DJANGO UNCHAINED Review

by     Posted 1 year, 330 days ago

django unchained jamie foxx

When people speak of America’s great history, there should be an asterisk involved.  This is a great country with a rich history, but it’s a history that also involves genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans.  But we considered it civilized, and no country wants to recognize its barbaric behavior (even Barbarians probably thought they weren’t so bad).  In the classic western, we see American West mythologized with heroes and villains.  In the spaghetti western, we see how a foreign country (Italy) reexamined the values of our westerns.  In his new film, Django Unchained, writer-director Quentin Tarantino takes the western to the American South of 1858, and reconsiders the civility of our “great history.”  At turns painfully hilarious and explosively violent, Django Unchained doesn’t have the narrative tightness of Tarantino’s previous features, but it retains all of the thoughtfulness and style the filmmaker has become known for.

Django (Jamie Foxx) is a slave on a chain gang, but he’s freed from his captors by the eccentric bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz).  Schultz frees Django on the condition that Django help Schultz find the Brittle Brothers since Schultz doesn’t know what they look like.  Afterwards, Schultz pledges to train Django in the ways of bounty hunting, help him track down his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), and free her from the despicable plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

christoph-waltz-jamie-foxx-django-unchained

The relatively simple premise expands into an epic feature not because of its twists and turns, but because of its digressions to show how Django goes from being a faceless slave to a man with an increasingly violent disposition that is held at bay only by his love for Broomhilda.  He’s a man walking around a hateful world that doesn’t realize how hateful it is.  The very notion of seeing a “nigger on a horse” is absolutely appalling to townsfolks, but it bewilders Schultz since he’s not an American.  Together, the two have to confront the bizarre notions of justice in an inherently unjust world.

Tarantino, naturally, handles these situations with verbose, hilarious dialogue, and violence that makes it look like Sonny Corleone got off light.  The chatty side goes to Schultz, who believes he can kill as he pleases as long as he has the proper documentation.  To him, “flesh is flesh”, and while Schultz finds slavery abhorrent, he sees himself in a similar trade except the bodies he delivers are dead.  As the film moves along, Schultz learns that not all flesh is created equal, but it’s not a body’s mortality that defines its worth.

django-unchained-movie-image-christoph-waltz

What makes Django Unchained a worthwhile experience is that the movie isn’t simply saying, “Slavery is bad,” as if no one realized that.  Instead, it asks, “Why did no one think slavery was bad?”  How does a culture evolve to where a man can have two black people fight to the death for his entertainment?  And it’s not as if Candie’s “mandingo” fights are unbelievable.  They’re gladiatorial combat.  Candie can speak about a Southern tradition, but slavery is a tradition that has spanned centuries and civilizations.

This notion of “civilization” is what makes Django Unchained so fascinating.  Throughout the movie, we see and hear references to civility, but never in a heavy-handed way.  It’s in the little touches of characters’ behavior, and more importantly, the behaviors of society.  In addition to providing proper documentation for his murders, Schultz stresses the importance of not wearing a hat indoors.  For all of his fancy trappings, Candie is nothing more than a wealthy, well-spoken brute.  At most, his heavy handed, Tarantino lets the camera linger on a marble statue of Roman wrestling.

django-unchained-movie-image-leonardo-dicaprio

As usual, Tarantino buries his subtext in a stylish whirlwind of comedy and violence.  The cast delivers with Waltz being the standout.  Schultz is almost the flipside of Waltz’s previous Tarantino character, Hans Landa.  Both men are happy to kill for their own ends, but Schultz has an inner warmth and playfulness whereas Landa wore those traits as a mask to hide his sadism.  If anything, Landa has more in common with Calvin Candie, although DiCaprio seems to be aiming at the scenery-chewing performance of Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine.  DiCaprio never seems to completely give himself over to the character’s eccentricities, and the restraint slightly diminishes his performance.  As for Foxx, he slightly fades into the background when standing next to Waltz, but the pairing works since neither is trying to one-up the other, and Foxx is the one with a more complex character arc.

Surrounding these characters are Tarantino’s signature flourishes: the catchy and bombastic soundtrack, the dynamic cinematography, the esoteric nods to the genre, etc.  The only missing ingredient is the tightness of the editing, and this can likely be attributed to the loss of Tarantino’s longtime editor, Sally Menke.  Menke died in 2010, and her absence is greatly felt in Django Unchained.  The movie isn’t horribly edited as much as it feels like a half-step behind where it should be.

jamie-foxx-django-unchained

Aside from the editing problems, Django Unchained is the kind of film we’ve come to expect from Tarantino.  The commentary is sharp and insightful without being overbearing, the comedy is irreverent (one sequence could have been taken right out of Blazing Saddles), and the action is blood-soaked.  We may like to remember a noble history that never existed, but if we’re going to rewrite history, we may as well blow it to hell.  We were halfway there already.

Rating: A-

django-unchained-poster




Like Us


Comments:

FB Comments

  • Strong Enough

    I can’t wait to see Django kill some whiteys :)

    • Anonymous

      He kills Sam Jackson too

  • anti-liberal

    funny how all these left wing liberals talk shit about gun control…. violence…. less guns and crime blah blah blah….. but still ,here comes another extremely violent and gun filled movie with hollywood’s stamp of approval. such hypocrites.

    how does jamie foxx get away with going on live tv and in print saying the reason he loved donig this movie was that he gets to kill the white folks.

    im sure if a white actor said the same- “u know i loved this doing this movie because of all the colored folks i get to kill”- …. can u imagine the backlash, rev. sharpton and jackson on tv 24hrs calling it racist blah blah blah…..

    can’t have ur cake and eat it too fuckers!!!!

    • JW.

      your name is political related… prepare for internet genocide.

      • anti-liberal

        only a communist racist liberal would talk shit like that. then get called out for it.
        next you’ll say i was just joking…..it’s only entertainment… fuck you liberal. if there is a genocide believe me- all gun owners will be looking for liberals like u first!

      • JW.

        Well no I’m not a liberal. I don’t discuss my politics online. Just wanted to let you know how politics work on the internet. specifically this site.

    • Junierizzle

      I love how white people still hate that black people are free.

      • anti-liberal

        wrong! white people don’t hate that black people are free. what people dislike is anyone who thinks they are owed something just because of the color of their skin. what people dislike is working their asses off 50-60 hrs a wk for shit pay only to see that money goto people who feel entitled to it because of something that happened 150+ yrs ago. what people dislike is people who don’t want to work or try to work , but just expect that the govt will pay for everything and have recourse for their actions.

      • Redneck white trash bible thumper

        Only the most redneck of redneck white trash would think to blame movies rather than semi-automatic assault weapons. If you want to hunt empty beer bottles behind your trailer anti-liberal, why don’t you use handguns and hunting rifles instead of a military issued semi-automatic assault rifle? If you love those semi-automatics so much, why don’t you grow a pair of balls and join the military? Or are you too coward to fire at something that fires back? Also find me in the constitution where it OKs semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction but forbids nuclear weapons for every household. Do you have a missile silo? No? Why not? Because it’s too dangerous for civilians to own? Hmm, whodathunkit?

      • anti-liberal

        to redneck,
        where do u think people have been introduced to semi-auto weapons? did a traveling salesman knock on ur door and say hey folks, come on outside and see these semi auto rifles i have. no people see these weapons in films, tv shows, and on the news. they become interested in them- our curiosity leads us to seek out such things and we end up joining the military, going to the police academy or going to a gun store. whether i have served or not has no baring in this conversation- and yes if i have to shoot at someone who is shooting at me i will do what i have to do, nor do i “go out back of my trailer” to shoot beer cans- another liberal racist who uses racism to get his point across.

        just for your’e clarification- semi auto rifles are not military issued. the military issues what is called “select fire”- which means it can shoot a single round, a short 3 round burst or go full auto.
        “civilian modes” are not issued by the military. A semi-automatic rifle is distinguished from a fully automatic rifle or machine gun in that it can only fire once each time the trigger is pulled.

        re the constitution- it states In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia[1][2] and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. plain and simple.

        re the missle silo- i’m pretty sure that dhs would have already come by if it was sitting on my front lawn. not sure if the neighbors would have enjoyed obstructed views.

        if u want to sit at the big boy table then bring facts not rhetoric.

      • ProudAmerican

        First, I find it interesting that the injustice perpetrated on Native Americans keeps being called “genocide” by some. Subjugation certainly. But no one has ever given me clear evidence that its intention was to kill off the entire race. Second, how is it that people still characterize America of that period has being ok with slavery. It seems to me that from the beginning of the United States until the Emancipation Proclamation (about 85 years) most white people were against slavery. It was an very, very, very unfortunate political compromise that was rectified quickly when you consider that the African Slave Trade had been going on for centuries first by the Arabs, then Europe.

    • Giovanni

      I saw the things he said which you are referring to during his opening Monologue hosting Saturday Night Live a couple weeks ago, and i too was a little disturbed by his nonchalant attitude making such hateful comments. But i just figure even if he’s joking the African American Community gets a past this generation from all the White Guilt. Huge reason Obama is even in office as well . (White Guilt.)

    • Hey Now

      We all know whitey deserves it. You can’t be an asshole your entire life without getting your comeuppance. Just like how America is now getting its comeuppance for years of fiscal reckless and a foreign totalitarian military policy. FUCK AMERICA! MERRY XMAS!

    • J Wilson

      Not sure why I’m going to bother engaging someone who is clearly politically biased, but here goes…

      Movies don’t kill people. The right movie in the wrong hands never adds up to more than a shitty movie, though done will still like it whike others not so much. Likewise, those are easy enough to avoid… just like a shitty song or television show.

      See, there’s grey area. Different folks will get different things from our media – which is why Matt Goldberg reviews moves and has to wade through a thousand comments all calling him a thousand different names by people who only slightly disagree with him.

      Guns are a different things. They are meant for a single purpose, so to kill one or two things at a time, and others to kill many MANY things all at once. Either way, they are meant for destruction, and their use in any capacity brings just that.

      My question for you is: does the person who’s right it is to own one of these weapons have a greater srake in freedom than those of us who want to go to the mall without getting shot? Should you’re right to bare arms override my child’s right to life, liberty and pursuits of happiness?

      You’re not dumb; you clearly know how to use a computer, so I’ll assume we agree that 20 kids should be allowed to go to school without getting murdered, their bodies riddled with bullets. If we agree on tgat, then we must then decide, together, as a society, how we want to prevent that in the short term, and tge long term. And our short term solution isn’t going to come from badmouthing Tarantino of Jamie Foxx (neither of which I give a shit about, as actors, directors, or whatever). It isn’t going to come from banning movies, video games either.

      Rather, the short term solution comes from common sense regulations on products not designed to entertain or engage, or transport, or cut up our food, but products with no other purpose but to kill.

      Now, call me a ‘lib’ or a ‘mother fucker’ or whatever you want. But you know I’m right. And I’ll still kick your ass.

      • anti-liberal

        1. i am not politically biased- what i want is for hollywood to stop manufacturing and profting off movies, tv shows, music, books, etc…that protray the kind of violence that they speak out against. your’e smart enough to understand that- i also assume you can find reason with this.

        2. why should responsible gun owners like myself be punished because of someone else’s mistakes?

        3. wouldn’t it benefit me to enjoy my ccw rights and protect my family and kids if i needed too?

        4. as a parent it’s your’e responsibility to protect ur kids, but you and i both know there are people out there who don’t value life. so how does my protecting my family with my 2nd amendment rights take away from your’e kids right to grow up happy and well adjusted?

        5. how do you propose regulating products that are intended for protection not “just for killing”?
        do you feel that police officers and federal agents and the military should be disarmed?

        6. the truth is firearms and the right to own is our god given right as americans. our founding fathers and our ancestors used these as a means to an end- against evils that wanted to take away those precious rights, liberties, and happiness we all enjoy in this country.

        7. i do agree there needs to be some sort of mental health test/exam given before someone can purchase a firearm.

        8. lastly i applaud your’e humor ,but no there will be no ass kicking. sorry.

      • Grayden

        Anti-liberal, you do realize that the reason Hollywood profits off of movies that contain violence is because Americans go see said films. There’s a demand there, and Hollywood fulfills it. Human beings are violent creatures, and we will always know conflict within the confines of our species. Where the path diverges is whether we take the road of higher understanding and acknowledge our primal tendencies and strive to remove them from our societies, or if we allow ourselves to devolve to a baser animal and justifiy our lust for violence and the tools we have created to aid us in that violence. Guns do one of two things: Intimidate and/or Kill. Regardless if it’s in the hands of a good or bad person, it will always do one of those two things.

      • J Wilson

        Okay…

        1 – You called yourself, ‘anti-liberal.” You are politically biased.

        2 – Because you are part of a society. You share the world with the rest of us. And you’re not being punished, you are potentially accepting what is at best an inconvenience (guns that aren’t automatic, and require reloading after 6-10 rounds is sufficient to hint, and protect yourself).

        3 – See # 2

        4 – I say again, if you as a gun owner accept that you can own guns that aren’t automatic, military weapons and utilize clips that hold only 6-10 bullets at a time, that’s a compromise that will prevent this repeated lass slaughter we keep seeing.

        5 – As for the first part of your statement (and I know you’re going to get sick of hearing this), if you as a gun owner accept that you can own guns that aren’t automatic, military weapons and utilize clips that hold only 6-10 bullets at a time, that’s a compromise that will prevent this repeated lass slaughter we keep seeing. As for the second part, police and military service members go through rigorous training regiments and CONTINUED psychological evaluations. Also, when they quit or be discharged, they do not get to keep their weapons, because they no longer need them.

        6 – You should read the second amendment – it actually has very specific criteria for earning those liberties, not the least of which was the expectation of service in a militia (which we no longer need because we now have a nation military). Also, those rights don’t come from an god, but men, and the constitution has been changed many times.

        7 – There are privacy issues that exist with regard to mental health issues; do you honestly suggest we start labeling people who might fit a certain diagnosis? How about making those deemed mentally ill start sewing a gold Star of David to their clothes…oh wait, that’s been done.

        * – Lastly, I’ll make you a deal – you don’t name call, I won’t as kick. Deal?

      • anti-liberal

        j. wilson- as i state above in another post ” semi auto rifles are not military issued. the military issues what is called “select fire”- which means it can shoot a single round, a short 3 round burst or go full auto.
        “civilian modes” are not issued by the military. A semi-automatic rifle is distinguished from a fully automatic rifle or machine gun in that it can only fire once each time the trigger is pulled.

        wether it is 1 in the chamber or a 30 round pmag it makes no difference- they all have the same end result. it’s up to the responsible gun owner what he/she feels is needed re hunting or for protection.

        our founding fathers drafted the const. on the basis of a belief in god and religious values- so yes in my view it is a god given right to bear arms.

        also just because someone is discharged doesn’t mean they don’t still own/keep firearms in their home. soliders are given standard issue weapons and gear-but they can go out and purchase weapons on their own to use as long as they are rated proficient using them w/the exception of fully auto carbines which are indeed loaned and returned, but any modifications, accessories added are kept by the solider as he/she paid for them not the govt.

        lastly, not sure where ur going w/the star of david ref- my point is that if military/police/feds have to undergo psych testing before gaining access weapons for lethal force then the same rationale should be used for the general public.

        thats all i’m gonna say here.

      • J Wilson

        Anti-liberal, since you aren’t going to say anymore, I too will finish my contribution on this thread by saying you’re wrong about a lot of this; in fact, you have a very childish reading of the Constitution. And your rights don’t trump mine, no matter how hard you thrash about.

        Thanks for playing, and have a Merry Christmas.

    • Curbcooler

      Some of you idiot right-wing douchbags do know what this movie is about and what Jaime Foxx character is right?!

      Take your irrelevant asses back to breitbart.com and stop wasting everyone’s time here at collider.

      • anti-liberal

        maybe u should head back over to the “obama channel”. oops i mean cnn, wait no i mean nbc, no i meant msnbc, , – i think chris mathews or some libturd is about to say some anti-american statement that all liberals will rejoice in.

        thanks for promoting breitbart.com

    • Junierizzle

      Actually the people that benefit most from government programs are WHITE WOMEN.

      • anti-liberal

        actually u are wrong. instead of spouting off bullshit provide some real facts.
        oh wait i already did…..http://www.statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics/
        and yes i know all races have at one time or another have been on govt programs.
        it’s obvious that u hate whites and want to kill them or hope for them to be killed- per ur comments.

    • Grayden

      Oh, I’m sorry…the Fox News message boards are over there. Here we comment on film-related topics, not political rhetoric.

      Also, calm the shit down. You are wound too tight for Collider.com

    • ˚∆˚

      Not sure if troll or just very, very stupid.

    • Anon

      Anti-Liberal: +1 your so fucking right. I hope there’s a civil war us vs. THEM its gonna be so much fun

    • stove

      Where can i get this all encompassing stamp of approval? They are out of Approval Stamps at my local craft store at this time of the year.

    • USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

      It’s disappointing seeing you rail against the Free Market like this. I live in AMERICA, pal! Maybe in your country things work differently, but here we believe that the invisible hand of the market has spoken! American buy tickets to Tarantino’s work. It’s called capitalism, something you sitting there in your Che T-shirt wouldn’t know anything about!

  • Raymond Duck

    The phrase “even the Barbarians probably thought they weren’t so bad” makes no sense when you consider the word “Barbarian” in its historical context. Research stuff before you put it in your reviews!

    As a History student, it physically pains me when you write about history in your reviews, as you rarely get it even remotely right.

    • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

      Leaving in the word “the” was a mistake. But “barbarians” is a historical term.

      • steven austin ziesche

        MR GOLDBERG, I have given you tons of shit on line and have not been the biggest fan of your writing, but i really really enjoyed your review and wanted to tell you so. Well done, Mr. Goldeberg.

  • mattdibz

    Foxx was havin a laugh when he made that statement. Sure it was in poor taste but don’t you get it?
    Not everybodys a politically correct pussy afraid to just let things roll out. Have a sense of humour!

    • Anon

      Yea thats real ‘funny’ watch if a white person jokes around like that. Niggers would be in the streets

      • that 1

        ^^ too far, kid…

        No one is cutting you a check to take it there, knock it out.

  • Anti-liberal

    How dare you all support a film that endorses the abolition of slavery? The North took the South
    s god given right to own people. You all disgust me.

    And how dare you take away my right to get bigger and bigger guns to add more and more inches to my laughable tiny dick? How else am I going to pretend it\’s my tiny cock satisfying my wife and not or black gardener\’s if I can\’t shoot a high-powered anti-tank cannon? Next you\’ll be telling me I can\’t rape my farm animals or marry one of my blood relations? Take one liberty away the rest goes out the window!

    USA! USA! USA!

    • anti-liberal

      thanks- needed a good laugh. you should write for collider- maybe take over for goldberg.

    • reality

      you were potty trained by gunpoint weren’t you?

      poor thing

  • brNdon

    Wow! Did you write this review based on the trailers? Once again you think that reviewing a movie is giving us cliff notes on the plot. I bet you did backflips at the opportunity to say the n-word in your review.

  • REALLY?

    Leo drives a Prius so it’s ALL good.

  • Wow.

    How is everyone who comments on this site so fucking stupid.

    • Christ, Jesus H.

      I was thinking the exact same thing. Somehow managed to get here after reading the new stuff about the Star Trek sequel, saw this review, read it, moved on to the comments and… I thought I was somehow redirected to The Blaze or some bullshit.

  • Rump

    “How does a culture evolve to where a man can have two black people fight to the death for his entertainment?”

    Remove the word ‘black’ and that’s where we are now, and I don’t see you questioning it.

  • Old Soldier

    Goldberg, you’re saying Pulp Fiction had ”tightness of editing”? That movie was a F’ing mess.

  • ProudAmerican

    First, I find it interesting that the injustice perpetrated on Native Americans keeps being called \"genocide\" by some. Subjugation certainly. But no one has ever given me clear evidence that its intention was to kill off the entire race. Second, how is it that people still characterize America of that period has being ok with slavery. It seems to me that from the beginning of the United States until the Emancipation Proclamation (about 85 years) most white people were against slavery. It was an very, very, very unfortunate political compromise that was rectified quickly when you consider that the African Slave Trade had been going on for centuries first by the Arabs, then Europe.

  • USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

    GO BACK TO CUBA, ANTI-LIBERAL!

  • visu

    It is sad to see how the comments section is being wasted these days by diverging so far from the principle subject of discussing movie and the review.

  • Nate

    Fuck Politics.

  • Groothewanderer

    Damn Matt! Can’t you write something without getting everyones panties in a bunch?

  • Groothewanderer

    Damn Matt! Can\’t you write something without getting everyones panties in a bunch?

  • Pingback: Max n' Out Entertainment » Blog Archive » Jamie Foxx And Kerry Washington Talk DJANGO UNCHAINED, Deleted Scenes, The Casting Process And Foxx Talks About His Song In The Film!

  • Provocative

    I was in two minds while viewing this film. Initially it was more of a comedy and most parts totally unbelievable from a black person’s perspective.

    The blacks had a grasp for the English language in this film tthey wouldn’t have had. Sheba the mulato woman would have been more suited for the era and film, The Great Gatsby! The slaves yes they were played by blacks, but didn’t look African. Django became proficient in the use of fire arms to fast and being a black bounty hunter killing whites was improbable and unbelievable.

    There were only two convincing characters in this film, Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candy and Samuel L Jackson as Stephen. The only two roles l took seriously. The others were simply unbelievable not because of the acting, because of the script.

    I didn’t see any controversy that blacks or whites should be concerned about, It didn’t raise any new issues that we didn’t already know and the script lacked any real bite to cause American’s to acknowledge and confront the issue of racism that still exist.

  • http://emmanueladegbola.com/organo-gold-reviews/ organo gold reviews

    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable familiarity regarding unpredicted
    feelings.

Click Here