Posts Tagged ‘War’

Inglourious Basterds

September 4th, 2009
Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds

Rating: ★★★★½

Movie: Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Studio : Universal

Info : Click Here

Runtime : 153 min

Website :

Trailer :


While it will certainly not win any Oscars, Quentin Tarantino’s, Inglorious Bastards, entertains for the full 2 hours and 33 minutes. The film is divided into five chapters, which at first seem mutually exclusive, but begin to tie together towards the middle of the movie.

Though it is a war movie, there are very little gunfights. The classic “Tarantino violence,” mostly comes from the scalpings of dead Germans, body mutilations, and one overly gruesome execution by baseball bat, though none of it is comedic as usual. Tarantino also uses a series of flashbacks in order to fill the audience in on plot holes, which works very effectively and is also very entertaining. Seeing as how the rest of the movie is filled in by scheming, plotting, and a pestering German war hero, it is difficult to understand how the movie went by as quickly as it did.

The reason for this however, is that Tarantino was able to create an intricate plot with many captivating characters. The story is an alternate history of World War II, beginning with a young girl named Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent), who witnesses the murder of her family, but narrowly escapes. She flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as French theatre owner. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Bradd Pitt), creates a group of Jewish American soldiers, known by the enemy as “the Basterds,” who are trained to commit quick and shocking attacks on German soldiers.

When a young German war hero, Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl)—who has had a film made about him, starring him—falls in love with Shosanna, he moves to have the highly anticipated premier of his film at her theatre. With Hitler and the entire high command set to attend, both Shosanna and Aldo create separate plots for their assassinations.

This film is unlike any World War II movie ever made, however, it does have many flaws. While Bruhl’s character, Zoller, is supposed to be annoying to Shosanna, he did a better job of annoying me. Additionally, Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), an actress/double agent, who is supposed to help Raines carry out his mission—but ends up hindering it instead—seems almost completely unnecessary. “Basterds,” is not to be a Tarantino classic, but it is certainly worth seeing, even if it is just to see Pitt speak Italian in a Southern accent.

-Stephen Fox

Action, Drama, In Theaters, War , , ,

The Hurt Locker

August 1st, 2009
Year One - Jack Black

The Hurt Locker- Kathryn Bigelow

Rating: ★★★★☆

Movie: The Hurt Locker (2009)

Studio : Kingsgate Films

Info : Click Here

Runtime : 130min

Website :

Trailer :



The Hurt Locker is the story the Army’s elite Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) squad and their call to missions in modern-day Iraq. The story focuses on the Bravo Company, specifically commissioned to handle IEDs or Improvised Explosive Devices. We follow this company—which comprises Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner), Sergeant J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty)—on their 39-day tour of Iraq. We watch as they weave through each mission with their lives on the line, and as they consistently escape death, the layers of their complicated emotions and intentions unfold right before us.

It doesn’t take very long to realize that the real star of this film is director Kathryn Bigelow. Although her claim to fame up to this point might be Point Break and being the mega-director James Cameron’s former better half, this movie should cement her as a serious and formidable new voice.

The amazingly authentic script by Mark Boal aids her vision. Much like In the Valley of Elah, Boal has researched a real story in order to create a compelling fictitious one. Here, Boal imbedded himself with an actual EOD squad and fashioned himself part-journalist, part-screenwriter. And upon the viewing of this film, it will be hard to deny that he has succeeded exceptionally as both.

Jeremy Renner as Sergeant James does a commendable job of turning his performance into a bona-fide character study. As the most complex character, he gives an appropriately understated performance while maintaining a certain amount of bravura, making him fascinating to watch.

There’s a noticeable dip in the quality of the action at the end of the second act where a particular soldier goes AWOL. It’s the only part of the movie that feels a little “Hollywood.” Nevertheless, it doesn’t take away from the overall excellence of the film, and fortunately, it gets back on track shortly thereafter.

However, there is a major oversight that does affect the overall impression of this film: Although directed by a female, it is mysteriously devoid of female soldiers. For a film that’s committed to being so real and so true, it’s an unfortunate critique for a film that is otherwise virtually flawless.
The crux of this film lies within its final 5-10 minutes. And it’s these minutes that catapult it from being a run-of-the-mill war story to modern parable.

-Sam Henderson

Action, Drama, In Theaters, Thriller, War , , , ,