Inglourious Basterds appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This turned into a high-quality presentation.
Sharpness worked well. Nary a sliver of softness marred this tight image.
Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects became an issue, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt natural, and source flaws remained absent.
Colors were subdued due to the film’s design. That made sense: most period flicks go with restrained tones, and this one’s exploration of war made it an unusual choice for big, bold hues.
The film stayed with an earthy palette that suited it. The disc’s HDR added oomph and power to the tones.
Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows looked clean and clear. HDR contributed emphasis to contrast and whites as well. I felt satisfied with this solid transfer.
Given the film’s war setting, I expected a slambang DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. To my moderate surprise, though, Basterds went with a mix that often lacked much punch. I didn’t see that as a real problem, though; the track did what it needed to do when it needed to do it.
This meant the soundscape remained quite restrained for long stretches. In fact, at times the film came across as nearly monaural.
Music showed good stereo presence – depending on the source, that is, as some of the cues focused on the center. Effects tended to be subdued much of the time, so the vast majority of the film kept things quiet, and even general ambience was minimal.
The track came to life during the occasional battle scenes, however. Those used the five channels well and created a full sense of the settings.
Indeed, the fact that so much of the movie remained quiet accentuated the impact of the louder scenes. They didn’t pop up often, but they worked well.
Audio quality was positive, though music depended on the source materials. The film featured a lot of older recordings, so those could be scratchy at times. Nonetheless, the music was generally fine given the limitations of the elements chosen.
Speech sounded concise and natural, so no edginess or other problems materialized. As I noted, effects didn’t often have much to do, but they were always accurate, and they boasted good impact when necessary.
The general lack of ambition made this a “B” soundtrack, but I was fine with it. I don’t think the mix needed to be super-active to succeed.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the movie’s Blu-ray edition? Both came with the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio.
Visuals showed an upgrade, though, as the 4K looked better defined, with stronger colors and blacks. This turned into a nice step up in quality.
As we shift to extras, we find three Extended and Alternate Scenes. These include “Lunch With Goebbels (Extended)” (7:15), “La Louisiane Card Game (Extended)” (2:12) and “Nation’s Pride Begins (Alternate)” (2:14).
“Lunch” may be extended, but it doesn’t add anything substantial. The clip is interesting mostly because of consists of one long, uninterrupted take.
Similar feelings greet “Game”, which really goes on too long. The tidbits of the game already in the film are fun, but they’re more than enough to convey what we need.
“Begins” is the only one that’s really different. In the final film, we launch right into Pride, but this clip gives it much more of a buildup. I kind of like it.
The set also features Nation’s Pride: Full Feature. It runs six minutes, 10 seconds and shows all the parts of the bogus movie presented in Basterds.
Of course, if the Nazis had actually made Pride, it would’ve been longer than six minutes, so it’s a little misleading to call this the “full feature”. I also think it doesn’t really play like a Nazi propaganda film, as it just doesn’t reflect the style especially well. Still, it’s fun to see, especially since we get to check out parts of Pride that we can’t observe in the final cut.
For more about the film within the film, we go to The Making of Nation’s Pride. In this four-minute clip, we hear from director Alois von Eichberg, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, actress Francesca Mondino, and war hero/actor Fredrick Zoller.
Yes, “Making” is a fake documentary, as it features actors in character to discuss the non-existent Pride. (Von Eichberg is the only character who doesn’t appear in Basterds; Eli Roth – who directed the actual Pride clips – plays him.). It’s silly but fun.
We move to a Roundtable Discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Elvis Mitchell. It lasts 30 minutes, 45 seconds and looks at Tarantino’s work on the set, characters and performances, screening the film in Germany, research and historical liberties, storytelling and the movie’s structure.
Pitt and Tarantino don’t give us a complete overview of the film, but they offer a lot of interesting notes. They’re certainly chatty and gregarious, and they manage to deliver a good array of information here.
Next comes the seven-minute, 38-second The Original Inglourious Basterds. It features Roth and actors Bo Svenson and Enzo Castellari. We get notes about shdkjsa’s Inglourious Bastards and how its star (Svenson) and director (Castellari) appeared in Basterds. We also see a few minutes of the prior flick.
Because they don’t offer the same story, Basterds clearly isn’t a remake. Nonetheless, I like this opportunity to check out a bit of Tarantino’s inspiration.
To hear more from one of the film’s actors, we go to A Conversation with Rod Taylor. During this six-minute, 43-second clip, the veteran performer chats about how he came onto the film, his performance as Winston Churchill and working with Tarantino. The clip’s too short to have much substance, but it proves enjoyable.
More comments from the actor show up in Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitter. This one fills three minutes, 19 seconds with Taylor’s story about Tarantino and how the director provided him with an exotic beer. I’m not sure why this didn’t appear in “Conversation”, but it’s entertaining.
Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel goes for two minutes, 41 seconds. We see a reel of clapboard clicks and hear the amusing terms used for abbreviations. For instance, take 48N becomes “48 Nazis”. This is a strange and amusing compilation.
Something unusual arrives via Hi Sallys. In the two-minute, nine-second reel, we see filmed greetings to editor Sally Menke; cast and crew throw these out at various times. Like “Angel”, we find a cute collection.
Glimpses of movie ads show up in the final two components. We get a Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitchell. It runs 10 minutes, 59 seconds as Mitchell discusses the fake movie ads created for Basterds as well as real posters we see.
This means close-ups of promos for Nation’s Pride and whatnot. He refers to other films/ads and places the Basterds images in perspective. Mitchell makes this a quality program.
After this we find a Poster Gallery. This shows 37 stills of posters from around the world. Most are quite similar and just vary in terms of language used, but they’re still interesting to examine.
Finally, the disc provides some trailers. This gives us four Basterds ads: the US teaser and trailer as well as international and Japanese trailers.
Not found on the prior Blu-ray or DVD, New York Times Talks spans one hour, eight minutes, seven seconds as it presents a discussion with Tarantino and
The items tend to be surprisingly hard, so “Killin’” offers a tougher time than expected. The questions do repeat after awhile, so the game doesn’t have a ton of repeat value, but it’s still a better than average trivia contest.
It took him 15 years, but Quentin Tarantino finally made a movie that might live up to the expectations he set with Pulp Fiction. I hesitate to put Inglourious Basterds on the same level, but it’s a damned fine flick that succeeds on many levels – and it might just surpass Pulp Fiction. The 4K UHD delivers positive picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements. I recommend this terrific movie, and the 4K UHD represents it well.