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Dec 16, 2003
iron helps us play

Me and the missus went and saw that Jango Unchained movie the other night for our bi-annual date night, and I haven't been this disappointed since GlaxoSmithKline discontinued Wildberry Xanax. Beyond the stupid-rear end title, this film carries little over from Inglourious Basterds, which I, against my better judgment, enjoyed. If you like dressage, period-incongruent soundtracks or hearing the word friend of the family til you subconsciously crave chitlins, this might be up your alley. If you went into this thinking you'd see the wretched of the earth bust their shackles and reap a holy vengeance on rich Wall Street sharecroppers, think again. Maybe this has some hidden depth or meaning to suss out? gently caress you. This thing wants to push your buttons like a methadone patient with a self-serve IV drip.

A German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) liberates a slave in transport (Jamie Foxx) so he can lead him to a rich bounty in his former master. Foxx is undoubtedly Tarantino's self-insert--free from his middle-aged lesbian body, he's strutting around in purple sequined jumpsuits, doing fancy dances on horseback, and threatening good-ole boys and their enablers, such as a sass-mouth house negro straight off the rice box (Sam Jackson). Out of a sense of liberal guilt and audience pacification, Waltz leads Foxx on a quest to free his former wife (Kerry Washington) from the Byzantine plantation of a dandified Racist (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Quenty-Boy wishes he was black so bad, and were he to reassign his race he could do no blander than Foxx, the Diet Pepsi of black actors. He is less threatening than a canker sore as the title character, and probably reminiscent of some old television show. And Foxx's unlikely revenge spree speaks to his own narcissism more than to the twisted revenge fantasies of working-class moviegoers. Slaves get raped, torn apart by dogs, forced to fight to the death for their owner's amusement, and to hammer home the point, one of the rich white dudes rhetorically asks, "If they don't like this treatment, why don't they revolt?" The obvious parallel being, of course, us, the consumer drones of the 21st century. Jackson threatens to cut Foxx's balls off, but stops short, noting that a lifetime of forced labour does the trick and over a prolonged period. Is this getting through to you? The only way out of servitude is to lash out at your oppressors, bathe in their blood, and forge the life of a true fuckin player. Tarantino, like Django, did this--and he's smushing your face in it.

It's frustrating because for all the flack he gets (and deserves), Tarantino as a director undoubtedly has that zheun say kwah. There are some nice palettes, memorable scenes, and some pretty good acting. Leo DiCaprio summons all the haught and menace his 4'3" frame can muster. And Django Unchained presented me with a bouquet of interesting things to bitch about. But as much as i enjoy complaining, my $15 is hard-scrabble and parted with only with the heaviest of hearts. I'd rather enjoy my purchase than be forced to critically dissect it, or obsess over why it wasn't worth it. And I'm not wringing my shriveled hands at cartoon violence and "provocative" themes either. What really offends me is being bored and insulted. There have been more violent, dirtier, funnier Westerns in just the last few years. What's the point of this? The blood squibs looked fake and hell and I hated the bullshit Jonah Hill cameo. Is that fat fucker one of the Weinstein nephews? Django Unchained is loud, but it doesn't say anything. Watch Pulp Fiction again, or rent The Spook Who Sat By The Door.


The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007

Granted I saw this movie on New Years Day with a small hnagover, but I really enjoyed Django Unchained.

For a movie about slavery, I thought this movie was really funny without resorting to making light of slavery itself. There were a lot more laugh-out-loud moments than I'd have expected, and it's owed largely to the actors' performances throughout. There's a gratuitous amount of N-words, but once I stopped looking for them I never felt the word's use was forced or out-of-place. The movie makes a point to show that atrocities against slaves were so common in that place and time that most people were simply used to them, and either took them for granted or had to look the other way.

The cast was great, and everybody brought a lot of energy and tension to the movie. Jamie Foxx was a good lead, and even if he didn't always look like a menacing badass, he did manage to bring a lot of heart and depth to Django. Even in scenes where he was completely silent, it was easy to tell what he was thinking and feeling just by looking at his eyes and expression. I thought Samuel L. Jackson was also great just because the role he was cast in was so unexpected. Christoph Waltz is on form as always, and even Leo DiCaprio brings some charm and menace to his role.

The story is reminiscent of a fairy-tale, where Django must rescue his captive wife Brunhilda, and its pacing is episodic, showing what happens to Django and his partner Schultz along their journey. If I have anything negative to say about this movie, it's that it felt a little long toward the end, but every bit of its lengthy running time was good. Like all Tarantino movies, this one mixes humor and tension expertly, switching between the two in various scenes and sometimes even using both at once to great effect. I've mentioned the humor earlier, but this movie was also full of scenes where the tension ratcheted up high. The combination of the movie's brutal depiction of slavery and Foxx's reactive performance made Django's story feel visceral and urgent.

The movie looked really good and all the scenes were visually engaging. I'm no great film critic or anything but I felt like every shot was really vivid and drew me in. The shots of Southern landscapes looked just as appealing as anything in The Hobbit.

I don't know what this movie might have been trying to say, but I wouldn't mind at all if it wasn't trying to say anything. For my $11 I had a lot of fun with this movie. 5/5

Dec 30, 2004

Hey, you want a toothpick?

I don't like the bitching about this movie being racist. It hurts my brain and my soul.
Tarantino fans do not miss this.


Jul 7, 2006

The best entry in Tarantino's series of revenge films imo. In this movie he really perfects what he's been aiming for; namely making you hate the bad guys so much that you find yourself cheering when the good guy takes them down, despite the questionable levels of violence.

I will venture to say I appreciated its portrayl of slavery just because it's not sugar coated at all - the racism in this film is brutal and visceral, even when it's not violent - just the way people stare at a black man riding a horse will give you uncomfortable twinges of disgust and shame.

And it says something about Dicaprio that he can manage to make the most ignorant, condescending, evil sociopath in the movie somehow... charismatic?


sleeptides fucked around with this message at 06:01 on Jun 2, 2015

Milkfred E. Moore
Aug 27, 2006

The fate of destruction is also the joy of rebirth.

I really didn't like this film. I went into the cinema, expecting to enjoy it like I had with Inglorious Basterds.

I didn't.

I'm not going to harp on about race, as I'm sure most people who have discussed this film will have already heard the arguments. Suffice to say, while Tarantino is no doubt a very technically skilled director, able to construct scenes incredibly well, able to make even a handshake such a tense moment, the fact is, I hate this film. Well, to be more accurate, I hate the reaction to the film - swallowed without an ounce of critical thought by people who laughed at the use of the word 'friend of the family' and Jackson's Simon character, among many other jokes. I don't like how the film straddles the line between reality and fiction. The moment I realised I had had enough of the film was when the film meanders off on this odd little detour to throw some Australians into the film. Which, as an Australian, honestly felt a bit insulting.

People like to say that Michael Bay makes films solely for Michael Bay, and level that as criticism. Well, by this point, it should be clear that Tarantino does the same thing.

It will not surprise me if Django Unchained is eventually remembered in the same way Chris Rock's infamous 'black people' sketch is remembered.

Dec 28, 2003

Crescent Fresh

This was a really great movie. One of Tarantino's best. I'm not sure why some people have gotten ruffled by the fact there's slavery and racism in the movie which is a period piece that takes place in the pre civil war south, but take every critic and movie award nomination to heart. This is a fantastic movie all around.


Apr 6, 2009

This movie was pretty sweet. As a half-black half-white dude I was incredibly confused during it, but I wasn't bored for a single second. Jamie Foxx was actually the weakest cast member - doesn't mean he was bad but when you contrast it with DiCaprio's amazing loving performance and Samuel L. Jackson, he can't just measure up. I never thought I could take Waltz as a good guy after Inglorious Basterds but he proved me wrong too.

Oh yeah, gently caress the Antebellum South! What an awful, awful place that deserved everything that it got in the Civil War and more.


Sep 2, 2004


"Quentin motherfucking Tarantino. What else can you really say? This one delivers the entire package. One minute you're crying from horror the next your crying from laughter. Three supporting actors that all out did each other's performances. Filled with hidden messages and homages and I'm pretty sure there was even a couple red herrings. Definitely one cut out for the big screen."

SA Score = 5/5
Criticker score = 95/100

Dec 28, 2012

For me this film was right up there with Kill Bill 1 and 2. GREAT revenge flick. Waltz is also absolutly wonderful in it.

Dec 31, 2007


Granted, I haven't seen all of Tarantino's films, but out of the ones I have (Dogs, Pulp, Kill Bill1/2, Basterds) this one takes 1st place in my eyes. The score was fantastic and coupled with the wide shots across Southern landscape really took me back a few decades to watching Cowboy movies with my uncle. Great blend of tension and humour and of course a splash of over-the-top comic book-esque violence.


Lil Swamp Booger Baby
Feb 17, 2011


I have no idea what Tarantino was going for in this film, it's a collection of caricatures, misappropriated influences, bizarre excessive violence, and a script that is surprisingly dull from one of the greatest screenwriters in modern film. Django Unchained, as could be paraphrased from its creator, is a "Southern," essentially an amalgamation of slave era America, Spaghetti Western aesthetic and characterization, and a distinct sense of what Westerns were all about, the nitty gritty of the frontier. In this case, the frontier is the evolution of the status of the black slave to that of a black individual. However, it's insipidly done. Instead of a film like Spike Lee's brilliant Do The Right Thing, Django does not afford its characters equal lengths of humanity. DiCaprio's southern cotton plantation kingpin is a prime example. A foolish, arrogant racist. Christoph Waltz's character is nothing more than a living embodiment of white guilt, using the compulsive need of white men to destroy as a deliberate contrast to his apparent dislike of the slave trade. It just doesn't work, however. Django himself, in an attempt to appeal to the Spaghetti Western sensibility, is thoroughly unlikable. We're supposed to have a black Man With No Name here, but he just comes off as thoroughly disgusting. Jamie Foxx's character is abhorrent, as is every other individual in this film. These people are defined by their race, not by racism, it's an entirely ironic mishandling of the subject matter. It's rather amoral.
That is, of course, to the standards of the typical Spaghetti Western, but there's no life in this film, no warmth, it seems excessively mean-spirited. Tarantino even fundamentally misunderstands why Spaghettis were considered so excessively violent. Rather than taking the example set by the Italian classics, where the idea of a supposedly moral character gunning down dozens upon dozens of incompetent foes set the stage for their moral ambiguity, Tarantino replaces any subtly with exploding exit wounds, blood splattered walls, and down-right inappropriate violence. Of course, we're supposed to assume that the characters all possess a sort of moral grey area, but they don't, they're all explicitly evil. There are no anti-heroes in this film, only degenerates.

It's a gorgeous, superbly edited film, and despite its length, it never feels long. However, nothing in this film is worth paying attention to, it's slop, it's disgusting, and despite its technical perfections, it isn't worth the time of anyone who wants something more than gross exploitation out of their time.


Mr Hinky
Mar 16, 2008

Christmas Poo

I really enjoyed this movie. At first when I saw the length of it, I was concerned if this movie could keep my interest for the entire time. It certainly did though. Next time I watch this movie, my friends and I will play a drinking game to every time they say the word "friend of the family."


Sep 12, 2011

I don't even know what rasta means.

I've never seen such empty, shallow, childish dreck. Well, I have, I've just never seen it presented and universally hailed as a cinematic masterpiece. Great performance by Leo Dicaprio though. 2/5

Jul 28, 2005

by FactsAreUseless

I feel this was easily Tarintino's worst film.

The plot is boring, the acting is mediocre, many of the jokes fall flat, I could go on.

This film had an interesting premise and one that could have made a very interesting film in the hands of, perhaps, a better writer/director?


Jun 20, 2008


There's a middle ground?

I liked a lot of things about this film but it is overlong. If you go to see a Tarantino film you get to see a Tarantino film. That comes with a bunch of luggage some good, some bad. Everything about the film was lovingly crafted. Every shot was constructed exquisitely and rewarded close viewer attention. So to sum up. Tarantino can use a gun (shoot) but not a knife (cut).

It was entertaining.



Dec 14, 2004

I like the highs from this movie, but it could use being considerably shorter. It's an interesting take on Revenge flick, something that Tarantino seems to enjoy doing and twisting.


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