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A bunch of basterds

21 Comments
By Chris Betros

Quentin Tarantino is so confident that everyone in Japan will like his new movie, "Inglourious Basterds," that he has OK’d a campaign in which anyone who walks out within the first hour during the movie’s initial four-day run from Nov 20-23 will receive a full refund. “Hell, yeah, no one will leave after one hour. And if you do want to leave, then get the hell out of here, so the rest of us can have a good time,” joked the 46-year-old director who was in Japan this week along with the film’s stars, Brad Pitt and French actresses Melanie Laurent and Julie Dreyfus.

It has taken 10 years for Tarantino to bring his version of World War II to the big screen. “It started the same way I start every project,” he said. “I just wanted to make a war movie, so I began writing. The subtext that gives the movie its weight and meaning came later and actually continued as we made the film.“

Not only does he rewrite World War II history, Tarantino includes several comical touches, including one scene in which Nazis bigwigs are gathered at a function. Suddenly, the words Martin Bormann appear on screen, with an arrow pointing to the Bormann character in the party. "I wanted my take to be fun, fun, fun," said the energetic Tarantino who bobs up and down in his chair.

Pitt, 45, stars as Lt Aldo Raine, the leader of the title characters, a ragtag band of Jewish-American soldiers dropped into occupied France to kill Nazis, scalp them and carve the swastika on their foreheads. “When I wrote the script, I didn’t have a lead actor in mind for Aldo,” said Tarantino. “It wasn't until last year that I started contemplating who might play him. Once Brad came into my head, there was no 2nd choice. It’s like he stepped off the page. I felt like I was working with him at the best time of his career -- his iconic stature and age make him the biggest movie star on the planet.”

Pitt said he had no hesitation about taking the role. “Actors have been hearing about this script for eight years,” he said. “It’s taken on mythological proportions. When I heard it was coming my way, I was very flattered.” The Appalachian accent of Aldo was no obstacle either for Oklahoma-born Pitt, who described his birthplace as the “belly button of America.”

"Inglourious Basterds" is an international production that features American, British, French and German actors. “That’s what made it a rich experience,” said Pitt. “Rarely do you see a film on such a scale with everyone on set speaking their native languages. As the world gets more united, I’d like to see more films go that way.”

For Laurent, 26, working on a Tarantino movie was an eye opener, even though she couldn’t speak much English. “It’s always been my dream to be in a Hollywood movie and I am so happy with the result. It was a great experience," she said. But Tarantino said he wasn’t impressed with Laurent at the first audition. “All the characters in my script are personal to me, and you trust that when the right person walks in the door, you’ll recognize them,” he explained. “Melanie stumbled a bit at first. Then I watched some of her films and I realized that she has access to her emotions -- she has a thought and we can feel it.”

Dreyfus, 43, had no trouble at all. A long-time resident of Tokyo in the 1980s and ‘90s, Dreyfus met Tarantino at a film festival in Tokyo and was eventually cast in “Kill Bill Vol 1.” “I couldn’t get over the experience of that; we spent a year traveling the world promoting the film," she said in fluent Japanese. "Then Quentin asked me if I wanted to be in another of his films. I couldn’t say yes fast enough.”

Tarantino and his cast got a big welcome on the red carpet at the Japan premiere, though some fans might have had a hard time recognizing Pitt at first. Sporting a gray beard (left over from a Halloween party), he took some time out from his movie promotion duties to go shopping for a motorcycle. He crashed his favorite bike in LA in October while trying to get away from paparazzi. “I ended up giving them a really good story. I suffered no injuries -- except to my ego," he said.

"Inglourious Basterds" opens in Japan on Nov 20.

© Japan Today

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21 Comments
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he has OK’d a campaign in which anyone who walks out within the first hour during the movie’s initial four-day run from Nov 20-23 will receive a full refund

I'll do him even better and not see it in the first place

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All the years I have lived in Japan, I don't think I have ever seen anyone leave the theater before the movie ends. I guess it's not a polite thing to do.

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The758 --> Right on

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The758 and DarkKnightZ ----> Don't go see it then.

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I saw Brad on the news last night. He looked like Billy Goat Gruff with that bad*+% beard.

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Why is the spelling basterds and bastards? Is that the French spelling? Or did Tarentino prefer the word basterds to bastards? Can someone tell me if bastards in spelled basterds in French? Why are the bastards called basterds? A mystery to moi.

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Spelled that way because cursing hurts peoples feelings.

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Re: the alternative spelling of basterds in the new Tarantino movie: According to Wikipedia, "To date, there has been little explanation of the title spelling (the correct spelling would be "Inglorious Bastards"). When asked, Tarantino would not explain the u in Inglourious and said, "But the 'Basterds'? That's just the way you say it: Basterds." He stated in an interview that the misspelled title is "a Basquiat-esque touch." He further commented on The Late Show with David Letterman that "Inglourious Basterds" is the "Tarantino way of spelling it." There you have it, folks.

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Rewriting history and showing Jews out for a bit of murderous revenge? Tarantino hasn't been talking to David Irving, has he?

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The movie is good fun, excellent in places. Better than Kill Bill, very well filmed with some fantastic scenes. However, it is not in the same league as Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction.

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ashika1009 ==> to answer your question in french for bastards we say "batards". Even in france many people checked if in english bastards is with a E or a A... i saw this movie in Paris already few month ago, it was really nice. I will go to watch it again in Japan, to see how they deal with the different langage, because in the movie German character speaks german, French speaks french, Italian speaks italian...

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The only movie I've ever seen anyone walk out on was District 9. 12 old people and couples left within the first 30 minutes. I think they just didn't know what they were in for.

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Thanks frenchkuma! I am big Brad Pitt fan so a must see. Thanks for recommend. I had a chance to see it in Hong Kong and missed out. I plan not to not make the same mistake here . . . . Thanks!

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Come on Quentin. Offer something a little better if I walk out like 10% of the gross.

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I heard the spelling was simply to enable them to get past the censors with the promotional posters!

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Deep stuff. It's been downhill ever since Reservoir Dogs, and he hit rock bottom long ago. Ergo..."deep," and still digging.

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This movie is terrible, i hated this movie only good part is the first 20 minutes of the film.

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Tarantino used to be good -- now he's just a another BS hollywood director. No thanks, I'd rather sit in the dark and stare at the wall.

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Hilarious movie, anyone with a sense of humor would love it, thoroughly original.

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Having said that I think Ill attend the first 59 minutes on Quintin, I already paid once.

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I quite enjoyed the film.

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