Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Django Unchained Steve's Review

Let me start off by saying that Django Unchained is the first movie I ever read the script before seeing the movie.  I wasn't sure how that would effect the movie watching experience.  I was afraid it would spoil certain parts.  But nothing could prepare me for what Tarantino had in store.  

Django (pronunced jango the D is silent) played by Jamie Foxx is a slave who is bought by a bounty hunter Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz).  Dr. Schultz needs Django to identify the Brittle Brothers since Schultz does not know what they look like.  The two set out on an adventure and soon become friends and a bounty hunting team.  After Schultz gives him his freedom Django wants to find his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).  With the help of Schultz he finds out who bought Broomhilda and together devise a plan to get her back.   The plan brings them to face to face with powerful slave owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) in a big con game. 

In typical Tarantino fashion the movie is violent, funny, and has great dialogue.  This is unlike any western you have ever seen. It combines a lot of the western elements we all know mixes them with the visual style of Tarantino.  The violence is sometimes over the top and stylized fun.  There are a few gruesome scenes that are meant to portray the evils of slavery and they are not stylized but shown in a cringe worthy style. Unlike other Tarantino movies this movie does not have the time shifts and is a very linear movie and this is probably the first Tarantino film that has a little love story in it. Also while his music selection in movies is usually spot on I felt it didn't work here. This might be a personal pet peeve but I do have issues with modern songs in movies that take place in the past.

 There is one scene that felt out of place. the scenes with Jonah Hill are silly and meant for comedy but just doesn't fit with the tone of the rest of the movie (there is another scene with Tarantino playing an Australian which is odd and works only slightly better).

The acting was all top notch.  Christoph Waltz who won Best Supporting Actor for Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds gives another great performance and I would argue better then his one in Inglourious Basterds.  Jamie Foxx's performance is one of his best and Oscar talk is already buzzing for Leonardo DiCaprio. I have to say the one performance that I was not totally impressed with was Samuel L. Jackson's.  The interaction between is character and DiCaprio's character is a complex one but  Jackson is such a presence it is hard o see him as anyone's slave.  

As far as reading the script before seeing the movie it was interesting.  First off it doesn't matter what was in the script Tarantino has such a unique direction that it is still amazing even if you know what is going to happen.  Some of the biggest differences are with the back story of Django and Broomhilda.  In the script there is more to their story and it would have been nice to see that.  The one scene that I mentioned earlier that felt out of place in the movie also felt out of place in the script.  I would have liked to see that one taken out and more of the Broomhilda story.  

Overall: 4.5/5 Great movie.  Tarantino delivers a masterpiece of revenge with a side of  love story. I only had a few small issues with it but one of Tarantino's best and one of the best movies of the year.  

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