Inglourious Basterds (Blu-ray) (2009)

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Released 15-Dec-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Deleted Scenes-Extended and alternate scenes (11:26)
Short Film-Nation's Pride - Full Feature (6:10)
Interviews-Cast & Crew-with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Elvis Mitchell (30:45)
Featurette-Making Of-Making of Nation's Pride (4:00)
Featurette-The Original Inglorious Bastards (7:39)
Interviews-Cast-A Conversation with Rod Taylor (6:43)
Featurette-Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitter (3:19)
Featurette-Quentin Tarantino's Camera Angel (2:42)
Featurette-Hi Sallys (2:09)
Gallery-Poster-Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitchell (11:00)
Trivia-Killin' Nazis Trivia Challenge
Gallery-Poster-Inglourious Basterds poster gallery
Trailer-Trailers
Featurette-D-Box compatibility
Featurette-Pocket Blu app for iPhone app
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 152:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Quentin Tarantino
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Brad Pitt
Mélanie Laurent
Christoph Waltz
Eli Roth
Michael Fassbender
Diane Kruger
Daniel Brühl
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $42.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
French dts 5.1
Spanish dts 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     In an interview with Dylan Callaghan for The Hollywood Reporter in October, 2003 for the film Kill Bill: Volume 1, Quentin Tarantino discussed what his next project, Inglorious B******s was about: "I know how to say it: I'm going even further with the whole spaghetti western route — even further than I did with Kill Bill. Inglorious B******s is truly spaghetti western, just set in Nazi-occupied France. I'm going to find a place that actually resembles, in one way or another, the Spanish locales they had in spaghetti westerns (i.e. The Province of Almería, Spain) — a no man's land. With American soldiers and French peasants and the French resistance and Nazi occupiers, it was kind of a no man's land. That will really be my spaghetti western but with World War II iconography. But the thing is, I won't be period specific about the movie. I'm not just gonna play a lot of Edith Piaf and Andrews Sisters. I can have rap, and I can do whatever I want. It's about filling in the viscera". A bit later in the interview Callaghan asks, "Is Rio Bravo still your all-time favorite movie?" and Tarantino replied "It's still one of my very favorites, but right now I think my favorite movie in the world is and always kinda has been The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." These short snippets of dialogue from Quentin Tarantino provide us with the foundations of what this film is about; without understanding the references to what is quoted above, you will miss out on what Inglourious Basterds is about.

     What Inglourious Basterds is about is not so easy to define without some knowledge of cinematic history and film genre. I mention this point because Tarantino has stated that this film is a spaghetti western set in Nazi-occupied France. So what Tarantino is doing with this film is re-inventing the genre of the spaghetti western and fusing it with Nazi war films. So why didn't Tarantino just make a modern spaghetti western instead? Good question, and the answer lies in the fact that the commercial reality of making modern-day films wouldn't allow for that possibility. You see, Tarantino is no dummy, he loves and has referenced in his films all sorts of film genres, from French New Wave, Asian martial arts cinema, westerns, exploitation films, crime film-noirs, but even he knows that a spaghetti western wouldn't get the funding he needed to classify the film as a masterpiece. Pulp Fiction was made on an independent budget of $US8 million, Inglourious Basterds needed $US75 million. Since Grindhouse proved a box-office failure, after barely making back it's $US50 million budget theatrically, Tarantino knew that Inglourious Basterds needed to appeal to a more mainstream audience. Inglourious Basterds was always going to be a Nazi-themed film, a sure box-office winner for its genre (how many World War II Nazi films do you know that have been box-office disasters?). But what you are really watching is a spaghetti western.

     In the opening scene, we meet SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) who arrives at a remote farm in France to question Perrier LaPadite (Denis Menochet) about the Dreyfus family (who are Jewish). The opening theme is from the 1960 western starring John Wayne, The Alamo entitled The Green Leaves of Summer. Many reviews have mentioned that the opening 20-minute scene is a reference to the opening scene of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. This is incorrect (the confusion may be caused by the title of the opening chapter of the film, Once Upon a Time...in Nazi Occupied France); the opening scene is a direct reference to the interrogation scene of Angel Eyes upon the former soldier Stevens in Leone's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (remember the aforementioned quote of Tarantino's favourite movie?). This incredible scene has almost 10 minutes of silence before any dialogue is spoken and when Angel Eyes talks, we really get to see how determined he is in finding Bill Carson and his stolen gold. Colonel Landa is similarly just as ruthless in chasing down French Jews. The cattle farmers in the opening scene is a reference to the innocent people in Westerns, who were open to attacks by Indians or gunslingers. The LaPadite family is terrorised for sheltering Jews by the Nazis who are portrayed as gunslingers.

     Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is also called Aldo the Apache. His background is mysterious. He can be compared to Clint Eastwood's character from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Blondie, who is mysterious, the man with no name who is a bounty hunter and like Aldo collects scalps (although Aldo collects literal scalps, Blondie collects monetary scalps). In the spaghetti western genre, both these heroes are slightly flawed, unlike traditional westerns where the main hero is completely virtuous. We know that Aldo is the son of Mountain Man Jim Bridges, an Indian in the Apache Resistance; which explains why he insists on scalping Nazis. Westerns from the 1940s to 1960s were set after the Civil War where their heroes were confederates; Aldo's strong southern accent suggests he is the confederate hero of this film. Other Apache references in the film include the card playing game where one of the Germans is Winnetou, the Chief of the Apaches, and on the night of the premiere of Nation's Pride Emmanuelle Mimieux, the pseudonym of Shosanna Dreyfuss, who escapes Colonel Landa from the farmhouse where she was hiding in the opening scene, smites war paint on her face Apache-style.

     In a traditional western a town was only considered civilised if it had a church. In the film Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) states that Mimieux's cinema has the "presence of a church". The Nazis are the unruly gunslingers in this film, upsetting the traditional Parisian culture by imposing their own German culture.

     Every Quentin Tarantino film has a reference to the famous final 'Mexican three-way stand-off' scene at the end of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly where Angel Eyes, Tuco and Blondie square off for what seems an eternity before a quick and final resolution. Similarly, Tarantino shows his adulation for the final scene of Leone's 1966 classic by closing the second act of the film in a bar with a three-way showdown with a lot of tension build-up due to the uneasy dialogue amongst the characters until the tension is quickly broken in the final shootout.

     Finally, the spaghetti western was traditionally named so because it was more violent than a traditional western of the 1950s and 1960s. Spaghetti westerns would climax by having a mass shootout of all the main characters in the film. Sergio Corbucci's The Great Silence famously ends this way, where the bounty hunters kill off innocents in the name of the law. My initial reaction to the ending of Inglourious Basterds was incredulousness due to the altering of historical facts, however, in light of the influence of the genre of the spaghetti western upon the film, the ending is now understandable, it simply can't end any other way.

     Quentin Tarantino wanted famous Italian composer Ennio Morricone to compose the soundtrack but he had a conflicting schedule. Still, eight of Morricone's songs were used in the film. The use of famous spaghetti western themes such as Dopo La Condonna, La Resa, Il ritorno di Ringo and Un dollaro bucato proves to us that Inglorious Basterds is not meant to be seen as a strict period film. Heck, there's even a reference to Un Amico from the 1973 crime flick, Revolver and David Bowie's theme from the remake of Cat People in 1982.

     The script took 10 years to develop. All along, Tarantino wanted this film to be his masterpiece, a phrase that is echoed in Aldo Raine's final line in the film. It has been Tarantino's most successful film to date in terms of gross box-office, with over $US300 million in worldwide takings so far.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino's most perfect film from a cinematographic point of view. It looks superb from start to finish on Blu-ray.

     Inglourious Basterds uses a MPEG-4 AVC/1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 2:40:1.

    Like Sergio Leone's iconic use of widescreen shots in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Tarantino uses the full depth-of-field to capture the backgrounds of scenes and balance it with explicit attention to detail. Colour is subdued, with pale colours dominating, perhaps due to the 1940s period of the film. The exception to this is the colour red, which is shot in a dynamic and bright way to emphasise the violent nature of the need to spill blood to exact revenge, which is one of the main themes of the film. Tarantino and director of photography Robert Richardson also used warm colours for interior scenes and pale greens and browns for the outdoor scenes.

     The average bitrate is very decent (for Blu-ray) at 25.67 m/b per sec. There are no obvious faults in the video transfer, no major film artefacts to speak of.

    Subtitles are available in English for the Hard of Hearing, French and Spanish.

Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
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Audio

    This is another iconic soundtrack from Tarantino. There is a fine balance between dialogue in German, French and English and the use of the spaghetti-western and R&B influenced soundtrack selections.

    There are three main audio tracks available. The main audio track is an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track encoded at 3516 kbps. There is also a French and Spanish DTS 5.1 dub track. Both these tracks are encoded at 768 kbps.

     Dialogue is clear and synchronised throughout and easy to follow, even in quieter scenes.

     As mentioned, the music chosen for the soundtrack varies from the theme of The Alamo, to the theme of The Battle of Algiers, to the theme of Cat People. Tarantino uses Morricone's songs mainly on this soundtrack, although he does surprise with the inclusion of numbers such as Ray Charles' What'd I Say.

     There is a wide range in the surround channel mix. It is discrete and ambient for quiet, multilingual conversations, then immersive and almost overwhelming for the loud eruptions of gunfire and explosions later on. The tavern sequence is a good example of the mix of the soundtrack which goes from quiet and dialogue driven to quick and loud bursts of action.

     The subwoofer handles gunshots and explosions with the same ferocity as the film's final scene, and is especially lively for Eli Roth's scenes which reflect his baseball skills (watch the film to know what I mean!).

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Extended and alternate scenes (HD - 11:26)

     There are three scenes included here, trimmed from the theatrical cut. The first scene is Lunch with Goebbels - Extended (HD - 7:10), which is the same sequence as the cut from the film, albeit shot from a different angle; La Louisiane Card Game - Extended (HD - 2:07), which adds some more of the card game that everyone plays in the bar; and Nation's Pride Begins - Alternate (HD - 2:09) which shows everyone sitting down before the Nation's Pride is screened. The La Louisiane extended scene was included in the final German theatrical and DVD/Blu-ray release.

Nation's Pride - Full Feature (6:10)

    Here we get to see the full version of Nation's Pride, the film discussed as the next big German Propaganda film in Inglourious Basterds. It was directed by Eli Roth.

Roundtable discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Elvis Mitchell (HD - 30:45)

    Quentin Tarantino is quite frank in his need to be more immediate and less meticulous in his filmmaking when he shot Inglourious Basterds. He states the reason for this was his need to grow as a filmmaker. Brad Pitt discusses the development of his accent for his character, Aldo Raine. Film critic Elvis Mitchell questions why Aldo Raine is the only character in the film who doesn't pretend to be anyone else but himself in the film. This discussion has funny anecdotes, but it is the best extra on this Blu-ray.

Making of Nation's Pride (HD - 4:00)

    This is a tongue-in-cheek look at the making of the film with director Eli Roth.

The Original Inglorious B******s (7:39)

    Praise is given for Enzo G. Castellari's original 1978 film, Inglorious B******s. The original cast and crew members also make cameos in Tarantino's film.

A Conversation with Rod Taylor (HD - 6:43)

    Rod Taylor talks about the process of playing Winston Churchill and how Tarantino insisted he play the role, despite his doubts.

Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitter (HD - 3:19)

    This is another funny Rod Taylor anecdote about Quentin Tarantino getting him his favourite beer and discussing movies.

Quentin Tarantino's Camera Angel (2:42)

    Quentin Tarantino's foul-mouthed clapboard girl finally gets her recognition with this extra!

Hi Sallys (2:09)

    The cast and crew say hello to the editor of Inglourious Basterds, Sally Menke.

Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitchell (11:00)

    Elvis Mitchell gives an expert tour on the posters seen in the film - both the ones based on real films and the ones designed by Tarantino for the film. This is an engaging featurette.

Killin' Nazis Trivia Challenge

    Answer sixty trivia questions on the film across ten rounds.

Inglourious Basterds poster gallery

    You can view 39 different film posters from around the world.

Trailers

     There is an option to see the following four trailers in one go: US teaser trailer (1:45), US theatrical trailer (2:23), International theatrical trailer (2:08) and Japanese theatrical trailer (1:17).

D-Box compatibility

    Have you got a D-Box chair? No? If you do you can use this extra to calibrate your chair to rumble along with the film.

Pocket Blu app for iPhone app

     An iPod touch and iPhone application allows devices to act as a remote control, a keyboard, and a mobile station for viewing bonus content.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Inglourious Basterds has been released in Region-free formats in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands. These releases all appear identical apart from slight variations with dubbed soundtracks and subtitles and the inclusion of a digital copy with the US Blu-ray release.

Summary

     Inglourious Basterds is not a re-make of Enzo G. Castellari's original 1978 film, Inglorious B******s. Instead it is a homage to Sergio Leone's 1966 classic spaghetti-western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Despite the obvious connections to the spaghetti-western genre, the IMDb link for this film mentions sixty film references from other movies.

    As a fan of spaghetti westerns I would have wished that Quentin Tarantino had made a western instead of a Nazi-themed World War II film. However, the commercial reality that resulted from the lack of box-office success for Tarantino's and Rodriguez's Grindhouse feature in 2007 meant that obscure genre films are not going to feature in Tarantino's productions in the near-future.

    Inglourious Basterds is funny, irreverent, violent and unpredictable. Christoph Waltz's Colonel Landa continues the fine tradition in the last few years of roles fully deserving to win Best Supporting Actor because they are so compelling, yet creepy. Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) and Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) were similarly iconic in their films.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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