‘Inglourious Basterds’

I have seen some bad films in my time but “Inglourious Basterds” takes the award for worst film of recent account. This piece of tripe is something that should never have been made – it shouldn’t have gone past the idea stage.

Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is an insult not only to World War Two veterans but to anyone with any sense of taste or sound judgment. While the first 30 minutes of the film showed promise, after that it was a lost cause and went downhill.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid fan of some of Tarantino’s work, such as “Pulp Fiction,” both “Kill Bill” films and “Reservoir Dogs.” However, with “Inglourious Basterds,” it was like cramming a fat person into a pair of jeans two sizes too small. The plot wasn’t centered on any one aspect, but kept jumping back and forth and adding more confusion to the mix.

The film is set in occupied France during World War Two. Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) and her family are hiding in the basement of a house. German soldiers find out where they are and fire their weapons through the floorboards. The only survivor, Dreyfus escapes to Paris where she becomes the owner of a cinema, hiding her past from others.

At the same time, an American special forces unit made up of Jewish soldiers drops behind enemy lines to wage a guerrilla war against the Nazis. The group is known to the Germans as “The Basterds” and is led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt).

The film pulls both sides of the story together when a German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) recruits the group to take down the leaders of the Third Reich at film premier at Dreyfus’ cinema.

The premise of the film is completely fictional with not one grain of truth to it.

Frankly, it is not a good piece of fiction. There are other films about World War Two that are far better than what Tarantino has done. Those films include “Das Boot,” “The Longest Day,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Great Escape.”

Don’t waste your time or money with this lame duck. Stay home.

This film is rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality.

‘District 9’

Peter Jackson has slipped his audience a mickey with his latest film “District Nine.”

Going to the theater I didn’t know what to expect from a person who brought Gandalf, Frodo and Gollum to life on the big screen in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Jackson went against the current and produced something that is truly unique and entertaining that will be recognized as a sci-fi classic for years to come.

Unlike most directors and producers who get locked into one type of film, like Quentin Tarantino, Jackson has gone the extra mile to prevent that from happening. The cast of the film is made up of unknown actors – an asset to the feature. The cast’s performance allows the story of this film to shine through, which lets the audience become invested in the tale.

Jackson avoided having the performance of a single actor trumping everyone else and the storyline. If you want to watch a real dominating and overpowering figure on screen, just watch about five minutes of any film that has Tom Cruise in it and you’ll get the idea.

The film’s title refers to a refugee type camp that has been established in Johannesburg, South Africa, for aliens that came to Earth after their spaceship experienced some type of mechanical malfunction. Humans put the aliens into the camp and their ship still hovers over the city.

In the present time, tensions are rising between the local population and the aliens. A new camp is established outside of the city and eviction notices are served to the aliens who are known to humans simply as “prons.” The company policing the aliens is Multi-National United. Leading the eviction taskforce is Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley). During the process of eviction, he becomes infected with a compound that transforms humans into aliens.

Merwe’s symptoms get worse and it turns out he is the only human successfully merged with alien DNA. His ability allows him to fire alien weaponry and soon he is more valuable dead than alive. He escapes the lab and the chase is on.

As he physically changes from human to alien, his feelings change toward them. He has sort of an “ET” moment.

While the marquee at the theater looks kind of blank, “District Nine” is a good bet to bank on. This film is rated R for blood violence and pervasive language.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.