Who's In It: Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger
The Basics: It's WW2 in Hitler-occupied France and a rogue squad of Jewish soldiers led by a hyper-articulate redneck with a taste for Nazi scalps are on a brutal rampage, decimating the soldiers of the Third Reich everywhere they go. Meanwhile, a Jewish farmer's daughter plots revenge on the Nazis with a plan to use the cinema she runs as her own personal death chamber. There will be blood.
What's The Deal: Nothing you learned in school applies here, by the way. This is first and foremost a wildly exciting, gory, hilarious, tension-filled, testosterone-appropriating revenge fantasy that has less to do with war history than with film history and how Quentin Tarantino would have liked WW2 to end: in a ridiculous screaming explosion of machine guns and fire, with some comedic pit stops along the way for savage, justice-dispensing slaughters, foxy blonde Mata Haris with pretty bare feet and no-one-gets-out-alive "Mexican standoffs." It's not as out-of-control bonkers as "Grindhouse," but it's a blast all the same.
In A Two and a Half Hour Movie, How Many Minutes of Screen-Time Is Devoted to Brad Pitt VS How Much He Represents In a Two and a Half Minute Trailer: Okay, I didn't count the exact number of minutes, but the big marquee name gets maybe 30 of the 150. And I think I'm being generous. Meanwhile, he dominates the trailer. That's because it's an ensemble of relative unknowns with one huge star among them. It's also impossible to shrink it all down for a short, easy-to-get advertisement. So as leader of the "basterds," Pitt rules the marketing campaign.
Who Shouldn't See It: Tarantino haters, for one. He's still the same guy, making movies in the same way he always has. So if you already know that he's not your cup of whatever, then stay away. And anyone who thinks this terrible moment in 20th century history shouldn't be turned into an absurd revenge comedy with a super-stoked teenage fervor for splattered brains might want to pass, too. If that's you then there's always reverent documentaries like Ken Burns' The War.
What's Mike Myers Doing In This Movie For All of Five Minutes? Ask the director. I have no idea.