Dec 31, 2012

Unchained

Took in an early Saturday film this past weekend. Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. I loved it, just as I have loved every QT film so far. Yeah, even Death Proof. Imagine, if you will, a revenge flick even more violent and more bloody than Inglourious Basterds. That's what this film was. I only had one small issue with the film.

And it's not the issue that many of you might assume. The big controversy that has arisen from the release of this film has been the subject matter and the language used by the characters. I can understand the controversy, to a point. A not-so-serious film about slavery and racism and all that goes with it is difficult to pull off. I happen to think that he did it, and I came at the movie from a place where I understood that it was all in the name of entertainment. But the plain and simple fact is that others will NOT be able to watch the movie from that angle. Because there is no way that they can find themselves willing to trivialize subjects like slavery or racism. By the way, I don't believe QT trivialized those subjects with this film. It was very, very clear who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. And, spoiler alert, the bad guys get theirs. And no decent person is going to be anything but exhilarated that they did.

Even though I don't believe he trivialized anything, I can still see how some people might not see it that way. And that's fine. QT films aren't for everyone. He is a bold, in-your-face filmmaker who makes no apologies for his films or the language that he chooses to use. If I were African-American, I might be offended by this film. I might not be offended. Difficult for ME to know. Just as Inglourious Basterds may have been difficult for WWII veterans or Jews. Maybe if it was a revenge flick about something oppresive from my background as an Irish-American. Like the Catholic Church. I kid....kinda.

Anyway, that's a long way to go to say that the film isn't without its' controversies. And it's certainly not for everyone. But I enjoyed it. Mostly. As with all QT ensemble pieces, he got some extraordinary work out of his supporting players. I even hesitate to call Christoph Waltz or Leonardo DiCaprio or Samuel L. Jackson supporting players in this film. Each one of them absolutely dominated the screen every time they appeared. Which kind of dulled the shine on the real star of the film, Jamie Foxx as Django himself. I think he did a yeoman's job, and he seems like a class act. But he often seemed like the straight man playing opposite the either wildly comedic or charismatic supporting team. He just didn't dominate the film in the way that, say, Uma Thurman did in Kill Bill. And that was my only real problem with the film. But it was fairly minor.

I'd say if you enjoy QT's films, then go check it out. If he or the subject matter of this particular film aren't your preferred brand of tequila...then skip it.

PS - Happy New Year, bitches!

13 comments:

Dave2 said...

I loved it too!

Slyde said...

thanks for the invite... it was great seeing you

B.E. Earl said...

Slyde - I sent you a very urgent telepathic message. We must have lost that connection over the years. Sigh.

savannah said...

happy new year, sugar! i was on the fence about this movie, but now that spike lee has spoken so unkindly about it, i KNOW i will! xoxoxox

B.E. Earl said...

Savannah - The Spike Lee thing really bothers me. Because he's speaking out on it even though he hasn't seen it. And doesn't plan on seeing it. Smart guy, talented filmmaker. But that's just ignorant.

marty mankins said...

Great write up.

I saw Django on the day after Christmas and loved it. A couple of the scenes were hard to watch, but they were key to the movie and the end result of revenge that happens.

I went away thinking that Jamie, Christoph and Leo were the main key characters, along with Sam Jackson. The incredible performances they put into this movie.

Water Logged Canine said...

Love.

Dr Zibbs said...

I've seen it twice an LOVED it!

And I tweeted how Spike Lee is an idiot over his comment about the film and lost a black Twitter follower. She had thoughts on the film as well without even seeing it.

In other movie news DON'T see Les Miserables.

B.E. Earl said...

Marty - I felt the same thing about the cast, but it is called Django Unchained. Would have loved Django himself to have been a bit more charismatic.

Doggie - There you go.

Zibbs - Shame because I think it would be more interesting to hear Lee's criticism if he had seen it.

Jill Gioia said...

Oh, the envy I felt knowing you were seeing this with JB!

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the film yet. I'm not much of a QT fan, but listen to his interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Aire (NPR) and Tarantino discusses his difficulties with the slavery/racism aspect of the movie and how he came to terms with going forward after his dinner with Sidney Pointier. Very interesting.

Melaka

B.E. Earl said...

Jill - He tried to get fresh with me too! ;)

Melaka - Hiya! I read something about that interview. Poitier basically told him to make his movie the way he wanted to make his movie and damn the critics. That's good advice!

Avitable said...

I need to see that. Still haven't managed to make it out to the theater.