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A group of hardened Nazi killers stalk their prey in Nazi-occupied France as a Jewish cinema owner plots to take down top-ranking SS officers during the official premiere of a high-profile German propaganda film. As far as Lt. Aldo Raine (aka Aldo the Apache," Brad Pitt) -- is concerned, the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi. Raine's mission is to strike fear into the heart of Adolf Hitler by brutally murdering as many goose-steppers as possible, or die trying. In order to accomplish that goal, Lt. Raine recruits a ruthless ...

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Apr 23, 2020

Inglourious Basterds

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, "Inglorious Basterds" is a fictitious, visceral story of WW II in which a small group of American Jewish commandos led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine played by Brad Pitt turn the tables on Hitler and his Nazis. The movie is set in Paris during the German occupation. Besides Pitt, the major character is the Nazi "Jew Hunter" Hans Landa played by Austrian actor Christoph Waltz. Landa is suave, intelligent, shrewd, and deadly. Waltz does an extraordinary job of acting in portraying this difficult character.

The movie movies swiftly and held my attention throughout its 150 minutes. The movie is violent and crude with many scenes of beatings, cuttings, and killings. It captures the brutality of the war. In the movie, while not in fact, the Nazis get a deserved and swift comeuppance. It is a movie of vengeance.

I was engaged with this movie but found it valuable to step back and remember that it is a work of fiction. Some intelligent criticism has suggested that in this film that roles of the Nazis and the Jews has, if not been reversed, at least been somewhat equated. As in some other WW II movies, German top leadership is portrayed as consisting of buffoons. Tragically, WW II did not happen like this.

The movie was absorbing, dark, and wrenching but not especially probing. I did not find it nearly as effective or entertaining as Tarantino's more recent movie, "Django Unchained". Christoph Waltz is outstanding in both films.

Robin Friedman


Dec 30, 2009

Lets Kill Some Natzis

Full disclosure: I'm not generally a Tarantino fan. But I love history and the idea of a bunch of nazis getting scalped sounded amazing. I'm also really into action films.

The thing that surprised me about this was that the majority of the film is not in English. It's got German and French characters with English subtitles. I think this really works for the film (despite it requiring more attention). The European talents have really amazing voices (and Diane Kruger! Who knew!) and are ridiculously stylish. It's visually stunning.

Brad Pitt is totally inspired. He's hilarious, and you'll be reminded of his performances in "Kalifornia" and "12 Monkeys." He's that good.

The one thing that detracted from the story was the plot had a tendency to wander at times, but the adventure was so good you're pretty OK with going along for the ride.

There's lots of Tarantino's trademark side-plots and well-rounded and a particularly moving story about a Jewish girl's revenge against some natzis. I highly recommend this for anybody who likes history, revenge fantasies, and tongue-in-cheek violence.

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