Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained"

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Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained"

Post by Deviss on Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:40 pm

"You had my curiosity... Now you have my attention."

  • Story: Four Stars
  • Acting: Four Stars
  • Directing: Four Stars
  • Visuals: Four Stars
  • Overall: Four Stars

The first words I said as the credits started to roll were, "Well... that was interesting." I'd heard about this movie when it was first announced, or rather the first trailer was released. I haven't ever been a very avid watcher of Quentin Tarantino's previous movies, so initially there wasn't much cause for me to be interested in "Django Unchained". Even though it might garner some backlash, I have yet to see "Inglorious Basterds" in its entirety. However, after I watched the first full-length trailer a handful more times, and realized Leonardo DiCaprio would star, as well as a couple other interesting actors, my interest grew. Having just finished watching "Django Unchained" I offer a quick nod of approval to most of what it presented.

---

Doctor King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a former dentist turned bounty hunter, comes across a small group of slaves being taken to be sold. After taking a special interest in one particular slave who goes by the name Django (Jamie Foxx), Schultz "acquires" Django and sets off to train him as a bounty hunter. The pair come into an agreement: Django helps Schultz track down the infamous "Brittle Brothers" and Schultz will grant Django his freedom as well as help him in the search for him wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) who has since been bought by the charismatic Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). While the idea of it sounds simple enough, the duo quickly find themselves in a very difficult situation where the survival of everyone isn't a guarantee.

As I said above, I am by no means a Quentin Tarantino fan. In fact, "Django Unchained" marks the first movie of his that I have watched from beginning to end. As for why I haven't seen any of his other movies... It isn't a fact that I don't like him as a filmmaker or person, I have no issue with him, or that his movies revile me in any way. It is a matter of my having little to no interest to see them whatsoever. Which is indeed an odd thing seeing as how Brad Pitt, a personal favorite of mine for some time now, was cast in "Inglorious Basterds". I've heard plenty in regards to the praise around "Inglorious Basterds", as well as the controversy that oft times entails the movies he makes.

There was something about "Django Unchained" however that when it grabbed a hold of my attention, it refused to let go. As I type this review I am still unsure what it was exactly that attracted my attention. Perhaps it was the particular style of the movie. Perhaps it was the actors and actresses that were casted, which I myself am more inclined to believe especially in the case of Mister DiCaprio. Or perhaps it was some unknown third or fourth aspect that I have yet to realize. The fact of the matter is that "Django Unchained" grabbed my attention with a vise-like grip, promised special things (standout moments, performances, etc.) and in most cases lived up to those promises.

The two performances most noteworthy here are those of Christoph Waltz and of Leonardo DiCaprio. From the things I have heard about "Inglorious Basterds", Mister Waltz gave an outstanding performance. Which in fact is the thing I have heard the most in regards to that particular movie. I may end up coming around to watching "Inglorious Basterds" in full because of those sayings alone. Christoph Waltz's performance as Doctor King Schultz was wholly entertaining. From the moment he was pulled onscreen by his horse-drawn carriage, he was a quirky delight. One particular scene that still makes me laugh is after Django finds and deals with two Brittle Brothers. Upon disposing of the last Brittle brother, and seeing a large, angered mob coming their way, Schultz quickly drops his rifle and throws his hands in the air. I certainly hope he received the due recognition come award season.

As for Mister DiCaprio... He never ceases to amaze and entertain. I am a fan of his past movies, starting with the character of Jack Dawson in 1997's "Titanic". From the moment I first saw Calvin Candie, I knew that DiCaprio's performance would be something to look forward to. And I am very pleased to say that, for my part at least, his time in "Django Unchained" did not disappoint. A certain scene of his that I especially enjoyed was when he, Schultz, Django, and a few others were around his dinner table, after Calvin had learned of his prospective buyers' true intentions. As well as a later scene involving Schultz and himself, in which came a twist I did not see coming. Even though I want to hope against it, I'm afraid that DiCaprio will be snubbed once again come award season.

There really isn't much to say in regards to everyone else. Jaime Foxx, Samuel Jackson, and Kerry Washington did a fine job with the roles they were given, but there wasn't ever anything that made them stand out to me like Waltz and DiCaprio did. Throughout the course of this movie, nothing ever happened or was done from or by those characters that I hadn't already come to expect.

Overall, keeping in mind the particulars of a movie such as this, "Django Unchained" was an enjoyable time. I was well aware of the controversy that cropped up before its release, I don't agree with it myself but I do recognize where that person was coming from. I am by no means well versed in that time of US history, but I do know that it was very grim, and that is putting it mildly. As cringe-worthy as some scenes were, it wasn't because they were poorly done, but because of the truth behind them.

In short, as if that were possible at this point, if you haven't seen "Django Unchained" yet, I would certainly recommend that you do as soon as possible.

This was a review by tMG, thank you very much for reading.

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Re: Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained"

Post by frang on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:04 am

What Tarentino movie is complete without a controversy?

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