Monday, January 14, 2013

Django Unchained Review

Django Unchained is the new Tarantino film about a bounty hunter who frees a slave to help track down and kill 3 brothers. Along the way the freed slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), is trained by the bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), and becomes the fastest shot in the US. After the brothers are killed Django tells Dr. Schultz how he was separated from his wife, and the two strike a deal to get Django's wife back.

Django Unchained in my opinion is up there with Inglorious Basterds (also by Tarantino). It is a true Western, and one that deals with some very heavy subjects and showed what the brutality (much of what Tarantino is known for) of slavery could have actually been like. It doesn't sugar coat things, it in no way was glorifying slavery, it showed how sick and twisted people could be. Mainly how twisted Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) could be.

The greatest thing I found about DU is the acting. The performances given by Waltz, DiCaprio, Samuel  L. Jackson, and Foxx were amazing. I have loved every performance I have seen of Christoph Waltz and I think he is beyond deserving of any award he receives. I was impressed with Jamie Foxx, going in to watch the movie I was very skeptical of him, even though I saw him in Ray and yes he was great, I just haven't really seen him since, nor have I been interested to. I had no idea DiCaprio could play such a fantastic villain, it's not that I didn't think he had it in him I just would not have thought of him to play a villain. He frightened me by his horrific ideas about how slaves brains work.

There were a few problems I had with DU. As I said above it was a real Western, I loved it for that. It features old style western music and amazing sets. However, about 30 minutes into the movie rap music starts playing and it felt so out of place with the scene that it took me out of the movie. I would forgive this if it had been the only time, but it happened numerous times, almost every time I got sucked back in to the action and plot, rap would tear me away. Maybe what the rappers were rapping about fit what was going on, but I didn't listen that closely cause all I could focus on was how out of place it was.

Then there was a very minor problem, that most people wouldn't care about, but I did because Tarantino claims he never wants to make a bad movie and wants to leave a legacy of only good films behind. There was a scene where Django walks up to Candie's bar orders a drink and whips out a self rolled white cigarette. Tarantino seemed to focus on how the smoke looked coming out of Django's mouth, with the swirls and the thickness of it. It did look very cool. Meanwhile it kept cutting back and forth to Dr. Schultz and Candie talking, then back to Django. Although when it cut back to Django one time the cigarette was no longer white, it was brown. Now with any director, be it Darren Aronofsky, PT Anderson, the Coen Bros, whoever.... I would not care at all. I would have overlooked it, but a guy like Tarantino who cares so much about his legacy and is only going to make like 3 or 4 more movies ever I just would think he would want to be more careful. Not saying I would dock him points for this, I'm not that guy, just pointing it out.

I am a huge fan of this film and of Tarantino, and if it sounds like you would enjoy it too check it out, tell me what you think!

ARK