Well, how about that? Our previous reports that the Weinsteins were planning on releasing Quentin Tarantino’s war film, Inglourious Basterds, on DVD before year’s end for Award reasons have turned out to be true. The Playlist points us to Blu-ray.com where they confirm December 15th in the U.S. and December 7th in the UK as release dates for Inglourious Basterds on DVD and Blu-ray. Earlier this year, the financially strapped Weinsteins sold the DVD distribution rights to Universal who will be handling the release.

However, where the news has been confirmed of an early Inglourious Basterds release, this news differs in that it won’t be a “down and dirty, bear-bones” release after all. You’d think that by releasing it early to get it readily available to award voters (individually watermarked award screeners cost a helluva of a lot more than a general release on DVD/Blu-ray) that special features would be sorely lacking. But at least on the Blu-ray front that won’t be the case.

From Blu-ray.com here’s the list of special features that will be on the Blu-ray release of Inglourious Basterds (identical in both the U.S. and UK releases):

  • Extended & Alternate Scenes
  • Nation’s Pride – The film within the film Inglourious Basterds can be seen it its entirety
  • Roundtable Discussion with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and film historian/critic Elvis Mitchell
  • The Making of Nation’s Pride
  • The Original Inglorious Bastards – a salute to the original 1978 film
  • A Conversation with veteran actor Rod Taylor
  • Rod Taylor on Victoria Bitters, the Australian beer
  • Quentin Tarantino’s Camera Angel
  • Hi Sallys – Gag Reel
  • Film Poster Gallery Tour with Elvis Mitchell
  • Inglourious Basterds Poster Gallery
  • Domestic and International Trailers
  • BD-Live
  • Digital Copy of Inglourious Basterds

ThePlaylist notes the lack of deleted scenes (including those which include Maggie Cheung and Cloris Leachman), as well as the changes made between the cut of Inglourious Basterds shown at Cannes and the final theatrical cut (we’re just talking a few minutes on that front, however). But I’d say that’s a pretty damn good amount of quality extras on the Blu-ray version (no word on if the simultaneous DVD release will have the same features).

Although there’s no official artwork for the U.S. Blu-ray release of Basterds, the sweet UK cover looks like this:

I don’t imagine the U.S. cover will really differ from this one, and in my eyes it’s so good they don’t need to change it. The normal DVD cover I’m sure will be the same as the UK one, too, which is the art used for a lot of the character posters we saw in the lead up to Basterds theatrical release back in August.

This early release will definitely boost the film’s Oscar chances (a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Christoph Waltz is a no-brainer) – having it readily available on store shelves for voters might work the way it did for Crash a few years back (which surprisingly won Best Picture over the predicted Brokeback Mountain). And it means us fans get to have it on OUR shelves sooner than later.

Christoph Waltz is Colonel Landa, "The Jew Hunter"

I, for one, absolutely loved Inglourious Basterds – though that may have been almost automatic since I’m such a huge fan of Tarantino simple smile Inglourious Basterds Coming To DVD/Blu ray In December . But in all honesty, I went in with an open mind, accepting the fact that I may not have liked what I saw – but in the end I loved every minute of its 150-plus minute runntime and I looked forward to owning a copy myself, and watching it again and again; as I do with all of QT’s films, I saw Basterds twice in theater.

What do you think of the special features that will be on the Inglourious Basterds DVD/Blu-ray? Do you like the artwork shown above (will the U.S. cover differ at all, do you think?) Did you like the film and will you be purchasing it when it gets released at the end of the year?

As stated, Inglourious Basterds will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 7th in the UK, and on December 15th in the U.S., both in 2009.

Sources: Blu-ray.com, ThePlaylist and Play.com