Monday, August 24, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Director Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction) won the box office war this weekend with his World War II film, Inglourious Basterds. The purposefully misspelled film takes place in Nazi-occupied France in the 1940s. There's a lot of uncomfortable violence and gore, but overall, the acting is great - particularly Austrian actor, Christoph Waltz.

Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent), a French Jew, has narrowly escaped death after witnessing her family's murders by Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Waltz). Landa has earned the unflattering nickname, "Jew Hunter."

Meanwhile, a group of rogue soldiers consisting of mostly Jewish-American soldiers called "the Basterds," are being led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) to fight the Nazis. Tennessean Raine is a bit of a ruthless redneck who speaks with a thick accent. The Basterds have a gained reputation among the Nazi community because they scalp their victims. A soldier known as the "Bear Jew" (Eli Roth) gruesomely treats Nazi heads as baseballs. Raine also has a signature move of carving a swastika symbol on the foreheads of his Nazi survivors. Yikes.

Shosanna has taken a new name and is running a cinema that was left to her by her aunt. A young German soldier named Frederick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl) becomes interested in her, and he happens to be starring in a film based on his own heroic war efforts called "Nation's Pride." As luck would have it, he wants his film to premiere at Shosanna's cinema. This means that all of the German leaders, including Hitler, will attend the big event.

The Basterds develop a plan to kill the ranking officers at the cinema with the help of some Brits and a famous German actress and spy Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger). Shosanna has also developed a revenge plan of on her own. She plans to lock the doors with everyone inside and set the theater on fire by igniting the highly flammable film. Tarantino's film rewrites history, which he can do since it's his movie after all.

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