Inglourious Basterds Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover doesn’t do much for me. It’s a ballsy show of brute “smack’em bash’em” vibe. It’s bold, yes. It simply does not do justice to the whole of the story told in the movie. The menu is sturdy and functional with the theme of the movie throughout.

Features: /10

  • Extended and Alternate Scenes – A little bit added to a couple of scenes that were most likely cut for time.
  • Nation’s Pride – The film within the film Inglourious Basterds can be seen it its entirety – This is a 6 minute movie that is the propaganda flick made by the Nazi’s inside Basterds. It’s an homage to classic films, and has a bit of that student/early film history look.
  • Domestic and International Trailers – Trailers ho hum.
  • Roundtable Discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and film historian/critic Elvis Mitchell – Good questions, sort of, but better answers and Tarantino just can’t answer, he always elaborates with that passionate quirk he has for films. A substantial extra.
  • The Making of Nation’s Pride – This is more of a Mocking-of feature. The fictional director talking about the fictional movie from inside the bigger movie. Pretty fun, but not that interesting for me.
  • The Original Inglorious Bastards – a salute to the original 1978 film – This is interviews with original cast and crew along with a long montage of scenes from the movie. I think that’s enough of the original movie for me πŸ™‚
  • A Conversation with veteran actor Rod Taylor – Mr. Taylor talks about being asked to be in a Tarantino movie. He’s a big fan of Mr. Quentin and has a genuine heart for film making.
  • Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitters, the Australian beer – More discussion with Taylor.
  • Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel – A montage of the young woman who marked the beginning of each scene with her very funny, very interesting blurbs. An excellent extra!
  • Hi Sallys – Gag Reel – Sally is the editor. These are moments during filming when cast and crew say hi to her randomly. Imagine how lonely Sally might be without their greetings.
  • Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitchell – A good overview of all the movie posters that make up a very important design element of this version of WWII France.
  • Inglourious Basterds Poster Gallery – Photos.
  • Digital Copy of Inglourious Basterds – Yea.
  • BD-Live – A trivia game about the movie is fun, but that’s about all you get with BD Live this time around.

The Movie: 8/10
There’s a lot going on with any story told by Quentin Tarantino. Inglourious Basterds might seem like a ‘war film’ on the surface, but let’s face it, this ain’t like any war film we’ve ever seen. Even through epics like Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, and Saving Private Ryan, there just isn’t that intangible THING Mr. T brings to the screen. Mr. T = Tarentino. I never spell his name right, so I’m taking the lazy way out. Then again, if you look at the title of this movie he might not even care if I don’t spell his name correctly πŸ™‚

A young French woman who’s family is killed by Nazi’s, a band of American roughnecks dropped into France with one mission, to kill Nazis, and a high ranking Nazi who embodies the worst elements you can imagine for a man who is given license to hunt and kill humans, these are the who. Murder, war, revenge, ego, uncomfortable humor, and unforgiving violence make up the what. France is the where. WWII is the when. That gut feeling of satisfaction when Mr. Q.T. let’s us tag along through his telling of a story is the why. I can’t really do more than lay out the basics on this one. I mean, it’s a movie experience for those who dig the growing body of work from one of the most distinct writer directors of our time.

The best parts for me are those moments when the pulp quality of a scene, costumes, dialogue, rewriting history, whatever, fall away and I found myself thinking more about the people behind all the stories of WWII movies. I know, it’s beyond the call of duty for a cheeky Hollywood flick to give anyone perspective on history or life or anything, but I can’t help it. Tarantino has a way of building a scene, a dynamic between two or three characters that is so intense and personal that I’m not watching a movie. I’m watching real human drama. (listen to me, I’m gushing) The opening scene got me hooked right away. I was tense and afraid and uncomfortable the whole time the Nazi officer was in the French farm house. It’s a masterful few moments of performances, writing, directing, editing, the whole package.

The cast is, well, you can read the list and imagine, or better yet, watch the movie. There is a tongue in cheek to some of the scenes, yes. Then again, there is such a deeper place to go with this setting, the people, place, time, events. Each and every person fills the bill for both effortlessly.

The music, it’s as important as every word of dialogue. It’s bold, appropriate, mixed modern and era specific. There is something about directors who use music as the pulse of their storytelling. It’s not pushy, it’s more like it drags you through some scenes, in a good way.

I don’t know how to edit my thoughts on the movie without giving away too much of the nooks and crannys that are best experienced as you watch. I do know I love Inglourious Basterds for the experience of watching it the first time, and rewatching it in my mind over and over and over. It’s brilliant, that’s about it.

Audio & Video: 9/10 (By Ascully)
First, what an absolutely amazing movie. I was in awe from start to finish. Tarantino delivered a more mature film to the screen this time around. On the audio/video front, the movie on Blu-Ray really delivers. Presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio you would swear the movie was shot with a HD camera which isn’t the case. As with most of Tarantino’s movies it was actually shot on film and the very light film grain is preserved throughout the entire movie. The transfer is rich, colorful when it needs to be (the Nazi memorabilia in the theater is a great example) and blacks are spot on perfect throughout (check out the scene where the “Bear Jew” leaves his cave to see how black blacks actually are.)

Audio which is really really important in any of Quentin’s movies is faithfully reproduced. One detail I noticed was the opening theme tune which was LOUD and actually included the scratches & distortion as though it was being played on a early record player. Most of the movie is dialog driven and everything comes across clear and precise. When the action scenes do happen they really rock the room. One of the highlights for me was the way they mixed David Bowie’s ‘Cat People’ into a full 5.1 mix that rebounds around you in really interesting ways. I have heard that song a million times but this time it felt new and fresh and is defiantly on par with how Quentin used “Son of a preacher man” in Pulp Fiction. The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and is just about a perfect mix.

Overall I loved Inglourious Basterds (granted I might be Quentin’s number 1 fan)Β  The movie blew me away. It’s almost like Quentin grew up, took all the film-making tricks he has learned throughout the years, and delivered a real work of art. Brad Pitt has a line in the movie “I think this might just be my masterpiece” I think it’s Mr. Tarantino’s for sure.

Value:9 /10
If you are a fan, you have to have it so it doesn’t matter how much it costs. If you do go shopping for bit of QT, you will find it’s a good deal here and there, even as low as 20 bucks. I’ll be watching it again someday at the tail end of a marathon, so it’s good to have it on the shelf. The extras are awesome, the movie is incredible, that’s what you need to get your value for the money.

Overall Score 9/10