Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is one of my favorite films of the year, and now it's also one of my favorite Blu-rays. Other than Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, which technically was released in theaters last year, there's no movie released to home video in 2009 that will more satisfyingly appreciate in its charms upon multiple viewings. Part of the reason for this, of course, is that Tarantino's movies are almost always a reservoir (no pun intended) of references, in-jokes and influences, many of which only "appear" once you've absorbed their characterizations and stories, and part of this is simply because most filmmakers are content to offer immediate gratification and fail to consider the possibility of true cinematic longevity.
But Basterds is different, surprisingly, on both counts: it's a Tarantinoesque postmodern pastiche, to be sure, and an instant charmer as well, but its emotional and intellectual value is not merely tied to the films and pop culture bullet points it references, nor to the clarity and speed of its ability to entertain. And the new Blu-ray offers, if nothing else, unlimited opportunities for folks to pore over the film's making, its meaning, and much more, providing a juxtaposition to the season's more conventional awards bait and a reminder that some – often, many - of the year's best films need not be released at the last minute in order to be (much less deserve to be) remembered.