Leonardo DiCaprio was pretty amazing and definetly the best in the cast. The film had a good first half but was waaay too long and I didn't find the last hour interesting at all. I also thought the big shooting scene, indoors where everybody dies was embarrasing. When the music started...that scene could have been taken straight out from some Jason Statham straight-to-dvd movie. It actually reminded me of that Clive Owen Shoot Em Up movie which is not a good thing. Euurhk. Except for Death Proof it's by far my least favorite Tarantino movie and I am so glad he didn't get a directors nomination. An undeserved BP nom but since it's ten nominations nowadays and without a BP they don't mean much, whatever.
No, Zac, I'm going with my Nanny.
It's good, but I think it would've worked better if it tried to be Kill Bill Vol. 2 instead of Kill Bill Vol. 1. Meaning Tarantino's style and theatrics are played so big that it hurt the emotional resonance a bit to me, ie. Django's anger felt like just part of the show most of the time to me. I felt Waltz' anger almost more even though he repressed it except for his final scene. Foxx, Leo and Jackson are all good, but Waltz stands out to me because he feels like a person instead of a Tarantino style delivery device.
Django Unchained ultimately feels like Tarantino having fun doing Tarantino things. That's fine and all but the taste in my mouth is that it's a minor QT
I'm actually looking forward to the long cut. Despite being 2:45 long, it does feel obviously cut. The hunt for the Brittle brothers feels short and I'd have liked to see more Candieland going abouts before the fateful dinner scene
Last edited by MVP of West Hollywood; 01-19-2013 at 01:28 AM.
I enjoyed this a lot, but this is definitely a step down from Inglourious Basterds. For me, Inglourious Basterds went beyond being a typical Tarantino film. Nothing wrong with that, of course, seeing that most of Tarantino's films are impeccably written, directed and crafted. I felt Waltz is definitely best in show (I still can't quite decide his placement though), followed by DiCaprio. Foxx was really strong as well.
The Beautiful and Talented Godgend Señor El Diablo Blanchitto
Returning to Hollywood with a Vengeance in 2013
I was surprised how much I appreciated what Tarantino does here? Like, I missed his structural theatrics, messing around with timeline and narrative back-and-forth, but for all the ultra-violence and revenge fetishing, I think slavery emerges as the greatest horror from Django Unchained. The film ends with uneasy heroics and validation: no amount of graphic violence can erase the terror of slavery, the horrors that even Tarantino couldn't fully show (I.e. the dogs ripping apart a slave).
And Tarantino even stabs the cinamatic glorification of the Old South with his wonderful MISSISSIPPI inter title sweeping Gone With the Wind-style across the screen over a very unpleasant, shackled slave march to or from market.
also, Jamie Foxx should be getting more love for this.
This probably isn't overall quite as audacious and thematically rich as Inglorious Basterds but I still kinda loved it? Tarantino really is a gifted and masterful storyteller. There was nary a dull or uninteresting moment throughout its nearly three-hour running time and the film is just immaculately made on all fronts. I thought it looked particularly stunning and think Richardson would be a more than worthy winner. I also think this might be Tarantino's funniest film? The whole segment with Big Daddy and his KKK gang had the entire theater howling with laughter. As for the violence, Tarantino does approach Haneke in Funny Games level of psychological torture in a couple of instances but he never crosses the line and manages to make his film his strongest morality stance regarding violence and surprisingly, it never feels preachy or on the nose.
I'm shocked Leonardo DiCaprio failed to get a nod for this; he's pretty stunning here and gives one of his greatest performances. The scene where he's about to hammer Kerry Washington's head is terrifying. Really amazing work from him and Christoph Waltz's Dr. Schultz is a pretty wonderful role reverse from his Hans Landa. At the start of the film he definitely seems like Hans Landa goes West but there's a nice and subtle touch of humanity and it's kind of fascinating to see him go from confident bounty hunter to subjugated at monsieur Candie's mercy. I also loved Jamie Foxx here; it might be my favorite performance of his? I really loved his subdued intensity, his deep stoicism and his understated swagger; and may I say he was scorchingly sexy in this? Like, yowza.
All in all, I loved this.
Last edited by affy18; 01-20-2013 at 11:12 PM.
I watched this a second time last week, and I found that a lot of a flaws go down more easily on a second go-round, mainly the final 20ish minutes since you know what's coming, and you're not as thrown by the second climax. It still probably would have worked better if that whole part had been tightened up, but as it is I think it works well.
Also, I watched Inglourious Basterds again in bits and pieces over a couple days earlier this week, and while it's definitely a superior film to Django (It's easily one of my Top 10 movies of the young century), I do think one thing that Django has over it is that it does a much better job of dealing with the harsh, harsh historical subject that Tarantino uses as a backdrop. Outside of the opening scene, Basterds does next to nothing dealing with the Nazis' treatment of Jews - it's like Tarantino just trusts us to understand that Nazis were awful people that deserved what they got. Django, meanwhile, has a LOT more passion driving its depiction of the nastiness and brutality of slavery, depicting it often and in awful detail. It definitely feels like Tarantino has a genuine social statement driving him here beyond "REVENGE!" which drove Basterds, which I think does a lot in making up for messiness of the film at times.
"I shall immediately after I'm done watching Homeland." - DirkDiggler on his voting priorities
I think I've said this already, but while Django's script seems a bit more thought-out and resonant, I do prefer the filmmaking in Basterds and would say it's a little ahead overall. It's funny often enough, it has some great post-modern flourishes (like Laurent putting on her make-up to Bowie's "Cat People"), and the opening scene and the tavern scene are as suspenseful as anything in Django. It also has two great roles for women, very well-executed by Laurent and Kruger, something sorely missing from Django.
I also prefer the climactic shootout in Basterds, with Laurent's demonic face looking out from the screen as everything burns. Really powerful imagery there, and it honestly makes the burning of Candieland seem a bit redundant.
T E A M R I V E T T E
This may have been my least favourite Tarantino film... like, ever. (Not counting the minor shit like Death Proof)
It certainly had its moments, but he gave in to too many impulses and the whole thing is a mess. If he couldn't complete the film properly by Oscar deadline, he should have yanked it and opened it in 2013.
Last five movies seen:
Chunhyang (2000) **1/2
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) **
Valhalla Rising (2009) ***1/2
Young Adult (2011) *
How I Ended This Summer (2010) *1/2
Or, not at all.
Not good, and those Golden Globes are just going to encourage Mr. T.
It probably helped that the storyline wasn't sprawling like in the previous film but I rarely found any superfluous moments here. Self-indulgent? Sure, but when is Tarantino not self-indulgent? And yet, within that self-indulgence stems a tireless passion for cinema that (for me) redeems it.
This is a straight out honest exploitation/western/actioneer than BASTERDS, and nothing more deep than that, except I suppose Tarantino willing to not sugar coat all that awful shit (even if he was exploiting it on an entertainment level, which I can understand people not appreciating or able to stand.)
I'm surprised even some QT fans don't care for this.
Movies recently reviewed by RRA:
Star Trek (2009)
Pain & Gain (2013)
Jurassic Park III (2001)
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
And that remains my problem with Django, and it has only grown upon reflection. Both of these films are tales of revenge, but one plays as a clever essay on the subject, the other seems to buy into unquestioningly--which I have a problem with. But because Django is more aware of and engaged with its actual historical context, I certainly can't begrudge those who champion it.
Excellent reflections, kupo.
For some reason I didn't feel a sense of satisfactory revenge like I could have with Inglorious Basterds (I didn't, but Tarantino is more inviting to such reactions in that film). Django's payback comes more from a place of rightneousness rather than a desire for bloodshed (also the fact that it's more of a rescue mission rather than simply a quest of revenge). I think the charcter of Stephen is key here in showing the despicable consequences of slavery resulting in hatred of its own ethnicity. I think Tarantino somehow manages to show empathy by making Stephen a pathetic creature even in his terrifying blind allegiance to Candie and contempt for Django and Broomhilda.