A big, ultra-violent and very dialogue driven picture from the crazy mind of Quentin Tarantino, the 2009 INGLORIOUS BASTERDS absolutely wowed me on initial viewing, leading me to see it a couple of times in theatres just for all the details. It’s Tarantino’s love for movies and especially revisionist history (which has transferred all the way to his more recent ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD) that make him so sought out, and he still gets away with content that other filmmakers couldn’t.
There are several stories abound in BASTERDS, but the main one is Brad Pitt as Aldo Raine, leading a crew of rag-tag crew of Nazi hunters who are a no-nonsense team of Americans and Germans that have switched sides. There’s a plan afoot to catch Hitler and his associates at a screening of NATION’S PRIDE led by the dashing Frederick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl) and many conflicting sides and stories collide in Tarantino fashion.
(None of this is historically accurate, of course.)
Few sequences in movies have been more powerful to me than the long tavern sequence halfway through the movie, which features a mental battle of wits between the Nazi party and allies undercover in more ways that one. This sequence is a masterclass of filmmaking and my personal favourite sequence that Tarantino directed. I still remember this scene theatrically and feeling the jolt in the audience when the sequence explodes into sudden action. BASTERDS is one of my personal favourite movies from the auteur and one that I love to revisit every couple of years.
About the 4k Release:
Universal has released a very good, but not spectacular 4k release that does not really feel like an entirely new presentation but an “upgrade”. Even though this is a 4k HDR transfer this does not appear to have much restoration work done and while blacks and colours are a BIT more defined, they don’t seem to pop out into HDR-10 territory as I would have thought. Blacks crush a little bit, especially on the title card changes. I want to say that this is just an up-scale of the very good Blu Ray master from years ago.
On the sound front it’s the same DTS Master Audio from the Blu Ray it’s a mixed bag too from VERY loud action and music sequences combined with more quiet (and some long) scenes with a lot of dialogue. It gets the job done, though I can imagine what this would sound like with a restored Dolby Atmos track.
The special features are slight and none of it is new here; I am never a fan of deleted scenes or alternate takes but there are quite a few here including the full NATION’S PRIDE movie featured in the film. I tend to never watch deleted scenes either, but they are included once again for fans. I do like the Tarantino interviews here, however, as he’s always an interesting individual to watch. A backup Blu Ray is also included, and the attached Digital Copy redeems to Google Play and is HD only.
Overall, if you don’t have a copy of BASTERDS on home media then this will definitely be one to add to your collection. If you already have the Blu Ray, this really isn’t worth an upgrade. I’m hoping Universal can make another restoration effort with new features and give BASTERDS the punch that it deserves.
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS is now available on 4k Blu Ray and Digital formats. Thanks to Universal PR for sending along a copy for review.