Over the last few years I have felt Tarantino has been basically making films which in essence are him whacking off as a Director and making a movies using every uncontrolled implus he has. It started with ‘Kill Bill’ the “4th” movie by Quentin Tarantino and continued with ‘Death Proof’ and ‘Inglorious basterds‘ in which he let himself loose on his homages to earlier cinema. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy those films. I got a real kick out of them but at times felt he was out of control and making films that just weren’t as engaging. Yet people were still eating it up as Tarantino cinema. Well I remember a time when Tarantino cinema was ‘Pulp Fiction’ and that was the bomb. When I saw the trailers for ‘Django Unchained’ I was expecting more of the same as his recent offerings, this time a movie stuffed full of western homages and basically Tarantino diddling with himself yet again. But I thought “f**k it, you got to see it anyway”. So the lights go down and before 10 minutes of the film had even passed I thought how wrong my expectations were and how amazing this film was.
Almost 3 hours later I came out of the cinema believing I had seen the best Tarantino film since Pulp Fiction and I felt that way throughout the entire film. This a pretty great movie and definitely in my top 10 of this year. He nailed it. I’m delighted he did. I also have to disagree with those that thought it was overly long because the film had my complete attention for every second of it’s silvery goodness. I put a large part down to the script with dialogue that isn’t just bringing us from point A action scene to point B action scene but actually has resonance and MEANING. That combined with the beautiful cinematography, ear blistering soundtrack and fantastic acting particularly of Christopher Waltz, Samuel L Jackson, Leo DiCaprio, Jamie Fox and a cameo by Franco Nero had me feeling like Tarantino had stopped pleasuring himself and was finally pleasuring the audience.
Ok, so Historical accuracy aside this is a Tarantino film and some of us enlightened folk know that he makes film these days that are films rather than accurate historical flicks. That is unless you actually believe that he thought Samurai swords were allowed as carry ons on Airplanes (use your heads people). The tricky thing is that there are aspects of Django which are definitely addressing history and issues of America’s past. Yet it isn’t an allegory and Tarantino himself doesn’t call it a western per say but a southern. He’s clearly made a film where he is saying something and yet not abiding to any type of rule in the way he does it.
The other controversial aspect of the movie is the depiction of violence and I do believe that this was more graphic than needed to be and you shouldn’t be takin your lady friends to this one fellas.. Then again, I sure wasn’t aching for a real gun fight after seeing people’s faces implode in this movie. I don’t believe violence in movies inspires violence in reality. We have 24 hour news coverage that does that, News which dramatically depicts wars, executions and bombings as entertainment that scares the shit out of society and has some of us locked indoors in fear. If movie violence inspires people to go out and do the same then those people are likely to have a mental problem to begin with and lets face it, movies don’t put AK47s in people’s hands. If you are going to blame films for violence then you’ll have to blame novels, blame history and blame Tom and Jerry.
My own grip is that this was fuuking loud! The director sometimes does give notes for the projectionists as to how to light the film. That might include sound too. Anyway the sound on this was definitely loud enough to strain my ears to the heights of standing by a speaker at a night club.
What’s next for Tarantino? Anyone for Zatoichi? I dreaded the idea before but now…… do it do it do it!!
Go see ‘Django Unchained’. But for a more appreciative experience go watch ‘Django’ and Sukiyaki Western first!
Favorite Quote: “Sorry, I couldn’t resist” – Dr. King Schultz