I'll admit, I was not completely intent on seeing Inglourious Basterds. Honestly, the only reason I'm here is to support The Weinstein Company. They were just going through some pretty bad financial problems and considering they are releasing the upcoming Fraggle Rock: The Movie and The Power of the Dark Crystal, they needed all the help they can get. Besides, Quentin Tarantino is a huge Jim Henson fan. That must amount for something.
But that said, Inglourious Basterds starts off exciting with it's "chapter 1" opening which sets up the character of Shosanna who is one of the most appealing characters in the movie aside from the Basterds. Ultimately, what makes this first hour and a half of the movie fall flat are the scenes where the Basterds are absent (which is the majority of the time), setting up Shosanna's side of things where she gets roped into having her theater be the spot of the premiere of a Nazi propaganda film, Stolz der Nation (A Nation's Pride). Realizing Hitler will be at the premiere, the film picks up momentum when she announces to the projectionist her plan for revenge on the Nazis to set the theater on fire with the Germans in it. The film begins to excite us with that but then loses a bit of momentum on long talking scenes. I have nothing against these scenes, but for a film advertising itself as so violent the violence is far and in-between during this first half.
A bar scene in particular, which sets up the Basterds' connection with the movie premiere having similar plans to Shosanna starts to pick up the movie once their connection is mentioned just goes on and on and on, picking up only at the end with the Basterds' entrance.
The film's final "chapter" (the final hour of the movie) is what saves the film. It is perfection and a chilling, cringe-worthy film sequence. Just what Tarantino wanted. Bear in mind, the movie is NOT for everyone but if you feel perfectly fine with blood and over the top violence that you can grin and bear, you'll adore this movie. But feel free to get some snacks or go to the bathroom anytime during the first hour and a half, you won't be missing much. If this movie doesn't get any Oscar noms, call me surprised. Inglourious Basterds gets a hesitant but well-deserved 3 out of 4 stars.