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Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds (yes, I know it is misspelled, but that's how it's spelled on the DVD case) by Quentin Tarantino, the man who brought us Kill Bill, volumes one and two. The movie stars the following basterds: Brad Pitt, Eli Roth and B.J. Novak.

While the second world war rages in Europe, Lt. Aldo Raine (Pitt) leads a ragtag unit of Jewish-American soldiers as a guerrilla force deep undercover behind enemy lines in Vichy France. The objective of the mission is thus: in the words of Raine, each man in the unit owes him 100 Nazi scalps and Raine "wants his Nazi scalps." The men hunt down and kill anyone wearing a swastika; for the most part the men are successful in their mission: they avoid capture by enemy forces and haven't taken any casualties. Before long they receive a mission they cannot refuse. The success of the mission itself could alter the course of the war and history as we know it; in short it is an opportunity too good and too dangerous to pass up. Soon the luck that held the unit in good stead turns and things start to go wrong in the hours leading up to the mission. But Raine and his men are determined to complete their mission no matter what stands in their way.

In a parallel storyline, Shoshana is a young Jew; her family was hunted down and brutally massacred by the "Jew Hunter"--German Col. Landa and his unit--years before. Now she's living in Paris under an assumed name and running a small cinema. Through happenstance her path crosses with that of a young German soldier who becomes smitten with her and through this acquaintance her path crosses with that of Landa's again. Shoshana is given an opportunity to avenge the deaths of her family members. However, will her plan for vengeance interfere with or derail Raine's mission? Or will the plans merrily collide creating a perfect storm of events to mutually benefit each objective?

From the trailers for his movies immediately preceding this one, it is clear that Tarantino has a penchant for the dark and twisted and sick. This movie is dark, a little twisted, especially its story and characters, specifically Raine and his men. The darkness is leavened by the fact that the movie doesn't take itself too seriously. There are also scenes depicting graphic and gruesome violence.

This movie is available to borrow from the Lebanon county library system.


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