by Eric Paolini
Quentin Tarantino makes whatever movie he wants. And his legion of fans eat it up immediately. It's really quite simple. If you like Tarantino you'll like Django Unchained. I know that makes it sound like I didn't enjoy Django. But I did very much.
Christoph Waltz should absolutely win best supporting actor. He, and Leonardo DiCaprio to a slightly lesser extent, made this movie. Jamie Foxx was serviceable throughout, and solid at times. However, I cannot say the same for Samuel L. Jackson. There are a number of times it seems like Jules was also a slave when he wasn't talking about Royales with cheese. He was distracting. However, it was not as bad as Tarantino's cameo as an Australian worker for the LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. This is the low point of Tarantino's cameos.
Besides Tarantino's acting, I only had a few issues with Django Unchained. While the amount of violence was not bothersome the startling amounts of blood were unnecessary. It crossed the line of excess where it made you notice how much blood must have been used and not what was going on. And I don't find people rocketing back after being shot as funny but more distracting and ridiculous.
But for every small gripes, which the above certainly are, there are so many things that make Django Unchained a great movie. The sound track was amazing. Incorporating rap music into a pre civil war era film somehow worked wonderfully.
In every Tarantino film there is always an iconic scene that will be remembered and quoted. And it's usually more than one. And Django Unchained is no different. When Dr. Schultz and Django first meet. When Dr. Schultz and Django first meet Calvin Candie. The dinner scene at Candyland when Leonardo DiCaprio really bloodies his hand. And in order to avoid spoilers, the scene that involves a handshake. These are the ones that immediately come to mind. I could sit here for the next 15 minutes naming incredible scenes that will stick with you. It's the genius of Tarantino.
You may have noticed, but all of the great scenes I just mentioned all had Christoph Waltz's character Dr. Schultz in them. That character played a prominent part in each scene and is the main reason they'll stick with you. I can't emphasize enough how great he was. And what is even more incredible, he was even better in Inglourious Basterds.
Ultimately, Django Unchained comes down to your thoughts on Tarantino. I don't think it's a possibility to like this film if you're not a fan of his previous work. Django Unchained is Tarantino tackling slavery and the western genre. You're not going to forget you're watching a Tarantino film. And that's part of what I love about Tarantino.
I think it goes hand in hand with his style. Because I love his style I don't mind the constant homages to obscure 70's films. I don't mind the over the top violence or barefoot trademark. Simply put, I love Tarantino. He's one of my favorite directors and I will see anything he does. While Django Unchained is not his best film, it is very good. Personally, I have Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds, and True Romance (first Tarantino screenplay, directed by Tony Scott) as his Mount Rushmore.
How tough is it to beat that collection of films? Which is why Django Unchained isn't a failure or a disappointment. It is a very good movie that I enjoyed thoroughly by a phenomenal director.
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