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Django Unchained Reviews

Django Unchained

Tarentino is back!

Posted : 11 months, 2 weeks ago on 7 May 2013 06:05

Django Unchained was an entertaining breath of fresh air and a return to form for Quentin Tarentino. I was bored for all but 5 minutes of "Death Proof" and either bored or asleep for the excruciating 2 and a half hours of "Inglourious Basterds", so I was a little worried when i saw that Django was almost 3 hours long. Thankfully, that long run time passed in what felt like minutes.

Django takes everything about the traditional western and turns it on its head. Instead of a white hero on a white horse and a bunch of comically stereotyped minorities we get a black hero on a dark horse poking fun at the violent, racist period that's been glorified over and over throughout film history. The best example of this is the scene which shows the first ride of (what will become) the KKK, a bunch of clueless idiots complaining that they can't see out of their poorly made hoods; only to be scattered by a simple distraction.

There are wonderful performances from the heroes and villains alike, but I thought the most enjoyable aspect of the movie was probably the soundtrack. It draws on music from just about every era and hearing a modern rap song while our main characters mosey-ed along on their horses made me laugh and applaud.

The ultra-violence of the gun fights is well filmed and comically absurd (giant ribbons of shooting blood), an effective combination of action and comedy. This is contrasted with the other violent parts of the movie, demonstrating just how brutal American slavery of blacks was for a long period of our short history. Some might call these scenes over the top or unnecessary, but they miss the point. They are exactly what is needed before Django can justly carry out his revenge on the slavers and ride into the sunset.

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Revenge, Tarantino-Style

Posted : 12 months ago on 25 April 2013 09:28

"Django Unchained" is a blood-soaked, blackly funny, slavery-era extravaganza of a film, compliments of Quentin Tarantino. It is a movie populated with great actors delivering great dialogue, with some great gore and not one but two epic shoot-outs at the end to top it off.

Django (Jamie Fox) is a slave who was separated from his wife, Broomhilda Von Shaft (Kerry Washington) as punishment when the two tried to run away together from their plantation. Forced to walk shackled to a cart under harsh winter conditions, Django is surprised to encounter eccentric 'dentist' Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz,) who turns out to be a skilled bounty hunter.

King Schultz acquires Django under strange and bloody circumstances, and offers him a proposition- Django will earn his freedom if he helps King to identify three slavers who are wanted dead or alive. Thus begins a blood, unusual adventure as the two seek out outlaws, and ultimately, attempt to save Django's wife from Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio,) a sadistic and insane slaveowner.

Christoph Waltz, who proved his acting chops playing opportunistic SS officer Col. Hans Landa in Tarantino's 2009 film "Inglourious Basterds," shines here as charismatic and mysterious King Schultz, who seems to have his own strange code of ethics.

Jamie Foxx is good and Kerry Washington excels playing a fairly uninteresting character, but the biggest surprise is DiCaprio. Nothing of 90's heartthrob Leo is present as slimy, venomously evil Candie, like "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?," it's a total transformation.

Some people might be disgusted with the introduction of a sixth character- Stephen, a manipulative and subservient slave (Samuel L. Jackson,) but I thought it was brave of Tarantino to introduce a black villain into a slavery-era film and show the shades of gray between race relations of that time.

There were certain parts of the movie I felt were a little excessive, for instance the KKK scene, which I felt dragged a little. The blood, too, could be a little excessive, but Tarantino without blood, where would we be? Simply put, this will be a delight for fans of Quentin Tarantino, but people looking for a gentler, kinder, more sensitive movie will best look elsewhere.

Tarantino delivers as he always does- clever dialogue, creative shots, and gallons of blood. On a side note, although no movie could accurately portray the horrors of slavery, this film gets pretty far out of people's comfort zone, which is more responsible for the controversy then any alleged racism. If you like Tarantino, you will like this strong entry into his cinematic universe.

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Django Unchained review

Posted : 1 year ago on 15 April 2013 10:55

Best movie of 2012, undeniably. It's wonderful to see how easily Tarantino portrays such a hard time that was the 19th century in America , and the poor conditions of slavery with his personal spice. He's always a genius and we can see his brilliant work here: the cast is perfect, the plot is remarkable and the production and scenery are breathtaking. Jamie Foxx is a natural hero as Django, Christoph Waltz is perfect as King Schultz and Leonardo DiCaprio teaches us about acting playing the wonderful character that is Calvin Candie. King Schultz and Django are one of those epic partnerships of cinema, like Bonnie and Clyde. And I will always thank Quentin for the adorable scene in which King Schultz tells Django about the legend of Broomhilda and Siegfried. Sweet , touching and harsh all at the same time. It is already one of the best movies I've ever seen in my entire life. A masterpiece, a capolavoro, bravo, bravo , Tarantino!

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Django Unchained review

Posted : 1 year ago on 6 April 2013 01:34

Oh I loved this movie! The director, actors and the whole staff (music, scenery, costumes, etc.) did an amazing job. I love how it deals with the issue of slavery and emancipation with a humorist twist to it, but at the same time not offending anybody. The main characters being, a white German and an enslaved African, there's no division between bad and good characters, based on skin colors. The morals of men are put in the first place. It doesn't make you a bad person if you are white, nor does it make you a good, innocent, naive person if you were black, back in the days of slavery. It was all up to the people, how they chose to live and what values they chose to stick too.
I loved the reference to "The Three Musketeers". All the characters are extraordinarily unique and fascinating, with an amazingly wrung storyline and script. Love the dialogues: the southern and the African English accents. Great job Quentin Tarantino, you've outdone yourself on this one.
Even though, I'm not a fan of all the gore and blood in Tarantino's films, I can easily look over that when it comes to Django. You can tell, I obviously loved the movie, with its romantic plot forming the basis and the background for all the trouble Django is going through in order to rescue his wife and true love.
Plus point: no rape scenes shown.
Jamie Fox was an excellent choice for the role of Django and Kerry Washington, a beautiful African-American woman, I wouldn't have chosen anyone else, great couple.
Loved the happy ending!

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Django Unchained review

Posted : 1 year, 2 months ago on 17 February 2013 12:42

What can i say i love Quentin Tarantino his movies are amazing. This film is freaking awesome to say the least. I went to see it on Christmas and it was the highlight of the day. A wonderful cast Foxx/DiCaprio/Waltz/Jackson/Washington all did amazing performances.Plus the cameo of Jonah hill was great

Also the little cameo Quentin Tarantino at the end was awesome pointless but awesome

But id have to say that out of them all i loved Samuel L. Jackson the most the guy just stole the Show.

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It only works in bits and pieces

Posted : 1 year, 2 months ago on 31 January 2013 09:19

"Django. The D is silent."

Django Unchained is one of 2012's best films, a deliriously enjoyable slice of pulpy entertainment finding Quentin Tarantino back at the top of his game...for about seventy minutes. Following the terrific opening act, Django Unchained pussyfoots around in pure boredom for the better part of an hour, showing Tarantino at his most undisciplined and, well, unchained. Tarantino's first all-out Western, the film is actually a close cousin to 2009's Inglourious Basterds. Like that film, Django Unchained takes place in a troubled historical period, features Christoph Waltz, and exhibits the writer-director's strengths and weaknesses in equal measure. While the film has a handful of great set-pieces and a marvellous cast, the flashes of brilliance are let down by Tarantino's indulgent tendencies. Glacially paced, the film never quite soars to excellence despite the tremendous screen artistry on display.

In 1858, two years before the Civil War, dentist-turned-bounty-hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) frees a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) from his captors. Schultz is on the hunt for a trio of wanted slave traders, and needs Django to help him identify them. It fast becomes apparent that Schultz and Django make for an ideal team, and the two enter into an agreement: If Django assists Schultz as they collect bounties, he will reap the financial benefits. And afterwards, the two will set off to retrieve Django's wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), who has been enslaved on a plantation owned by the ruthless Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Django and Schultz travel to Mississippi to meet Candie, hoping to buy Broomhilda from the hedonistic plantation owner.

Inspired by the 1966 Spaghetti Western Django (the lead of which, Franco Nero, cameos here), Django Unchained is Tarantino's most linear film to date - there are no chapters and the timeline is not fragmented. The ingredients for the film were just right, and should've made for a dynamite actioner, but the execution is slipshod. It's such an un-complicated story, hence there's absolutely no earthly reason for it to run nearly three hours. After opening strong, Django Unchained begins losing momentum, with nonsensical bloat causing the film to fizzle out long before the climax. Tarantino loves to hear his characters talk, of course, and such extensive dialogue is almost to be expected, but it doesn't excuse the woeful sense of pacing. The first hour or so is brisk, taut and efficient, developing hope that Tarantino might have finally disciplined himself. But then he gets carried away with speeches and pointless dialogue, bringing the film to its knees.

Django Unchained works in pieces rather than as a whole. Amid the useless plot digressions, the long-winded monologues and the poor attempts at tension, certain set-pieces do work beautifully; there are funny scenes, intense scenes and a number of exhilarating scenarios. The cartoonish bloodshed is where the film truly takes off. The scenes of Django and Dr. Schultz collecting bounties are pure dynamite, and a late shootout is one of the greatest things Tarantino has ever put on the screen. The bullet hits are hilariously exaggerated, with blood squibs exploding like landmines, creating utter delirium. The cinematography by Robert Richardson is sublime as well; Tarantino adores film, hence Django Unchained was shot with 35mm film stock which gives it a gorgeously cinematic appearance. Tarantino clearly strived to create something aesthetically similar to the films of Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah, with old-fashioned opening credits and steady photography.

The highlight of Django Unchained, without a doubt, is Waltz as Dr. King Schultz. He essentially plays the good-guy version of his role from Inglourious Basterds; he's well-spoken and impeccably polite, yet he's also a killer at his core. Waltz is a constant delight to watch, radiating charm and delivering Tarantino's dialogue with utmost assurance. Likewise, Foxx is a great fit for Django, soft-spoken and full of gravitas. Will Smith was originally in the running for the role, but he would've slanted the tone too much towards comedy. Foxx, on the other hand, keeps the tone grounded, and the film is all the better for it. Meanwhile, in his first non-lead role since the 1990s, DiCaprio clearly had fun playing Calvin Candie. DiCaprio is not always the most interesting speaker, but his performance is committed and gritty. Samuel L. Jackson also puts in an unexpected performance as a close negro friend of Candie's. Jackson is great, both funny and sinister. The supporting cast also includes the likes of Zoe Bell, Don Johnson, James Remar (in two roles), Bruce Dern, and John Jarrat. Even Tarantino himself appears towards the end of the film, though his work is mediocre at best.

In final analysis, Django Unchained is perhaps the most frustrating motion picture of 2012. Within its overstuffed 165-minute runtime is a far superior, snappier 90-minute movie, and it's irksome to see Tarantino wasting so many brilliant film fragments by surrounding them with tedium. The reason why Tarantino's earlier efforts sparkled so much was due to budget and timing limitations which forced the filmmaker to be disciplined. But armed with a huge budget and with the freedom to do what he wants, he's far less effective.


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Tarantino Delivers Again

Posted : 1 year, 2 months ago on 24 January 2013 12:36

I've wanted to see it for ages and was really excited to do so for two reasons, first, I think Tarantino is one of the best directors around at the moment and I've loved all his work(that I've seen of course), and secondly, simply because this was set to be a western, and many of my favourite films consist of westerns.
So when I finally got to see it I had high hopes, and it did not disappoint! Tarantino blows us away(or rather himself*which you'll get once you see the film) once again with another amazing piece of cinema! It's a classic blood-bath Tarantino film, that I love so much! The perfect example of this being when Django is being shot at by numerous men, but every single shot seems to hit the dead guy in front of him, who's blood pretty much re-paints the house.
The writing, directing and acting are all spot on, Christoph Waltz giving the stand out performance in my opinion, he just knows how to steal the show, much a-like he succeeded in doing in Inglourious Basterds. Samuel L. Jackson plays a great role too, getting in all the swearing needed to feed my swear o'meter, and I never knew Leonardo DiCaprio could play such a convincing bad guy! I knew he was a good actor but he really shone in this. Can't forget the lead, Jamie Foxx, although I feel he gave the weakest performance of the four big names, definitely not a bad performance, which I should stress, its just the other three were on a slightly higher level. Then there's the soundtrack, to be honest I thought it was just perfect, all the songs where played at just the right moments, so fitting, a must have for my soundtrack collection.
I also think its great that Franco Nero, who played Django in the film Django (1966) gets a cameo as well!

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The bloody conclusion of retribution

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 22 January 2013 01:52

A decent western from the QT. Jamie Foxx gets his freedom from the shackles by the bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz(Waltz) and gets in the bounty hunting business with him before getting after the people who took his wife. Story is full of wonderful and entertaining characters played by old school actor´s. That is the most entertaining part. Especially DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson make the most out of there characters. The retribution part is also very well done. I´m a bit skeptical about the ending and the way it turn out. I have always been a huge fan of QT´s tradition and style of using music is his films. They bring so much in to the film. That style, elegance and even flamboyance. The action is there always. Bloody as ever. That is the part that does not fail.

The Cinematography is the next best thing. It is magnificent and bright with colors. Its like sometimes you can almost find yourself in a children´s book for a few seconds. After that the book is covered in blood. Script and dialogue are QT´s strongest field. He makes you laugh, he makes you angry and sometimes even disappointed. The ending was the only part that I was very disappointed. Also the editing room is the place where QT should have been spending more time. It is a bit too long for my taste. But maybe after a rewatch i can see that the scenes that now come to mind are there for a reason. Hopefully the Blu-Ray version has some deleted scenes. You can´t really hate a western. Because there is never too much them in this world.

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Another Quentin Tarantino masterpiece.

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 22 January 2013 12:45

Django Unchained marks the second film from Quentin Tarantino that mixes his old-school trademarks of violence, recurring themes, creative dialogue and badass soundtracks within a setting loosely based on historical events. Tarantino already interpreted his own climax of World War II in Inglourious Basterds through his passion for cinema and in his latest feature, he provides a similar story structure. This time, he tackles a story set in Deep South America where he adds his own adjustments about black slavery, a widely controversial subject. Despite this, Tarantino used elements from his past films in Django Unchained which leave their mark and, therefore, adds more oppressiveness as well as originality to the storyline. Furthermore, it is important to note that Django Unchained does not focus on historical accuracy of that era, but in his own way Tarantino creates a second revenge-fantasy masterpiece which at the same time, pays homage to classic spaghetti westerns.

Quentin Tarantino has caused a series of controversies making Django Unchained as he has had accusations of racism thrown at him due to storyline and dialogue. However, the beauty of Tarantino's screenplay in Django Unchained is that he is simply presenting, in his own creative style of writing, the animosity from white people towards blacks during that period and the general horrors of slavery. Therefore, Tarantino twists history and forges it into his movie-maniac mind, which is what we have with Django Unchained. Furthermore, he continues with his old-school elements of black humour. As proved in many of his previous films, humour has been one of Tarantino's strongest points because he somehow makes funny jokes that are not always considered that way. It becomes worthwhile in Django Unchained as he still makes violence humorous to watch but at the same time, he doesn't deliver all the dark comedy that we have seen before. The film contains a mixture of witty one-liners, particularly from Dr Schultz, and at times hilarious jokes that don't have to step above the bar to be funny. Therefore, it has climbed above Pulp Fiction to become Tarantino’s funniest film to date. However, the only major Achilles-heel of Django Unchained were the last 20 minutes. The pacing was slow and it almost meant nothing to the rest of it.

Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx delivers his best performance in years as Django. Originally, the role was offered to Will Smith but Foxx ultimately displays the true nature of this character. Django is a newly-freed slave who becomes a deputy bounty hunter along with Dr. King Schultz but has the desire to rescue his wife from the ruthless Calvin Candie. So, along the journey, Django becomes this badass individual that we all want to see and was seen in spaghetti westerns. On the other hand, regarding his wife he is at times a sensitive being. Still, the purpose of Django is not spilling out emotion with his wife and thankfully, Tarantino does not make this his key focus. He is merely on a mission of revenge against his former enemies as well as to make something of himself. Nevertheless, Jamie Foxx takes a little while to get into the role of Django but when he does, he was absolutely fantastic! It's just a shame that he was overshadowed particularly by Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Christoph Waltz literally carried Tarantino's previous film Inglourious Basterds and deservedly earned an Academy Award for his role as Colonel Landa. Waltz stars in his second Tarantino feature and delivers another stand-out performance as dentist turned bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz. Although the character was written purely for him in the first place, Waltz's charisma as an actor made him fit perfectly into the role. In that sense, Waltz does this through hilarious one-liners and the simplicity he beholds. The film is surrounded by oppression and animosity but Schultz represents the conscience of the human mind and becomes a character that is balanced and a non-judgmental figure. Furthermore, Leonardo DiCaprio suddenly jolts away from his heart-throb status as an actor and goes into a much dirtier, sinister and racist role as he portrayed antagonist Calvin Candie. The name 'Candie' and his plantation location 'Candieland' sounds quite friendly but how Tarantino handles it is quite sadistic. Like Colonel Landa, Candie is a charming psychopath and DiCaprio did this incredibly well. Therefore, you can now see why Tarantino originally wanted him as Landa. Samuel L. Jackson delivers one of his greatest performances as Candie's black house slave Stephen and Kerry Washington is fantastic too as Broomhilda, the woman in the center of it all. We also get great cameos from Jonah Hill, Franco Nero and Don Johnson as well as a mediocre one from Quentin Tarantino.

Evidently, Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino's most controversial film to date but like the truly great artist that Tarantino is, he manages to take it to whole new depths through his gifted old-school style and sends us on this Old West journey where he pays his own respects to spaghetti westerns. Django Unchained is, of course, horrifying and pretty gut-retching due to the racism and slavery but it unusually contains heart-to-heart moments (very unlike Tarantino) and sparks a bond of friendship between Schultz and Django and finally, very much like Tarantino, it is hilarious to watch. Nevertheless, Django Unchained perhaps isn't on the same level of creative brilliance as Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds, but it is still another Tarantino masterpiece that his biggest fans should enjoy.

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A good movie

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 19 January 2013 08:04

Before watching 'Inglourious Basterds', I was really excited because I thought that Tarantino could make something awesome out of this material but, eventually, even though I liked it, it was far from being the masterpiece I heard about. This time, I was equally excited by the idea of Quentin Tarantino tackling this material but I was also more cautious. Eventually, even though I had a good time, pretty much like 'Inglourious Basterd', there were many things I enjoyed but also many things that just puzzled me and, at the end of the day, I can't say that it was really amazing. Let's start with the good stuff. The first half was really good. Indeed, it was sharp, focused and really really fun with some great dialogs. Furthermore, there was a great cast (Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson) and they delivered some impressive performances. Furthermore, many people criticized Tarantino for constantly using the word 'nigger' and being disrespectful about the sensitive subject of slavery but I thought he handled it actually really well, probably better than the Nazis in 'Inglourious Basterds'. Indeed, the living conditions of the slaves are displayed as really horrible and the slave owners are displayed as stupid morons looking also quite terrible as well. It was just a really f*cked up business and Tarantino didn't sugarcoat the whole thing, that's for sure. So, what went wrong? From the moment that DiCaprio shows up on the screen, the whole thing lost momentum. Don't get me wrong, DiCaprio was terrific but from this point, you get some very long dialogs involving DiCaprio, Waltz, Foxx and even Samuel L. Jackson who also gave one of his best performances. The problem is that all those actors were just amazing and Django pretty much get upstaged, sitting quiet in a corner while the other actors were really stealing the show. I don't know, the whole thing with the slave deals was also seriously quite murky (let's sell it! What?! You're trying to fool me?!? Let's sell it anyway!) and, precisely like in 'Inglourious Basterds', after this long talk, the whole thing is concluded with a huge shoot-up.... How disappointing... But it doesn't stop there, no, Django is send away and comes back again for yet another bloodbath! Why?!? What's the point of this second bloodbath?!? In my opinion, the main issue with this 2nd half is that you have 4 fascinating characters (Django, Dr Schultz, Calvin, Stephen) and you could have made one brilliant movie from each one of them but to put them alltogether in one single room was just too much to handle for this movie. Eventually, the only solution Tarantino found was to kill all of them, except for Django but it was a rather weak way to solve this predicament. Still, like I said before, the whole thing was still pretty good and I had a good time watching this. To conclude, even though it is for me yet another disappointing feature directed by Quentin Tarantino, it still remains a pretty good flick and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Tarantino's work.

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