MOVIES: Inglourious Basterds

So I took one of my teens to see this today with me.

Anyone else see this? What did you think?

I thought it was an interesting twist. My son loved it! For a Tarantino film, it was not very “Tarantino-ish”!

I LOVED the music…the same guy who wrote much of the music for The Mission wrote some of this music. (Ennio Morricone:)

I read an interesting review of this movie in Newsweek, I believe, in which the author, a Jew, was disturbed by the movie. He felt that in this movie the Jews are made to act like Nazis and the Nazis are made into victims. He realized that this gives the viewer a kind of catharsis in the sense that the Jews in the movie represent an avenging angel, righting injustice in this world, but they must resort to atrocity in order to accomplish it. The reviewer felt that this sends a wrong message and turns the actuality of history on its head. Acting like Nazis and imitating the actions of the Nazis is not a means of bringing about justice or of avenging the victims of the Holocaust. I haven’t seen the movie, but I did feel the review raised some good points.

I think the whole concept is childish. BTW, few movies are made about Stalin, a man who was as great a monster as Hitler… Robert Duval is about the only movie-maker I know of what has attempted to show how evil the man was. Churchill famously said that if Hitler invaded hell, he would say a few nice words about the devil in the House of Commons. But later he came to realize the menace that Stalin represented and Harry Truman agreed with him. Thank God that Truman not Wallace was President at that time! Party moderates got FDR to dump Wallace as VP in 1944. Having Wallace in the White House in 1946-47 would have been like having --well, Barack Obama there.

LOVED IT. It is a movie about revenge, and it’s actually a “western” set in Nazi-occupied France. There’s a scene where Aldo Raines (the Brad Pitt character) tells one of the Gestapo to keep his uniform on, so they can clearly identify the villains: just like the black hat/white hat thing in the old westerns. What’s wrong with re-imagining history or fantasizing about the “what-if’s”?

Also, keep in mind that this is a predominantly foreign film (most of it’s subtitled in French and German) with a predominantly foreign cast and comparatively less violence than other QT movies. It’s much more talky and provocative. It’s really not an action movie. It’s not a splatter fest. It’s a talky, chatty, dialogue-driven movie a lot of people will find really, really, really boring if they’re not paying attention.

And, not to spoil the ending (see my other post), but the film’s ending raises serious questions about the chief villain’s intents and motivations. As for feeling sympathetic towards the villains getting their just desserts, bopping them with baseball bats and scalping swastikas into their foreheads is kid gloves compared to herding Jews into gas chambers - so, no, I don’t feel remotely “sympathetic” or sorry for them at all, if that’s what you’re suggesting. “Judgment at Nuremberg” this was not. No Marlene Dietrich whining about how she was only following orders.

If you haven’t seen the movie (gee, there’s something I never would have guessed), then I’m not quite sure how any of my perspective on the matter would make a difference, since it sounds like you have already concluded it’s trashy and has no socially redeeming value whatsoever. You’re certainly entitled to that conclusion, and it’s not my place to try to persuade you otherwise.

Hey, back off! I don’t know whether the movie is good or bad, worth seeing or not, and haven’t made my mind up about it at all. Read my post more carefully, please. I simply stated that I read an interesting review about the movie in which the author, a Jew, raised several questions about it. The review actually makes me want to see the movie and make the judgement for myself, but your perception that I think the movie is “trashy and has no socially redeeming value whatsovever” comes from a poor reading and knee jerk reaction to my post, and I resent it. I appreciate your perspective of the movie, but certainly hope it is on firmer ground that your perspective of my post.

I will not see the film for multiple reasons

  1. It’s a Quentin Tarantino film, and I think Tarantino is a terribly overrated director. I have strongly dislike all of his films I have seen and know this would be no different.

  2. I can deal with violence in films when it serves a purpose, but after reading a description of the violence in this film it is obvious that it serves no purpose and is way over the top. I find films like that to be disgusting.

  3. Everything I have read says the film is completely devoid of good morals, and that it is terribly offensive. I know the statement I’m about to make will be unpopular, but frankly I think you should seriously look at yourself and consider that there is something wrong with your perspective if you really liked the movie.

LOVED IT. It is a movie about revenge, and it’s actually a “western”…

Many of Tarantino’s films felt like westerns, which makes me think that behind it all, he’s trying to insert a sort of retro-American morality into his plays. Christian virtues such as mercy, hope and faith might be missing, but most of the pagan virtues such as fortitude, honesty, etc, they’re held tantamount. Reminds me of “The Crypt Keeper.” Good people suffer and die, but there’s no hope at all for the bad guys.

Which makes me think that in an otherwise hopeless world, folks could find comfort in the next one.

Evil’s evil. We shouldn’t try to rationalize it away, or justify it. Now, to place everyone in black hats and have them kill eachother, I’m cool with that. I rather like that this film has gotten many folks to cringe in the face of acts which they ought be cackling at with sadistic glee. I rather like that Tarantino gave the Nazi’s enough humanity, enough character to force audiences to see them as human beings. What’s more powerful? Uma Thurman cutting down twenty foes in Kill Bill? Or that single, wretched cruelty in Resevoir Dogs?

  • so, no, I don’t feel remotely “sympathetic” or sorry for them at all, if that’s what you’re suggesting.

Don’tcha think you might want to reconsider that whole “Christianity” thing you got going on? It tends to conflict with relishing in the sufferings of others.

I’ve seen it once so far and loved it. I plan on seeing it at least once or twice more (possibly this evening), I know that every Tarantino picture just gets better and better on repeat viewings. If Christoph Waltz doesn’t take home a Best Supporting Actor (or even Best Actor) Oscar, and I mean take home, nominated isn’t enough, I will be incredibly disappointed.

Tsuwano: I am very sorry. I was a little tired when I clicked “reply” and did not realize fully what I had written. Please accept my sincere apology. I was mistaken. I am sorry.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gave it an “L” (Limited), not “O” (Morally Offensive.) “L” means limited appeal with content some viewers may find objectionable. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called it “provocative” and “suspenseful,” and I agree with their assessment:

I understand actual bishops don’t screen and review the films, but I feel their review is relevant if my perspective and morals are being called into question.

(I would, however, agree with point #3 if a child or even an adolescent is raving about the film. It’s a film for adults, which I’m pretty sure I am.)

Thank you, Havana. I apologize for reacting in such a childish manner. I hope we can establish a more fruitful relationship from here on out.

It also feels unfair to me to call those morals and perspective into question when said person doing so hasn’t even seen the film itself.

Well, you know what the response will be, don’t you? “I don’t need to smell it to know it’s trash”? We’ve all heard that before.

There’s nothing wrong with being offended with a movie, just as there’s nothing wrong with being offended with a book or television show.

That said, I do take exception to having someone who hasn’t even seen a movie (based entirely on secondhand account) calling another person’s morals and perspective into question, all on the pretense of it being “unpopular opinion.” If it were a movie that the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference did declare morally offensive, that’s one thing, but they didn’t condemn this. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the Judeo-Christian subtext of many of Quentin Tarantino’s films: sacrifice (literally) in Reservoir Dogs, the modern day parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) in Pulp Fiction, Cain and Abel in “Kill Bill,” etc. Accordingly, as those who have seen “Inglorious Basterds” know, there’s more to these Nazis than meets the eye.

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