Landa: You are now in the hands of the SS… My hands, to be exact.
18. Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Dir. Quentin Tarantino
It has only been a few months since I saw this uniquely Tarantino film, but it has easily become one of my favorites. Any talk of this movie must begin by mentioning the beyond amazing performance from Christoph Waltz. Small clips here and there might make you wonder what exactly is so great, then you see the movie and it’s like some crazy magic trick or cirque du soleil act you can’t take your eyes off. You spend the drive home pondering how the hell they did that. I mean, how the hell did he do it?
Apart from Waltz and the fact that the whole thing is about killing Nazis, the thing I love about this movie is nothing plays out as expected. The characters never seem constricted by convention. If they want to do something, they do it, not because it moves the plot forward, but because it’s in their nature.
[Spoiler alert.] Also, there are deeper layers to the story, beyond just killing Nazis. I really feel like Tarantino is challenging us to think about the whole notion of revenge and its consequences, examining the duality of man while at the same time reveling in how awesome it is to see Hitler shot in the face repeatedly before being blown to tiny bits. That’s fun. That’s funny.
But come on, have you ever seen a film like this? It only has 5 real scenes, some of them 20 minutes long, most of it subtitled, all of it stylized, and it is actually a crowd pleaser.
Side note: has anyone else noticed that Brad Pitt is a bigger Director whore than DiCaprio?
[Editor’s note: Posters by Grotesk and Alex Pardee are part of The Lost Art of Inglourious Basterds, a benefit art program for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti put together by SA Studios Global’s Film Marketing Division in collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, Upper Playground and The Weinstein Company. Check out the rest of the artwork here.]