After “Inglorious Basterds” earned universal acclaim from critics and movie goers alike, Quentin Tarantino worked on his next project titled starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and his good luck charm, Samuel L. Jackson in a throwback to Clint Eastwood westerns set two years before The Civil War titled, “Django Unchained.” Officially released in 2012 (same year Dredd came out) Quentin’s seventh film received unanimous praise from critics and movie goers alike. Plus, it became Quentin’s highest grossing film. Quentin earned his second Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay” and Christoph Waltz earned his second Oscar for “Best Supporting Actor.” Despite praise, Django Unchained drew controversy over its depiction of violence, slavery and usage of The N-Word. Spike Lee hated the film claiming it disrespects his ancestors. Regardless of controversy, Django Unchained is one of the best films Quentin made.
The sole reason why I wanna share my thoughts on this movie, is because Quentin’s currently developing an eight-part limited series. As a fan of his work, I’m hyped for his upcoming project.
Today’s review contains no SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Bullseye & Miss Aspects
Bullseye: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Walton Goggins, Don Johnson & Samuel L. Jackson all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Will Smith turned down the role of Django for a variety of reasons. The script’s too violent, he didn’t want to star as a slave seeking revenge and was busy filming “After Earth” with his son, Jaden.
Quentin Tarantino did an excellent job writing and directing the film. He also makes an appearance as an Australian miner.
Action Sequences don’t shy away from over-the-top violence. That’s Quentin for ya. If you have a weak stomach, bring a barf bag.
Quentin’s trademarks contain pop culture references, well written dialogue, dark humor, revenge, bloody battles and a catchy soundtrack.
Cinematography captures in-depth imagery. Makes me wanna replay “Red Dead Redemption” and its sequel.
Practical Effects were heavily involved to bring Set Pieces, pyrotechnics and fatalities to life.
The film’s set in 1858. Two years before The Civil War. As a warning, several characters say The N-Word. Back then, it was ok. Nowadays, you can’t say it anymore. I do not condone racism.
There’s a lot of memorable quotes. My favorite one is, “The D is silent hillbilly.”
Chemistry between Django & Shultz serves as the main highlight.
Instrumental tracks by Ennio Morricone. (The Dollars Trilogy, Once Upon a Time in the West, John Carpenter’s The Thing) The late composer eventually worked with Quentin earning his overdue Oscar in “The Hateful Eight.”
This isn’t the first time Sam Jackson encountered a man named Jango. Except there’s no D. Does “Attack of the Clones” ring any bells?
Soundtrack contains songs by Jim Croce, John Legend, Rick Ross, Johnny Cash and a mash-up song of James Brown’s “The Payback” and 2Pac’s “Untouchable.” I have to give this mash-up song Bonus Points. Played effectively in one particular scene. As if it belongs in a “GTA” game.
Bromhilda’s last name is “Shaft.” A reference to a popular film from the ’70s. Sam also starred as the character twice in 2000 and 2019.
Character Development involving Django. As the film progresses, he becomes a skilled bounty hunter with the help from his mentor, Shultz.
Jonah Hill, Bruce Dern & Michael Parks make cameo appearances.
Django influences are “The Dollars Trilogy” and Clint Eastwood westerns.
Quentin stated Calvin is the character. he despises. I agree. Calvin’s sadistic than previous characters including Mr. Blonde from “Reservoir Dogs,” Zed from “Pulp Fiction,” Ordell Robbie from “Jackie Brown” Bill from “Kill Bill,” Stuntman Mike from “Death Proof” and Hans Landa from Inglorious Basterds.
Leo confirmed Calvin is the worst character he’s ever played. He’ll do anything for an Oscar. Luckily, he finally got one for “The Revenant.”
By the way, Leo actually injured his hand in character. You can tell he’s pulling no punches. A true method actor who never backs down.
Before the movie starts, the Colombia Pictures logo has an old school look. Meaning, we’re going back in time.
Franco Nero makes a cameo. He’s the original Django. I didn’t realize Quentin’s film is a remake of an Italian Western series from the ’60s.
A Post-Credits Scene is optional to watch.
Miss: I couldn’t find nothing wrong. I’m giving Quentin and his crew an Extra Point for making a flawless film as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Django Unchained is a timeless masterpiece. It’s my third favorite film from 2012, runner-up’s “Skyfall” and my number one pick, “The Avengers.” If you’re a fan of Quentin Tarantino’s work like me, I strongly recommend all his movies.