DVDfever.co.uk – Inglourious Basterds Blu-ray review Dom Robinson reviews
Universal Pictures UK Blu-ray:
- Running time: 153 minutes
- Year: 2001
- Cat no: 8271338
- Released: Dec 2009
- Region(s): 2, PAL
- Chapters: 28
- Picture: 1080p High Definition
- Sound: DTS 5.1 HD
- Languages: English, Spanish, French
- Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
- Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
- 16:9-Enhanced: Yes
- Macrovision: Yes
- Disc Format: BD50
- Price: £24.99 (Blu-ray); £19.99 (DVD)
- Extras: Extended/alternate Scenes, Nation’s Pride: full feature, Roundtable discussion with Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt, Nation’s Pride: The Making of, The original Inglorious Basterds, A conversation with Rod Taylor, Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitter, Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel, Hi Sallys, Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitchell, Killin’ Nazis Trivia Challenge, Inglorious Basterds Poster Gallery, Trailers, D-Box Motion Code
- Quentin Tarantino
(Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vols 1 & 2, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs)
- Lawrence Bender
- Quentin Tarantino
- Lt Aldo Raine: Brad Pitt
Shosanna Dreyfus: Mélanie Laurent
Col. Hans Landa: Christoph Waltz
Sgt. Donny Donowitz: Eli Roth
Lt. Archie Hicox: Michael Fassbender
Bridget von Hammersmark: Diane Kruger
Pvt. Fredrick Zoller: Daniel Brühl
Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz: Til Schweiger
Cpl. Wilhelm Wicki: Gedeon Burkhard
Marcel: Jacky Ido
Pfc. Smithson Utivich: B.J. Novak
Pfc. Omar Ulmer: Omar Doom
Major Hellstrom: August Diehl
Perrier LaPadite: Denis Menochet
Joseph Goebbels: Sylvester Groth
Adolf Hitler: Martin Wuttke
General Ed Fenech: Mike Myers
Francesca Mondino: Julie Dreyfus
Winston Churchill: Rod Taylor
Proprietor Eric: Christian Berkel
Mathilda: Anne-Sophie Franck
Charlotte LaPadite: Léa Seydoux
Julie LaPadite: Tina Rodriguez
Suzanne LaPadite: Lena Friedrich
Narrator: Samuel L. Jackson
OSS Commander Who Agrees to Deal: Harvey Keitel
Can Inglorious Basterds be a return to form?
Once upon a time,… in Nazi-occupied France, in 1941, dairy farmer Perrier Lapadite (Denis Menochet) is visited by Col. Hans Landa of the SS (Christoph Waltz, definitely earning his Best Supporting Actor Oscar), a man who has the task of rounding up all the Jews in France who are in hiding or passing themselves off as Gentile. This leads to a very long and wonderful 20-minute opening sequence where Landa discusses with Perdite about the possibility of him hiding the Dreyfus family, still believed to be residing in France, as he has form for this. In the ensuing chaos, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) escapes capture.
Chapter 2 then opens, another segment of silmlar length, and Lt Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), aka Aldo The Apache – clearly battle-hardy with a healed slash across his neck, aims to take eight Jewish American soldiers into France, dressed as civilians, to wipe out the Nazis. They are the Inglorious Basterds of the title. His men include Sgt Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth, right with Brad Pitt), aka The Bear Jew, a man with the talent of bashing in the heads of Germans with a baseball bat and Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz (Til Schweiger), one of two German-born Basterds intent on taking down the Nazis and they’ll be teaming up with famous movie star Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) with a view to doing this.
Then comes Chapter 3, moving to June 1944, where Shosanna meets a German soldier, Pvt. Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl), who killed over 300 enemy soldiers from a bird’s nest tower. He’s gone on to star in his own film about it, Nation’s Pride, and the Germans want to hold the premiere at her cinema which she inherited from her aunt and uncle, something she doesn’t really want to do – particularly when she finds out that the head of Nazi security is the chilling Col. Landa. What follows is what happens when these worlds collide.
I don’t want to go too much into detail about the rest of the film, as there’s a lot of great stuff to come, but it’s safe to say that this really is a return to form for Tarantino, especially in the opening scene between Menochet and Waltz (below-right). Overall I’d give it 8/10 on first viewing, but I can see some scenes later on wouldn’t stand up to repeated viewings in full as they go on a bit. I much prefer it to the Kill Bills and Death Proof, though.
Also, every one of the actors puts their all into their performance, particularly Waltz, plus Brad Pitt as the maverick Lieutenant, Mélanie Laurent as the winsome Shosanna with an understandable hatred for the Nazis and Til Schweiger as the gung ho Stiglitz, with a lust for blood. I also rather liked Mike Myers‘ cameo as a British General
Oh, and there’s a continuity error in the French tavern when the barman (Christian Berkel) is standing by the card table one minute, where they’re playing a “Who am I?” game by writing famous names on the cards for others to guess, and then behind the bar the next when the scene cuts to another table in there.
Shot in anamorphic Panavision, which Tarantino doesn’t often do, Inglorious Basterds looks sumptious and must be seen in the full 2.35:1 widescreen ratio to get into it. Anything less just won’t do. The print is clean, colourful and detailed and is flawless. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
Audio-wise, you get a 5.1 DTS HD soundtrack, although I had to go for the 5.1 DTS equivalent, and the rousing score along with the frequent use of gunfire and explosions are a delight here. Not a thing wrong with it. Some great demo moments on this disc.
The extras are as follows:
- Extended/alternate Scenes (11:26): Three of them here, but nothing to warrant changing them to these versions, the first of which is a mostly one-take version of a restaurant scene organising the showing of the film in Shosanna’s cinema.
- Nation’s Pride: full feature (6:10): The mini-feature shown during the film and directed by Eli Roth, who also plays Donny Donowitz in this movie.
- Roundtable discussion with Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt (30:45): A Q&A with the star and director, hosted by Elvis Mitchell.
- Nation’s Pride: The Making of (4:00): Eli Roth, as producer Alois Von Eichberg, talks about the film with others in character such as Pvt. Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl) and Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth).
- The original Inglorious Basterds (7:39): Tarantino and Roth talk about the movie of a similar name, The Inglorious Bastards, made in 1978 and starring Bo Svenson who also speaks here.
- A conversation with Rod Taylor (6:43): The actor who’s been in the business for almost 60 years, and who had a cameo as Winston Churchill here.
- Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitter (3:19): It’s a famous drink in Australia.
- Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel (2:42): Or Clapperboard operator. She’s a bit odd….
- Hi Sallys (2:09): Tarantino has referred to Sally Menke as his greatest collaborator, editing all of his films, and these come from this movie, as he and others say hello to her. It’s a neat little extra.
- Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitchell (11:00): Posters shown during the movie.
- Killin’ Nazis Trivia Challenge: A set of 60 questions over 6 rounds about the film. If your Blu-ray player is linked online you can upload your scores. Mine isn’t.
- Inglorious Basterds Poster Gallery: Does what it says on the tin. Many of them.
- Trailers: First, a teaser (1:45) which includes a couple of clips not put into the final version, then the Domestic Trailer (2:23), International Trailer (2:08) and Japanese Trailer (1:17).
- D-Box Motion Code: Yes, not something you come across in the UK, really, but according to this D-Box corporate video, the idea is that as well as experiencing top-notch audio and visual effects, you’ll also get motion effects – rather like a souped-up La-z-boy chair. In short – I. WANT. ONE. NOW! However, it appears the only one you can physically buy at the moment is a computer game racing chair that costs a penny under £13,000.
The menu is a set of images from the film set to the main theme, and Universal’s usual slow and cumbersome menu is in effect, taking a long time to select between sections. Why the need to make it so fancy? There are subtitles in English, Spanish and French with a great number of chapters at 28.
Also, one thing that is very annoying is what’s basically a huge logo stretching across the screen during the menu telling me about BD-Live – something I don’t use as it’s too much of a faff and doesn’t work, but at least this ‘ticker’ can be turned off. However, it SHOULD be set to OFF by default!
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.