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Inglourious Basterds -- Movie Review #JPMN

• Inglourious Basterds (2009) - Impeccable performances are immensely gripping, 9/10.

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Your host, and film critic Jonathan Paula reviews everything from opening day releases, recent DVDs, upcoming trailers, and classics from years past. Each "Quick Review" is an excerpt from a full episode, which airs on the Jogwheel channel every week.

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~~ Script ~~

Quentin Tarantino's sixth feature film was released nationwide on August 21 2009, to immediate critical and box office success, earning $320 million against its $70 million dollar budget. Told with a deliberately slow pace - this adventure / war / drama is split into five chapters, any of which could easily stand on their own as a short 25-minute film.

The R-rated script follows a group of Jewish-American soldiers, led by Brad Pitt during World War II who plot to assassinate the leaders of the Nazi party. Simultaneously, the film also follows the story of a Jewish girl - Mélanie Laurent - who survived an attack on her family by a vicious SS-officer known as "The Jew Hunter". Christopher Waltz's portrayal of this deplorable character absolutely steals the show; he's charming, deceptive, cunning, and dare-I-say, adorable in his breakout, Oscar-winning role.

Watching Pitt fumble around with a fake Italian accent is also terrific fun, and Laurent is equally great as a resourceful heroin. Eager to execute a German who smugly taunts his captors, Pitt declares to his troops, "We got a German here who wants to die for his country! Oblige him!" The huge cast also includes Diane Kruger, early performances from Michael Fassbender and Léa Seydoux, Eli Roth, Samuel L. Jackson as the narrator, and Mike Myers in a serious role.

In a daring move, a full 70% of the 152-minute script is spoken in foreign languages, but this decision definitely helps the authenticity and accuracy of the period-drama. From the title of the picture itself, which is deliberately misspelled, the trademark Tarantino dialogue just bleeds off the screen with every line spoken. Which is critical to the success of this film, as a majority of the feature is just talking-heads.

Per usual, QT frames the picture with sharply-focused medium shots and minimal camera movement - letting the actors carry the energy of each scene. And although some sequences tend to drag a bit, this is a smart and defiant film; not afraid to pull any punches. Especially those regarding "historical accuracy". Despite these creative liberties, this is easily the most realistic and suspenseful entry in the Tarantino catalog.

From the captivating interweaving story-lines that command your attention from the first frame, to the impeccable performances from the entire cast, "Ingloruious Basterds" is immensely gripping, and a magnificent film - I thought it was AWESOME.