Django Unchained

Django Unchained is a fun and bloody ride through a dark era in our history. It doesn’t hold any punches which may offend some. The film succeeds thanks to the wonderful cast and their performances of characters who show a lot of symbolic depth. The film’s length can feel taxing at times but the film has more than enough satisfying punches and dark humor to make up for the parts that drag.

Before we begin I want to say a few things. This will be my last review of 2012 and I wanted to thank the routine readers of Thinking Cinematic as well as those that stumble across my reviews from time to time. Just this month alone I have crossed a thousand views, something that took me seven months to do the first time. Given my current pace I will also finish the year just shy of four thousand views, a number that just blows my mind. Thank you all for the continued support of Thinking Cinematic. I look forward to another year of movie reviews!

The first Quentin Tarantino movie that I was able to catch in theaters was Inglorious Bastards and I fell in love. I’ve been slowly working my way through his impressive catalogue and it is safe to say that I have become a fan like so many before me. I’ve been looking forward to Django Unchained for quiet a while, and finally got a chance to catch it this weekend.

Django Unchained

Django Unchained is about a bounty hunter named, Dr. King Shultz, enlisting the help of a slave named, Django, in order to help Shultz identify wanted men. Together the two form a bounty hunting team under the promise that Dr. Shultz will help Django find and free his wife.

Tarantino brings the bloody violence that we’ve come to love and expect in his movies. The movie’s many fights are quick but pack an extremely brutal punch. The movie reaches dark places, particularly when it comes to whipping and torture scenes, but it still maintains a sense of humor throughout the movie to help keep the movie fun. Although the movie’s violence likes to flaunt its way across screen with buckets of blood, the more intimate battles of wit were the most entertaining for me. These are due large in part to the wonderful acting of the main stars, starting with Christoph Waltz.

I still find myself in awe of the performance given by Waltz in Inglorious Bastards. His portrayal of the vile and menacing Col. Hans Landa was as dark as it was entertaining. This time around Waltz is on the flip side of the story, and plays the role of Dr. King Shultz, who functions as the movies moral compass. Shultz is a German bounty hunter disguised as a dentist in an area where southern accents fill the air. It goes without saying that Shultz stands out from everyone else in both appearance and personality. Never without a hopeful spark in his voice Shultz handles even the most dangerous of situations with a polite manner. It was interesting to watch his character struggle with his disapproval of slavery in an era where it was at its height. Watching Shultz verbally disarm and abuse his opposition with wit was the highlight of the movie for me. I have a hard time thinking of anyone else who could have done the character as much justice as Christoph Waltz.

Not many men in this world can pull off this blue outfit and still appear as such a formidable badass. Jamie Foxx is the exception, and it speaks volumes for the amount of on screen swagger that he brings. Foxx’s performance is simply put, fun. His dialogue is extremely satisfying and his story is worth rooting for. The chemistry between Foxx and Waltz produces a wonderful partnership between Django and Shultz that left me wanting more. Every great hero has a great villain, and this fantastic duo is no exception.

Leonardo DiCaprio also gives an extremely strong performance as Calvin Candie. Candie is the owner of a large plantation that specializes in slave fighting and prostitution. Candie is repulsive, much like many of the slave owners in the film, but he still commands the attention on screen. His character is a seemingly calm and effervescent man, but through enraged outbursts his true nature is shown. Without giving away too much there is a scene with Candie as he discusses the human skull with Shultz and Django. This scene is terrifying and shows off the wonderful skill of DiCaprio.

Finally, and it goes without saying, Samuel L. Jackson is in top form and gives us an enjoyable performance. Jackson plays the role of Stephen who is the head slave in Candie’s plantation. Functioning as Candie’s right hand man, Stephen has a sense of loyalty to him and stays by his side, right or wrong. Jackson easily creates a loveably evil character that had the audience in laughter nearly every time he was on screen. The relationship between Candie and Stephen was a great contrast to Django and Shultz. The two duos played extremely well off of each other’s strengths and offered a lot of symbolic depth.

There are parts in the movie where I really felt myself checking the time. Django Unchained is a long movie that could have been a little tighter. However, it always seemed like there was something that would draw me right back in just as things started to drag on. The movie has its strong punches, dark humor (my favorite being a scene involving masks), and beautiful scenery to keep things worthwhile. I just wished it had balanced these elements a little better to keep the movie flowing in a more enjoyable fashion.

Django Unchained is a fun and bloody ride through a dark era in our history. It doesn’t hold any punches which may offend some. The film succeeds thanks to the wonderful cast and their performances of characters who show a lot of symbolic depth. The film’s length can feel taxing at times but the film has more than enough satisfying punches and dark humor to make up for the parts that drag.

Interested in writing reviews or news posts for Thinking Cinematic? Contact me at rrsolis@me.com! You can also send your guest reviews there too!

Connect with me at:
Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
Twitter: @Think_Cinematic
Email: Rrsolis@me.com

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2 responses to “Django Unchained

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of December 31st | Thinking Cinematic

  2. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of 15th | Thinking Cinematic

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