 2009.  A couple of months ago I read an article saying that according to a person that votes for the Oscars, he wouldn't be surprised if Zach Galifianakis got a best supporting actor nomination.  I doubt that is still the case since all the Oscar heavy films have rolled out since then but still might be cool if he does get it.

Go buy or rent The Hangover if you haven't seen it, it's Hanso recommended!

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