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390 of 483 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If John Ford and Kinji Fukasaku had a baby....
I really liked Django Unchained, or as I like to call it: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence right through the eyeball and then the bullet continued through about 7 other torsos, shot out from a guy's belly button bringing a plume of intestines with it, ricocheted off someone's jugular vein, then snapped the cord holding up a chandelier causing said chandelier to plummet...
Published 24 months ago by Michael Noga

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Was this really a good idea?
Tarantino has great technical skill, a distinctive style, and he tries to subvert what have become movie cliches by mixing genres. I like but not love some of his movies, but Django does not work for me. Slavery is a serious subject. The effects of it still linger today in the institutional and individual racism we see around us if we only look with eyes that can...
Published 1 month ago by Okemos56


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390 of 483 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If John Ford and Kinji Fukasaku had a baby...., December 29, 2012
By 
Michael Noga "Jumping kings and making Haste ... (Somewhere near the mean streets of Chicago) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Django Unchained (DVD)
I really liked Django Unchained, or as I like to call it: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence right through the eyeball and then the bullet continued through about 7 other torsos, shot out from a guy's belly button bringing a plume of intestines with it, ricocheted off someone's jugular vein, then snapped the cord holding up a chandelier causing said chandelier to plummet like a lead balloon, crushing the skulls of various evil varmints and polecats and then plunging into an occupied outhouse where the dynamite was also stored, causing the outhouse to explode in a crimson rain of blood, guts and offal.

But I guess all that wouldn't fit on the poster.

Django has everything you'd want in a movie, action, humor, suspense, drama, and even some romance, all washed down with gallons of blood. Did I mention some beautiful western vistas? it's got those too. And there are plenty of refernces to some of the geat westerns of the past, some of them only visual so pay attention. There is the trade mark Tarantino dialogue as well.

I'm sure other reviewers will talk about racial-political implications and social commentary and such. I'm not that smart. I just thought this was a fast paced and satisfying film for movie fans from beginning to end. Leonardo Di Caprio makes for a great villain, keeping himself just this side of over-the-top. Jamie Fox played Django as quiet waters that ran deep but Christopher Walz steals the show, although Samuel L. Jackson almost beat him to it.
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80 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I wanted and expected from a Tarantino Western, April 7, 2013
By 
Van Tracy (CINCINNATI, OH, US) - See all my reviews
Yes it's violent and bloody, and yes, the "n" word is used liberally throughout the movie, but it's a Tarantino film taking place in pre-Civil War South for pete's sake. What would you expect?
All three leading actors were amazing. Fox & Waltz were insanely good. Beautifly shot and a compelling story that I was never quite sure how all would be resolved (other than knowing a bunch a folks were gonna die).
In honor of Roger Ebert, I give it two thumbs up. R.I.P. Mr. Ebert.
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197 of 270 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vision of history that only Tarantino can bring us..., January 8, 2013
By 
This review is from: Django Unchained (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)
As an avid fan of Quentin Tarantino, there's a level of quality that I expect from each film that he makes. I expect to connect with his characters, but not necessarily like any of them. I expect to see a film that satisfies the film geek in me. More than anything, I expect to see a film that entertains throughout the prerequisite bloated running time.

"Django Unchained" is nearly three hours long. But it never feels that long, it entertains and surprises every step along the way. When I first checked my watch, we were already two hours into the film. All of Tarantino's films are usually about this long. Tarantino has been having fun with fictionalizing historical periods lately. This started with 2009's "Inglourious Basterds", which was easily one of the best films of that year. My eighty-something year old grandmother, who lived through the time that the film depicted - World War II - said that if events actually happened as they did in that film, that we would be living in a better world today. I think that's a pretty high compliment, especially since my grandmother is not Tarantino's target audience. He was able to design a great story - not an idealistic view of that time period, but still a pretty fascinating one.

"Django" is about slavery...a taboo subject in any film, a strangely popular one, recently, as the same time period is explored in "Lincoln". It's about Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave who is bought and then freed by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz, one-upping himself from the fantastic performance he gave in "Basterds"), a dentist turned bounty hunter. White supremacist slave owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) bought and enslaved his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), and Django and Schultz are out to correct the grave injustice done to both of them, and this doesn't mean just capturing and killing Candie, but many others who are responsible for the trauma experienced by Broomhilda.

Christoph Waltz has got to be one of the finest living actors in Hollywood. He's incredibly charismatic, but he cares about his character, first and foremost. As the prime antagonist in "Basterds", he was positively horrifying. In this film, he's the hero, but at the same time, he's anything but that. He brings humor and depth to a character that wouldn't have worked this well otherwise. Jamie Foxx does a good job as well, but I don't necessarily see him winning anything this Oscar season.

I'm half-tempted to call "Django" Quentin Tarantino's superhero movie. Django is by no means that, he's an oppressed figure with no real "super powers", however he's a kick-ass guy who the audience roots for from the very beginning. He even has his own theme song! We don't know how he appears to be more literate than other slaves, and he is somehow always able to outsmart those around him.

"Django" shows Tarantino having slightly more respect for genre than he ever has. It's a western revenge epic, first and foremost. It's also kind of a comedy, with some of the most clever dialogue I've heard in a film in 2012. It's also a romance, displaying the forbidden love between Django and his wife. But it's first and foremost a western, and Tarantino sticks to that.

This film isn't perfect, however. One thing I expect from Tarantino is well-developed strong female characters. We don't have that in "Django". I was hoping that Kerry Washington, who is also badass protagonist Olivia Pope in ABC's "Scandal", would be smart and strong-willed enough to get herself out of the problems which are out of her hands. I was hoping for Tarantino to give her some snappy dialogue, to show that her character is, like Django, superior to all of the other slaves around her. She isn't. She just kind of stands there and whimpers. She's helpless, and I wasn't expecting that from Tarantino, who has written some of the best female protagonists in film.

Other than this, "Django Unchained" is a masterful film. It takes alot for a nearly three hour long film to be engaging the entire way through, and it is. It's wickedly funny, and at the same time, extremely dramatic. With its graphic violence and filthy mouth, it isn't for the faint of heart. All of the actors here, especially DiCaprio, seem to be having tons of fun here, and it shows. Tarantino loves to fictionalize history, and if such films are as good as "Django Unchained", I think he should keep doing it. It's a vision of history that only Tarantino can bring us.

Grade: A-
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Was this really a good idea?, November 7, 2014
This review is from: Django Unchained (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)
Tarantino has great technical skill, a distinctive style, and he tries to subvert what have become movie cliches by mixing genres. I like but not love some of his movies, but Django does not work for me. Slavery is a serious subject. The effects of it still linger today in the institutional and individual racism we see around us if we only look with eyes that can see.

Tarantino does not shrink from showing the horror of slavery, but the problem is that he does so while satirizing Westerns, a "spaghetti" Western in particular, a not so serious genre for most of us and in his usual over-the-top, unrealistic way. Along the way he pokes fun at the illogic and stereotypical characters in almost all Westerns.

I suppose his point is that revenge Westerns that bring justice to a previously corrupt town are not that different from the stereotypical movies about Seal teams killing Bin Laden. Maybe his ultra-violence is interrogating the idea that violence can redeem. Maybe he is asking his white audience whether they can truly root for an African-American slave who justly blows up Candieland (America) . Maybe he is riffing on Maya Angelou's poem about how a black man will believe a white man is on his side when the white man gives the black man a gun.

The problem is that Django is still essentially a one-demensional character even if he hesitates before finally committing to his career as a bounty hunter. The Doctor is too even if he hates slavery and speaks French and German. Candie is too, and that is the biggest problem. We hate him like we hate all the stock big bosses in Westerns. He is not real to us. He can't be like us, but, of course, the slave owners were like us in having the same basic genetic code and like many of us in being white Americans. We are not so different as we would like to believe.

This is why I give it two stars. I would give it only one star, but Tarantino does what he does with his usual great skill. The actors are compelling albeit in limited roles. It does seem to be trying to make a statement about slavery and the world today.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LIKE THE WAY YOU DIE, January 14, 2013
This review is from: Django Unchained (DVD)
Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a well spoken bounty hunter who acquires Django (Jamie Foxx) to find and kill some men who are wanted, "dead or alive." Dr. Schultz isn't too keen on the "live" part.

The film divides itself into two parts. After the bounty hunting episodes are through, our duo conceive a plan to rescue the wife of Django (Kerry Washington) by purchasing her from Candie Land plantation. Dr. Schultz has no stomach for slavery or slave owners. Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't enter the film until the second part.

Like Tarantino films it incorporates humor. The bag over the head scene was reminiscent of something we might have seen in "Blazing Saddles." The flashbacks are minimal and not confusing. There is of course the over the top climatic ending and plenty of blood.

I have to question the use of the MF bomb several times in this picture. The first know usage of the word is the 1930s. It is speculated the phrase originated during slavery as a way to describe white owners who would take black mothers as comfort women. The phrase would of had a specific meaning and not used in the generic sense that Samuel L. Jackson tossed about.

Tarantino fans will not be disappointed. Great sound track.

Parental Guidance: F-bomb,N-word, nudity (Kerry Washington). No sex. Killing and slow motion blood splatter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ehh.., May 19, 2014
By 
Nicholas Mull (Beaumont, CA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Django Unchained (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)
It wasn't my favorite tarantino. The script, I thought, was a little lacking with cliche catch phrases. The characters were good, the language was pretty racially charged.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic two hour movie, May 7, 2014
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This review is from: Django Unchained (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)
....that unfortunately lasts for two hours and 45 minutes. This was the first Tarantino since "Pulp Fiction" that I was truly enjoying. The video quality of the blu-ray is excellent, but I wasn't crazy about the audio mix. In order to get the volume level to the point that the dialogue was completely understandable, when dialogue ended the music and/or other non-spoken parts of the movie came roaring in at a level that required the volume to be turned down.

As for the movie itself, for the first two hours, it was intense, it was entertaining, and at times it was very funny with a couple of obvious nods to "Blazing Saddles". The story line was good, the cast was great, the acting was fantastic, and even the directing was good.

Then it unfortunately descended into that dark place where Quentin Tarantino lives, and all hell broke loose in a violent, disgusting, murderous and very un-entertaining (unless, of course, you happen to be a homicidal maniac) manner, making it nearly impossible to keep up with the body count or the gallons of blood that spewed from corpses like Texas oil gushers. This will be my last trip to that dark land. No more QT movies for me. If you like his other blood-lettings, you'll probably like this one as well. For me, though, enough is enough.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Waltz, April 16, 2013
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I don't claim to have the best taste in movies. There are quite a few lousy ones that I do enjoy quite a bit. A lot of my friends were not fans of the film but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just don't think that there are many people that do a better job at acting than Christoph Waltz. He brings an unmatched excitement and enthusiasm to the movies which he's in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent flick., August 11, 2013
This review is from: Django Unchained (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)
Tarantino does love film. And he knows how to direct. He has a couple instant classics in Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. I much enjoyed Inglorious Bastards but I think I am getting the hint here. He is just looking to have fun in an old Hollywood style way. His style is starting to become a caricature of what it was before in some minor ways though. I like elements of the adventurous spirit and despise some of the bloated nature of the style. For every great scene in Django there are others that make you wish there was more to the story. More realism and more drama instead of wholesale 'entertainment'. It is what it is.

The script is wild and playful and the period details are mostly decent though everything is still too damn clean for my liking. There is some symbolism and expert direction going on for sure. Samuel Jackson kind of steals the show in many scenes and the film is worth watching just for his performance alone. But towards the end I grew sick of the movie time violence and casual interplay between events and actors. I don't mean to sound like there is no message here but the film is clearly in the vein of the over-the-top style his films are becoming more and more accustomed to using. I lean towards a 3.5 here for a 7/10. Rent it or own it but it's a decent flick.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm Really Not Sure How To Call This Movie, April 23, 2014
I was so excited when I bought and watched this movie, and how was it?

Unbelievable; an absolutely care-free vehicle for good and bad, and when I say that i really mean it.

Let's talk about the good in the movie. For one thing it's well written, the characters are great (as usual) and overall the expositions as very well done.

The Acting was superb; everyone played their part and they played it well (especially Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz)
The Story was particularly great; it was just so unique, and in that, it allowed the Director to take this part of history a bit further

All of that being said, the movie is extremely controversial i.e. the things I hated.

The Bad;
Strike 1: OVERLY Racist, and I mean that, I think half of this script was just the N word being said over and over and over again
Strike 2: Brutality, some of the brutal scenes where fine (as far as watching white plantation owners get their asses beat, I LOVED IT), but other areas included racially charged assault and cruelty against women
Strike 3: The Very Fact that at several points in the movie, I wanted to turn it off, but then the movie did something or showed me something and I wanted to keep watching

Believe it or not I actually wasn't bothered by the revenge aspect of this movie; I do understand that black and white people are still divided on such issues and per my opinion I think a movie like this only furthers such tensions. If you stand back and take a nice long look at this film, it could be summed up like this (Below);

Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed a spaghetti style western revenge story in which a freed slave and an anti-racist doctor go on a quest to save his wife and what ensues is a barrage of racial slurs, brutal imagery, stylized violence and the very essence that this movie was made by a white person.

And my only question is, Why? Why did Tarantino find it necessary to make this movie?

In the long run, people are going to fight about this movie and it's only going to cause problems, so for that and every other thing that this movie decided to do, The Bottom Line falls at a

50%- Despite excellent performances, a good story and crack exposition, Django Unchained suffers from a racist attitude, a confused atmosphere and above all else, an overly controversial final product that will leave even the most diehard Tarantino and Cinema fans trying to figure out what they just watched and why.
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Django Unchained (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
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