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.
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.
Also, 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.
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.
in·glo·ri·ous – not glorious : lacking fame or honor
bas·tard – an offensive or disagreeable person
Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, Inglourious Basterds, makes the Sharon Tate murders look like a baby shower. At least Manson’s vision was more articulate and more inspired (The White Album), whereas Tarantino’s massacre is just a Leonesque like retribution that lacks catharsis with a lame rehashed soundtrack.
While Hebrew law in the Old Testament states, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” I’m pretty sure God didn’t have an overgrown self proclaimed provocateur and teenage movie geek in mind to show them the promise land while scalping Nazi’s. Given that Tarantino is part Cherokee I wonder if an Indian made a Western revisionist movie about some tribe assassinating Lincoln in a balcony box theater and burning down the White House (given the cruel treatment and injustice they suffered from all our robbing, raping, and pillaging) that it would be widely celebrated in Iraq and Afghanistan…and parts of Pakistan…basically the whole Muslim culture including Cat Stevens. Anyway, Americans have a word for that and that’s the discovery of the New World. Jews call it the Holocaust, Manson calls it Helter Skelter and Tarantino calls it Inglourious Basterds. Ghandi warns, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”…something clearly Tarantino and cohorts do not adhere to. But neither did Charlie’s.
Though I must admit the most villainous character of the Nazis, The “Jew Hunter,” Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) was quite affective in making Major Strasser from Casablanca look as harmless as the Crocodile Hunter (maybe it’s all that milk). I also enjoyed Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine’s Southern inflection of the way he pronounced “Nazi.” I wonder if Born again Christian Tex Watson had the same dialect when selling pigs wigs. The film debut of Melanie Laurent, who plays the sole surviving family member that fled from Col. Landa’s clutches, is subjected to the worst trivial getting dressed to kill montage accompanied with Bowie’s Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (whoa, irony!) but otherwise is very good as an Anne Frank type gone postal. While the rest of the Basterds rumor a threat with nicknames such as “Bear Jew” and “Little Man” none are as intimidating as the posing sweet Sexy Sadie, Squeaky, Clem, LuLu, and JC.
I am curious to know what drugs Tarantino used vs. this hippie gang bang. With the script’s inconsistent intro flashbacks, repetitious dialogue and slow motion sequences adding minutes lasting hours I wonder if it was just an Adderall overdose.
Now there’s a masterpiece.