Django Unchained

Certificate: 18
Running Time: 165 minutes
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Genre: Action, Drama, Western
Country: USA

German dentist come bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) frees slave Django in order to identify three brothers whose bounty he is eager to collect only for a friendship to blossom.  As a journey to the heart of plantation slavery in Mississippi begins the pair hatch a plan to free Django’s wife Broomhilda from the clutches of the syntactically pleasing land owner Calvin Candie.

I have to give it to the Weinstein’s, Bob and Harvey know how to sell a movie.  I’ve been watching Quentin Tarantino films since before I was of an appropriate age to watch Quentin Tarantino films and although, by and large, they’ve left me frustrated, angry and thoroughly disappointed with each new film comes the child-like fever of giddiness that this one is the one, this one is the film that will justify the devaluing of the word ‘genius’ in order to include Q.T in a list of men labelled the big G.  When Django Unchained was announced to the cinematic world the thousands of under appreciated Spaghetti Westerns that would be stripped of their best assets in order to service the Tarantino media machine came flooding to be, the Franco Nero Django series (obviously), the Enzo Castellari back catalogue and most importantly Sergio Corbucci’s The Great Silence…that above all would be integral to any Q.T cut and shut that would come but the the Weinstein wagon kicked into gear and the excitement grew, reviews began trickling in and people whose opinions I trusted proclaimed “Django Unchained the best movie of 2012!  An instant classic!  Genius I say genius!”  I can’t even be bothered to review the film properly, why should I?  He couldn’t be bothered to write an original film (and for those who are about to say “well he just won Best Original Screenplay at the Baftas” I say to you The Only Way is Essex won a Bafta…I don’t think they can be trusted anymore!!).

Once again the great genius of Quentin Tarantino is his ability to steal from disregarded cinema and get rich off it, he’s made little more than a mixed tape movie, a collection of his favourite sequences from other Exploitation westerns and in doing so has allowed for the world to get caught up in how fucking wonderful he is…and it’s utter bollocks.  There is barely one moment in this film that didn’t smack of grandstanding or self considered masturbation and the inaccuracies are infuriatingly unbelievable.  It might seem rich to hang Django Unchained for it’s historical inaccuracies when I was more than happy to let Inglourious Basterds away with them but it’s a different case entirely.  At the end of Basterds, not to give the game away, but the course of history was deviated so far from what we know to be true, to pick holes in the type of belt they were wearing would be ridiculous.  There’s no such enormous deviation in Django Unchained, there’s simply a lazy writer who couldn’t give enough of a fuck about anything he was putting down on paper because he knows all too well that it’ll be sold as genius and swallowed hole and only discovered as shit once you’ve digested it.  His understanding of history is absurd to the point of embarrassment, he doesn’t care about the fact that metal casings weren’t around in ammunition, or that dynamite wasn’t invented, or that Sam Jackson’s favourite motherfucking word wasn’t around yet.  All this is meaningless, nobody cares about that, everyone is queuing up to watch the construction of his amazing words on screen and pay homage to the greatest of false idols!!  It’s the Mitchell and Webb sketch about the writers writing a medical drama who have no understanding of medicine only someone is getting crazy rich off it.  “Pass me the sharp…cutty…thing nurse!” what a complete crock of shit.  It’s obvious now that Jackie Brown was and forever will be the pinnacle of the man’s abilities as he had yet to have an idea in his head that hasn't been stolen…so go ahead Quentin, rob Nero, rob Williamson, rob Rosey fucking Grier and all the rest of the great heroes of Exploitation cinema, rob them and make sure you get extra rich off them and enjoy the plaudits, enjoy all the people who sing your god-damn praises because the truth is those of us who know that cinematic world too, know you for what you are…a hack!

Now the positives, Jamie Foxx was very good.  He handled himself with an integrity that prevented the film from becoming (more) difficult to watch.  Christoph Waltz was fantastic, he somehow made the overly aware dialogue seem natural and that in itself is a talent but just everything about him sang wonders.  DiCaprio gave a theatrically measured performance and the way he played with the Hixploitation idea of damaged genes through incest without really spelling it out was great... but we need to go back to the negatives for one moment.  I’ve been hearing about how Samuel L. Jackson was phenomenal as the old voice of slavery (Stephen).  This is nonsense, strip away the laughs and what you have is Sam Jackson playing a pastiche of what Sam Jackson is known to be in Quentin Tarantino movies…it was probably the lowest of his lows and I have considered Deep Blue Sea and Loaded Weapon before making that statement.  The film was two acts too long and for anyone versed in Western cinema or Exploitation cinema you can see the tick boxes as Q.T works his way through all the set pieces he’s stolen though the soundtrack was excellent and the original piece of music composed for the film was both atmospheric and appropriate for the genre.

Django Unchained is made of 100% recycled cinema, it’s biodegradable and when left outside is indistinguishable from dog shite.  May prove hazardous to children, horses or individuals with a knowledge of cinematic history.  Side effects include violent outbursts, further devaluing of the word genius and misappropriated wealth for a talentless hack.

23/40 Stars or 57%

Grade: D+ 

The Tarantino Table
(The League of Thieves)
Jackie Brown
* * * *
Reservoir Dogs
* * * *
Inglourious Basterds
* * * *
Pulp Fiction
* * *
Kill Bill: Vol. 2
* * *
Kill Bill: Vol. 1
* *
Death Proof
* *
Django Unchained


John Baxter said...

To pre-empt the "oh no this isn't a 1 star movie" claims. The films QT is "borrowing" (heavily) from are, by and large, only 3 star movies max meaning it can't be any great than that and there's too many problems with it to be 2 or 3 star. No more Tarantino talk out of me ever, I'm bored shitless of this grave robber.

DawnieP said...


I'm so bored of the very blatant thievery which is rife in his movies. It should really just be titled 'Exploitation Western's Greatest Hits' a merging of the best bits of 20 other exploitation films that Quentin has seen with his video card and has reproduced for everyone who can't be arsed to watch them.


John Baxter said...

*claps loudly then walks off to watch a real movie!*

Catharina said...

oh well, I liked it. Taking everything you wrote about in consideration, and even more details discussed within myself when i watched the film. I love Waltz, and Foxx has been a bright one for me all along. I didnt expect too much from tarantino, after I watched inglorious bastards, there was no hope in wishing for better dialogue - but i was wrong. I loved the dialogue in django, and i loved the comic around it. I envy them for the excellent dialogue, i wish i wrote it myself. But thats propably how far ill go with tarantino.
though having a touch of some beautiful pictures didnt really do no harm.

But none the less, i agree with you - not being too formal though. It was a good movie to watch if youd like to enjoy waltz and foxx, but id rather watch seven phsychopaths(a damn good and real movie) a houndred times before i considered to watch django unchained for anything but waltz again.

John Baxter said...

I still haven't got around to watching Seven Psychopaths but Martin McDonagh is a really good writer/ looking forward to it. Any man that tried to punch out Sean Connery is alright in my book.

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