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Inglourious Basterds (2009) Print E-mail
Monday, 21 December 2009
ImageOkay, I am just going to come right out and say it.  “How and the heck is this movie getting five star ratings all around?”  It is just preposterous.  There is simply no way that this film will ever become a classic.  This is no “Casablanca.”  This film is lucky to get the rating that I gave it.  Let’s break this down simplistically.

This film has absolutely zero repeatability.  That right there makes this a worse movie than over 90 percent of my movie collection.  I would say that the film ranks in the last three in my collection to ever watch again.

I am a Tarantino fan, but this film offers nothing new.  The film cannot make a decision on whether it wants to be a comedy, military or action movie.  This indecisiveness takes a toll on the viewer.  Half the movie just drags on and on.  It’s nice to see that Tarantino is branching out and creating a film that isn’t segmented by chapters.  Oh wait, he didn’t.  There is no suspense in this film.  The outcome is predictable, minus a couple of the details.  All you have to do is wait two and one half hours to get there.

There is no doubt that those liking this film have no beef with graphic violence.  I however, find violence is such sorts completely unnecessary and just despicable.  Do we really need to see people slicing off the scalps of Nazis?  I don’t think so.  Some of the scenes will require a hard stomach to get through.

Even though the movie is complete garbage, the video quality is outstanding.  It is hard to imagine this transfer looking any better.  However, there are a couple infrequent issues that keep it from that perfect score.  Black levels are the best they can be on the format.  The brightness and contrast levels are spot on.  Dimensionality is exquisite.  Details and textures are strong throughout the film.  There is never an instance in which you are broken from the film due to poor rendering of the foreground or background objects.  The only issues are a slight wavering in the amounts of film grain, though it is never distracting, and some ringing edges, which are also never distracting.  Bravo Universal on this video transfer.

The audio transfer is just as superb as the video transfer.  Dynamics are expansive enough without creating starling moments or completely subdued moments.  The music track is excellent.  However, Tarantino uses much of the same music as “Kill Bill.”  Sometimes it is only the underlying tone and sometimes it is a direct transfer from the other film.  Still, the music sounds terrific.  The music utilizes the full frequency spectrum and has dimensionality.  The LFE channel is solid throughout.  Surround usage nears perfection.  Ambience is always present in the rear channels.  Reverberation spreads nicely throughout all the channels creating an immersive feeling.  Panning and directionality is spot on.  My only criticism of the audio track is the dialogue.  There are instances in which the dialogue fades out creating a few garbled lines.  This is easy to overlook considering that much of the film has to be read through subtitles, which are inconsistent in the translation.  Once again, kudos to Universal.
The Blu-ray release of “Inglourious Basterds” contains many of the necessary bonus materials, but the package ultimately falls flat.  There is no picture-in-picture or audio commentary track.  This will be disappointing for fans, but I certainly didn’t mind.  In place of the commentary track there is a roundtable discussion with Tarantino and Pitt.  “Nation’s Pride” is the full version of the movie used within the movie.  There are three extended and alternate scenes that are easy to see why they were cut from the film.  “The Making of ‘Nation’s Pride’” is self-explanatory.  “A Conversation with Rod Taylor” is a few minute interview with the actor.  “The Original ‘Inglourious Basterds’” revisits the original inspiration for Tarantino’s remake.  “Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitter” is a useless featurette about beer.  “Hi Sallys” is another useless featurette involving greetings from the cast.  “Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel” contains delivered lines by the slate girl.  “Film Poster Gallery Tour” revisits the posters within the film.  “Killin Nazis Trivia Challenge” contains 60 questions.  Also included in this Blu-ray package is a Pocket-Blu version of the film for the iPod, trailers, poster gallery, BD-Live operation and a Digital Copy.

“Inglourious Basterds” is a definite skip.  I warn you.  Watch this movie at your own risk, but you will be asking for two and one half hours of your life back.  Still, the picture and audio qualities are extraordinary.

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