Amph Django Unchained

Discussion in 'Community' started by Adam of Nuchtern, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Souderwan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Your criticisms of Tarantino and what he may or may not think about the relevance of his film with respect to race relations are fair. Your criticisms of the film you haven't seen are not. If you ever bring yourself to actually watch it and you come back and post a reasoned critique, I'll be interested to read it. Otherwise, go back to bitching about The Dark Knight or Spider-Man. At least you've seen those and know what you're talking about.
    DarthTunick and Darth_Invidious like this.
  2. DarthMane2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 4
    Django was probably one of the best films I've seen this year, but as good as it was it still dissapointed me some what. The loss of his editor really shows IMO. The film is not as tight as his other films, and it's another case where, like the Hobbit, I feel we got the EXTENDED CUT instead of the Theatrical cut.Everything up to the point where he decides to simply just STOP the movie, is fine. If you've seen the film you'll know where and what I mean by the word STOP. Add to that the big action scene which was nothing more than shooting random bad guys. Bloody fun yes, but not his best work.

    All the acting was great, with Jackson and Waltz the obvious stand outs. Leo was great, but fell victim to the hype machine. He was not the end all be all of villains as he was advertised. You can tell Leo had a lot of fun playing the character, and it was a good character, but it the end he really didn't matter much. It's bad when one of the most evil things your character does is ask for a handshake.

    The Bag Head scene was great, and one of the stand out parts of the movie. Don Johnson needs more work.

    It was a great film, and it's another great Tarantino movie, but it fails at being the best thing he's done so far. Instead it's just another great addition to his already great catalogue.
  3. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2003
    star 7
    It probably says a lot about someone if they think Leo asking for a handshake was more evil than sicking dogs on a slave.
  4. Souderwan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Yeah...I happened to find that entire sequence easily the most disturbing thing in that whole film. The way Candy just held Django's gaze...chilling
  5. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    Django is one of the finest films I've seen at the theaters in quite awhile, easily a masterpiece & one of Tarantino's finest endeavors. Enough can't be said about the acting done by Foxx, Waltz, DiCaprio (he better win an Oscar for this), Washington (though she doesn't have much dialogue, she conveys such pain & beauty when either was needed in this film) & Jackson (I feel he ought to get a nod for Best Supporting Actor as well). The brilliance here is that this film is equally parts funny (Waltz dealing with the sheriff & Marshall in Daughtry & the baghead scene in particular) & terrifying/sickening (in particular a scene in which dogs are used on a runaway slave, a couple of scenes in which Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) goes through torture, the fighting scene when we're first introduced to DiCaprio's Calvin Candie). Even in a Tarantino style film, the depravity of slavery & the social norms present at that time (in particular the language used when describing many of the slaves in this film by various characters) are shown here as to paint a picture as to how utterly insane & sad that part of our history was in this country (I can't say 100% here as it seems the fighting slaves business that features heavily in the plot may not have been something that happened to such great degrees (or if at all) back then). There are different ways to make a film, different ways to make a point about atrocities, no matter what umbrage some people (Spike Lee chief among them) may have with Tarantino's style in a film about a terrible & delicate subject matter.
  6. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    I haven't seen the movie yet though i plan to, but American slavery(North American, Carribean, South American) was pretty depraved. Torture, rape, and other brutality was a norm, I don't think it would serve any story well to whitewash the past.
  7. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    light comparative critical analysis of Django and Lincoln

    mild ***SPOILER WARNING*** for the degenerates who care

  8. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    To be fair (since I liked the post there), I did enjoy Lincoln.
  9. Souderwan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Mark this day on your calendar. I agree with RT.
    DarthTunick likes this.
  10. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Silly nitpick: one does not "agree" with Rotten Tomatoes, one agrees with critical consensus. :p

    I think I'll be DVD waiting this - which is no commentary on my opinion of the film's merits, I just have trouble justifying going to the theaters these days. Looks really, really good.
    Last edited by Ramza, Dec 27, 2012
  11. Souderwan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    RT, in this case, is Rogue_Ten :p
  12. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Oh. Carry on, then.
  13. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2003
    star 7
    man, I can't get over how freaking evil Leo was in this. I never thought he'd be able to play a decent villain before this. He always seemed too boyish/likable. But damn was he good in this. I really didn't think he had it in him.
  14. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    you haven't seen the basketball diaries, huh?
  15. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2003
    star 7
  16. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    A question and a comment.

    1. Rogue, does that fellow actually have a different read on the contemporary legal/legislative situation? The movie doesn't present the compromise as an axiomatically good thing, but only one that is worthwhile given the political constraints of the moment. Unless he's challenging that argument, I don't see where his complaints have any merit.

    2. Enough with people leaning on this "giving voice to minorities" argument as a crutch. Like this--and everything else--on its own terms. Or don't. But spare me the argument that everyone should praise this thing just for including traditionally marginalized voices. In this selfsame year, another film did exactly the same thing, with similarly substantial backing, and not half as much fanfare (Redtails). I must stress again that what bothers me most about all this is not that someone enjoys an action movie. Fine. But stop trying to dress it in such noble pretensions. It's not some monumental entry into our artistic cannon nor a triumph of racial progress. It's a Tarantino revenge flick that happens to star black people in a historical moment that also involved black people.
  17. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2003
    star 7
    It's not an action movie. There's barely any action in it till the end. You're still making assumptions without having ever seen it.
  18. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    yes and he presents it rather clearly: murder all slaveowners and their families
  19. Souderwan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Enough with the talking out of your butt with absolute certitude about a movie you haven't seen.

    For the record, I watched (and own) Redtails. While I loved the movie, it was not as good as the HBO movie that told the same story. That said, I spoke much more highly about it than I do about Django Unchained, which I happened to enjoy more. Why do you feel the need to bash the film? You don't want to watch it? Fine. But you seem to be desperate to convince us that the film is something it isn't so that you can continue to sit in judgment about its relative lack of worth.
  20. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I'm admittedly being imprecise in what it is. But my criticisms pretty much all have to do with what it is not. The director himself is on record confirming those impressions, and none of you have really contradicted them, instead acknowledging things like the film's at times "absurd" tone. If it is some sort of serious, thoughtful piece, please say so now. If not, then this game of double speak is beyond irritating. One can't complain that this was never supposed to be a serious issues film whenever someone brings up its excesses, and then in the same breath praise it for being bold and taking on the big issues whenever it is time to praise the film or defend it against accusations of shallowness.

    Rogue: Lol. Very much as I expected, thank you.
    Last edited by Jabba-wocky, Dec 27, 2012
  21. Souderwan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    It is not. Not sure who here said it was. What double speak are you talking about?

    What has been said is that unlike other films that talk around the issue of slavery, this one actually doesn't whitewash it. What is so difficult for you to understand? The film is set 2 yrs before the Civil War in Texas. Slavery was integral to the economy and the culture of the population. The film centers on a black character who, through luck, skill, determination, and the love of a woman, rises up in that environment and frees his wife. It is an incredulous story but one that stares at the ugliness of slavery square in the face throughout the film. While the film itself may not be a "serious, thoughtful piece", the fact that it took this approach was serious and thoughtful.

    It's not a zero sum.
    Last edited by Souderwan, Dec 27, 2012
  22. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2003
    star 7
    ok. here's my take on everything.

    1. Tarantino is a douche. He always has been and he always will be. I love his movies, but the guy is an a-hole. I don't watch or read his interviews anymore for this reason. I let his movies do the talking for him.

    2. I wouldn't say the movie is a "serious, thoughtful piece" but that's the thing about Tarantino movies. He finds the perfect way of injecting humor into these types of movies without having the humor be insulting. The humor in IB never cheapened or trivialized the holocaust just like the humor in Django doesn't cheapen or trivialize slavery. Tarantino knows exactly what type of humor and how much of it is appropriate for the story. His movies aren't comedies. but just because something isn't a comedy doesn't mean it has to be completely devoid of levity. I compare his balance of comedy and drama with A Few Good Men. Completely different type of comedy and drama of course but the balance is all I'm looking at. A Few Good Men is a very funny movie. But it's about a very serious situation as well and the movie knows when to be funny and when not to be. Tarantino does the same thing with IB and DU.

    3. I would put any of the scenes in DU that are showing the brutality of slavery up against any scene in Schindler's List. Not to say that this is the Schindler's List of this subject matter. My point is that DU is just as effective in showing how jacked up things were as Schindler's List was. Those scenes in DU do not screw around with humor at all. They're dead serious and as far as I can tell, everyone in the theater took it very seriously.
    tom, DarthTunick and Souderwan like this.
  23. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    This is a hilariously stupid analysis of Lincoln that completely misses the point of, well, everything.

    Ol' Thad's choice is portrayed as positive, yes -- but because it is positive. Lincoln is a movie about the nitty-gritty political maneuverings behind Lincoln's great achievement -- the political compromises, the tit-for-tat, the pragmatic restraint, the things that had to go unsaid or be disguised, to get good goals advanced within the context of the political system. In that system, Stevens was faced with a choice between rigidly maintaining his position publicly -- recapitulating the beliefs everyone already knew he had -- speaking his full goals and thereby guaranteeing that he would not achieve anything for the slave population, or understating his goals -- committing a temporary sin against his ideological purity in order to actually achieve the single most important component of his goals and put himself in an excellent position to take that advance and then push for the rest of his goals. And as the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment hard on the heels of the Thirteenth demonstrates, this was in fact a spectacularly successful strategy, gaining Stevens's full political aims through a pragmatic willingness to utter a single white lie, understating his goals so that he can achieve them in two incremental steps rather than fail to achieve them all at once. Is it a matter of deep personal disappointment and conflict to him that he has to publicly compromise his beliefs? Yes, and the film addresses it as such. Yet Stevens also realizes that his uncompromising ideological fervor can be a handicap in the political arena, and that taking 75% of what he wants when it's offered to him, and then going after the other 25%, can be vastly more effective, and ultimately morally rewarding, than refusing the ninety-nine dollars someone's willing to hand you because you said you wanted a hundred, dammit.

    It's not as if Lincoln doesn't address the place of refusal to compromise -- Lincoln very nearly caves to the desire for peace negotiations before realizing that he has to stick to his moral guns and push the Thirteenth Amendment through even if it means scuttling the peace he wants. It just suggests that there is also, in the grueling battlefield that is the political process, a place for willingness to compromise, to understate one's goals and get as much of what you want locked down before you go after the rest. But, hey, the movie treats passing the Thirteenth Amendment as ultimately a good thing, and apparently it's unacceptable to do anything less than fullthroatedly endorse 100 PERCENT PUBLIC IDEOLOGICAL PURITY YEAH INEFFECTIVE RADICALISM FOREVER. What a problematic film!

    Which general failure to get the fact that it's a movie about political compromise feeds into the next point; it's a movie about the political machinations necessary to get the Thirteenth Amendment passed. Is there not a lot of black participation in the movie? Yes, but unfortunately, that's because there wasn't a lot of black participation in the process. It's a movie where black people get handed their freedom by white people? Well, yeah, the House was full of white people. That's where it had to come from. It's kind of the whole point of the movie that black people were not in a whole lot of political power. Yet our genius reviewer mistakes this historical reality for an issue with the film? Well, that's Marxism Today, or wherever the hell this analysis came from, for you: history fails to live up to our preferred reality. SUPPRESS IT. Airbrushed version or nothing.

    Would it be tremendously interesting to actually see the black perspective on these events as they're unfolding? Yes, I'd fully support seeing that movie get made. Yet it's hardly Lincoln's fault that it set out to be a movie about the nitty-gritty of the political process, not about the black reaction to the political process. It's called Lincoln, and shocker: it turns out to be about Lincoln. The perspective of Lincoln and his family and the political actors is naturally going to take center stage. Go ahead and defend Django, sure. But holy Jesus, is this take on Lincoln stupid.
    Arawn_Fenn likes this.
  24. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    that's not how critical analysis works. the reviewer didn't "miss the point" of the film, he rejected the filmmaker's choices, indeed the subject and framing of the film wholesale. in critical analysis the film is not viewed in terms of the intent of the filmmakers. instead the film is placed in a proper historical and cultural context of the culture in which it is embedded. by this measure, the reviewer suggests django is the more culturally valuable work of art, (simply in terms of the catharsis it offers) whereas lincoln is more of the same old white savior, toothless liberal pap hollywood usually churns out.

    on that note:

    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Dec 29, 2012
  25. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I just got back from Django which I very, very much enjoyed. I should say, in relation to the lengthy review posted above, that I also very, very much enjoyed Lincoln. It's okay for different filmmakers to bring different sensibilities to similar subject matter. I love them both.

    Now, as to Django, a few of the real positives are as follows. Christoph Waltz is utterly fantastic as the verbose, pretentious Schultz. He nails the dialogue absolutely perfectly and the way his character slowly transitions from being philosophically opposed to slavery to being genuinely emotionally sickened by it over the course of the film is the best real character arc in the entire movie. DiCaprio is similarly brilliant as Candie, the foppish, charming villain of the piece. After a few films (Shutter Island, Inception, etc.) playing the tortured hero, DiCaprio returns here to what I feel is his real strength: playing a charming sociopath. He gets every moment exactly right. He is incredibly charming when the moment calls for it and powerfully, maniacally unhinged during the showdown at the dinner table. Samuel L. Jackson is very good as Stephen; he is extremely funny at some moments and deeply disturbing at others. The inclusion of a character like Stephen is indicative of the film's surprising complexity. Foxx is the weakest link in the cast, but perhaps this is because he is asked to do nothing but be incredibly stoic for most of the film's runtime. I kept wishing for a young Denzel Washington, who would have brought a whole other level of intensity to the part of Django. In small roles, Kerry Washington is very good, expressing loads of emotion with little dialogue and Don Johnson is a hoot as the preening Big Daddy. And I will admit that I laughed out loud when
    Show Spoiler
    Jonah Hill
    made his cameo.

    The film has no shortage of great moments. On the disturbing end of the spectrum, the dog scene is incredibly disturbing, in spite (or perhaps because), the camera shows so little of the actual mauling, choosing to focus on the faces of those present: Candie's simpering smile, Django's stoic performance and Schultz' difficulty at hiding his true emotions. So too is the flashback in which Broomhilda is whipped by the Brittle Brothers. The scene in which
    Show Spoiler
    a captured Django is almost castrated
    is equally harrowing. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the baghead sequence is really hilarious. For sheer tension and suspense, the entire dinner sequence at Candyland is a masterpiece and the handshake exchange is incredibly suspenseful. It ramped up until I was on the edge of my seat waiting for something horrible to happen; when it did break into violence, it came from a totally surprising direction (I was expecting something almost exactly opposite to happen) and I literally gasped aloud.
    Show Spoiler
    Even better is the follow up moment, when the now completely redeemed Schultz can only shrug and say, "I couldn't resist." His objection to slavery is no longer a
    "philosophical" one; it is one he is willing to give his life for.
    The gunfight that ensues is pure Tarantino joy, Peckinpah's Wild Bunch meets Monty Python's tea party. And a word for the music; it's no shock for a Tarantino movie, but it was absolutely perfect. Of course, the Morricone stuff works; but so does the hip hop. What a great film.
    tom, DarthTunick and Armenian_Jedi like this.