Whether it be in cinema, video games, or World History, there rarely comes a moment as wholly emotionally gratifying as watching a Nazi drown in a pool of his own blood. And it is with this scenario in mind that we take this time to review two new releases: Inglourious Basterds and The Saboteur.
Inglourious Basterds is a work of historical fiction written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, released earlier this year. The World War II revenge flick was just released on DVD and Blu-Ray in time for Christmas, so now is as good a time as any to review it.
Tarantino is the master of taking a tired concept and making it fresh–and this is just what he did with Basterds. While it bears the same name as an older exploitation WWII flick, it is not a remake. This is a fresh piece of cinema that packs in enough edge-of-your-seat intensity that it becomes difficult to watch.
But what am I telling you for? You’ve almost certainly already seen it, and if not, you’re a damn fool. The film focuses on two sets of protagonists who never come into contact, but who are fighting similar battles against German Nationalists.
The first group are the Basterds–a squad of Jewish-American soldiers led by Brad Pitt. Their sole mission seems to be killing as many Nazis as possible before they bite the bullet–until a British soldier joins their team and focuses their mission on blowing up a theater full of German soldiers.
The second story is that of the Jewish owner of the theater, a young woman who barely escaped a raid on the Paris house where her family had been hiding. She swore revenge on the Nazis who killed her family, and naturally, in true Tarantino fashion–she’ll fucking get it.
It’s a very beautiful, brutal, and comical portrayal of vengeance in Nazi-occupied France. Buy this film!
If you enjoyed Inglourious Basterds, and you’re a gamer, you will adore the final release by Pandemic Studios, The Saboteur. Some of Pandemic’s releases in the past have been give-and-take, but The Saboteur has achieved a full-on grip around my attention.
The game follows the standard sandbox, character in the middle of the screen, circular map/life-bar/wanted level model as every other open world game, but it’s nice to see the new innovation.
You play as Sean Devlin, a drinking, smoking, Irish racer, mechanic, and stereotype. He’s a man’s man with a penchant for snapping Nazi spines. The only problems I can find with this game are its lackluster controls (namely for sneaking and climbing) and the excessive amount of driving necessary for an open-world Paris…
Sean’s “brother” is murdered by a particularly evil Nazi (which just seems redundant), and this sets him off on a murderous rampage of killing and destruction.
The climbing and assassinating causes me to compare this game to Assassin’s Creed, but in almost every other way, it’s Grand Theft Auto: Nazi Occupied France. The game is very good and lots of fun to play; but I’m not above honesty–and to tell you the truth–if the setting were any different, it would be a generic sandbox shooter.
Killing Nazis doesn’t necessarily make a bad game better, but it certainly doesn’t make it worse. Luckily for The Saboteur, the gameplay, story, graphics, and acting is actually very captivating–and when you pair that with killing Nazis, your weekend is full.
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