Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)

posted in: Duane, Jocelyn, Joint Review, Review | 0
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A negro slave is liberated by a quirky dentist-turned bounty hunter and together they seek fortune by collecting on high-paying warrants throughout the Mississippi region. When the dentist discovers his negro has a wife who has been sold into slavery and will be turned into a whore, they set out to liberate her by talking a lot. Sometimes there’s shooting.
Razor88: Desert. Howling winds speak of desolation and the harsh climate. A line of chained negroes marches through the valley against the setting sun, driven by their captors. Soon they encounter a flamboyant dentist who takes a particular interest in one of the chained men. This mysterious captive’s name is Django… Wait – WHAT?  

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I honestly don’t know where to begin. Tarantino’s latest offering of rehashed ideas that masquerade as originality is probably one of the worst “homages” I have ever subjected myself to. The film opens with the original Django theme from 1966 (which is still in my head as I write this) and that’s as far as my enjoyment went with this derivative piece of shit.  Django Unchained is a thinly-veiled attempt to be controversial while simultaneously trying to drive home some sort of vapid message condemning racism or originality or something. I’m sure black people the world over are breathing a sigh of relief right now knowing that some bloated white gremlin of a “filmmaker” understands and feels the plight of their people.
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I can’t really figure out what exactly Tarantino was attempting to achieve with this soulless bit of screenwriting… it’s like some off-kilter blaxploitation homage to Sergio Corbucci or Sam Peckinpah made by an angsty child. Unfortunately, Tarantino isn’t nearly the writer/director he seems to think he is.
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The dialogue is stilted at best – in fact when the dentist started talking to the crackers on horses I could have sworn this was shaping up to be a parody of some sort. In fact I’m not sure who convinced Tarantino that he wrote scenes of brilliant witty banter but it’s been done to death in ever-increasing frequency in each subsequent film this man shits out. Please stop. Not only was this most recent attempt at relevance about an hour too long, but it’s boring as fuck. It’s also interesting to note that a man who has built a career on stealing ideas from films he hopes you’ve never heard of so he can call them his own steals mostly from genres not known for their long winded diatribes about nothing.vlcsnap-2013-01-29-22h06m14s6

Nom DePlume:  Ugh. I know. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve said and the fact that as a filmmaker he’s so content to retread previously charted territory proves what an incredible lack-of-vision the man possesses. He’s a glorified movie geek who rapes the work of others in an effort to capitalize on John and Jane Q. Public’s ignorance.  (Wait. He’s profiting off the backs of others? Huh.)

He’s inventive and revolutionary to soccer moms and frat boys. He represents safe, corporate rebellion. I read where someone said  he was “powerfully taking an anti-racist stance.” Ha! Is there anything more fucking mundane than rallying against something that is universally appalled? Watch out! His next scintillating tale might reveal the horrors of puberty or any number of other widespread truths.

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My opinion of the man and his tactics aside, this movie is absolute horse shit. It’s a caricature, it’s the most obvious case of pandering to the masses I’ve seen in a while and it’s insulting to me as a movie lover and as a human being. Why is *every* white person in this movie a fucking moron? And I don’t just mean the guys in hoods (what was that segment anyway? It was as if the camera just panned to a shitty comedian slapping rainbow colored suspenders off his chest in a desperate attempt for a laugh) I mean every single one. Why does it seem more and more like reverse racism is applauded? Even the one seemingly intelligent white man, the seasoned bounty hunter who teaches Django the ropes suddenly and carelessly drops the ball in Candie’s parlor to make way for the final act. What? This is careless filmmaking at its finest. This fucking piece of shit is up for Best Picture? I know the Oscars have about as much relevance as who gets crowned prom king but what kind of bullshit is this?  Oh, wait. The machine. I forgot for a second.vlcsnap-2013-01-29-22h10m05s13

R88: Absolutely. Where was I…? Right… trying to forget Django Unchained. Tarantino’s penchant for using out of place soundtracks in the form of shitty 70s era music and in this case even fucking rap (yes, rap) music is in full swing and certainly doesn’t help set mood or ambiance whatsoever despite containing plenty of music from the spaghetti westerns this atrocity is attempting to emulate- namely Day of Anger, The Hellbenders and They Call me Trinity. The asshole even got the royal treatment with Morricone lending new material to the soundtrack – you won’t really enjoy it though because you’ll still be reeling over having been slapped in the face by the sounds of 2 Pac. It’s kind of like you’re watching a movie (I’m being kind here) and your annoying kid brother comes into the room and starts blaring the most out of place god-awful music over top of it. Jarring? Definitely. Adding to the experience of the film? Only if the intended outcome was revulsion. Of course I could be wrong… perhaps the music is carefully placed at specific intervals to jar you awake after sitting though hours of inane blathering.

So far what do we have… token black slave dude playing the role that was originally that of Franco Nero (badass extraordinaire), shitty 70s/rap music, a limp-wristed attempt to shock the viewer through racial expletives and over the top violence, boring as fuck dialogue, I’m not finding a lot of stuff to like here. Oh, wait… there’s the Django theme running though my head again.

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Violence you say? well certainly a film containing a liberal amount of over the top ultraviolence can’t be all bad right? Normally I would agree wholeheartedly. In this instance I do have to give Tarantino props for one thing… that being only using practical effects (as far as I could tell) for any and all of the violent content. That being said, Tarantino has managed to make a film in which the violence is actually pretentious. Clearly stealing from the same handful of films that he did with the Kill Bill duology (notably the Lady Snowblood and Lone Wolf and Cub films), blood shoots ten feet in the air as people are turned into comical spinning blood fountains. It’s over the top to the point of being ridiculous. I’m all for gratuity, don’t get me wrong… this just felt insulting.
Nom:  Agreed. Not to mention Django is conveniently the most prepared and capable slave in existence. He’s not only married (married to a woman who speaks German, no less) but he can also read and is apparently Deadeye Dick the second he gets a gun in his hand.  Foxx plays this straight as if the whole thing doesn’t reek of cartoon, super-hero violence that dips its toes in and out of a western long enough to be a fucking music video.vlcsnap-2013-01-29-22h07m32s11
And why in the fuck does James Remar play two different characters? When I saw him working for Candie after he had clearly been shot in the beginning of the movie, my brain hurried to connect dots and solve the big mystery and guess what? No mystery to reveal. Wtf? And why is Jonah fucking Hill in this? Why did they keep showing the tracker chick with the bandana who you kept waiting to pop back in for some big reveal only to be completely denied? This whole thing is just sloppy and poorly executed.
Sorry, my hatred for Tarantino is preventing me from pushing through this, so allow me to quickly mention the nail in the coffin that is Franco Nero’s cameo. A piece of me fucking died watching that. I thought nothing could get worse than Edwige Fenech in Hostel II working for that cunt Roth but in typical never-to-be-outdone fashion Tarantino had the man himself come in and say a few words.  I wish that he had been a dick about it, I wish he had denied this whole fucking sick charade but if one person goes back and enjoys the man’s catalog it’s worth it. I justify it by saying that they have an enormous body of work that needs recognized, so who can blame them, right?
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R88: The whole thing is sorely miscast, you can tell a lot of thought wasn’t really put into it. Just seeing Jonah Hill on horseback with the Klan was enough to ruin the scene (not that there weren’t plenty of other celluloid atrocities in there to rob it of the slightest hope of credibility).
The inclusion of Franco Nero is a complete kick in the taint in addition to the other bullshit included here. The exchange between him and Jamie Foxx is absolutely embarrassing. I would have given my left nut to have seen Nero take his shoe off and beat Foxx in the face with it after he says “Django… the ‘D’ is silent…”. I swear blood shot out of my eyes.
Tarantino is self referential to the point of arrogance and his attempts at being clever are pathetic at best. At one point in the film, Django is captive and caged – being carted off to work at the Le Quint Dickey Mining Company – escorted by Tarantino himself… Really? Get over yourself, you fucking assclown.
Nom/R88: In essence this is a pathetic attempt to cash in yet again on the ignorance of the Hollywood demographic by plagiarizing the work of some really great writers, actors and directors. This is insulting filmmaking at its most unjustly deified. If you like being talked down to by a boorish troglodyte then this is the film for you… everyone else steer clear. Fuck you and your giant forehead, Tarantino… you truly take douchebaggery to a whole new level.
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This shit really makes fun of itself.

 

Official COSDS Nunspank Rating:  


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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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