Inglourious Basterds

Featured In Issue 259, January/February 2022

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Quentin Tarantino
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1, DTS 5.1
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"Inglourious Basterds" takes place in war-raged Europe and follows a Nazi-scalping squad of Jewish-American soldiers, known to their enemy as "The Basterds," led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Pitt). While conducting their mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich, Raine's squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Kruger). As the mission advances, the group is unexpectedly aided by Shosanna Drefus (Laurent), who as a young girl witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. Fates converge at the Paris cinema, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own, and as for "The Basterds," well, they never take prisoners. (Gary Reber)

Special features include three extended & alternate scenes (HD 11:31); 10 featurettes: "Roundtable Discussion With Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Elvis Mitchell" (HD 30:45), "The New York Times Talks" (HD 08:07), "Nation's Pride –– Full Feature" (HD 06:10), "The Making Of Nation's Pride" (HD 04:00), "The Original Inglorious Bastards" (HD 07:38), "A Conversation With Rod Taylor" (HD 06:43), "Rod Taylor On Victoria Bitter" (HD 03:19), "Quentin Tarantino: Camera Angel" (HD 02:41) "Hi Sallys" (HD 02:09) and "Film Poster Gallery Tour With Elvis Mitchell" (HD 10:59); a poster gallery; trailers and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.40:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10+/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed in anamorphic Panavision® on Kodak Vision2 film stock using the Arriflex 435 and Panavision Panaflex Millennium camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The 4K Ultra HD picture is an impressive cinematic achievement, visualized with 1940's stylization. The slightest grain is apparent, but never distracting, and actually enhances the cinematic stylization. Textural detail is superb and revealing of fine detail throughout. Color fidelity is vividly warm and rich in hue, and deeply saturated throughout. The reds and greens of countryside foliage pop through the screen with dramatic intensity. The wide color gamut is evident in the nuanced hue shadings. This is apparent in every frame. The fabric detail in military uniforms is amazing as well in the textures of objects and structures. Colors are vivid. The red dress and the color of the Nazi flag really pop. HDR contrast is excellent with natural black levels, revealing shadows and naturally brilliant white levels. The cinema scene exhibits the most vivid color spectrum. Flesh tones are perfectly natural, Resolution is excellent throughout and reveals fine object textures in buildings, interiors, and clothing, which heightens the sense of realism. Facial detail is revealing of skin pores, wrinkles, makeuo, hair and beard stubble. Cigarette smoke is incredibly well defined. Color depth is superb, Overall dimensional depth is superb. This 4K Ultra HD presentation is a wonderful picture experience that is engaging throughout and the new reference for this classic. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is effectively produced, with intelligible dialogue that is either production sound or ADR. The dialogue, at times, is slightly chesty and weighty but generally nicely integrated spatially. The sound is a mixture of nuanced interior sounds and dialogue, with effective Foley effects that end up with a monaural focus and intense action laced with loud gunfire and explosions, as well as sound effects that convey a skull cracking, beatings, and throat cutting. Surround envelopment is nicely produced, with atmospherics and sound effects that convey soundfield dimension. The crowded theatre scene is spatially dimensional, but the basement bar scene misses the mark of great surround and collapses to monaural. Then, suddenly, when the shootout occurs, the surrounds energize and bullets spew in every direction, and then just as suddenly are back to undistinguished monaural. Other scenes also remain in monaural, unnecessarily. Thus, the soundtrack is inconsistent, and while surround envelopment does at times deliver an engaging holosonic® presence, it unexpectedly collapses to monaural. The music is also inconsistent in that some segments are terribly dated in fidelity, while other segments are modern recordings. Nonetheless, the music delivers an aggressive surround presence that is terrific! Low-frequency effects delivered by the .1 LFE channel are effective when fully energized and nicely intensify the scene and add solid bass foundation to the soundtrack. This is a mixed-bag soundtrack, with spectacular moments of surround envelopment and creativity and other moments of undistinguished monaural sound. Still, overall, the experience is engaging. And the climax scene is extraordinary! (Gary Reber)