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'Django Unchained' Needed More Time; Review and Roundup

by Anne Thompson
December 12, 2012 1:56 PM
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'Django Unchained'
'Django Unchained'


Quentin Tarantino's characters are often astonished to find themselves in his intricate universe of references. That's certainly true of Django (Jamie Foxx), a black slave in the antebellum South freed from bondage by German dentist-turned-bounty hunter Dr. King Schulz (Christoph Waltz) in the opening moments of "Django Unchained," Tarantino's latest erratically fun and uneven tribute to the movies he loves and the discursive writing style he adores even more. The filmmaker's seventh feature plays like looser, dust-caked sibling to "Inglorious Basterds," his last rambunctious attempt to rile up history with a rebellious sense of play. Just as he unearthed "the face of Jewish vengeance" in "Basterds," Tarantino relishes the opportunity to run wild with a symbol of black persecution until the idea loses momentum -- and then, true to form, he just keeps going.


"Django Unchained" is "Blazing Saddles" with a body count, a positively incendiary entertainment about America's greatest shame, the personal and social toll of slavery, and like Tarantino's last film, "Inglourious Basterds," this is a case of history being remixed in a way that makes more emotional sense to Tarantino as a storyteller.

Screen Crush:

His name is Django and as he’s quick to point out, the D is silent. It’s just about the only quiet part of Quentin Tarantino‘s ‘Django Unchained,’ a boisterous, bloody blaxploitation/Western hybrid. What else would you expect from Tarantino, the modern master of genre pastiche, flavorful dialogue, and grossly exaggerated violence? Whatever ‘Django”s issues -- and it has a couple -- failing to deliver on its promises isn’t one of them. If anything, the issue is the exact opposite.

Huffington Post:

“Django Unchained” just feels overly bloated at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Most specifically, again, when Django and Schultz are in the midst of their grand scheme to fool Candie, it just feels like wasted time watching a plan that we, as an audience, get the feeling isn't going to work anyway. Honestly, there's a tight 120-minute movie in there, somewhere… [Will you like “Django Unchained?”] Even while bloated, there's still more than enough good in this movie to warrant me answering "yes" to that question. So, yes, you will. It's worth seeing for the performances alone.


  • Beth Hanna | December 12, 2012 2:39 PMReply

    The Siegfried-Brunhilde storytelling scene was actually one of my favorites of the film. The chemistry between Waltz and wide-eyed, eager-to-listen Foxx is great, as is the firelit cinematography.

  • Hunter S. Thompson’s little devil | December 14, 2012 8:19 PM

    The Nibelungen, an old german saga, good to be told in the movie. Q.T. surprises. And Waltz seems to to be kinda new muse. Yesterday, on Today, he proudly revealed, that he could literally peek over Tarantinos shoulders, watching the script grow bold. Haven't seen it yet, but was allowed to read the script before. I'm more than excited since over a year.

  • Kinick | December 12, 2012 2:34 PMReply

    Fairly negative review; your comments on twitter last weeks screamed fairly positive.

  • The Dude | December 12, 2012 2:22 PMReply

    And even though Lincoln will win BP, this film will be remembered more when all is said and done. Lincoln is a dull, lifeless bore.

  • Max | December 13, 2012 1:29 AM

    Please stop trolling. You have been unashamedly declaring your hate for Lincoln everywhere for quite some time now. Okay, we get it. You do not like the film. Well, many others do. It is a great film, and some people are just not intelligent or immersed into it to recognize its brilliance.

  • The REAL Dude | December 12, 2012 2:36 PM

    I would assume that your screen name implies many things about you. That you can not laugh at comedy and get pulled into a storm or drama and gripping cinema is ironic.

  • iadfs | December 12, 2012 2:29 PM

    "Lincoln is a dull, lifeless bore."

    I largely agree. Django would have to be much much worse than Death Proof to justify being shut of the Best Picture and Best Director race in such a weak year.

  • The Dude | December 12, 2012 2:18 PMReply

    He had plenty of time and the film reflects it. It's not unfinished at all. The only reason you're saying this is because you heard he cut it down from 3.12 to 2.45 in a matter of weeks. Anyone familiar with the editing process knows that this isn't always difficult to do. It's a Best Picture nominee, guaranteed.

  • The Dude | December 12, 2012 2:43 PM

    And are you saying Lincoln is gripping drama? Don't make me laugh. It's just a bunch of one-note caricatures yelling at each other for 2.5 hours... with some terrible Sally Field acting thrown in the mix.

  • The Dude | December 12, 2012 2:40 PM

    It implies that I like The Big Lebowski? That's about it.

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