Review: Tarantino's Classic 'Inglourious Basterds' Upgraded to 4K Blu-ray from Universal

by Sam Cohen

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday October 12, 2021

Review: Tarantino's Classic 'Inglourious Basterds' Upgraded to 4K Blu-ray from Universal

12 years following its release, "Inglourious Basterds" is still brought up in most conversations detailing the best Quentin Tarantino films, or even just 2000s films in general. It perfectly threaded the line between Hollywood prestige sensibilities, drive-in mayhem, and genuine period picture. It's still Tarantino's best genre amalgam, but, of course, the award of best genre film still belongs to "Death Proof" in my book. Since it's 2021 and most of the studios are releasing their biggest theatrical and home media winners in shiny and new 4K editions, it was inevitable that we'd see "Inglourious Basterds" in the 4K format. Unsurprisingly, the perverse, bloodthirsty desire to see Nazis dispatched in the most gruesome ways still remains as strong as ever.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment brings "Inglourious Basterds" to glorious 4K with a decent presentation that incorporates a 4K presentation sourced from the 2K digital intermediate, the same master used for the 2009 Blu-ray. The result stops just short of being truly great, but the uptick in quality is certainly clear from the first shot, and the addition of HDR10+ makes things look a bit more vibrant. While the 4K Blu-ray isn't a night-and-day difference from the previous Blu-ray release, you may still be pleased with the marginal increases in fidelity here.

"Inglourious Basterds" follows a couple different storylines that converge on a common point. There's Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and his troupe of Nazi-killing soldiers, and the theater-owning Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent) and her hosting of a Third-Reich-hosted movie premiere. The stakes are raised when the information comes out that the Führer plans on attending this premiere.

During my rewatch of "Inglourious Basterds" for the umpteenth time, I found myself homing in on the ways that Tarantino feeds the natural desire to watch Nazis get slaughtered. One of the most common themes in major Hollywood cinema is that when you see Nazis, they should be perceived as the enemy. But the source of that hatred is exploited in a way by Tarantino, yet it doesn't take away from what's happening. Rather, it emboldens it.

If you're a fan at all of "Inglourious Basterds," then I'm sure the new 4K Blu-ray will serve you more than well, although it was a touch disappointing to see that this was an upscale from a 2K digital intermediate.

Special features include:

Extended & Alternate Scenes

Roundtable Discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Elvis Mitchell

The New York Times Talk

"Nation's Pride" — Original Short

The Making of "Nation's Pride"

The Original Inglourious Basterds

A Conversation with Rod Taylor

"Inglourious Basterds" is now available on 4K Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.