Django’s Basterds


Django Unchained

Writer/Director/Actor Quentin Tarantino is so full of himself and his eclectic influences that it obviously translates itself into his movies – and Django Unchained is no different. Now I didn’t know much going into Django, other than that Jamie Foxx is a slave and kills white folks down south, so I expected no less then the previous juvenile and offensive Inglourious Basterds – which was at least more than my Mom, who thought it was about Django Reinhardt.

Django Unchained

I’ve hoped this revisionist/mashup kick that QT has been on for more than a  decade is just a passing phase, since the only thing keeping his shallow movies fresh is the ever expanding pool of actors who continue to give great performances and know exactly how to deliver his idiosyncratic script dialogue (better so than himself) – the only original facet left in his productions.

Django UnchainedAlso, I get that Quentin is being Leonesque with his epic movie lengths but this one drags even more so, perhaps since it’s his first film without editor Sally Menke. With the overkill  Peckinpah slow mo, not to mention almost all of Leo DiCaprio’s performance – which is drawn out over an hour tour of Candy Land – we still don’t even make it to the Peppermint Forest or Ice Cream Sea.

Django Unchained

I guess I hold Quentin to a higher standard after his first two movies in some ways defined a new generation of the writer/director, but it seems P.T. Anderson and The Coen Brothers are the only mainstream ones that are at least evolving and striving for some semblance of profundity and not just silly entertainment. Then again maybe it’s just a sign of the times, I mean next year we got Grown Ups 2.

Django Unchained

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Django’s Basterds

  1. Pingback: 2012 “YOLO” 5 | Video Killed the Movie Stars

  2. Hi guys, great review. I just watend to add my 2 cents to the mix. Hans Landa’s murder of the actress and quick change of loyalties made perfect sense to me. Landa struck me a Hannibal Lecter type of sociopath. Intelligent, resourceful and charming but below this veneer lurks a monster who takes great personal satisfaction in his job as the Jew Hunter and later his restraint totally cracks as he throttles the actress with his bare hands. You are right when you say Landa doesn’t specifically hate the Jews but I think he would be a killer even if he wasn’t a Nazi. As for the speed of his transformation, it is important to remember that the end of the movie takes place several years after the first scene. Landa is completely self-interested and he can see the writing on the wall that war is almost over and the Nazi’s will lose. Hitler mentions in the movie that the Allies have already landed in France so this takes sometime after the Normandy Invasion. Landa is just a rat fleeing a sinking ship. I do think this movie does have some interesting things to say and that it is not just a fun, violent revenge fantasy. Tarantino has a lot to say about the destructive and redemptive power of film in society. It is very interesting that the people fighting Hitler include a movie critic, a film actress, a cinema owner and a projectionist and that what kills most of the Nazis is the burning of old film. It is also fascinating to compare the Nazi audience reaction to the fictional German film “Pride of the Nation” to the audience reaction to Inglourious Basterds. I loved this film and think it is Tarantino’s best since Pulp Fiction. Keep up the good work.

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