Sunday, December 30, 2012

“Django Unchained” Movie Review

By Papa Robbie Quentin Tarantino is like a DJ when it comes to his style. He mashes up all kinds of genres and it has worked for him. QT is known for GRATUITOUS violence in his films and there is plenty in “Django Unchained”. I was apprehensive about going to see the movie but curious at the same time. I didn’t trust Tarantino to deal with the time period in a way that would sit well with me. I decided to do my best to suspend my disbelief and watch the movie as it’s intended to be. It’s not historically accurate in many ways and there are some things that just were outright unbelievable if you’re a lover of history (like I am). QT gets a lot of his ideas from movies like “Mandingo” and there are a couple of scenes that Mel Brooks seems to have influenced (“Blazing Saddles”). QT borrows more from his Hollywood predecessors than he does from historical documents. Somehow I get the impression that in QT’s mind he sees the films that he watched while growing up as historical documents all the same. The lead character "Django" (portrayed by Jamie Foxx) is a slave who is purchased by and is taken under the wing of a German bounty hunter with an ironic name “Dr. King” Shultz. I won’t give anything away but “Dr. King” is a very likeable/quirky character. Django’s main intention is to be reunited with his bride “Broomhilda” played by Kerry Washington. Leonardo Di Caprio plays the plantation owner “Calvin Candie” and Samuel L. Jackson plays an amusing but despicable house slave named “Stephen”. QT has always been bad at editing himself and this movie is almost 3 hours long. The same story could’ve been told in 2 hours. Lots of BLOOD…high body count. It’s a good action flick but nothing too “heavy”. Phrenology is covered, “mandingo fighting” which isn’t really accurate is touched upon as well. Somebody ought to tell Tarantino that the Civil War started in 1861 and not in 1860. Some brutal imagery of the poor treatment of slaves was also prominent. I was struck by which characters Django killed throughout the movie versus the ones his mentor gunned down. I won’t break it down as it would be a spoiler . If you’ve seen the movie I’d be more than happy to have an in depth discussion about it. This movie was more like pro wrestling than mixed martial arts for me. It’s entertaining, but not very realistic.I didn't LOVE it but it was an enjoyable ride. I also understand Spike Lee's stance. QT seems to be obsessed with the "n" word and I stopped counting after 60. I believe it was used a total of 110 times. The soundtrack was eclectic and enjoyable. I’d give this movie 3 power fists out of a possible 5.