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Django Unchained


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To be honest, I came to this forum with the intention of creating a thread about this film. I'm a big Tarantino fan and he's my favourite director, and I'm also really looking forward to it. I've been waiting for it for like a year now. The reviews from the critics so far have been highly positive - it currently holds a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 ratings: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/django_unchained_2012/


I really can't wait to see the performances of Christoph Waltz (who was superb in Inglorious Basterds) and Leo Di Caprio. The latter looks bad-ass in this picture

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Btw, the film has been nominated for Best Picture in the Golden Globes, Tarantino has been nominated for Best Director while Waltz and Di Caprio compete for Best Supporting Actor. I hope Tarantino wins the Oscar for Best Director this time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Watched Django last night, a highly entertaining experience. Loved every minute of it. Tarantino manages to walk the fine line between gruesome violence and slapstick humor like only few others can. The movie has a few flaws that stop it from being a Tarantino masterpiece - there were some bits when I thought he exaggerated things a little, but it is still a great film.

The direction and the cinematography are both superb, the acting is top-notch and the soundtrack is also brilliant. Without a doubt one of the best films of 2012.

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Will be watching it soon, maybe later or during this week at some point... This is gonna sound stupid, when i first heard the name i thought it was like a sequel to Rango (not fully paying attention to the name), lol, so thought i'll ignore that shit... then i realised! it looks like a great film...

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dvd quality is out online..watched this last night and it was a great film! The soundtrack was amazing and I thought Foxx, Waltz and DiCaprio lived up to the hype.

Tarantino has great taste in music, all of his films consist of amazing soundtracks.

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Care to write that review? :D

Just because you asked... :)

Here is a short, hastily written review. I haven’t gone into very much plot but spoilers are contained within.

Django Unchained is a similar film to Tarantino’s last effort Inglourious Basterds. Whereas Basterds functioned partly as a Jewish revenge fantasy on the Nazis, this one works as a black revenge fantasy on slave-holders and uncle toms. Where Basterds succeeded was in its fantastic set-pieces. The opening scene on the farm, the long scene in the basement bar, and several scenes with Shoshana were all excellent. Tarantino was at his best, crafting dialogue that helped build the tension to a maximum before releasing it in a brief but violent climax. Where the movie failed, is bringing those scenes, scenes of a serious drama and tension, together with the troop of avenging Basterds which are ludicrous and belong to another film entirely.

Django runs into the same problems. Tarantino once again chooses a topic, in this case slavery, which is innately serious and needs to be treated as such. He can’t, however, help himself, and he once again, tries to marry the serious with the silly. It is a better marriage in this film but only barely. The opening section of the film is by far its best. In these scenes, Dr. Schultz, easily the film’s most interesting character, and the slave he frees Django, are bounty-hunter who encounter and dispose of all sorts of scum. The dialogue is crisp, the movement fluid, and the humour and seriousness is balanced. When we meet Calvin Candie, the plantation owner, a stand-in for all that is evil in the Deep South, everything just stops. The movie slows down to a crawl until that crawl is ended by an orgy of extreme and mostly completely unnecessary, violence. The movie is highly entertaining in many parts and has a few great moments, but it also, like Basterds, feels disjointed.

One of the first things one learns in any art form, is that you cannot be married to a particular scene. Narrative arc and character development come first and if a scene, no matter how great, confuses that or even fails to move it forward, it doesn’t belong. The Coen brothers are renowned for their quirky scenes but even scenes that seem like they don’t fit, have a reason for being there. Take the odd scene with Margie and Mike Yanagita in Fargo. It’s a scene that, at first, seems out of place. Margie is investigating a crime, then she has dinner with someone who professes his love for her. Then she goes back to investigating the crime. In fact, the scene is pivotal. After her dinner with Mike, she is ready to return to Brainerd. It is only when her friend tells her that Mike was lying about everything that she decides to interview Jerry again. It is Mike’s deception that allows her to see into Jerry’s. Tarantino seems to be putting the desire to get specific scenes into the movie over the cohesiveness of the narrative. Take, for example, Tarantino’s own small turn in the film. Tarantino is from Texas, perfectly natural for the film, yet for whatever reason, he attempts (and fails) an Australian accent. It is a pointless move that immediately takes away from the film.

Anyone familiar with Quentin Tarantino’s body of work, will be familiar with his passion for certain movies from 60’s and 70’s and his continued attempts to pay homage to them. Inglourious Basterds was ostensibly a remake of a low-budget macaroni combat movie, Jackie Brown was paid homage to the Blaxploitation films of the decade, Death Proof spoofed exploitation films, and now Django Unchained is deeply indebted to the Sergio Leone films of that era with a touch, once again of blaxploitation. Leone is a fantastic filmmaker and his partnership with composer Morricone created some of cinema’s most iconic films. I have a soft spot for Leone and Morricone so the scenes that are most spaghetti western are very appealing. Less impressive is Taranatino’s love of cheap movies. It’s one thing to pay homage to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly or Once Upon a Time in the West/In America, it’s another to pay homage to Night Call Nurses, Foxy Brown, and Caged Heat. What made Tarantino's name was his originality. When I snuck into a theatre to see Pulp Ficton, I had never seen anything like it. If you are a filmmaker, one of the few in the world, who has complete creative control and an almost unlimited budget, I want to see something new.

Of the acting performances, Waltz is once again fantastic and Di Caprio has a field day with his over-the top villain. Samuel L. Jackson plays the most difficult part and does so fantastically. Django himself is not a particularly interesting character and Foxx really doesn't have much to do except look (justifiably) pissed. I also have mixed feelings about the topic. Slavery has long been, if not ignored, then downplayed in movies. It's (along with the massacres of natives) the biggest black mark in American history and I am happy to see it get some big budget movie attention for once. I am, however, also disturbed by Tarantino’s love of the “n word”. I understand that it needs to be used. In a story about slavery, not using it would have been silly, but having a white director/writer use it so often in so many films is starting to make me uncomfortable. Django unchained is enjoyable and fun and frustrating and flawed. A film by an auteur, even a flawed one is still vastly better than the majority of studio dreck out there.

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Tarantino has great taste in music, all of his films consist of amazing soundtracks.

A very underrated part of filmmking IMO. You remember the songs in a Tarantino movie. In Jackie Brown, he used that "Didn't I do it Baby" song over and over again until I was singing it for weeks after. "Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon" and "You Never Can Tell" in Pulp Fiction." "Little Green Bag" and "Stuck in the Middle with You" from Reservoir Dogs." "Bang Bang", "Twisted Nerve" and "Who Hoo" from Kill Bill. It's excellent. He also loves using Link Wray which is never a bad thing.

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@TorontoChelsea,

I agree with some of the facts that you pointed out. Django is by no means flawless and I'm not even entirely sure if it's his second best film, but it could well be. So far I cannot choose between Django, Inglourious Basterds and Jackie Brown. But I'm going to see Django again this month, and maybe again for a third time before I can give my final review on the film. Pulp Fiction will without a doubt remain his masterwork - I don't think he'll ever make something as good again.

Anyway, as opposed to Inglourious Basterds, which was not flawless either but was nonetheless superbly directed and acted, Django kind of seems less "professional", if that makes sense. I loved the cinematography, the camera work, the direction and everything but the film had some excesses here and there, especially in the shooting scenes, which somehow made it seem like it was some teenager impersonating Tarantino and not Tarantino himself who made the movie. And I can think of two reasons that may have led to this: the loss of Tarantino's long time editor Sally Menke and the fact that the film itself is more fast-paced than Inglourious Basterds, or any of his other films for that matter.

Despite that, the movie is bloody brilliant and thoroughly entertaining. I've never been this entertained by a film in a while. And as critic Roger Ebert says, Tarantino films have a way of growing on you, and it's not enough to see them once. I loved Django the first time I saw it and I'm sure that when I see it for the second time I'm going to enjoy it even more. Btw, I like that you mentioned the Coen brothers, I've always thought they have similarities between each other.

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Just watched it great film. Waltz is the stand out by far, particularly in his early scenes when he steals the show. Foxx was a big surprise for me and was also very good along with the great performances as always from Leo and Samuel Jackson... The film has some great moments of humour that worked well with the film and the amount of violence etc (as you would expect from a tarentino film) was also well done and started venturing on the comical... It was quite a long drawn out film at 2 hours 45 Mins but I enjoyed all of it, and it has to be up there for one of the films of the year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since it just came out in England today :( I've only just seen the movie. Waltz was superb, his character was brilliant and he played it perfectly. Samuel L.Jackson was fantastic too as was DiCpario. Practically all of the performances were great.

Take, for example, Tarantino’s own small turn in the film. Tarantino is from Texas, perfectly natural for the film, yet for whatever reason, he attempts (and fails) an Australian accent. It is a pointless move that immediately takes away from the film.

Django Unchained is deeply indebted to the Sergio Leone films of that era with a touch, once again of blaxploitation.

I agree with you completely about Tarantino's scene, if only he's cameo's were more like Scorsese's in Taxi Driver, Raging Bull etc it wouldn't be as distracting. Obviously Tarantino as a director is deeply indebted to Leone, but Django Unchained was barely more Leone inspired than his other movies (surprisingly). Of course there's the typical empty landscapes etc. but like every other Western post-Leone, these elements are almost obligatory with the genre. With Django, the name obviously a homage to the original "Django", this certainly felt more like a Corbucci Western if anything - but the film itself isn't really a Western at all, something completely different. This was a pleasant surpise giving the film an added freshness. Also loved the original Django's cameo in the movie, his scene was brilliant.

@TorontoChelsea,
Pulp Fiction will without a doubt remain his masterwork - I don't think he'll ever make something as good again.

Agreed.

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