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Django Unchained Review: Pros and Cons

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 Django Unchained Review: Pros and Cons
Unread 2 years agoclass of '06 - away - #1
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For some, a new Quentin Tarantino film isn't just another movie opening -- it's an experience that borders on the religious. The director has only released a handful of films since his groundbreaking debut "Reservoir Dogs" back in 1992, and each one has carried with it the weight and expectations of a whole group of comic book-reading, Asian DVD-importing film freaks (full disclosure: myself included). Whether he's tackling a two-part kung fu revenge epic, rewriting World War II, or showing us that a car might be death proof, Tarantino goes all in each time he gets behind the camera.

Which brings us to his seventh film, the eagerly-anticipated "Django Unchained." The second part of a planned historical trilogy (the third would be a '30s-set gangster movie), "Django Unchained" takes place two years before the Civil War and follows a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx), as he teams up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his wife from an evil plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Yes, the filmmaker who was criticized by Spike Lee for his excessive use of the n-word in "Jackie Brown" and "Pulp Fiction" is now tackling slavery. Hot button, indeed!

But is "Django Uncahined" an artistic triumph or does it fall hopelessly short of its intended goal? Read on to find out.

PRO: It's Pretty Ballsy

True, in "Inglourious Basterds," Tarantino rewrote the end of World War II, having a band of plucky, Nazi-scalping renegades (along with the awesome power of cinema) put an end to the Third Reich, which definitely ruffled some feathers. But heroine Shoshanna (Melanie Laurent) wasn't someone who survived the Holocaust -- she was a Jew in Nazi-occupied France. Django is, as we see in the opening sequence and in several vivid flashbacks, very much a slave. Tarantino dramatizes this unflinchingly, unafraid to depict the brutal level of violence slaves had to endure. This isn't some cookie cutter version of history -- this is the nasty, unfiltered stuff. But it's not lacking purpose: we need to understand where Django came from in order to fully appreciate the journey he takes. Django is, thanks to his partnership with Waltz's King Schultz, afforded a level of independence that was unheard of for a black man. Yet he's still, at least spiritually, locked in chains. The movie is brilliant, through and through, but Tarantino's masterstroke might have been his c*cksure attitude towards showcasing history's horrors.

CON: For Some, It Will Be "A Little Much"

For the purposes of this rundown, we'll say that there are two types of violence in "Django Unchained" -- the more realistic, grittier slave violence, and the over-the-top Quentin Tarantino violence, in which squib hits don't just leave a brief burst of blood but instead rocket a whole crock-pot full of the red stuff in every direction. Both are pushed ridiculously far, but when it comes to the more fantastical violence, it borders on the surreal. In addition, there is the matter of the n-word, a term that was flung around pretty loosely at the time and a word that Tarantino has been known to utilize. All this adds up to an experience that some will find very hard to handle. This might be opening on Christmas Day, but you should probably leave grandma at home.

PRO: The Music

Nobody chooses music like Quentin Tarantino, but "Django Unchained" is the first one of his films to have new music specifically written for it. That means when Django and Schultz roll up to Calvin Candie's plantation they're backed by a banging new Rick Ross song (ominously called "100 Black Coffins"). There's another moment where we're treated to a brand new John Legend track, co-written and produced by Paul Epworth, the genius behind Adele's "Skyfall" theme. However, there are preexisting selections as well -- the AM radio classic "I Got A Name" by Jim Croce might not seem at home in a bloody slave western, but it works perfectly here. (Tarantino also chooses some amazing selections from various scores/soundtracks, including the title track from the original "Django" films, which plays triumphantly over the opening credits.)

CON: Sally Menke's Absence Is Deeply Felt

In 2010, just a few months after "Inglourious Basterds'" triumphant awards/box office showing, Tarantino's longtime editor, Sally Menke, died tragically after hiking in the Hollywood hills. This is his first film without her. It's safe to say that Menke's absence is deeply felt. Not only are there some weird, unnecessary scenes that she would have never allowed in the final cut (including a baffling sequence where Django and Schultz drop off bodies -- what do we learn from this amd how does it further the plot?), but there are lingering remnants of moments that were edited out of the film. At one point Django metions a time where Schultz yells at him after overzealously k!lling a couple of slavers, except that we never see Schultz yell at Django, because that scene had been cut out of the movie. Tarantino has already made mention of a longer cut of the film, so let's hope it comes true.


PRO: LEO

Leonardo DiCaprio, in his first supporting performance in, like, 15 years, absolutely steals the show as plantation owner/super-villain Calvin Candie. He doesn't enter the movie until at least the halfway point, but after that, it pretty much belongs to him. DiCaprio’s Calvin has been raised by and around black folk his whole life but still looks to find ways to keep them enslaved. His "big" scene is one in which he explains to Schultz and Django, who have entered the plantation on false pretenses, the concept of "phrenology," a racist pseudo-science built around chronicling ridges in the human skull. The scene ends with Leo smashing a small glass with his bare hand (an on-set accident that drew real blood). Schultz and Django are shocked, their mouths agape. And you will be too.

'Django Unchained' Review: The Pros And Cons Of Quentin Tarantino's New Film
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5 peeps gave props to nightmare hot topic  (12-25-2012) , STAY ASLEEP (12-26-2012) , Sticks (12-26-2012) , TriniChief (12-27-2012) , YOUNGZERO (12-27-2012)

245 comments for "Django Unchained Review: Pros and Cons"

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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #2
Wraith420  space
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Movies gona b sick! Cant wait yo c it
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - away - #3
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[spoiler - click to view]

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Unread 2 years agoclass of '10 - away - #4
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just came back from seeing it


i fu*kin loved the movie...it was great from start to finish.



the rick ross song was random



[spoiler - click to view]













samuel L fu*kin JACKSON..."sweet jesus, let me k!ll this n*gga"
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '07 - away - #5
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2pac!
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '08 - away - #6
Keith504 42 heat pts42 space
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That movie left me feeling some kinda way....
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '11 - on now - #7
I KILL TREES 11 heat pts11 space
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Yeah i was agitated listening to all the giggles from white people!!!!

after i heard ross i was

and that klan scene was funny!

but idk i feel like i shoulda watched this movie in the hood!
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #8
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Kizzle504 said:
That movie left me feeling some kinda way....
you aint the only one i said months ago this was a BS plot for a movie in 2012
thats not based on someones real story.

i aint gonna see it

but my boy said black people were walking out the movie an he told me people were laughing at the wrong sh*t sometimes

he said he felt mad uncomfortable so

i told him not to go see it an wait on the bootleg
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - away - #9
RaptorsWon 205 heat pts205 space
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You guys are taking yourselves too seriously... Its a movie, relax...
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '06 - away - #10
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By far the best movie of 2012. Jamie Foxx, Dicaprio, Samuel L and Waltz were on top of their game and Tarantino's superb script and directing was vintage. It was 2 hours and 45 minutes long but it didnt feel that long because of the brilliant pacing and enthralling story/characters.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '07 - away - #11
calle13 185 heat pts185 space
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Im sorry as a black man ya n*ggas take sh*t too serious ! I didn't get offended not one bit throughout the entire movie ! Now don't get me wrong in real life if i hear some white dude using the N word i would punch him right in his lip.. But its a fu*king movie that took place during slavery ! So obviously back then they threw the N word alot. So why get a offended ? Grow some balls and quit being so fu*king sensitive just beckuz they use the word we commonly use when ever we greet our hommies ! Ya n*ggas acting maad soft.. smh

Anyways the movie was fu*king awesome ! honestly its my favorite tarantino movie ! i enjoyed every bit of it ! Alot of the scene's we're a bit unexpected but i am 100% satisfied the way the movie turned out to be ! At some point i thought the movie was going to end but surprising sh*t kept popping out !!.. This is the best movie to end the year ! 10/10
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #12
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Russ369 said:
You guys are taking yourselves too seriously... Its a movie, relax...
i feel you but what can a person do.

if you think about it it doesnt matter what art form it is if they see something that makes them feel a certain type of way or they feel is disrespectful then they have the right to voice there opinion.

sh*t i saw that emmitt till an half of the blackwall street doc for the first time an sh*t hit me so hard i shed a tear an though how far we have come as black poeple but yet we aint where we could be because of certain things but thats another story for another day.i will say seeing my people hang from trees really fu*ks with me when i see it

you cant really tell people to relax.I will say if we as blacks took ourselves a little more seriously we wouldnt even see a movie like this cause we would know better than that in 2012 just my 2 cents
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '05 - away - #13
metatr0n|M 391 heat pts391 space
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Im gonna download it but these type of movies put me in a certain kinda mood. Ive been called a N'gger so yes It kinda sets something off in my head when I hear whites use it or im around blacks that use it around whites.. The first time I was called one I was with a white friend and I never heard it like that with hate. Needless to say I got educated.. The second time I was called a fu*king N'gger was in a f!ght. After that day nobody said it to my face again cuz I was serious about that sh*t. I have no qualms with the word n'gga because I feel like when I use it im taking power from the word and what it was meant to be wen im talking to my brothas.. My momma and daddy was born in the early 50s so they never played that sh*t and I never said it around them. People that arent black wanna say it so bad but I feel like you gotta earn it.. and my people went to hell doing so.. its about struggle. So like I say.. I feel like when blacks use it now its a reminder of the struggle. I try not to use it tho..
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - away - #14
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Just came out of this movie and i thought it was great. I will elaborate further later. Saved post.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #15
dman 4901 21 heat pts21 space
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STAY ASLEEP said:
Shut your bi*ch a.ss up.
Its a movie.
Its a really fu*king good movie... by clear definition.
You cant say sh*t until you see it, bi*ch a.ss mafu*ka.
really.... is it that serious

why i gotta be a bi*ch a.ss motherfu*ka an all that


i aint come at you like that i was just speaking my mind
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - on now - #16
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Can't wait to watch this sh*t later on today
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - away - #17
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Man Sam Jackson did a really good job at making me hate his character
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #18
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STAY ASLEEP said:
Lol fair enough. But you speak about the movie as if its "some white guy" making it. Thats not really the case, even though its some white guy making it. Black people arent the only people who feel slavery is fu*ked up ya dig. I personally feel this movie was a perfect situation... its too early for a black man to "get away" with making a movie like this. Quentin did a good job man.

Do us both a favor and watch it.

well one reason im not gonna watch it cause the original django had nothing to do with slavery or black people in general.The movie was about a white guy an sh*t so how we got to this plot in this django doesnt sit rite with me.If this was a true story then i would watch it.

what did you mean by this no disrespect just curious
I personally feel this movie was a perfect situation... its too early for a black man to "get away" with making a movie like this.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '05 - away - #19
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Just saw.... FIRE!! Go see! Funny too. "I counted six shots ni99a, I counted 2 guns ni99a"... Tufffffff
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #20
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STAY ASLEEP said:
Son, im a movie head. I know who django is. So does quentin.. way more than both of us.


And what i meant by that was... The small gruff that quentin got for this movie is microscopic compared to if a brother made this film. Its a slave revenge flick.

Shut the fu*k up and watch it.. shut up with all your non watching a.ss opinions.
still aint gonna see



hope you enjoyed it an got your moneys worth tho
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