401 of 497 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
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.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
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.
202 of 276 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
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.
84 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2014
I don't need to tell die hard fans of the Quentin Tarantino films why they are fans. They just know. For those of you who might be seeing your first (if that's possible), let's talk for a moment about this unique writer/director/actor (born in the same city as my mother, by the way).
The first of his films for me was Reservoir Dogs (1992), which was more like a play, in that the action takes place mostly in a tight "stage" environment (inside a warehouse) and the actors make the drama. This was followed closely by Pulp Fiction (1994), which, by the way, also reinvigorated John Travolta's sagging career in a major way. Like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction stood out from other "typical" movies because it focused on raw things most filmmakers just throw away, such as a long intimate scene in the diner where two hardened killers are arguing over the issues of tasty bacon versus whether pigs are filthy animals. This sounds stupid if you haven't seen it, but if you have, you know what I mean.
There is a whole cult of followers for his two part Kill Bill series (2003/2004 and another on the way??) which overhauled the Ninja/Kung Fu genre, and again, the emphasis was on closeup intimacy with the actors as they made the scenes. Give a good actor enough screen time, let the audience connect with them, and you might find out how good they really are. Many directors seem afraid to do that, but Quentin trusts those he works with, and they trust him. The result is unique every time.
My 2009 review on Inglorious Basterds [...] further discussed Quentin's amazing directing talent and introduced us all to Christoph Waltz, who portrayed Col. Landa, one of the best movie Nazis of all time (right up there with Ronald Lacey from Raiders of the Lost Ark).
Glad to report that Waltz is back in style (after a brief and painful detour in The Three Muskateers 2011) with this latest addition to the Tarantino collection, and he's terrific. Add in Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson, and you have the stuff of Academy Award dreams. I predicted it would be on the short list for many awards, but how they will choose who is the "best actor" versus "best supporting actor" from Waltz, DiCaprio, and Foxx is beyond me. They all do superb jobs. Quentin likes to appear in a cameo in his films, and this is no exception. Watch for him toward the end.
As with most Tarantino movies, I challege you to predict his soundtrack of music. The music he selects is always a fun part of his movies and curiously complimentary.
I won't spoil the story in any way, as I think it best if you experience it yourself without knowing what will happen. VERY briefly, Django is a freed slave who is on a search for his wife in the South just before the Civil War. The movie trailer will tell you what you need to know. But I hope I got you with the teaser "With A Nod To Mel Brooks". As you watch this movie, you should certainly get the feeling that we are experiencing an overhaul of Blazing Saddles (much like the Kill Bill series overhauled the classic Kung Fu genre). Nowhere is this more clear than the "nightrider" scene where they argue over the quality of the hoods. I thought it might not be possible to do a "remake" of the Mel Brooks classic in this politically correct world, but Quentin figured out how-- and what was amazing, a theater filled with equal numbers of Blacks and Whites, laughing and squirming together at the ignorance of the racist characters using the "N" word as often as Lindsay Lohan goes in and out of rehab.
Now for my caveat. Quentin is a big fan of gruesome, raw violence, bordering on comedic, if that's possible. If you have seen Monty Python and The Holy Grail, you may recall a scene in which the dark knight gets his legs and arms chopped off, with spurting blood, while he continues to insult his attacker. It's funny because it goes SO over the top. The violence is like that and it overwhelms the scenes. Quentin's victims seem to be made of water balloons filled with strawberry pancake syrup and no matter how many times they are shot, they still spray blood for hundreds of feet. If this type of visual will make you sick, I do not recommend you see the film, or if you do, don't be afraid to shut your eyes during the gory parts. You will have plenty of warning when this is going to happen. Quentin does not care if he turns off 25% of the movie-going market--he doesn't compromise what he wants. But be advised, this stuff is DEFINITELY not for children. Anyone who takes young children (or even pre-adolescents) to these movies should probably be checked out by Child Protective Services. Likewise, if the "N" word offends you, you might want to wait for the AMC edited version on cable.
If you have never seen a Tarantino movie, go with caution, but be prepared to be amazed. If you have, I don't need to convince you to see this one, because you already went.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2013
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2014
I saw this film on satellite distribution, so it is possible it was cut. However, the indeterminable, tendentious, stultifying dialogue between the Dr. and Django put me to sleep. Where is Tarantino's famed INTERESTING dialogue that makes you want to listen even to ennui? The story by the rock wall at the camp by the Dr. is boring beyond belief.
This film is nothing but a blood bath. Inexcusable.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Django Unchained is supposedly a very loose reworking Sergio Corbucci's spaghetti-western Django. I believe it has a closer affiliation to the exploitation cult film Mandingo (1975) about a slave taught to fight other slaves – this movie for its time was somewhat an outrageous product, a film that Mr Tarantino has praised, while by and large the critics' have rejected the film with extreme disapproval.
The lead actor is played by Foxx, who plays the Django, a slave who is in a chain gang, across their path comes one Dr King Schultz, a German who is well-groomed and rather unconventional in his ways, he claims to be a travelling dentist; Schultz carriage is a small wagon with a huge model of a molar tooth on the top. Our Shultz, after some initial reluctance from the slavers, buys Django and promises him his freedom in return for a favour: he needs Django to help him track three white fugitives that have bounty on their heads.
As the narrative progress we find that Django proves himself a good assistant and a talented shot. Through some back story we find that Django was married and his wife speaks the German language and she was named Brünnhilde, unfortunately her current owners mishear her name and call her "Broomhilda". Due to her predilection for running away she is branded on the face and forced to work as a "comfort" girl. As mutual respect sets in between the eccentric German and Django, it is agreed that that will rescue his wife Brünnhilde.
Through the story we meet inept KKK posse the characters are somewhat reminiscent of the KKK in Blazing Saddles. We then meet with Candie (played rather eloquently by DiCaprio) the owner of Candyland Plantation his evil is only matched by his apparent need to sound and look charming. Django needs all his guile to pretend to be that of the most hated of things, a "Mandingo", a fighter-promoter his double dealing is only matched to Stephen's domestic bondage to his master and his family, aptly played Samuel Jackson.
There are moments of pure brilliant direction mastery of the rather over the top violence and I feel the overuse of the N word, was not needed. At two hours and 45 Django is a long film - undoubtedly, this film better than Tarantino’s WW2 film Inglourious Basterds. The relationship between Schultz and Django is well managed and their friendship really looks convincing and their resulting comedic episodes are well done. Well worth a four star rating – with flaws.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2014
....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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2014
Django Unchained is many things undoubtedly. It is, undoubtedly, a genre-film masterpiece. It is, undoubtedly, gory. It is, undoubtedly, just as full of entertainment as it is full of substance. Lots of movies are like this, however. But its 'stand-out' element is derived from its being first and foremost, and just as undoubtedly so, Tarantino.
It's a cliche thing to say. But the addictive motif of Tarantino's films - that keeps us coming back more and more - is Tarantino's personality. We've grown to love it as it has been present from the VERY beginning. It has never lacked. Even when the source material is not his own (Jackie Brown) he MAKES it his own. Slavery was real. MANY of the things you will see in this film DID HAPPEN. In the sense of the cultural and social stage much of the source material in this film is not Tarantino's. However it is made his. He takes us on a journey to an era that existed. However you're riding in the Tarantino seat. We find this also in Inglourious Basterds.
Django is bloody. Django is crass. Django is hard to watch at times. I feel i need only comment on these things as a story synopsis should be on this page somewhere.