Django Unchained

Release date: December 25, 2012 Django Unchained

Life, liberty and the pursuit of vengeance… while sports awesome facial hair.

I’ll be honest here. I actually didn’t have very high hopes for Django Unchained. While being a very open fan of Quentin Tarantino, I just couldn’t get behind the idea that he could write a racial piece set in the “old west.” I knew he had the vocabulary for it and had cast some phenomenal actors, but something just wasn’t sitting with me well. That is until I sat down to watch Django Unchained.

I wholeheartedly expected sailor like cursing and gravity defying blood splatter. But what I got was a film that had two good men entrenched in a sea of bastards doing the Lord’s police and government’s work.

Django Unchained is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino; the man who has blessed this world with Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, and Inglorious Basterds. Chosen as his main men for this flick are Jamie Foxx as Django, a freed slave who works with Christoph Waltz as Dr. King Schultz, a former dentist now Bounty Hunter. Along for this crazy ride are Leonardo “The bitch could have moved over and Jack could have lived” DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. “Mothah F–kin” Jackson and Jonah Hill as “Bag Head #2.”

The film begins with Dr. Schultz “buying” and freeing Django from the slave trade. His freedom comes at the exchange of his help in killing three brothers who has bounties on their heads. The brothers have a soiled history with Django as they whipt his wife and then separated them. Django agrees and so begins their partnership and the blood begins to spray. Once the brothers are dealt with; quickly and in very underwhelming fashion, the bounty hunters set out to find Django’s wife who has been bought by Calvin J. Candie (DiCaprio,) a rich man who deals slave fighting. Did I mention that Tarantino achieves his minimal amount of curse words and bloodshed by the midway point?

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WHAT WORKED:

– The score. Hot damn what this film filled with amazing music. I enjoyed the grand mix of it all with covers of rock songs and some solid rap accompanying our boy Django. However this is expected by a Tarantino film. There is one cover of “Nothing Else Matters” that just doesn’t fit with a children’s chorus.

– The dialogue. This is far from a surprise. While there’s no monologue dissecting modern pop-culture, there still is some heavy words about racial issues. Tarantino knocks it out of the park in one particular scene with DiCaprio and a skull.

– The acting. I mean you have Foxx, DiCaprio and Waltz; end even Jackson. These guys just looked like they were having fun on screen.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

– The pacing. Sitting at 165 minutes, Django Unchained is a long flick. While nearly all scenes are utterly important or simply fantastic, there could have been some trimming done to keep the pace up and not let some of the audience drop off in the third act.

THE LOWDOWN:

Django Unchained is off the hook. (hahaha c’mon!) Tarantino takes us into the world of the Wild West and slave trade and makes us actually want to hang out with those cats. Django is a man who has lost everything dear to him, yet is strong enough to see the sun rise every morning. The humour keeps you giggling like a school girl throughout; and the action will have you jumping. I would pay to watch Samuel L. Jackson in the character being shot for days and days. His “mofo” count might be greater than Snakes on a Plane. Django Unchained is Verified Awesome!

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