Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds (2009) — The last line of the movie [minor sort-of-but-not-really spoiler] is “I think this just might be my masterpiece.” While Brad Pitt is the one speaking the words, I think it’s probably Quentin Tarantino commenting on the movie that just concluded.  [thus endeth “spoiler”].  Tarantino had put a French New Wave spin on the American gangster genre before he decided to dive headfirst into genre film-making.  He gave us great takes on the Blaxploitation, kung fu, and grindhouse horror subgenres.  All of them manage to rise above those categories while always remaining 100% true to the cinematic heritage they build from.  Some people say that Tarantino just steals from better movies.  Abso-fucking-lutely.  But it’s not like random cut-and-paste but brilliantly crafted pastiche of diverse influences that give Hollywood’s leading film buff the tools to make exactly the kind of movie he would want to watch.  And since they kick ass so much I’m not going to hold a grudge over something as petty as a lack of originality…  The three leads of this movie help carry it even beyond the badass script.  Brad Pitt won’t win any awards for his role but his larger-than-life swagger and over-the-top accent fill up the screen and remind that he’s not just an actor but a fucking movie star.  Christoph Waltz combines intelligent, authority, and a bit of dorkiness into one of the most memorable and chilling villains in a long cinematic history of evil Nazi villains.  And I’m sure I’m not the only one who fell in love with Mélanie Laurent in this movie…  Anyway, the movie plays fast and loose with history and that’s okay since anyone who goes to the movie for a history lesson is a moron.  All you should look for in a movie is well-told story and Inglourious Basterds sure as hell delivers that.

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