Latest Movie News Headlines

Review: Django Unchained

Dec. 25, 2012by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: In the pre-Civil War Deep South, a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx) is rescued from captivity by a bounty-hunter- Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz offers him a deal- that Django helps him in his bounty-hunting duties throughout the winter, and then- once spring comes, hell in turn help Django travel to Mississippi, where the two will attempt to rescue Djangos slave wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the clutches of slaver Calvin J. Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

REVIEW: The way I approach a Quentin Tarantino movie is different from how I approach any other film. Having been of the generation of young film fanatics to have been inspired by his classics- RESERVOIR DOGS, PULP FICTION, and KILL BILL, I relish not only watching his movies, but also reading his scripts. I read INGLORIOUS BASTERDS the moment it leaked, and I did the same with DJANGO UNCHAINED. On the page- DJANGO was a blast, but on the big screen its even more than that. Its the work of one of our greatest filmmakers, at the very top of his game.

QTs been working his way towards making a Western for years, and now that hes finally made it, its a western the likes of which youve never seen. While it has elements of the spaghetti westerns Tarantinos on record as adoring, its also not some mere collage of influences. By incorporating a very real, very dark piece of American history to his spaghetti homage, hes gone and made one of his most powerful movies. Incendiary? Hell yes- and proud of it.

Tarantino pulls no punches in his depiction of slavery. Granted, some of his southern plantation owners may be portrayed in a satirical way, with Don Johnson being side splittingly funny as a Col. Sanders style slaver, their evil is never glossed over. We see them order vicious beatings, and killings- all of which are shown in agonizing detail. A Mandingo (fighting slaves) brawl is particularly gruesome- and somber.

However, this isnt exactly AMISTAD, and Tarantino invites us to enjoy the brutal comeuppance of the films menagerie of villains. And damn, is DJANGO UNCHAINED ever a fun ride- and one that despite its close to three-hour length, you wont want to end.

As the titular character, Jamie Foxx seems instantly iconic, and its impossible to think of anyone else in the part. He brings the righteous rage, and underlying vulnerability to his part that Uma Thurman did in KILL BILL. A flashback where he tearfully begs an overseer not to whip his wife is especially powerful, and once hes in cowboy-mode, Foxx really does seem like the kind of hero a director like Sergio Leone would have been happy to have in their movies. DJANGO is Foxxs Man with No Name, and he plays it to the hilt.

But- Christoph Waltz, as Schultz is just as brilliant in his own right. The role is similar to his part in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, with main difference being that while Hans Landa was evil incarnate, Schultz, despite his murderous trade, is easily the most compassionate guy in the movie. At this point, Waltz is like Tarantinos own Klaus Kinski, and as an audience member, I literally hung on his every word, and cheered whenever his did something cool. Being a Tarantino movie- I cheered a lot.

In a huge departure, we also get Leonardo DiCaprio as the vicious Calvin J.Candy. DiCaprio seems to delight in his new-venality, and chews the scenery mercilessly. Certainly, DiCaprios never played a character like this before, but hes going to scare the piss out of a lot of folks- while at the same time, amusing them with the absolute relish his character takes in being evil. DiCaprio, with his goatee, looks like a southern dandy version of the devil- and thats exactly how he plays him. Hes so good.

And Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen- where do I even start? Hes Candys vicious head-slave, who delights Candy with his sass, while simultaneously cutting down anyone he thinks is a threat to his position. In a way, Michael can be seen as something of a victim, in that hes Candys slave, but Jacksons Stephen is someone youd never ever feel sorry for. Hes like a satanic Uncle Remus- and to me; this seems to be right up there with PULP FICTION as one of Jacksons all-time best parts.

By now, youre probably thinking, gee Chris- is there anyone in DJANGO UNCHAINED whos not absolutely amazing? Its a tribute to Tarantinos genius at casting that theres not a single character here that ever seems like they could have been played by anyone other than the person who ends up playing them. Cameos abound, including Franco Nero, Walton Goggins, M.C Gainey, Jonah Hill, and more.

Like the cast, everything else about DJANGO UNCHAINED is pitch perfect, from the epic location photography by Robert Richardson, to the perfectly compiled soundtrack, where vintage Ennio Morricone tracks blend seamlessly with new songs by Rick Ross and John Legend. Its a grandiose soundtrack, but surely nothing else would do. While INGLORIOUS BASTERDS may have been a little short on carnage up until the ending, its furious here- with a climatic gunfight poised to go down as the bloodiest in screen history. Sam Peckinpah and John Woo would be proud.

I guess this hasnt really been much of a review, as all Ive done is tell you all how utterly amazing DJANGO UNCHAINED is. Try as I might, its hard to find fault with anything here, as it really is Tarantino at his very best. It seems amazing to me that 2012 could bring us yet another genuinely great piece of mass entertainment. DJANGO UNCHAINED is my third 10/10 this year. Its spectacular.

Source: JoBlo.com

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+14
6:45PM on 12/18/2012

Gentlemen...

You had my curiosity.. but now you've got my attention!
You had my curiosity.. but now you've got my attention!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:31AM on 12/18/2012
Sounds about right. I have gone into every Tarantino movie with a 10/10 expectation and I haven't been disappointed yet.
Yes I'm a Tarantino-adoring, prejudiced bastard and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Sounds about right. I have gone into every Tarantino movie with a 10/10 expectation and I haven't been disappointed yet.
Yes I'm a Tarantino-adoring, prejudiced bastard and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+7
1:45AM on 12/18/2012

I seriously cannot wait for this movie

Ever since it was announced, it's my most hyped movie of the past 2 years.
Ever since it was announced, it's my most hyped movie of the past 2 years.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+6
5:58AM on 12/19/2012

Does it have a good story?

Sorry if it bothers anyone but I found this to be a very unhelpful review for anyone on the fence, not sold yet and interested to know how good, or not good, this movie is.
Sorry if it bothers anyone but I found this to be a very unhelpful review for anyone on the fence, not sold yet and interested to know how good, or not good, this movie is.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:06PM on 12/18/2012

HELL YEAH!!!

This review increased my expectations.this Dec 25,many call it Christmas but i call it the day of Django unchained release.damn excited!!
This review increased my expectations.this Dec 25,many call it Christmas but i call it the day of Django unchained release.damn excited!!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:12AM on 12/18/2012
Hope I like this better then Basterds
Hope I like this better then Basterds
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:18PM on 12/26/2012

DJANGO UNCHAINED was freaking awesome

one of the best movies of the year.It was so much fun and just crazy over the top with bloody violence and the overuse of the N word.I hope it wins best picture but knowing how those old white pussies at the oscars vote i doubt it,anyway looking forward to getting it on bluray. my rating:10/10
one of the best movies of the year.It was so much fun and just crazy over the top with bloody violence and the overuse of the N word.I hope it wins best picture but knowing how those old white pussies at the oscars vote i doubt it,anyway looking forward to getting it on bluray. my rating:10/10
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:31AM on 12/18/2012
Third double-post ever. Sue me.
Third double-post ever. Sue me.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
2:52PM on 12/26/2012
Great movie, one of my favorites of the year. I don't think there was a moment in the film that I didn't enjoy, even when it started to get a little long in tooth. However, I was entertained the entire time. Can't help but love QT's script and the acting was excellent all around.
Great movie, one of my favorites of the year. I don't think there was a moment in the film that I didn't enjoy, even when it started to get a little long in tooth. However, I was entertained the entire time. Can't help but love QT's script and the acting was excellent all around.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
6:50PM on 12/25/2012

WOW

just got home form watching this, awesome movie, i recommend it not just to QT fans but to movie fans
just got home form watching this, awesome movie, i recommend it not just to QT fans but to movie fans
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:19PM on 12/27/2012

Yeah I'd go with Tenouttaten

You'd never think that a movie about slavery would have you leaving the theater feeling amazing, but I had a friggen ball. Though I did take a gander at the original script, and I feel that the scripted ending would've been better (although an amalgam of the two would have probably made the film flawless). And if you complain about the length, then you don't know westerns. No western worth it's sod cranks in under 2 and a half hours.
You'd never think that a movie about slavery would have you leaving the theater feeling amazing, but I had a friggen ball. Though I did take a gander at the original script, and I feel that the scripted ending would've been better (although an amalgam of the two would have probably made the film flawless). And if you complain about the length, then you don't know westerns. No western worth it's sod cranks in under 2 and a half hours.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:36AM on 12/27/2012
Its terrific.never seen this kind of film.may be the best film i've seen this year.QT's best film after Pulp fiction.can't wait to watch it second time.iam sure i enjoy it more with repeated viewings
Its terrific.never seen this kind of film.may be the best film i've seen this year.QT's best film after Pulp fiction.can't wait to watch it second time.iam sure i enjoy it more with repeated viewings
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:16PM on 12/26/2012

It was a good time for sure...

however, I would put it between "Inglorious Basterds" and "Jackie Brown"
1. Pulp Fiction
2. Reservior Dogs
3. Kill Bill (1 & 2)
4. Inglorious Basterds
5. Django Unchained
6. Jackie Brown
7. Death Proof
however, I would put it between "Inglorious Basterds" and "Jackie Brown"
1. Pulp Fiction
2. Reservior Dogs
3. Kill Bill (1 & 2)
4. Inglorious Basterds
5. Django Unchained
6. Jackie Brown
7. Death Proof
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
1:37AM on 12/18/2012

I seriously cannot wait for this movie

Ever since it was announced, it's my most hyped movie of the past 2 years.
Ever since it was announced, it's my most hyped movie of the past 2 years.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:51AM on 12/28/2012
Saw it last night. 8/10... MAYBE 9 if it had ended at a better place. Joblo used to give the coveted 10/10 once in a blue moon. Honestly a 10/10 doesn't mean as much anymore. When Joblo himself did the reviews he was much more critical and reviewed the STORY, not just raved and raved without saying anything of meaning. Downvote me all you want, but Basterds and Kill Bill blew this movie out of the water.
Saw it last night. 8/10... MAYBE 9 if it had ended at a better place. Joblo used to give the coveted 10/10 once in a blue moon. Honestly a 10/10 doesn't mean as much anymore. When Joblo himself did the reviews he was much more critical and reviewed the STORY, not just raved and raved without saying anything of meaning. Downvote me all you want, but Basterds and Kill Bill blew this movie out of the water.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:28PM on 12/30/2012
Agreed. The thing that really set Basterds apart was the way the dialogue ratcheted up the tension in certain scenes. Hans Landa chewed up every scene he was in. Just everything worked perfectly for it. Django may have been a love letter to Franco Nero and Roberto Corbucci, but it doesn't come across as anything more than a highly glossed blaxploitation western. Nothing wrong with that, but it just doesn't carry the same resonance of Basterds. I'd give it more of a 8.5 or 9.
Agreed. The thing that really set Basterds apart was the way the dialogue ratcheted up the tension in certain scenes. Hans Landa chewed up every scene he was in. Just everything worked perfectly for it. Django may have been a love letter to Franco Nero and Roberto Corbucci, but it doesn't come across as anything more than a highly glossed blaxploitation western. Nothing wrong with that, but it just doesn't carry the same resonance of Basterds. I'd give it more of a 8.5 or 9.
+0
3:29AM on 12/26/2012

8/10 for me

It lost me at one point. I won't spoil it don't worry but about 3/4 of the way in it should have ended and I would have given it a 9.5 (I haven't found a perfect 10 movie yet).
Christoph Waltz carries this movie. He is incredible and needs to be cast by more directors. Bravo Herr Waltz. Don Johnson was unrecognizable. I never saw Miami Vice (because I'm not 62) and I only saw a bit of Nash (IN SPANISH!!) but he was great! I loved every scene he was in. Also Leo. Wow. This man can do nothing
It lost me at one point. I won't spoil it don't worry but about 3/4 of the way in it should have ended and I would have given it a 9.5 (I haven't found a perfect 10 movie yet).
Christoph Waltz carries this movie. He is incredible and needs to be cast by more directors. Bravo Herr Waltz. Don Johnson was unrecognizable. I never saw Miami Vice (because I'm not 62) and I only saw a bit of Nash (IN SPANISH!!) but he was great! I loved every scene he was in. Also Leo. Wow. This man can do nothing wrong. Me and my buddies said the exact same thing about Sam Jackson: this has to be his best performance since Pulp Fiction.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:30AM on 12/18/2012
I've heard some say this is far from QTs best, and just as many that say it's his absolute best. I don't imagine myself enjoying anything as thoroughly as I did Basterds, but I've been pumped for this in the worst way, and I'm confident this is gonna be damn solid. Xmas, where are you???
I've heard some say this is far from QTs best, and just as many that say it's his absolute best. I don't imagine myself enjoying anything as thoroughly as I did Basterds, but I've been pumped for this in the worst way, and I'm confident this is gonna be damn solid. Xmas, where are you???
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:24AM on 12/18/2012
It's mostly because of the use of the N word really & the violence. It's tarantino, what do these people expect?
It's mostly because of the use of the N word really & the violence. It's tarantino, what do these people expect?
+0
6:49AM on 12/18/2012

SO STOKED!!

when Chris talks...we listen! haha but damn it got more hyped up now!
when Chris talks...we listen! haha but damn it got more hyped up now!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:02AM on 12/18/2012
10/10? This is probably the best Western movie since Unforgiven.
10/10? This is probably the best Western movie since Unforgiven.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:14AM on 12/26/2012
True Grit was the best western since Unforgiven. Somehow I dont think this one will quite rank up there with those 2 gems.
True Grit was the best western since Unforgiven. Somehow I dont think this one will quite rank up there with those 2 gems.
7:24AM on 12/19/2012
Is it just me, or are too many 10/10's being used lately? I agree with the other post, story review please.
Is it just me, or are too many 10/10's being used lately? I agree with the other post, story review please.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:21AM on 12/18/2012
Well Chris I know I have given you grief over your reviews in the past for being biased when you loathe them & then some. However never has an review like this one gotten me more excited to see a movie before, Like you I am a huge fan of all of QT's movies. I agree when you mention about having to approach a Tarantino movie in a much different manner every time, even given the sensitive subject as slavery.. You know what you are gonna get already & thats what makes his films so great. I can
Well Chris I know I have given you grief over your reviews in the past for being biased when you loathe them & then some. However never has an review like this one gotten me more excited to see a movie before, Like you I am a huge fan of all of QT's movies. I agree when you mention about having to approach a Tarantino movie in a much different manner every time, even given the sensitive subject as slavery.. You know what you are gonna get already & thats what makes his films so great. I can honestly say I have never been a fan of westerns but I was pumped when i heard QT was gonna make one & even given the subject matter, I was pretty stoked. SO all in all this is a great review & i will definitely be checking this movie out.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-18
8:01AM on 12/19/2012

Hmmmmm

Im still on the fence about this. I remember people raving about basterds when really the only person who carried that movie was waltz especially in opening scene. I remember friends going on about the twist at the end. I was like what twist all he did was re-write a piece of history the way it never happened. And then there was the depiction of the english giving the game away in the bar scene it was just another example of the americans can do no wrong in films and they always save the day.
Im still on the fence about this. I remember people raving about basterds when really the only person who carried that movie was waltz especially in opening scene. I remember friends going on about the twist at the end. I was like what twist all he did was re-write a piece of history the way it never happened. And then there was the depiction of the english giving the game away in the bar scene it was just another example of the americans can do no wrong in films and they always save the day. When the united states have a pretty poor record when it comes to mistakes in warfare. However Kill Bill was awesome so hopefully he will regain my attention with this.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-21
12:51AM on 12/18/2012

Seriously...

This site throws out 10/10 ratings like it's going out of style.
I guess no review can truly be unbiased, but if you open by saying you even read the leaked movie scripts, odds are you're gonna like the man's movie regardless.
This site throws out 10/10 ratings like it's going out of style.
I guess no review can truly be unbiased, but if you open by saying you even read the leaked movie scripts, odds are you're gonna like the man's movie regardless.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:33AM on 12/18/2012
Or maybe it's a really good year for movies or maybe just for the some of us that is
Or maybe it's a really good year for movies or maybe just for the some of us that is
1:36AM on 12/18/2012
Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall are both 10/10 for me as well, if that's what you're referring to. I don't remember any other 10/10 from this site lately, but so far they've been spot on.

Also I can't fucking wait to see this.
Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall are both 10/10 for me as well, if that's what you're referring to. I don't remember any other 10/10 from this site lately, but so far they've been spot on.

Also I can't fucking wait to see this.
2:11AM on 12/18/2012
Skyfall was a 7, at best.
Skyfall was a 7, at best.
3:41AM on 12/18/2012
Actually, this entire year we've given about 6 or so movies a 10 out of 10, so no, they don't get handed out very often at all.
Actually, this entire year we've given about 6 or so movies a 10 out of 10, so no, they don't get handed out very often at all.
-25
8:06AM on 12/19/2012

Hmmmmm

Im still on the fence about this. I remember people raving about basterds when really the only person who carried that movie was waltz especially in opening scene. I remember friends going on about the twist at the end. I was like what twist all he did was re-write a piece of history the way it never happened. And then there was the depiction of the english giving the game away in the bar scene it was just another example of the americans can do no wrong in films and they always save the day.
Im still on the fence about this. I remember people raving about basterds when really the only person who carried that movie was waltz especially in opening scene. I remember friends going on about the twist at the end. I was like what twist all he did was re-write a piece of history the way it never happened. And then there was the depiction of the english giving the game away in the bar scene it was just another example of the americans can do no wrong in films and they always save the day. When the united states have a pretty poor record when it comes to mistakes in warfare. However Kill Bill was awesome so hopefully he will regain my attention with this.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:04PM on 12/25/2012
Haven't you learned, Americans can do NO wrong.

;)
Haven't you learned, Americans can do NO wrong.

;)
1:34PM on 12/27/2012
In the end, the day was saved by two French people and a Nazi defector. I would hardly say that's an example of "Americans can do no wrong" storytelling.
In the end, the day was saved by two French people and a Nazi defector. I would hardly say that's an example of "Americans can do no wrong" storytelling.
-42
6:47AM on 12/18/2012

Hmmm....now 10/10 seems too common

I was willing to believe it for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, but a Tarantino movie? I'm not buying it.
I was willing to believe it for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, but a Tarantino movie? I'm not buying it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Movie News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!