"I think this just might be my masterpiece!"- Lt Aldo Raine
Some have used this closing line of the film to sum up how they feel about Tarantino’s WWII flick but I wouldn’t. His love for films has always been seen in his work and with Basterds, he literally pulls us into a cinema for what is yes, a beautiful and harrowing finale, that looks like it has the makings of a classic, but there are annoyances along the way that, sadly for me, keep it from feeling like a classic.
Chief among them is how, again going back to his love of film, his homages are so apparent and even annoying at times. We don’t need Samuel L Jackson narrating the physical characteristics of old nitrate film. We didn’t need that big, yellow, cheesy 1970’s font to introduce characters. It feels out of place when he uses spaghetti western music, especially when it was used in Kill Bill too. It goes on and yes his style is unlike anything else in mainstream/modern cinema, but that doesn’t mean it’s always enjoyable.
Now in spite of those issues I have with it, there are some qualities that leave a lasting mark even after you’ve put the movie away. One high compliment that I almost always have with his movies is that, the man knows how to write and how to guide actors. The opening is a beautiful example of what I’m saying. When Tarantino isn’t joking with us with humorous, out of place text (once upon a time… in Nazi occupied France.), he’s building suspense right from the start. Waltz is introduced and he plays an amazing villain. Amazing in that he’s cunning in small doses while being incredible friendly and hospitable to the man of the house. I was impressed, seeing this a second time in some years, how the dialogue and subtle gestures add to an increasing pile of suspense that starts from the smallest details. By the end of it you feel saddened and moved, even though you knew how it would turn out. Same way with the much longer, but still suspenful tavern sequence. This might be a rare case where everything leading up the climax is much more riveting than the fallout itself.
Performances are stellar, writing is superb, the action is almost always hard hitting and I love it when it all comes together when QT is playing straight with us. When he’s playing around like when he’s changing the opening credit font 3 times, that’s when I don’t care.
Last edited by gooseysoucy
on Aug 15, '17, 1:39pm, edited 1 time in total.