Friday, July 22, 2016

1003. Django Unchained

Django Unchained
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

I apologize for taking so long to get back here.  It's strange; when I had about twenty reviews to write I was much more motivated to work.  Now that I only have to write one every once and awhile it's much easier to put off.  However, I have fought against my own lethargy and have emerged victorious.  Does that make me a hero?  I suppose that is up to you.

In 1858, Dr. King Schultz, a German dentist turned bounty hunter, buys Django, a slave who was recently sold off and separated from his wife.  Schultz wants Django to help him find the Brittle Brothers, a group of wanted outlaws who used to work as overseers on the plantation where Django was enslaved.  Schultz offers Django his freedom in exchange for his assistance in tracking down the Brittles.  Schultz and Django quickly form a true partnership and their respect for each other grows.  Schultz wants to help Django find and free his enslaved wife, Broomhilda.  This goal becomes a tad more complicated when they discover that Broomhilda's new owner is Calvin Candie, a sadistic plantation owner who forces slaves to fight to the death for his own entertainment.

Well, if you enjoyed Inglourious Basterds it is almost impossible to not like this.  Once again, we have a righteous tale of revenge with a great (and, in this case, hunky) villain.  It is arguably even more satisfying than IB, as the brilliant Christoph Waltz plays a good guy, while retaining the characteristics that made him such a fascinating person in IB.  I am trying to get "IB" started, although come to think of it, I think that abbreviation is already taken...

Overall, I think this is Tarantino at his best.  The action is well paced and the acting is fantastic.  I also liked that Tarantino used comedy to make the racist characters look ridiculous.  Highly recommended.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Leonardo DiCaprio accidentally crushed a glass in his hand during the dinner scene, but stayed in character and finished the scene.  He did, however, halt filming during another dinner scene, as he felt uncomfortable using so many racial slurs.  Could this man be any sexier?

Django and Broomhilda are meant to be the great great great grandparents of Shaft.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

1002. Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

I should probably develop some sort of system in selecting the order in which I complete the rest of the Lists.  Otherwise I will end up just writing about all my favorites and being left with such disasterpieces as Field of Dreams and Lincoln.  My only idea for themes so far is to write about horror movies for the month of October.  With these creativity skills, it's hard to believe that I keep getting turned down for jobs.

In Nazi-occupied France, Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the slaughter of her entire family by Colonel Hans Landa, who is known by the moniker "The Jew Hunter."  She plots her revenge a few years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller arranges to have the film based on his wartime exploits premiere at the theater she runs.  Meanwhile, Lt Aldo Raine leads a group of ruthless Nazi hunters, nicknamed the "Basterds." The film premiere, which will be attended by nearly every Nazi officer, attracts the attention of the Basterds, who plan their own attack.

Come to think of it, writing about films I enjoy is much harder than writing about movies I hate.  Maybe I will go through all the ones I expect to dislike first.  Basically, I think this film is brilliant.  To me, Quentin Tarantino's world is very simple.  People die young, violence solves everything, etc.  In his world, it makes sense for the Jewish population to attack the Germans just as mercilessly as they have been attacked.  It is also grimly satisfying to watch.  We all know violence only makes things worse, an eye for the eye makes the whole world blind, blah blah blah.  Sometimes it is nice to see evil people get swastikas carved into their skin.

I probably keep making this claim, but this time I mean it: Colonel Hans Landa has got to be the greatest movie villain of all time.  The only performance that I thought was a little off was Eli Roth's, but that might just have to be because of the strangeness of his character.

Love, love, love this movie and I might be back to talk about Django in a bit.  I'm kind of on a Tarantino kick right now.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Eli Roth and Omar Doom were almost burned alive during the fire sequence.  They were later treated for minor burns.

Shot sequentially.