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I had to see this for reasons other than pure desire to, but would be interested to hear what others here think about it. Lots of people talking about it now. I don't think I like Tarantino much at all, though, and it all evolves into this tacky stylization with mostly cartoonish characters. There are a few good things in it, and one great thing: The actress Melanie Laurent, the one real human character, although whether Tarantino wanted her to be, I'm not sure. She's a real find, though, incredibly beautiful and very effective in the part of Shoshannah, the one Jewish daughter who escapes when her family is slaughtered by Landa, the Nazi who is called 'the Jew Hunter', and is played by Christoff Waltz.


I didn't think much of this review, too much going on about Waltz, who is good but I didn't think so charimatic a screen presence as the reviewer does. There's an effective basement-tavern scene which evokes for me the long beer hall scene in Visconti's 'The Damned'. The problem for me with Tarantino is that his 'versions' of these imitated films are never satisfying the way any of the originals were, even the hokey John Wayne sorts of things, and everything seems always second-hand. Exception, I think, being Ms. Laurent, who I think will be a major star, not a Tarantino 'muse' like Uma Thurman. (In the same way, I think Naomi Watts was able to be brilliant in Lynch's 'Mulholland Drive', but was able to use it to become a more wide-ranging actress; probably Laura Dern is Lynch's 'muse'. 'Muses' in movies don't seem to be quite like in ballet, although Jean-Pierre Leaud may be thought of as a kind of 'muse' for both Godard and Truffaut, in the Antoine Doinel movies, where it seems to be on a higher level. Any thoughts? Has anybody seen this? Brad Pitt is good in the hokey role, but I thought the two female leads, the other being Diane Kruger as Fraulein Von Hammersmarck, were considerably better than any of the men. Kruger is in the best scene, in which that stereotyped 'Nazi laughter' is well-done', I thought.

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I didn't think much of this review, too much going on about Waltz, who is good but I didn't think so charimatic a screen presence as the reviewer does.

I will see Inglourious Basterds over the long weekend but I wanted comment on the reviews of Waltz. Two NPR shows interviewed Tarantino recently and both interviewers gushed over Waltz, making his performance seem like the best screen actor since the Lumiere Brothers ran their first metre of film through a camera. It was so over the top to make one think that he couldn't be quite that good and I am glad to read your dissenting opinion.

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I'll probably give this movie a miss. IMO Tarantino was a two-hit wonder (Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, obviously). More charitably, one could say that Tarantino's early work was so bold and innovative that his later work suffers in comparison.

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It was so over the top to make one think that he couldn't be quite that good and I am glad to read your dissenting opinion.

Waltz is that good, although I don't know what the good people at NPR had to say about him. It takes some doing to play an inventive variation on a role like that of the sadistic German officer, a standby that's been with us in one form or another since 1914, and he is excellent. The performance does eventually become repetitive, like almost everything else in Inglourious Basterds, but that's the fault of Tarantino, not his actor. Waltz also stands out in high relief because there isn't much interest going on around him - the effect is like that of Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, where the film got a desperately needed jolt every time Rickman showed up.

How you react to the movie will depend mostly on how you feel about World War II getting the Tarantino treatment. I found that it veered between very good and tedious, and if you leave the theater after the excellent opening sequence and come back for the boffo finish you won't miss much. The performing standard is generally high, as is often the case with Tarantino pictures, with the notable exception of Eli Roth. (Well, it could have been worse - Tarantino might have cast himself.) Michael Fassbender was a standout. I enjoyed Diane Kruger, even if Dietrich or Riefenstahl could probably eat her for lunch. Melanie Laurent is a pretty girl but it's hard to say much else on the basis of this role. She's good at what she's given to do although like everyone else in the movie she has trouble holding the screen with Waltz. I didn't react strongly to Pitt one way or the other - he was all right, and I was amused by a few of his inflections. Raine doesn't dominate the film, but again I don't think it's the actor's fault. Most of the other Basterds fade into the background.

Thanks for starting the topic, Patrick.

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There's an actress, I think it's Valerie Gearon from the old PBS 'Point Counterpoint', who played Lucy Tantamount--I was reminded of her by Kruger, with the same kind of soigne but decadent presentation.

I'd been surprised to like Pitt, since I never do, or rather just don't ever pay much attention to him. I think it's probably because it's really a sentimental-core Hollywood that Tarantino captures because it's his oxygen, (although it's never given me any real pleasure, so this is my last Tarantino for life), and I think that's more embodied in the corny roles. He reminds me of some weird hybrid of David Lynch, Ed Wood, Woody Allen and maybe Howard Hughes even. Lord, what a NERD. What had originally piqued my interest was the 'film within a film', which I thought was going to be some fantastically intricate new 'machine' using all the state-of-the-art techniques, but it was pretty pedestrian, and just made me think 'Purple Rose of Cairo' wins that competition for me, even though I don't care for it.

Waltz is definitely excellent, but would have needed to be taller for me to see him as the 'sexy Nazi' he was supposed to embody. He was too squat. I don't know if Oskar Werner could have done this, perhaps too elegant, better at 'courtly German' cliche, as in 'Ship of Fools'. Waltz did occasionally remind me of Max Von Sydow. I seem to be noticing this in casting recently, as Rupert Friend in 'Cheri' just did not have quite the looks for that sort of part; it needed someone like young Alain Delon. But Waltz's technique is impressive in the first scene. I don't think he ever comes close to that again, though.

Thought that 'music video' for Ms. Laurent to David Bowie music was just repellent. There's one marvelously hilarious fragment in the basement when the Soldier A is loading and cleaning his rifle, and Soldier B is 'worried' that Soldier A is not calm enough. Soldier A says "I don't seem CALM to YOU?!!" and Soldier B's response 'Well, if you put it that way...yeah...I guess you are...' Nice change from Walter Brennan.

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