Posted: 12/08/2009


Inglourious Basterds (Blu-Ray)

by Del Harvey

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On December 15th, 2009, Universal Studios Home Entertainment releases the two-disc Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def and two-disc Special Edition DVD of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Starring Academy Award® nominee Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Burn After Reading), the cast includes Christoph Waltz, named Best Actor at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for his unforgettable performance as a charming but cunning Nazi officer, B.J. Novak (“The Office”), Diane Kruger (National Treasure), Eli Roth (director of Hostel), Mélanie Laurent (Paris), and Michael Fassbender (The Bourne Ultimatum). Brad Pitt shines as the bodacious American commander of a lethal team of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” - whose exploits in occupied France strike terror in the hearts of the German rank and file and enrage the German High Command. Notable veteran guest stars include Mike Myers (Austin Powers), Rod Taylor (The Birds), and Julie Dreyfus, (Kill Bill Vol. 1).

The film is an adrenaline-packed, high-octane World War II revenge fantasy and hailed as one of Tarantino’s most stylish and entertaining films to date. From its deceptively bucolic opening scenes to its incendiary final moments, Inglourious Basterds delivers a heady combination of fact and fantasy that never fails to surprise. Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds is available on Two-Disc Blu-ray™ Hi-Def, Two-Disc DVD Special Edition, Single-Disc DVD and download to own. Both the Blu-ray™ and Two-Disc Special Edition DVD come with a Digital Copy of the film for a limited time only just in time for the holiday season and over 90 minutes of startling and engrossing behind-the-scenes bonus features.

The film, set in German-occupied France, tells the story of two plots to assassinate the Nazi political leadership, one planned by a young French Jewish cinema proprietress, the other by a team of American soldiers called the “Basterds”. Writer/Director Tarantino has said that despite it being a war film, Inglourious Basterds is really a “spaghetti western - but with World War II iconography”. In addition to spaghetti westerns, the film also pays homage to the World War II “macaroni combat” sub-genre, which was in turn heavily influenced by spaghetti-westerns.

In the first year of the German occupation of France, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish American soldiers to perform swift, shocking acts of retribution. Later known to their enemy as “the Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquis, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own.

Inglourious Basterds was accepted as a main selection at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in competition for the prestigious Palme d’Or and had its world premiere there in May.
All three editions of Inglourious Basterds include:
-Extended & Alternate Scenes
-Nation’s Pride – The film within the film Inglourious Basterds can be seen it its entirety
-Domestic and International Trailers

Both the Two-Disc Special Edition and Blu-ray™ also come with:
-Roundtable Discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and film historian/critic Elvis Mitchell
-The Making of Nation’s Pride
-The Original Inglorious Bastards - a salute to the original 1978 film
-A Conversation with veteran actor Rod Taylor
-Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitters, the Australian beer
-Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel
-Hi Sallys – Gag Reel
-Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitchell
-Inglourious Basterds Poster Gallery
-Digital Copy of Inglourious Basterds

In addition to the above features, the Inglourious Basterds Blu-ray™ Hi-Def release includes:
-BD-Live™— Access the BD-Live™ Center with your Internet-connected player to download the latest trailers, host a chat with your buddies, upload your own webcam commentary, and more.

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.

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