Quentin Tarantino, one of the most iconic directors of the 21st (and late 20th) century, why? Simple. Because of masterpieces like this. Tarantino defies the laws of film, he shoots them in his own way, however he wants. Tarantino has always focused upon the action thriller genre from Reservoir Dogs up until Inglourious Basterds. However, Django Unchained is Tarantino's first look at the Western genre, his first attempt at it and he executed it beautifully. The scenes were shot perfectly alongside an amazing soundtrack as well as his own small cameo.
Django Unchained tells the story of Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave who is soon picked up by bounty hunter Dr King Shultz (Christoph Waltz). The story follows on as Shultz takes on Django as his "deputy" during their tasks of bounty hunting, in return Shultz says that after winter he will help find Django's lost wife, Broomhilda. This takes them to a huge plantation in Mississippi owned by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), from here they plan up a scheme on how to get away with Broombilda.
The cast boast out amazing performances, particularly Christoph Waltz (also famous for his previous collaboration with Tarantino on Inglourious Bastards as Colonel Landa). Both Foxx and DiCaprio's performance are both equally amazing. All three are able to add some light-hearted humour in the mix to make sure it doesn't stay too serious, as well as having comic actor Jonah Hill play a member of the KKK.
There's a reason the film has been nominated for 5 Oscars.
I only had one thought on my mind for this Christmas: see Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino's latest opus, a Western set two years before the Civil War, concerns a former slave named Django (Jamie Foxx). He is freed by bounty hunter Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz) in order to help him with a bounty. Quite quickly, Shultz takes Django under his wing and trains him as his partner. But he made him a promise: that he would rescue his wife from a plantation owned by the ruthless Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). And rescuing her is not going to be all that easy.
What pains me the most about Django Unchained, as a die-hard Tarantino fan, is just how sloppy it all seems. I enjoyed every minute of it, but I could never shake the feeling of how messy and thrown together it all feels. Portions of the film feel episodic (the search for the Brittle Brothers, mentioned heavily in the trailers, begins and ends practically within minutes), and some scenes just seem to play out just for the fun of it. Another scene from the trailers involving a lynch mob with bags covering their faces seems added for comedic purposes, and has no real point of actually existing. More than any of his films before it, Django feels like Tarantino simply making a movie for sheer pleasure and with no outside motivations or controllers.
The film threatens to go totally off the rails at any given moment, and lacks any real sense of direction or focus. It may sound ridiculous, but the loss of editor Sally Menke confirms a sneaking suspicion I always had about Tarantino – he needed a steady right hand to help encourage him as to what was needed and what was not. I do not want to criticize Django's editor Fred Raskin, but it is obvious he is no Menke and that works against the film heavily. It lacks the polish we have come to expect, and is practically stripped of the glossy/cool texture so prevalent in Tarantino's work up until now.
But then maybe that was his intention all along, and perhaps Tarantino is airing out his frustrations with life and film in general. Django is deliberately shot on film (or at least from the print I saw), and looks very gritty and messy at all times. It is significantly more brutally violent than anything he has worked on before (the borderline cartoonish Kill Bill included), and has a very go for broke attitude about itself. The film seems to revel in how brilliantly it can splatter all the blood and gore (done through the use of squibs and no digital!), and how uncomfortably numbing it can make the violence. I know he does not care what people think of his films, but this movie especially seems like an emphatically raised middle finger to the establishment. And for all of my complaints about how messy it all feels, I was never once bored or felt like the movie was dragging itself out. The staggering 165-minute running time shockingly flies by faster than you might ever imagine.
Acting wise, Tarantino stacks the deck with a number of recognizable character actors young and old for roles that vary in size. Most have very few lines, if any at all, and seem to just stand by, just as content as the audience is to watch the action unfold. It is a little off-putting, especially with how important some of these characters are initially made out to be. Washington as Broomhilda von Shaft (one of the most subtle references he's ever dropped) does well as the helpless victim and frequent dreamlike object – but she never really gets to show off any of her acting prowess outside of her facial reactions. They are increasingly effective, especially during horrific flashback scenes. But her work here feels ridiculously stunted in comparison to the other leads. Samuel L. Jackson, much like Tarantino himself, seems to just be having fun in his role as Candie's adviser Stephen. He plays on every ridiculous stereotype he ever has been associated with and then amps it up to a near ludicrous state. He is frequently hilarious, but the role seems to border on parody more than anything else.
Surprisingly, Foxx takes a very long time settling into the leading role. It may just be the character, but it is quite clear from the on- set that he is not very comfortable in Django's shoes, and leads credence to why Will Smith, amongst so many others, dropped out of the picture so quickly. But once he finds his footing, he does a fantastic job walking the thin line between empathetic and sadistic. It is not an easy character to play, but Foxx makes it his own, bringing a sense of style and grace that are virtually absent from the rest of the film. And of course, he gets all the best lines.
Waltz and DiCaprio are the clear standouts however, nailing every nuance of their sadly underwritten characters. While Waltz plays the straight man, DiCaprio is delightfully unhinged and vicious. Both are playing directly against type, yet are strangely comfortable in the roles. Watching them act circles around the rest of the cast, Foxx included, is the true highlight of the film. I just wish they were both given additional emphasis and more to do.
For all of its numerous faults, I had a blast watching Django Unchained. It is hilarious, it is a lot of fun, and is wildly enjoyable. I genuinely think it could have been a lot better if there was more focus and direction, but this is very clearly a picture Tarantino wanted to make on his own terms. And for that, I applaud him for the effort. It is not his best work, but certainly not his worst.
I am a hardcore Tarantino fan and I must say I had great expectations for this movie. I can now honestly say that in my opinion Django Unchained is Tarantino's worst film to this day.
Lets start with the first major flaw. The soundtrack. Usually Tarantino has great taste for his soundtracks and on most of his movies (pulp fiction, reservoir dogs, kill bill) it actually is a fundamental part and complements the film. On Django it seems that Mr. Tarantino got Lil Wayne to choose some of the tracks. Hip Hop in a western?? Completely ruined the movie for me.
Second, the length of the movie is ridiculously long... Almost 3 hours. Usually films of such lengths have intricate plot lines and/or are made to tell an exceptionally long story. Not in this case. The movie could have easily been 100 minutes long. If it wasn't for the excessive and unnecessary dialogues, the useless KKK scene, the first 45 minutes of the movie which have almost nothing to do with the main plot line. The last 30 minutes of bloodshed serve to no use and I guess is just a fetish of the director. Mr. Tarantino seems to lose the sense of time and you can never tell where his ego ends and the plot begins.
Third, bad acting. Jamie Foxx is impalpable. Besides a few punch lines and some dramatic moments Foxx doesn't portray the slave from the pre-civil war era but mostly comes off as a thug from the hood. Di Caprio is too pretty-faced to seriously be the villain in this movie and if it wasn't for the horrors happening around the character (Candie) you could hardly tell he's the bad guy. Waltz and Jackson on the other hand with their excellent performances keep this movie together. I was really hoping Tarantino, with such an all-star cast, could have pulled off a both socially relevant and at the same time entertaining film, but again I was mistaken.
To put it short Quentin tarantinos latest venture is a self indulgent ego fest, it showcases his deluded view of filmmaking where when Tarantino makes a movie that it's an instant classic. It doesn't matter how overlong, boring, poor comedic timing, uninspired script devoid of quips or intelligence and how much over the top, gratuitous violence that is involved.
First of all let me mention the overtop, gratuitous violence that is in Django. Filmmaking 101: Just because you throw galleons of blood on the screen, doesn't make it dramatic. In fact during some of the shoot out scenes I thought I was watching a parody/spoof of a western film! In tarantinos earlier films he balances violence with great filmmaking however he overdoes it and makes it look as if he was watching SAW on set.
Secondly the script is bland, cringing and aching to watch unfold, just hearing the the characters spew out line after line of cheese devoid of quips, wit or intelligence. The touches of comedy throughout the film are misplaced as well, and left me squirming in my seat. However I give credit to the actors who really tried their best with the script especially Samuel L Jacksons 'Steven' who is evil personified, but I feel Christoph waltz's character was underwhelming and after seeing his role in inglorious bastards was a letdown. Jamie foxx tried his best to bring life to the poor script with Django but, left me checking my watch as Django was godawful boring to watch and un charismatic as a protagonist.
Lastly the film is way overlong, coming in at a staggering 180 minutes it seems Tarantino could not resist indulging himself in his own ego fest. Many scenes could have been cut out completely or at least edited properly. I was left checking my watch multiple times throughout the movie (something I hate doing in a movie). The story was bland and uninspired, a clichéd tale of revenge where Goodguys vs Badguys! Surprise Goodguys win! The plot was predictable from the first 10 minutes but I still had another 170 minutes to go.
It still stumps me how this is 96 on IMDb's top 250# list, it makes me wonder if people rate this high as it has Quentin Tarantino in the directors chair. This movie really showcases a classic example of just because you are successful doesn't mean you have a god given right to make anything you want without thought and consideration and still make a good movie. In my opinion one of the most overrated fims of 2012.
I have never been a fan of Quentin Tarantino, but I know that other people think he's great so I decided to give him another chance and actually paid $3 to see "Django Unchained." I was surprised to find that I liked the first part of the movie. It was interesting, funny, suspenseful, and actually seemed to have a point. Some of the story strained credulity (look it up), but it stayed within the bounds of believability... until the German bounty hunter shot DeCaprio. Then believability went out the window.
The movie didn't even make sense within itself. The entire film built up Dr. Schultz as not only a great shot, but also an extremely cunning strategist. And yet, he shot DeCaprio and then just stupidly said, "I couldn't help it!" and stood there waiting to be killed. (Which he was.) But his derringer had two barrels, which presumably means two bullets, so why didn't he whirl around and shoot the guy who was standing there with a gun?
He could have, but then there wouldn't have been the bloodbath that follows, which I guess is Quentin Tarantino's "signature." The movie quickly degenerates into a stupid, pointless bloodbath. White guys come out of nowhere to be shot, blood gets spattered everywhere, and so what?
Then the film gets even worse! The black guy who killed so many white people is in the hands of his oppressors, yet instead of torturing and killing him, they decide to send him off to a (allegedly horrible) mine, thus giving him the opportunity to escape and wreak his horrible vengeance. Does this seem believable to ANYONE?
After that, it's completely predictable. I don't need to tell you what happens because you can figure it out for yourself. But think about this: the movie makes a big deal about how nobody in the South back then was used to seeing a black person on a horse. For most of the film, the white Dr. Schultz accompanied Django and helped smooth the way. But at the end of the movie, Django and his (black) wife ride away on horses -- in Mississippi before the Civil War! So they'll just wander through the South to freedom? Really?? What a great happy ending! I could criticize this piece of sh*t on many more levels, but I've wasted enough time on it.
I actually liked the first 3/4 of this film. I absolutely HATED the last section. And ultimately, Quentin Tarantino's popularity says something troubling about the state of American culture.
Jesus, where to begin. Completely juvenile, rabbit trails galore, slow moving, get to the firkin point. The way the scenes drag and the endless explaining and talking. This movie was so distasteful, predictable and irritating. First of all, Foxx was miscast, he does not do period well, at all, totally unbelievable here, after years of slavery he's suddenly the fastes gun in the west, PLEASE!
The music, what are we to make of the modern day music with the period events here, you can't take any of it seriously. I had to laugh was so absolutely silly and out of place. I have lost all respect for writer/director, the actors I can only hope were in it for the money, but they lose my vote now too.
Open your EYES folks, for god sakes this is all about bringing division, "I wanna shoot white people and get paid for it". WOW, talk about the globalist elite wanting to distract and divide, this is one of their vehicles. Good for you Hollywood and Washington DC, add another notch to your ugly crown.
In his previous film "Inglorious Basterds" Tarantino presents two worthy scenes - the one with the Nazi officer in the French farmer's house, and the one in the bar where the British and American spies are in German uniforms talking to a suspicious SS German officer and a shootout follows.
In the first mentioned scene the Nazi officer explains how one has to think like a rat in order to find "rats." The offensive reference is to Jewish families trying to escape Nazi extermination (whom the Nazi officer chases in the movie).
In that scene the Nazi officer, maybe inadvertently, describes himself as a rat, trying to play wise guy. So does Tarantino.
"Django" is actually proof that Tarantino is a talented Hollywood "rat" that feeds on popular trends packaged in politically correct radicalism. The mixture is gratuitous violence, popular concepts of "just revenge" and butchering of history and the importance of historical fact. Jews killing Nazis in "Inglorious..." Black man killing whites in "Django..." Tarantino is a torture-porn specialist, hiding behind badly disguised ridicule of the magnitude of human suffering in historical dramas like the Holocaust or the issue of slavery in America. One just has to remember his "Hostel" achievements and it all comes home.
The Tarantinonites can knock themselves out with Django - another trashy movie with a spice of genius in it, to excite the perverted tastes of Hollywood. Evil genius. That smells like a rat to me.
Merry Christmas to all you Tarantino fans out there. I hope you made a Tarantino checklist so here we go.
Witty dialogue, check. Excessive profanity especially use the word 'nigger', check. Excessive violence including testicles getting blown off, check. Soulful musical score, check. Sometimes non-linear narrative, check. Shots of women's feet, check. Very great character driven plot, check. An actual spaghetti western, even though it takes place in the American South, check.
There are four standout characters played by the top billed actors.
Jamie Foxx plays Django, a freed slave who becomes a bounty hunter. Even though he is the titular character, he gets downplayed when in the presence of the other actors. Still he delivers a solid performance, in fact hes very convincing. We all know Jamie Foxx as this golden voice RnB singer and comedian with a very clean cut image. He was able to pull off the whole transitioning from a timid slave to a menacing bounty hunter. Not only that he had the whole look down too, with all the facial scarring and the messy hair.
Christoph Waltz plays Dr. King Schulz, a German dentist turned bounty hunter who frees Django so he could help pursue his previous owners who are targets. Waltz is a very charismatic actor, and thats how he does this role. Presents every line with finesse.
Leonardo Dicaprio is in his best yet. He plays a plantation owner, Calvin Candie, and is the owner of Django's wife. This is a very different role. We've seen Leonardo in gritty roles before but never did he play this lecherous antagonist. We were all used to Leo being this teen idol, who looked like a member of Hanson. Here he's this Southerner with discoloured teeth and a scruffy beard.
Finally Samuel L. Jackson who plays Steve, a house slave who you could say is the secret antagonist here. For all the screen time that he has he dominates. Sam usually plays boisterous roles as a tough guy, but it was very interesting seeing him play a devious and manipulative old man.
The only gripe here was that this film was a little too long exceeding the three act structure, but its an epic western film so I'll excuse Tarantino for that. Yet again he made another great film with a lot of flair and carried well by the four big hitter actors. Well done Mr. Tarantino.
This is teenage garbage, plain and simple, and teenage in terms of the director/writer. Let's set aside that Tarantino's movies never have any substance and are exercises in retro, gory, fetishist camp. Let's ignore that the story arc is off and the film is way too long. Also, that there are massive issues regarding all kinds of credibility. Which leaves the two main problems with this adolescent mess. The first is: what would you say about any film centered on two races of people, in which one race is, with a single exception, shown to be nothing but a vast collection of savage, cruel, stupid buffoons? That's what QT happily does to the white race in this, his attack on racism. Then, there's the blatant theft of Mel Brooks's 'Blazing Saddles' in the many n-word remarks geared for laughs and the idiot pre- Klansmen. Never was a big Brooks fan, but at least he never had the gall to pretend he was making a statement.
First I must say that I rarely write reviews. Most are already there to help a viewer decide whether to see the movie or not. An experienced moviegoer can always tell if the reviewer knows what he's talking about. But with Django unchained, that was such a horrible flick with sky high ratings, I just felt the urge to write down how disturbingly flawed and deeply deranged this movie is and not in a good way. It's been a long time since I have seen a good Tarantino movie. This era ended with his story and his part in Four Rooms. And after Kill Bill, things went downhill never to crawl back up. Every once in a while, Tarantino's flashy and expensive garbage is being spilled on theater screens all over the world, and the somewhat schizophrenic director surprisingly picks up even more fans along the dodgy way. I expected more from this movie, since I couldn't even sit through that dreary Inglorious bastards, so things had to get better. And yet, even though he had a perfect plot setting in a cruel time and place for black people in American history, he casted the still boyish looking I-must- be-the-bad-guy-in-that-movie DiCaprio who really gives his best to sell it but falls short, and you get yet another long term drug use flashback in a form of give-me-back-my-money drive-in movie, with an hour long boring film within a film - during the visit to Candie Land that starts with what can only be described as the first MMA fight ever held in a living room. In this openly racist movie, and not because of the excessive use of the n-word, whose star later promotes gun ban while making good money by shooting every white creature in this film that has sudden twists from serious to absurd, from grave to bizarre. Here we get a bad writing, bad music, bad casting, mediocre acting from an all-star cast and awful, awful direction. The dynamic sound makes you jump off your seat when someone slams the door on screen. How cheap is that? Well, the music was OK, but not for one playlist and certainly not for one western. You just can't mix Rio Bravo style songs and Elvis impersonator with modern rap music and get away with it. Unless your main character can spill buckets of blood with just one bullet or massacre crowds of armed rednecks just after practicing his gunslinger skills by shooting down a few bottles. We also see a drawer slide mounted Derringer save the day one time too many. We see black slaves speak fluent German. But this is a love story, and yet these extreme action scenes are the high tide here with tons of ketchup spills all around, with over the top gore that would make a B-slasher-movie look like British rom com, and the drab dramatic part will bore you to death and make you consider leaving the theater. Twice. What Quentin tries to achieve here, style wise, is the bleak mix of Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and Jesus Christ Superstar. But someone should've told him both movies are bad. Also, Samuel L. Jackson's pathetic make-up as well as his cartoonish role do not make things any better. I didn't expect to see Open Range, but this charade is a kind of rich gumbo, made out of all the bad ingredients from previous hyped Tarantino grindhouse style obsession movies or his dull WWII affirmative action fairy tale, that was oddly not enough spiced with finger licking good hot sauce from Leone, Hawks or Peckinpah, hence completely ruining this bad taste cinema and rendering it inedible. Now seeing these ratings, no wonder Gangnam style is the most viewed YT video ever. No wonder Hobit, Harry Potter, Batman, Spiderman and Lord of the Rings top the Best 250 list.
Let me make it clear. I did enjoy most of it, but I also found myself looking at my watch and hoping it would end sooner. If there was a film this year that more than deserves the adjective excessive, this is it. It's a decent film, with plenty of action, some very funny scenes, and three of the best performances of the year: Jackson's house slave is almost as good as Washington's performance. He's an interesting and complex character, somehow who we can't even imagine existed. He's the darker twin of Scarlet's mammy in "GWTW", way darker and just as fascinating. There's of course, another star turn by De Caprio, puzzling, magnetic, depraved, and ruthless, and Waltz creates another memorable character, a foreigner who can't comprehend what's going on in his world, but who doesn't stop from taking advantage of the situation without losing his soul.
"Django" is a hybrid of Westerns? and a very strange take on slavery, looking at it through Tarantino's special lens. He's unable to edit himself, and while he builds the tension and almost never loses our interest through Django and Schultz quest to rescue their "lost princess", I kept wondering why he overindulges all the time. Things don't clash here, they explode with such magnitude that I was wondering why wasn't 3-D involved in the process. I kept looking for guts flying and what happened to the NC-17 rating.
There is much praise to give to the fact that he takes risks with his use of language, and there is not a boring conversation in the entire film, but when there is confrontation, you almost feel like ducking or you'll be hit by some of the flying organs. Much of the praise here should go to the way the Old West comes alive with the costumes and art direction. There is also the amazing job Robert Richardson does with his camera, making the film look and feel like one of those Spaghetti Westerns he's paying tribute to. I loved the way he brings in Franco (the original Django) and interacts with this movie's hero. There's of course, some Ennio Morricone, and a few other touches that show Tarantino's adoration of the genre.
Is there a story? Well, barely. A lot of the film is about the feel of it, like getting on a ride without expecting much depth, and to be fair, there shouldn't be a IQ test or some confusing plot twist to ruin the entertainment, but I think Spielberg knew how to control himself in "Saving Private Ryan" by limiting the massacres to the first 20 minutes. A little restraint would have helped here. Who knows? Tarantino might have achieved his masterpiece.
Another detail that is puzzling me. We're hearing all this praise for the movie, like it's the second coming of Peckinpah or the latest collaboration between Benton, Penn, and Carpenter. It's as much fun as the best '60's B movie, but I am not sure about those accolades out there. Where was all this praise for the "Indiana Jones" films? Maybe they should have included more flying body parts and some more colorful language? Still enjoy it for what it is... a ride that has plenty of movie syrup in it.
Modern exploitation guru Quentin Tarantino serves up historical revenge once again. His last film, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, had the German Nazis getting theirs, and now, with a good German on board (in fact he's the villain from the last film) we're out to set things right in the American Deep South, two years shy of the Civil War
Although the first half takes place on the road from Texas to Mississippi as bounty hunting dentist Dr. King Schultz recruits a slave named Django to help him find three outlaw brothers (Django alone knows their appearance). These are the more spirited and deliciously cutthroat segments as our heroes partner up and, as Django puts it, "Kill white people for money." Christoph Waltz (Schultz) and Jamie Foxx (Django) are a good team, and while making mince meat out of their targets, the bloodshed is something to marvel.
But Tarantino throws in awkward bouts of humor, derailing the intensity of the moment. One particular scene where a group of rednecks complain about not seeing through masked eyeholes (including a very distracting cameo by Jonah Hill) feels like Mel Brooks clumsily intruding Sergio Leone.
After Django helps Schultz with his job, it's time for the doctor to aid his more-than-capable partner rescue Django's wife Broomhilda, who resides at "Candyland," an infamous Antebellum plantation run by the sinister though much too youthful Calvin Candie.
While Leonardo DiCaprio has more than capable acting skills, and savors the gloriously tyrannical racist dialog, there could have/should have been a backstory on why the owner of a plantation looks fresh out of finishing school.
For a man who's supposed to have a lifetime of seething venom oozing from his veins, those desperately piercing blue eyes seem more confused and frustrated than cold and calculating, making Tarantino's purposely overboard racism more of a crutch than weapon for the DiCaprio character (perhaps Don Johnson, who played a wily brothel owner in a previous scene, could have taken this role he had the age going for him and with that, soulless eyes that look like he's seen – and been through – pretty much everything).
But Leo's not alone. He's helped along by the most wicked of Uncle Tom's played by Samuel Jackson, whose spitefully cantankerous Stephen figures things out before his boss. This is a nice role for the QT stock actor, who has sleepwalked through many roles post PULP FICTION and JACKIE BROWN. Although his feeble mannerisms often slow down the performance.
The main problem with UNCHAINED is how long Tarantino stretches scenes with dialog. While the actors, especially Waltz and DiCaprio, have a blast with colorful monologues, you'll often forget there are other characters on board – and most of the speeches fail to serve the plot. That being: the duo pretending to buy Mandingo slave fighters when they really want the girl.
With all the deals and discussions going on, the much-anticipated reunion of Django and Broomhilda is lost in the mix. Not even Django's surreptitious trigger finger (whenever she's treated badly) adds worthy suspense, which, during this overlong stint at Candyland, is very much needed.
But there's not all downtime at the mansion: a particular Candie lecture involving a slave's skull does successfully perk things up, providing DiCaprio a good five minutes of sheer unapologetic villainy. Then, after a shocking twist, it's Django alone who must save his girl.
Jamie Foxx, having played a quietly brooding second fiddle to Waltz so far, makes up for lost time with heated gusto. This third and final act involving a group of Australians being duped by Django, who's learned the art of waxing poetic, is replete with the bare-knuckle action we've anticipated all along: although the large chunks of bloody guts flying off each gunshot victim seems like Tarantino doing an imitation of himself.
There are some really neat montage sequences and beautiful locations, but some of the music, especially that of the rap nature, seems too modern for the time portrayed. And the editing feels somewhat limp without QT's longtime collaborator Sally Menke, who died a few years back: Particular flashbacks and hallucinations are often confusing and awkward.
A pretty good ride, much better than Quentin's last two films (BASTERDS and DEATH PROOF), yet there needed a much tighter/sharper vehicle for our title hero to deserve the fanfare of the literally explosive finale.
Absolutely loved every minute of this movie. Usually I'm not too crazy about Tarantino's movies, but this one is definitely the best one I've seen in a long time. The actors were picked perfectly. The overall experience of a movie is amazing. When we first went to watch it, I was a bit skeptical and thought I'd end up leaving an hour into the movie (it's a 3 hr movie), but it grabbed my attention from the very beginning and I didn't even wanna get up to go to the bathroom, afraid to miss something. I'm usually very particular about the movies, nothing can hardly satisfy me, but this one is definitely in the top 5. Soundtrack was perfect. When I got home, I've done some more research on it and loved it even more! Overall, I would highly recommend this film!
I normally read the plot summary on IMDb before I watch a movie despite my feeling that it may give away plot details. With this movie, it was the other way round. Here's why.
A freed slave in mid 19th century Texas, with the help of a bounty hunter, sets out to rescue his wife who is a slave at a plantation in Mississippi. The story doesn't get to this part till about an hour. I even wondered at some point if there was an angle where Dr.Schultz was going to double-cross Django and sell him off to some white guy. The bounty-hunting part is essential to the story but cut to the chase already! I felt chained to my seat as the movie dragged on forever.
Christopher Waltz does a good job, but Dr.Schultz was badly written. He comes across as trying too hard to be funny and cool and his elaborate dialogues get annoying at times but despite all that, you end up liking him.
Leonardo DiCaprio does a convincing job as the arrogant, rich, gore- loving plantation owner. He has evolved to the point where he can ease into any kind of role on screen and it is refreshing to see him as Calvin Candy.
Watch out for Samuel L. Jackson. He is so good as Stephen that he frightens you, annoys you and makes you want to hate him. He is the highlight of the movie. Jackson and DiCaprio complement each other very well.
Kerry Washington has a small role but does a decent job and plays Broomhilda well.
Finally, Jamie Foxx/Django. I still have not been able to separate the actor and the character from each other. He is in a trance for most of the movie and transiently comes out of it in between to say a few words and kill people. His portrayal of a man desperate to get to his wife is just not convincing. His acting needs a lot more polishing, but Tarantino is no help because Foxx's portrayal of Django made me wonder if he is so bad an actor or if Tarantino messed up his acting. Hence, I can't separate Foxx from Django.
The chemistry between Django and Broomhilda is conspicuous by its total absence. Even the girl who shows Django around when he goes to find the Brittle brothers has a few lines with him. After putting us through 165 minutes of torture anyway, couldn't Tarantino have filmed one scene showing Django and Broomhilda together (before they get separated)? Instead, all we get to see is Django helping Broomhilda escape early on in the movie and then imagining her all over the place. Just one scene of them sharing screen space (instead of the useless KKK scene) would have done the trick. No wonder Calvin doesn't suspect anything between the two of them. There is no show of emotion from Django when Dr.Schultz is killed. He just says a random, unemotional goodbye later when he collects Broomhilda's papers. So much for the man who freed him and helped him find his wife.
The action scenes are a little too violent, but it is an action flick, so I'll let that pass. The cinematography is very good, editing terrible and music a little too modern for the time in which the movie is set.
This was a good story with huge potential, but the abysmal writing, direction and editing made it a dud for me. If not for good acting by Jackson, DiCaprio, Schultz and the likes, 'Django Unchained' would have fallen flat. Undoubtedly, they are the saving grace of the film. The only good thing for us was that we checked the running time ahead and bought popcorn. Rent it out on DVD, it's not worth the admission fee.
Cant believe that he messed this up, had such high hopes. This wasn't even a movie, not even a Tarantino creation! Just some attempts for cool lines, cool shots and funny characters. DiCaprio, as excellent as always. Mr. Miami Vice, also good performance. The rest, especially Jackuel M. Samsonite (as my eloquent friends calls him) just wasted time and stole peoples money.
My only point is: IT'S Tarantino! Should have been so much better than this junk that just USED the name Django! Messed up, want my money back or "sambadi gonna get hurt reel bad", Russel Peters style! Hope anyone does not get offended, don't really care but my two cents about this garbage movie, stays as they are! Haha!
I'll get to the heart of the matter. "Reservoir Dogs" was spot on. It was a realistic (in terms of the outcome) yet highly stylized gangster film. It said to the viewer, "I know you are expecting X, Y, and Z, but isn't it time you 'grew up' already? Do you want to see the same movie over and over again?" 'Bad guys' do bad things and usually self-destruct in one way or another at a young age. We saw that no matter how hard one might try, you cannot polish a turd, as they say.
Despite the cute dialogue, these guys are bad, do bad things, and the results are bad. If that heist would have 'succeeded,' they just would have gotten themselves killed or jailed some other way. it was a 'wake up call,' an inversion, or perhaps the best way to think of it is that it wasn't what it seemed to be. It was just a bunch of 'simulacra' thrown together to resemble a feature-length film. It succeeded brilliantly, but Tarantino had nowhere to go after that, other than to stylize and fabricate as much as possible, creating ludicrous, absurd movies that had no point. If you saw one you didn't need to see another.
"Django Unchained" is more of a postscript. It's not as ridiculous or as historically inaccurate as it could have been, but even it if had been, what would it have mattered? He's been there and done that, and apparently can't figure out what to do now other than to repeat the past. He is in the "Woody Allen Zone" at this point (just substitute the "white," rich, self-absorbed complainers for retro and homicidal, yet more "diverse" and colorful characters in Tarantino's last several films), in my opinion, meaning that he's "mailing it in" for the money. The movie is too long and very quickly the viewer can predict the kinds of things that will transpire. I don't play violent video games (or any video games at all), but after watching this I was thinking that it would be much more interesting in every way to just do that; after perhaps twenty minutes (or less) I'd get my fill of this sort of thing and could use the other two hours and change to do something "productive."
The following is my highly speculative, "inside the mind" history (or is it an anti-history) of Tarantino's "MO:" After "Reservoir Dogs," he had one last idea, essentially the end of the "Hollywood Blockbuster" disguised as a Hollywood Blockbuster (an anti-Hollywood Blockbuster?). It would be a highly stylized, very violent move that would appear to have several compelling "back stories." The reality is that it had none, and once the viewer figures this out, he or she should tell himself/herself that there is no reason to watch such films any longer, other than as some sort of "cheap chill," basically "violence porn." That blockbuster, of course, was "Pulp Fiction."
The title "gave away" the director's thoughts: "stop watching my films if you are an intelligent, empathetic person." Of course you may have watched one or two more because you couldn't be sure, but at this point his movies are some sort of "post-modern," anti-film, non-story. Watch them, expecting something different, and as they say, the joke is on you. Instead, I suggest you consider taking a course on the history of film, film criticism, or something along those lines. Seeing "Django" is like being the "best" guest at a "dinner for schmucks." So, I guess the most interesting question now is, what do we make of a reviewer who realizes what is occurring yet still feels compelled to watch these anti-films in order to tell others not to be the butt of a joke? Is this an anti-review? A "pulp" review?
Anyone finding this film actually enjoyable should seek immediate psychiatric help. The highly graphic depiction of dozens of revoltingly perverse and entirely gratuitous killings together with endless scenes of physical and psychological torture spread over nearly three hours of virtually plot less melodrama written only to facilitate this obscenity can only appeal to the mentally damaged. You have been warned.
A 'German' bounty hunter recruits a black slave by murdering his owners when they refuse to sell him. He needs the slave in order to identify some outlaws whom he wishes to kill for the reward money. However he subsequently guns down dozens of men with little if any identification or certainty that they have ever committed any crime other than their support for slavery - which at the time in 1850's Texas was entirely legal.
Were the film to feature typical Hollywood 'clean kills' this review would be less critical. But Tarrentino treats his loyal acolytes instead to a virtually non-stop feast of gushing blood, exploding body parts and agonized screams spiced by the odd bullet aimed deliberately in the groin or knees in order to extend the suffering and misery of the unfortunate victims - and more emphatically, the perverse pleasure of those who enjoy witnessing his 'art'.
There is one redeeming feature of this whole ghastly mess; the performance of Leonardo as a gentleman slave owner is absolutely flawless. His wonderful diction and captivating gestures enlivened my flagging attention like a beacon of shining talent amidst the murky gloom of mediocrity. But alas his is a small cameo contribution which the producers have shamelessly exploited with an entirely unwarranted 3rd place billing behind the central pair.
Leonardo's subsequent retirement from Hollywood is now fully understood. One wonders how much he knew of the nature of this production before he agreed to participate in it. And perhaps more importantly the decline in American society characterized by frequent senseless and perverse killings is also explained by such trash for plainly this sort of film must play a pivotal role in formulating the mindset of the millions who are subjected to it.
But the perversity of the Hollywood system that has nominated this filth for several Oscars (tonight) cannot be explained so easily. How on Earth could such a production be given so many accolades?
Quentin Tarantino's 8th film "Django Unchained" is one hell of a movie. A brutal, bloody, terrifying, hilarious and awe-inspiring western disguised as a buddy movie that is so great that if John Wayne and Sergio Leone were alive now, they would've approve of this movie. It's designed to shock you, polarize you, test you and maybe even surprise you. But let me clear on this: If you are not a fan of bloody violence and the running length of 165 minutes, see a shorter movie. But if you love to see what Tarantino can do with movies like this, then you're in for a treat. Set during slavery in 1858, the movie follows Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave who is found by a bounty hunter disguised as a dentist named Dr. King Schultz (The always reliable Christoph Waltz) who hires him as a bounty hunter and a free man to find the Brittle Brothers. After finding them and hunting them down at a plantation run by Big Daddy (a remarkable Don Johnson), they relax for the winter only for them to go on a mission to find and rescue Django's wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) who is owned by Calvin J. Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) a man who runs a plantation known as Candieland. He even has a renegade slave as a servant named Stephen (A nearly recognizable Samuel L. Jackson, hidden in makeup and some prosthetics), who will have a part to play in the last half of the movie. I think Quentin Tarantino has outdone himself once again. Being in the filmmaking game for 20 years now, you can't deny and even reject his style in what he is bringing to the screen (He also has a cameo in here as well). His dialogue is like reading a book that grabs you and makes you want to know what happens next. The look and scope of the film is magnificent, thanks to a brilliant Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson and the late production designer J. Michael Riva. The performances in this film are brilliant. Having won an Oscar for "Ray", Jamie Foxx continues with his breathtaking performances that wows us. Here as Django, he is certainly fearless, baring his soul (and body) playing a man who is free from slavery, but can't be free by the rules and limitations of slavery. Christoph Waltz looks like he was born to be a part of Tarantino's entourage after his Oscar-winning performance for "Inglorious Basterds". Here, once again he brings humor and vulnerability to Dr. King Schultz. Never before have I ever seen an actor go that far and doesn't go over-the-top like Leonardo DiCaprio. As Calvin Candie, DiCaprio is certainly Oscar-worthy as a man who runs a tight ship by running a place where male slaves fight to the death and female slaves are being prostitutes and he seems to be the kind of guy to like even though he is a villain and he speaks Tarantino's dialogue like a pro. When he has a scene in which he reveals three dimples from a skull that belongs to his father, he is literally terrifying. Kerry Washington is superb as Broomhilda and Samuel L. Jackson is the real scene-stealer. The supporting cast is great from Walton Goggins, Jonah Hill, Michael Bacall, Michael Parks, James Remar, Robert Carradine to a small cameo by Franco Nero. "Django Unchained" has a lot of things to say about slavery and how cruel it is. But at the same time, it provides the fact that if Tarantino rearranged history by shooting Adolf Hitler to a pulp while everything blows up at a movie theater, he can do it again by having a former slave whipping a man who used to beat him and his wife. Now, that's entertainment. This movie really is off the chain. It's not only one of the most captivating films of the year, it's one of the best films of the year. Go see it, it will be worth your time. Keep in mind though, there are characters, especially Django, Stephen, Candie and Schultz that uses the N-word numerous times in this movie. That seems relevant to the time period, don't ya think?
No one to blame but myself for giving this one a look; got just what I deserved, too. Unlike, say, GHOST DOG: WAY OF THE SAMURAI or THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, DJANGO UNCHAINED doesn't seem as much like a filmmaker paying homage to what has come before as grave robbing. Sure, everybody does it, but the two aforementioned movies were done with a bit more genuine love, it seems, than this one. Scenes drag on interminably (THIS script won an Academy Award???), which is bad enough, but my biggest gripe has to be the PERFORMANCES. I don't know who the lead actor is (nor do I care), but he reminded me of the actors in movies like THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVERA and SIX STRING SAMURAI: he's clearly an actor doing his lines- nothing more; we never, at any point in the pointless proceedings, feel like he IS the character. The scene where we see Django's djunk was more than a tad odd: the actor holding said djunk does so gently, and releases the djunk carefully. I'd be willing to bet that that was co-star Jaime Foxx's favorite day on the set... (Ah, to be cradled in the loving hands of a caring director...)
In Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, there is a scene in which Django (Jamie Fox), soon after being freed by the incredibly likable dentist turned bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), shops for new clothes to wear.
Schultz tells Django to pick out whatever he likes. Django looks at the smiling white man in disbelief. You're gonna let me pick out my own clothes? Django can't believe it. The following shot delivered one of the biggest laughs from the audience I watched the film with. After the white man confirms that yes, he is indeed letting the black man pick out his own clothes, we cut to a wide shot of Django riding his horse, now decked out in his very own (outlandish) cowboy outfit—an all blue with white ruffle get-up.
It's a great little scene that provides humor and allows the viewer to further warm up to the two main protagonists. But it also does more than that. It's a simple scene that speaks for the whole film. It's an affirmation that this man of color is now free and able to make his own decisions. The choice he made concerning his extravagantly loud outfit acts as a warning to those that plan to stand in his way—watch out, here I come, I ain't gonna be quiet no more.
And the humor the scene provides echoes the entire film—it wants us to get comfortable with our hero. Tarantino knows that a man of color makes an unconventional hero in a revenge- flick—that's why he made the film. When was the black man going to get his revenge film? It's been long overdue. With Django Unchained, that film has finally arrived and it has arrived in style. Beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, and meticulously written, it's Tarantino at his most epic.
Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is, among much else during its leisurely 165-minute running time, an adolescent male revenge fantasy about an omnipotent mass shooter wreaking carnage upon dozens of victims. I suspect the film would have appealed profoundly to the late Adam Lanza.
You might think that this wouldn't be the best time for a quasi-comic daydream/bloodbath about a deadeye gunman who always fires first and is immune to the thousands of bullets shot at him. But the recent unpleasantness in Sandy Hook has gone almost unmentioned in the critical hosannas greeting Django because, you see, the invulnerable hero is a black gunman shooting bad (i.e., Southern white) people.
It's not much more complicated than that.
For example, in the The New York Times, the scholarly and mild-mannered A. O. Scott declares Django:
"a troubling and important movie about slavery and racism."
According to Tarantino lore, the former video-store clerk is a dyslexic with a 160 IQ. It's hard not to be amused by how easily this semi-literate junior high school-dropout dupes 21st-century intellectuals.
The reason Tarantino has had the time to watch so many bad movies is because he doesn't like the written word. Most people of Tarantino's intelligence discover that reading is a higher bandwidth way of finding out about the world than watching straight-to-video dreck. But the auteur's learning disability has left him defensively proud that he's ill informed about everything other than movies.
Slavery is a potentially fascinating topic, but to have something interesting to say about it would require Tarantino to read a book. And that was never going to happen. After all, white men were the only men to abolish slavery but who cares about that little tidbit of truth?
Tarantino may not know how to spell, but he knows how you are supposed to think: solely in terms of Who? Whom? The only thing that matters anymore is whose side you are on.
Just as Tarantino is being praised today for empowering blacks by having them slaughter whites, he was praised for empowering Jews by having them slaughter Nazis in Inglourious Basterds and empowering women by having them slaughter men in Kill Bill.
As you may have noticed, Tarantino isn't black, Jewish, or female. Nor has he shown much genuine interest in those designated victim groups. Instead, Tarantino's favorites have always been middle-aged movie tough guys.
A cynic might suggest that what Tarantino really likes is the slaughtering. He's happy to make the details of who slaughters whom conform to the current prejudices, just as long as he gets to keep up the gore level. All Tarantino has had to do to critic-proof himself is identify the zeitgeist's sacred cows (so far, women, Jews, and blacks, but not gays) and have them massacre their foes. (Someday we may be treated to a Tarantino ABC Afterschool Special about the plague of bullying in which a CGI version of Charles Bronson show up at school to take out the homophobic trash.) The premise of Tarantino's latest film is that "young Django," a slave played by 45-year-old Jamie Foxx, teams up with the loquacious Christoph Waltz, 56 (once again dripping with Gemütlichkeit before he suddenly guns everybody down) to kick white butt. In 2009's Inglourious Basterds, Waltz played a Nazi bad guy, while in Django he's a Viennese anti-slavery good guy, but he's always the same character, Tarantino's talkative alter ego.
Indeed, Basterds' Jewish revenge plot was essentially a front to allow Tarantino to indulge his fascination with National Socialist (Nazi) cinema. What would it have been like, Quentin wondered, if he had been Goebbels to Harvey Weinstein's Hitler? In Django, a similarly vast amount of the dialogue is turned over to Waltz. Unfortunately, Tarantino's Teutonophilia can't get much traction in Django. He has a vague notion that in 1858 Richard Wagner was contemplating The Ring cycle—thus Django's wife is named Broomhilda—but has no idea what Waltz ought to do with that. (The excessively articulate Waltz would be better suited to playing Wagner,but the composer never killed anybody and lived before the invention of movies, so don't look to Quentin for biopic ideas.) All these distractions leave poor Foxx with little to do except shoot white people.
In 2013, is the black gun violence Tarantino espouses really such a fascinating new phenomenon? For generations now, American media have been encouraging blacks to take violent retribution. We're coming up on close to a half-century of whites in the media egging on black badassery.
How's Tarantino's macho minstrel show working out for black males, anyway? According to a 1967 government report sponsored by the Surgeon General, the black homicide rate began to rise in 1962 after a long decline. Mostly, though, whites just move out of the way and blacks kill each other. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that for the 30 years from 1976-2005, there were 276,000 African-American homicide victims, 94% of them murdered by other blacks. They also hold the title in interracial rape with an average of 37,000 black on white assaults per year while the white on black is listed as "less than 10," which we all know means zero.
But who cares about a quarter of a million murdered black people and interracial rape? What matters is white-on-white moral status striving. And in that eternal war, even Quentin Tarantino is a welcome recruit. Enjoy.
At first I didn't want to see this movie because of some political remarks made by Jamie Foxx and Samuel Jackson, two of my previously favorite actors, but Quintin Tarentino is a great director, so I broke down and saw it. Glad I did. This was absolutely one of the best movies of the year. Although Jamie Foxx has top billing, this film would not have been anywhere as good without Christoph Waltz. He stole every scene he was in. Brilliant acting and great comedic delivery. Leo was great too. Lots of blood, something expected in most of Quintins movies, but a great story. Also expect to hear the N word about 2000 times. Cristoph Waltz should get the Oscar for his performance. Should get nominated for best picture. This is absolutely a must see.
Tarantino's name was enough to get me to the theater. And his trademarks are noticeable throughout--from the spaghetti western style opening to the use of varied musical styles. I was let down, however, by the film as a whole. There were multiple instances of long, drawn out scenes that seemed to be intended for style and emotion, but resulted in a pointless, tiresome straying from purpose. And character development was sorely lacking. Chris Waltz's cold, methodical, calculating, bounty hunter is all-of-a-sudden nauseated by witnessing death at the teeth of dogs. But he shouldn't have been. His character should have seen it coming. And he certainly shouldn't have so openly quivered. I think the intent was to strengthen the Django character at that time, but it wasn't believable. Also unbelievable was the ultimate climactic scene where DiCaprio and Waltz barter for Django's wife. The movie hinges on this conflict, but it was a farcical clash since either party could/would have gladly resolved the dispute. Candie would have gladly taken $12k for the "$300" girl. And the Dr. would have gladly paid for what they came there for in the first place! I understand that pride and besting one's opponent comes into play, but it's not believable that either man would have sacrificed themselves at that point of limited personal investment. The scenery and costumes were as good or better than other Tarantino ventures, but I felt the lack of the signature Tarantino dialogue. Maybe the argument over the eye holes cut into the masks of the raiding party approaches the Reservoir Dogs argument over tipping waitresses, but that was sadly about all.