Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Django Unchained

USA 2012
Running Time: 165 minutes
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L Jackson
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino
Cinematography:  Robert Richardson

There are few movies out there that will make you laugh until your sides split, and make you puke your guts up.  This is the one that will make you do both.

Tarantino is a master mimic.  His films always have a familiarity about them because so much of the content is lifted from other movies.  Yet he always manages to put his own spin on the material and makes films that are wholly his own.  Django does this masterfully, and who’d have thought a film about slavery could be so entertaining?

Jamie Foxx is perfect in the titular role of Django.  He has the ability to do comedy, but enough acting chops to pull back from playing for laughs when the material requires it.   Christoph Waltz as a German dentist turned bounty hunter also manages to hit every mark and the pairing of him with Foxx sets up a unique spin on the mis-matched partner scenario so often used in cop shows.

As the partners travel around, shooting miscreants for money, they become friends and Django lets slip he has a German-speaking wife with the improbable name of Broomhilde.  The second half of the film deals with the rescue of this fair maiden.  Things do not go as planned, of course, and in the course of the rescue, much blood is shed.  A lot of blood.  Gallons of it.  I sat in the front row of the cinema and was glad the film wasn’t in 3D or I’d have been splattered with gore.

The landscapes are gorgeous and beautifully shot.  I’ve never had a problem with the DCP digital format before, but this is a film that’s crying out to be seen on 35mm.  The scenery demands the warmth and depth of film, not the cold perfection of digital and several times during the screening I wished I was seeing it on film.

Funny, bloody and with a finale that indulges every one of Tarantino’s boyish urges for excess, Django Unchained is a terrifically fun three hours.  I didn’t even wish it was shorter, and that’s saying a lot!


  1. Hey, I've seen this one! And love it!

  2. I never tire of Tarantino. He spins tropes so well.

  3. This one comes on satellite all the time now, but I haven't been able to get past the offensive time period and the hugely offensive character DiCaprio plays (he does too good of a job!). I don't dislike everything from that era though - I like The Color Purple, Beloved, and Amistad.

    1. Forgot to mention I think the people "seeing" ghosts in the hotels are cranks, but there are a lot of amateur ghost hunters who go to a place like that hoping to find something supernatural.

  4. This movie was actually great. I didn't get to see it in theaters, but as soon as it hit BLuRay I bought it.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

  5. For me, Tarantino movies are always hit or miss, so I'm not sure if I should see it. It doesn't help that I've heard a lot of mixed things about this one. But if you like it, I'll put it in the maybe pile.