Django Unchained (2012) Review

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Django Unchained

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring:
Jamie Foxx
Christoph Waltz
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kerry Washington
Samuel L. Jackson
Walton Goggins
Dennis Christopher
James Remar
Michael Parks
Don Johnson

Running time: 165 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)

Set in the antebellum era of the Deep South and Old West, the film follows a freed slave (Foxx) who treks across the United States with a bounty hunter (Waltz) on a mission to rescue his wife (Washington) from a cruel plantation owner (DiCaprio).

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My Opinion:

Django Unchained got second place after Stoker when I asked all of you which film I should review next. Sorry it’s still taking me a bit of time to get around to these reviews.

I should maybe re-watch this one as I saw it in the cinema back in January but I remember it well anyway. I still consider it my favorite film of 2013 (UK release date). But it’s one of the only 2013 movies that I didn’t review. I have a strange relationship with Tarantino films – I think they’re brilliant but I also can’t fully watch any of them as I’m a mega wuss about violence. Figure that one out… Plus so many people love Tarantino and there will be tons of great reviews online from people who are proper writers and I don’t know what I could really add to all that. So, as usual, I’ll just discuss what I personally liked about the film.

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I’ll get right to it and say that there’s ONE very specific thing that made me really go for this movie even though I literally “saw” less of this than probably any other Tarantino film as I found the violence in this one the most disturbing yet & didn’t even look at the screen for a couple entire scenes (the “Mandingo” fight for one – the sound effects alone were enough to make me feel ill). I think everyone knows what I’m going to say that one specific thing is as I think most people agree:

CHRISTOPH WALTZ

He’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I have to say I’m not one to worship actors – I just like movies. I do have some favorite actors, of course, and a few actors who will make me actually watch a film they’re in (or, more often, avoid one). But I just enjoy watching movies I think are good and for the most part don’t care who’s in them as long as the actors fit the part and they’re not really horrible at acting and they’re not Tom Cruise.

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But… Oh my god I love Waltz in Tarantino films! I know that not ALL the credit can go to Waltz, though – As many people have already said, there’s just something about a Tarantino script combined with Waltz’s acting that’s just the perfect fit. I really need to watch Inglourious Basterds again – the scene with Waltz at the beginning was so intense (I barely watched that scene. Sorry – I just couldn’t! My heart was pounding like crazy).

I love the character of Dr King Schultz in Django Unchained. He’ll go down as one of the all-time best characters with one of the all-time greatest performances (in my opinion but, hey, he did win an Oscar for it). This is why poor Jamie Foxx seems so overlooked in the title role – He was fine but he just didn’t quite have that special “something” that Waltz has so his performance naturally pales in comparison.

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Before I go on kissing Waltz’s ass too much, there was one other performance that I also felt was worthy of at least an Oscar nomination: Leonardo DiCaprio. Why does he keep getting overlooked? Is it because he’s a former “heartthrob”? I’m not exactly a Leo fan but I think he’s had some amazing performances in a variety of films and Django Unchained is one of them.

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As for the film itself, I liked the overall story. I like revenge (Kill Bill being my favorite Tarantino film) and I like some good old-fashioned “rescue the helpless woman” sometimes as it’s set in the old West (or old South). I found the “Blazing Saddles” type of comic relief scene with the masks funny, all the stuff at Candyland was great, Don Johnson was actually not bad and, as already mentioned, DiCaprio and especially Waltz were brilliant and a joy to watch whenever they were on screen (which was quite a lot, luckily).

Tarantino’s role was a bit embarrassing, the violence was too much for me, and I’m not 100% sure if it’s okay to like Samuel L Jackson’s character or not. I love the guy (I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!) but that role was probably getting into iffy territory and I’m so not going there – there’s already been enough talk of the excessive use of the N word in this so I’ll leave that to intelligent people to dissect. I also felt that Django Unchained lost its way a bit in the last 45 minutes or so – it started to feel a little overlong and seemed to not be completely sure how to end although I found it a satisfying enough conclusion.

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Summary:

Django Unchained is another great film from Tarantino with a brilliant script and excessive violence than can be a little hard to watch. But I suffer through the violence as I think Tarantino is one of today’s most talented filmmakers. I’ve never watched classic Westerns but did force myself to watch the excellent Once Upon A Time In The West for the first time a couple months ago and it’s made me appreciate Django Unchained even more and made me want to further explore the influences on the film. Django Unchained isn’t a perfect film and does lose its way toward the end but with such a mesmerizing performance from Christoph Waltz, who cares? The man is amazing.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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See where Django Unchained ranks in My Top Five Films Directed By Quentin Tarantino.

My Shitty Django Unchained Haiku:

To rescue his love
Django and Schultz hunt bounty
The D is silent

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39 thoughts on “Django Unchained (2012) Review

  1. Pingback: My Top Five Films Directed By Quentin Tarantino | Cinema Parrot Disco

  2. Ah I loved this movie to the ends and back, it was amazing. Tarantino is truly a phenomenal filmmaker. I am a DiCaprio fan and I think it is disgusting that he has been overlooked time and time again for an Oscar, he is a great actor. You can keep going on kissing Waltz’s ass, that guy and Tarantino just make one hell of a team, and his execution of the role for me is something that truly defined this movie, just as his performance did in Inglourious Basterds for me!

  3. Pretty spot on with what I thought. I thought Waltz stole the movie and DiCaprio should have been nominated. I do love the worst KKK meeting ever. It may have been my favorite scene last year.

  4. I agree the last half hour was unnecessary. The best part was when Tarantino blew himself up. Otherwise, the film was exquisite. I adore Leo, too, but sorry, Chris can act circles around Leo.

    • Christoph is definitely the best actor in this. πŸ™‚ Do still think Leo did a great job, though – a nomination would have been good (with Christoph still being the rightful winner). πŸ˜‰

  5. You’re a very good writer, what’s wrong with you??

    I figured this was going be a pretentious piece of shit but it turned out that I liked it very much. And I thought every scene Jackson was in were brilliantly hilarious!

    • Thanks! You probably saw it this year as I think the UK release date was 18th of January. It’s still my favorite so far this year of what I’ve seen. Glad you agree again – we need to find a film we DON’T agree on! πŸ˜‰

  6. Pingback: Happy Blogging Birthday To Me | Cinema Parrot Disco

  7. Pingback: My Top Ten Movies Of 2013 | Cinema Parrot Disco

  8. Fab review, pretty spot on. I like most Tarantino films and I loved this when I saw it at the cinema, but having seen it since, I don’t love it quite so much. I have a strong stomach as far as scenes of violence go, but some of the violence here was very hard to watch; probably because you know these dreadful things really happened.

    I couldn’t agree more about Christoph Waltz, he shone. As for Leo, his performance was utterly chilling. The man needs an Oscar. And soon!

    • Thanks. : ) It’s definitely Waltz & Leo who made this film for me. WAY too violent for me. :-/ I know I’d like it much less without those two. Yes – Leo deserves an Oscar!!!

  9. Pingback: Big Eyes (2014) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco

  10. Reblogged this on Cinema Parrot Disco and commented:

    As part of my IMDB Top 250 Challenge and with The Hateful Eight having just come out this past weekend in the UK, I’m reblogging this review I did of Django Unchained. This movie entered the Top 250 after I started my little project. It is currently at number 58 out of 250.

    There’s a big list of new Top 250 films available for guest reviews. Let me know if you’d like to sign up for any of the films listed below. πŸ™‚

    Taxi Driver 1976
    Black Swan 2010
    Cool Hand Luke 1967
    The Wrestler 2008
    The Graduate 1967
    Gone with the Wind 1939
    The Lives of Others 2006
    The Artist 2011
    The Sting 1973
    Die Hard 1988
    LΓ©on 1994
    The Hobbit 2012
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991
    All About Eve 1950
    2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
    Rain Man 1988
    The Best Years of Our Lives 1946
    Before Sunrise 1995
    Before Sunset 2004
    The Help 2011
    Catch Me If You Can 2002

  11. I share your thoughts completely. There is always this element of pure ingenuity in Tarantino’s films. I like Django Unchained for its spontaneity, even though if I want to watch a slavery movie I would rather pick up 12 Years a Slave.

    • Have you seen The Hateful Eight yet? I haven’t yet had the energy for the running time but it’s Tarantino, so… I do want to see it. I admit that I never did see 12 Years A Slave – I do need to rectify that!

  12. Pingback: My Top Ten Leonardo DiCaprio Movies | Cinema Parrot Disco

  13. Pingback: My Top Ten Samuel L. Jackson Movies | Cinema Parrot Disco

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