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Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained (2012)

It took me an unusually long time to get around to seeing Tarantino’s latest film. After all, my kid is named after a Tarantino movie, you’d think I’d have at least gotten around to seeing Django Unchained before it came out on video. But you’d be wrong. I just saw it this past weekend.

There were two lines of feedback I heard about Django: (1) It was great. (2) It was really really violent.

To those who expressed the latter opinion: Have you ever seen a Tarantino movie?  For serious.

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Tarantino got “big” in the mainstream with Pulp Fiction, which I genuinely believe shifted the way we think about storytelling through movies.  But Pulp Fiction was now decades ago. The shock of the violence has since faded.  And Tarantino’s most recent popular flick, Inglorious Basterds, was horrifically bloody, but it was also a Nazi flick, so the audience went in expecting that kind of bloodshed.

Django had all the Tarantino hallmarks: Revenge fantasy, Campy theme, Violence to the point of absurdity, Larger than life personalities. “Say goodbye to Miss Lara Lee.” Hilarious. I love it.

I think Django is a solid middle-of-the-pack Tarantino film. It’s a good movie, but not traditional Oscar material, so I’m not really surprised that it ended up with nominations but no statues (“Editor’s” note: where is my brain? It won for Screenplay & Supporting Actor. I’d edit this to try to make the point I was going for, but I don’t even really remember that at this point.) It’s not at the top with Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Kill Bill, but it’s not down in the dregs with From Dusk Til Dawn or whichever godawful Grindhouse movie it was that he directed.


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