Rewriting the history books. Set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, this is about a band of Jewish American soldiers staging an assassination attempt on a number of high ranking Nazi leaders, all the while a Jewish French theater owner (Mélanie Laurent) makes plans of her own to do the same thing. I thought this was as cool as can be back when it came out seven years ago, and upon rewatching it, I have say that I still do. This is Quentin Tarantino, doing his thing, and that is something that I can always support and get behind.
Words can’t describe how brilliant the performance given by Waltz is.
Now this movie catapulted not one, but two careers. The main one people take away is Christoph Waltz, because it’s arguably the performance of the decade (I haven’t done the legwork and sat down with a list or anything, but this sentiment would honestly not surprise me). He plays a jackal of a character in the role of the quadrilingual Col. Hans Landa, AKA The Jew Hunter. He has an insane amount of screen presence, and whenever he is onscreen, you cannot take your eyes off of him. He’s charming and menacing at the same time, and you are nervous because you know what his end game is, but his smile will never leave his face as he is sealing your fate. The first chapter to this is amazing, and it is all because of Waltz and the intense script; it is a twenty minute chapter, but it only feels like it is 5 minutes long because it is just that incredible. The other career this launched was Michael Fassbender’s; people forget that he wasn’t really on the map until this movie, and he is featured prominently in what is the most nerve-racking scene in the whole movie, in my opinion.
It’s edge of your seat material, folks.
I’m admittedly partial to Tarantino, but he knows how to bolsters his movies with so many cool elements that appeal to me. For one thing, this is totally a Western without being set in the West; the title of this was once considered to be Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France, and when you think of this as a spaghetti Western, it just adds an additional layer that you can enjoy. The music is great, the script is tight, and as always, there is fantastically penned dialogue that keeps your interest at full attention. As per usual, this is as violent as can be, but at this point that almost goes without saying for any and all Quentin Tarantino movies. I love this film, and it is a full 2 1/2 hour long movie that I can rewatch at any time, which is not something I frequently come across.
Inglourious Basterds (2009) *****
– Critic for Hire