People tell me Django Unchained is a lot like Inglorious Bastards. Why? I can’t tell you that for sure. What I can tell you is that this movie is clever, hilarious, bloody, and a lot of fun.

 

Django Unchained

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washintgon, James Remar, Don Johnson, Walt Goggins, Jonah Hill, Laura Cayouette

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

I’m a fan of Tarantino. I loved his style in the Kill Bill’s, I adore Pulp Fiction and though I haven’t seen Reservoir Dogs or Inglorious Bastards, I’m sure I’d like them all the same. QT just has a style. A flair for the dramatics. A point of view. A creative vision. A great visual eye (thanks to Cinematographer, Bob Richardson). When you watch any movie of Tarantino’s, there’s no denying who created it. Tarantino is definitely an original.

This movie is no different. Django Unchained, at its heart, may be a story we’ve all heard before: A man is separated from his wife and sets out to rescue her despite insurmountable odds. But the circumstances are unique. The movie takes place two years before the civil war. Django is a slave on the way to be traded or sold, who is recruited by Bounty Hunter, Dr. King Schultz. Schults wants to claim a bounty on three men only Django can identify. He frees Django and they partner to help Schultz kill bad guys and help Django find Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), his wife. The search eventually leads the duo to Candyland, a massive plantation owned by the ruthless Calvin Candie, a spoiled brat that buys, sells, and fights Mandingos for sports. And well you know, of course hilarity ensues.

You wouldn’t think a story like this could be funny. But that’s where classic Tarantino writing comes in: Smooth talking, clever, intriguing dialogue that’s not only smart but witty. These characters breathe life into Django’s story.

First, you have Schultz who speaks so eloquently it’s like a dance. Schultz is smart and can pretty much talk his way out of any situation. And to watch him do so is both mesmerizing and amazing. Waltz has a way of turning any piece of dialogue into sounding like a perfect work of art. It comes out as smooth as silk. Then you have Samuel L. Jackson, who plays  privileged house servant, Stephen, to Leonardo DiCaprio’s, Mandingo plantation owner, Calvin Candie. Jackson, barely recognizable in aging make-up, plays a crotchety old man who can get away with saying the most obscene things. He’s the grandpa you spend your whole life avoiding and yet everything that spews out of his mouth is so obscene and unfiltered you can’t help but think, “No one could write this stuff.” Well, Tarantino can. Everything that comes out of Jackson’s mouth is comedy gold.

That brings us to Calvin Candie, perhaps the most vile character of them all. With his tobacco stained teeth and thick southern drawl, DiCaprio probably had the biggest transformation playing a character with no remorse, no moral compass, just righteous indignation. Candie holds his nose so high, making it all the better to smell the ass-kissing and brown-nosing from those around him. DiCaprio is really in his element here. Though, some would say it seems he is out of place, DiCaprio elevates Django to a place you would not expect. No matter what detestable things he does, or says, or thinks, you can not take your eyes off of him. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a movie star. He deserves all the good things that will hopefully come to him this awards season. (*cough* supporting actor Oscar *cough* hopefully *cough*)

With these three outstanding, memorable characters it’s easy to forget the star of the movie. Django himself, Jamie Foxx. Foxx is one badass mother f*****. From the great costume design of Sharen Davis, Foxx looks good. Like real good. His sexiness is played up, even without it even meaning too (or maybe that’s the genius behind it). When Foxx lights his cigarette, puts on those sunglasses, and saunters off into that night with explosions reverberating around him, its hard not to think he is anything but one cool ass dude. This may be my favorite Jamie Foxx role ever.

At nearly three hours Django didn’t feel long enough. Though the first half takes a bit to get going (and to the point) once Django and Schultz meet up with Candie, the movie comes into its own. Never has three actors conversing at the dinner table felt so tense, so engaging, and so compelling. The only thing I felt a bit lacking, was the chemistry and love story between Broomhilda and Django. I wish this aspect was played up just a bit more. I wanted heat! But Tarantino doesn’t do romance all that well.


Complete with the perfect mix of contemporary and non-contemporary soundtrack (which some people may find distracting, but I found it brought something unique and exciting to the flick), no one can deny that Tarantino doesn’t know how to put on a show! But this movie isn’t for everyone. It’s not for the faint of heart, or the overly critical. Some may find it distasteful, and there are buckets and buckets full of bloodshed. But really, someone will always find something to hate about anything. If you’re an too analytical and you hate stylistic pieces or movies about slavery, than you probably won’t like this movie. But if you want to go on a hilarious ride and have a bloody good time (in more ways than one) than you’ll enjoy Django Unchained.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

“I count six bullets.”

“I count two guns.”

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Comments
  1. Hey dude. Nice review! I too loved Django! Was wondering if you would check out my blog on here. I do movie reviews as well on wordpress. If not, all cool. Thanks man! http://www.benlanesreviews.wordpress.com

  2. Anonymous says:

    Too long but dicaprio owns it.

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