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Inglourious Basterds

I don’t know why I wanted to see this. Past Tarantino movies I’ve tended to watch through my spread-out fingers, or from just behind the doorway. I’m not a strong-stomached kind of guy when it comes to gruesome movies.

But there’s something about that Tarantino sense of humor about it that makes it more bearable. I really only flinched once (I won’t tell you where). And while the explicit scenes of the gnat-sees (one of Brad Pitt’s hilarious quirks of accent) being scalped are, well, explicit; it’s not so horrible because they are, as QT himself puts it in a recent interview with the Atlantic Monthly, Nazis.

In fact they are; watching an SS officer being clubbed to death has an entirely different emotional resonance than watching the same fate befall a baby seal.

This isn’t his absolute best (IMHO Pulp Fiction is going to be hard to top), though still pretty good. The dialog is snappy and the acting, though tongue-in-cheek almost throughout, is really funny to watch. To see Pitt portraying a Tennessee hill country boy pretending to be an Italian filmmaker, saying “bon giorno,” is almost worth the price of admission in itself.

Spoiler Alert

Again as you’d expect, it’s violent and bloody. But again, they’re Nazis for heaven’s sake! Watching a swastika being carved into an SS officer’s forehead, a small voice inside you might say, “that’s not necessary.” That same small voice might say, “that’s over-the-top” in one of the final scenes when one of the Jewish soldiers empties a clip into Hitler’s face.But there might also be another small voice deep inside of you that says, “hey, can I try?”

3.5 stars for gratuitous but cathartic violence.

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