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“Django” Is Off the Chain

DjangoUnchained foxx dicaprio

I’m not a die-hard Quentin Tarantino fan. His movies are a bit of a mixed bag for me. He makes films I want to see, but don’t have to. That being said, I’m really glad I saw “Django Unchained.”

Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave turned bounty hunter in the 1850’s South after he’s purchased by dentist-turned-bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz).

Schultz needs Django to help him track down three brothers worth $7,000. And Django needs Schultz’s help to free his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the Candieland Plantation owned by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

I really enjoyed this movie, far more than I expected to. Every piece of this movie works.

Tarantino has an undeniable style; love it or hate it, you have to appreciate that. And the man is a fan of movies. I really enjoy that! His films are always homages to other genres and film history, but he takes them and puts his own unique (and very bloody) spin on it. “Django” is his salute to the western.

Let’s talk about casting. I imagine Tarantino says “I’m making a movie” and it’s like the bat signal in Hollywood. He has his pick of almost anyone I would imagine.

So many people want to be in his movies that he just throws them in as extras in the background (Amber Tamblyn). There’s also random actors that pop up, some you probably haven’t thought about in years (Jonah Hill, Don Johnson, Tom Wopat).

Cameos aside, the main cast is amazing. Foxx, I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but he is a fantastic actor. There are times when I look at him and can’t believe he’s Wanda from “In Living Color.” Whether he’s shooting a snowman in the crotch or hanging upside down naked, the man has charisma and can do almost anything.

DiCaprio, I think is a bit overrated as an actor. He’s good, but not worth a lot of the hype he gets. I really just hate his face and always have an overwhelming urge to punch him. Here, he’s the villain, so that works. He is excellent at playing a mean prick.

Samuel L. Jackson, I almost didn’t recognize. It wasn’t till he started to talking that I realized who it was, that voice is unmistakable. Jackson is always dependable. He’s a solid actor who delivers every time. In “Django,” even though his character is a crotchety old man, he has a lot of fun with it.

Django_Unchained_Quentin_Tarantino_Christoph-Waltz_Jamie-Foxx_And finally Waltz, one of my new favorite actors. He can be funny and dramatic at the same time. I don’t know what it is, but the delivery of his lines just makes me happy. (It’s probably the accent.) Even in “Inglourious Basterds,” his character was a terrible human being, but I still loved him. And here, he’s the good guy. Well, as good as a bounty hunter can be.

All the Tarantino staples are in there: killer soundtrack, revenge plot, dramatic camera angles, gunplay, a quirky sense of humor, and of course lots of blood.

“Django” is violent. But it’s Tarantino violence. The bloodshed is so over-the-top you can’t take it seriously. I’m not a fan of gore and the only scene I really couldn’t watch was when two slaves fight to the death and all the violence is off screen.

The one thing I really didn’t like was the runtime. Three hours is too long for any movie. I would have preferred it if he’d added 30 minutes of footage and split it into two films a la “Kill Bill.” I would have happily paid twice to see both halves.

A quality script performed by actors at the top of their game made “Django Unchained” a great film and a fun, enjoyable movie-going experience. “Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2” are still my favorites but this is right up there. If you’re inclined to like Tarantino’s other films, this one won’t disappoint.



5 thoughts on ““Django” Is Off the Chain

  1. I’m right with you on Waltz being my favorite part of the movie, especially seeing as I’m german and can relate to quite a bit of his character’s mannerisms

    Great review, interesting thought about splitting it into two movies. That seems to be all the rage in hollywood nowadays, I’d think they’d have brought that up at some point with this one

    Posted by r361n4 | January 2, 2013, 12:08 am
  2. Good review Ashley. Tarantino’s latest flick is one of his largest achievements in my opinion. Blending terrifically flowing dialogue with gruesome gore sequences (as always), this is one of the best films of 2012.

    Posted by CMrok93 | January 2, 2013, 1:01 pm


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