Movie Title: Django Unchained
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Date Released: December 25th, 2012
Date Seen: January 5th, 2013
Seen with: Dad
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
Once again, Quentin Tarantino makes a great, overly violent, fantastically acted, impeccably shot, and all around amazing movie. I mean, it’s kind of hard to mess up when you’re the genius that is Quentin Tarantino. Also, hard to mess up when you have the amazing acting talents of Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Christoph Waltz, as in Inglorious Bastards, was the clear standout in the film as the hilarious and witty bounty hunter, who used to practice dentistry, Dr. King Schultz. I think Christoph Waltz could act in any movie as any character and blow you away, but, with an already great character and then an amazing character on top of it – every single scene with Christoph Waltz is a joy to watch. Particularly because you are always drawn to him in the scene. Christoph Waltz won the 2013 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role. Jamie Foxx played Django quite well as I enjoyed watching his transformation from slave, to unsure bounty hunter, to being a great bounty hunter. I liked Kerry Washington as his wife, but we don’t see a lot of her, so really other than being pretty and being good at crying, meh.
Leonardo DiCaprio was incredible as the plantation owner, Calvin Candie. He does very well in playing the charming gentleman who you don’t fuck with – as he does in a lot of movies. But I loved the character of Candie as well, so props to Tarantino for that one. I also love Leonardo DiCaprio working through an injury – there is a scene where he cuts his hand – and he ACTUALLY cut his hand open on accident. My first viewing of the movie, I couldn’t figure out how he did that. But Leonardo Dicaprio just keeps going. It takes major props for an actor to do that – especially considering the cut was bad enough for Leo to require stitches after. Yikes! So major props to him. And finally we come to Samuel L. Jackson who plays Stephen, the head house slave, who is the real brains of the house. I was meh on him. I felt like he was trying *too* hard. One scene in particular that bothered me was a dinner scene with him continually laughing hysterically in Candie’s ear. It wasn’t a character thing either – I liked the idea of the Stephen character, and he was important to the plot, and I even liked his relationship with Candie. But, I did not like how Samuel L. Jackson portrayed him. That was about my only critique of the movie. I know a lot of other people enjoyed him, so it was just a personal thing. Otherwise, I loved the movie.
The shots, as always, were fantastic. There were a number of times I turned to my dad and said “wow, that shot is beautiful.” There were also some classic shots/scenes that were *VERY* reminiscent of blazing saddles (and for good reason). The whole movie had the serious spaghetti western feel, like Quentin Tarantino wanted, but with the nice addition of a modern soundtrack and slightly reversed plot (black man kill white man and is hero!? no!) – but all the while maintaining the old spaghetti western feel. The soundtrack was great, and although it might have been a rap song all of a sudden in the middle of a western movie – it didn’t take you out of the movie and worked great. I also like how Tarantino does musical transitions. Rather than just having a song fade out, or into another song, sometimes it’d just abruptly end at a perfect moment, where I feel like normally a director would be scared to do. But it worked. Amazingly. I just love Tarantino a lot, maybe that’s just it…. Although, his character that he was in the movie for a brief appearance was slightly stupid. He had a ridiculous accent for no reason – and it was horrible. I liked his character but the accent was so bad I was distracted by it. So I guess that’s my second critique of the movie.
Also, be aware, there are two scenes that I found more gross than the others. One involves two men fighting and beating each other up (I don’t like the sounds of punching… I can handle screams and even Saw stuff, but punching noises gross me out). There is also a scene with dogs. Nothing happens to the dogs. But the dogs do something. And later, you see that same scene again and you’re not expecting it… so yeah, just be aware just in case.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
Here is a link to a good synopsis.
As expected in a Tarantino film, the violence was dramatic and over done, and of course, excessively bloody. And yet, do we care? No. We have come to love it. This film was no different – with only two shots being even remotely close to reality (the two shots straight to the heart). All other shots had buckets and buckets of blood. One shot, to Candie’s sister, even involved her flying straight backwards into the other room. Comical? Yes. Enjoyable? Indubitably.
The final shot in the movie has already jumped up to one of my favorites in any movie ever. Watching Django slowly walk away from the building as it explodes, with the gorgeous Broomhilda watching from her horse. Fabulous. Another favorite shot, also involved that house. Moments before when the family is returning to the house from the funeral, and watching them walk down the road as silhouettes and then into the house, again as silhouettes, was one of the scenes I told Dad was fabulous.
I mentioned above that a number of scenes were reminiscent of Blazing Saddles – I’m not the one who realized that, it was my dad. I’ve only seen parts of Blazing Saddles, and hated it (see my review here) so I didn’t realize it. I recognized one, the horse walk at the end, but that’s it.
I loved it. It was exactly what I wanted from the movie and more, with only two relatively minor complaints. I will be buying this movie and I will most likely be seeing it in theaters again (actually I ended up seeing it 3 times in theaters… go me).