Posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 by Adam Quigley
This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
(Available as single-disc DVD, 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, and 2-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray)
“You know somethin’? I think this might just be my masterpiece.” That’s a mighty audacious claim that Tarantino not-so-subtly injects in Inglourious Basterds, his self-proclaimed World War II spaghetti western, but he earns the hell out of it. The film plays like a masterfully calibrated collection of short films, with each lengthy, deliberately paced scene—usually featuring nothing more than a number of characters sitting around a table talking—building up with excruciating intensity until finally reaching a breaking point, resulting in a delirious climax that repeatedly left me an exhausted mess. Together, these sequences add up to an endlessly thrilling viewing experience, with the overall narrative providing one of the more fascinating tales from the past decade. Everything there is to love about Tarantino is on full display here, from his ruthlessly clever dialogue to his brilliantly realized characters to his eclectic soundtrack selection and so on. Even though the movie is undeniably an exploitation film, there’s also a brain behind the madness. Instead of merely reveling in the slaughtering of Nazis (although there’s plenty of that too), Tarantino presents an interesting moral balance between all of the characters, including the comedically shameless Basterds and several almost (almost) sympathetic Nazi victims. Acting as somewhat of an examination of good and evil—or more specifically, what it means to be an evil person—Inglourious Basterds constantly plays on audience expectations for what its characters are capable of, using Hans Landa as its reference point for the true face of evil. This aspect is thankfully not pronounced aggressively enough to detract from the film for those that hope to appreciate it on a purely superficial level, but like the film’s obscure, carefully placed movie references, it’s there to be observed for those interested in looking. Two more things: Christoph Waltz’s performance is astounding, and the film’s ending is a stroke of pure, unbridled genius. Rock on, Tarantino. You made the best damn movie of the year.
Notable Extras: Single-disc DVD – Extended and alternate scenes, and the Nation’s Pride film. 2-disc DVD & Blu-ray – Includes everything on the single-disc DVD, as well as a Roundtable Discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and film historian/critic Elvis Mitchell, featurettes (“Making of Nation’s Pride”, “The Original Inglorious Bastards”, “Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitters – the Australian Beer”, “Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel”), a conversation with actor Rod Taylor, a gag reel, a Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitch, and a digital copy.
|BEST DVD PRICE*|
|Amazon – $15.99|
*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $21.49 at Amazon, $22.99 at Best Buy, and $24.99 at Target (see below).
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE|
|Amazon – $17.99|