Thursday, November 19, 2015

Django Unchained (2012)

Number Rolled: 46
Movie Name/Year: Django Unchained (2012)
Tagline: Life, liberty and the pursuit of vengeance.
Genre: Drama
Length: 165 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures
Executive Producer: Shannon McIntosh, Michael Shamberg, James W. Skotchdopole, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Actors: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, David Steen, Dana Gourrier, Ato Essandoh, Sammi Rotibi, Escalante Lundy, Don Johnson, Franco Nero, Jonah Hill

Dr. King Schultz is looking for a slave that might know where he can find his bounty. He meets Django while the man is being transported to his new owners. From there, they form a partnership considered more than strange for their time.

Selina’s Point of View:
This movie is awesome.

Of course, this wasn’t technically the first time I’d seen the film. My husband was watching Django Unchained one Saturday when I had to work. My desk and the TV are in the same room, so I had my headphones on to help me concentrate while I was writing. From time to time, a scene would catch my attention and I’d look up, zone in for about fifteen minutes then get back to work.

Long story short, I saw roughly an hour and a half of this film in nonconsecutive scenes about a year ago.

The first thing I noticed, after watching it in order, is that it makes so much more sense now! Scenes that I thought were really out of left field just clicked into place. Of course, that’s what happens when you watch a movie properly.

The acting in this film was outstanding.

Jamie Foxx (Annie, Horrible Bosses, Due Date) was ridiculous. Who would have known he could pull something like this off? He was incredible. Samuel L. Jackson (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Turbo, Avengers: Age of Ultron) transformed into a character so repugnant that it’s almost difficult to recognize him. Christoph Waltz (Carnage, The Zero Theorem, Muppets Most Wanted) portrayed Dr. Schultz in such a way that it was impossible to not get emotionally invested in him. Kerry Washington (Scandal, A Thousand Words, Lakeview Terrace) made for an ethereal and engaging love interest.

Finally, Leonard DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street, Inception, Blood Diamond) was out-right robbed. Do you know what award he won for his stellar performance in this film? A National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actor. I just… no. I’m not going to get into my theories about the corrupt award ceremonies. We’re just going to move on and keep this about the film.

Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Natural Born Killers) delivered a fast-paced, deep, intense plot with incredible settings and acting that just can’t be beat. Not only that, he made a three hour film that didn’t make me feel like I wanted to bang my head against the wall out of boredom.

The man may have a screw loose, but there’s no doubting his talent.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’d heard good things about this movie – mostly praise, as I tried to avoid spoilers. The film also won an impressive stack of awards. I counted at least 52 awards on IMDb (not counting 2nd and 3rd place showings); and many more award nominations.

Just because a gazillion other people liked it, doesn’t always mean that I will. Though, with Quentin Tarantino (Grindhouse: Deathproof, Inglorious Basterds, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), I generally have an expectation that I’ll be entertained.

This film delivered with both barrels.

The only downside I have to mention about this film was just its length. There was so much landscape in this movie, both figuratively with the writing and also literally; so I understand that it couldn’t necessarily be short. It doesn’t really take away from it, though – and with the Netflix platform, it’s not like you can’t pause the movie and then come back to it.

The story was compelling in this period piece, and the actors really fleshed out their characters brilliantly.

I can’t envision anyone other than Jamie Foxx (The Kingdom, Law Abiding Citizen, White House Down) in the role of Django. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tarantino wrote the part for him.

My favorite character in the film, however, was Dr. King Schultz. Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, The Three Musketeers, Epic) was phenomenal in this role. I loved his sense of humor, intelligence, and even the clipped and precisely enunciated way he spoke. The character was endearing and interesting.

That’s really just scratching the surface. There were so many fantastic performances here. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed, Shutter Island, J. Edgar), Kerry Washington (Mother and Child, The Details, Peeples), and Samuel L. Jackson (Oldboy, Robocop, Kite) didn’t disappoint in the least. It’s amusing to note that Jackson got to use his “favorite vocabulary,” once more, in this film.

On a final note, fans of Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014) might recognize one of the actors here in Walton Goggins (Cowboys and Aliens, Lincoln, American Ultra). He played Venus Van Dam in the critically acclaimed FX series, and also Boyd Crowder in Justified (2010-2015). He’s slated to team up with Tarantino again in The Hateful Eight, currently expected to hit screens in December 2015.

I would definitely confirm that this movie is worthy of the accolades it received, and would gladly recommend it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 88%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 91%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. Short scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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