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December 27, 2012

Django Unchained: Can We Talk This Out?

Fancy that.  For a guy who once went years without going to the movies, I’ve done pretty well this year.  The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Cloud Atlas, and Django Unchained -- that’s quite a bit of a haul, at least from my perspective.  And I actually saw two movies in one month.  For me, that’s like the planets aligning, or people unanimously deciding to stop making jokes about Uranus.

With that in mind, I figure I might as well rank the movies I’ve seen.  It seems like a tradition to do that for end-of-year posts, and I’ll go ahead and do the same.  So, from bottom to top, here’s how the movies I’ve seen stack up, with a one-sentence “gist” of what I thought of each (and of course, in-depth looks under the Movie Magick tab).  Make of my thoughts what you will…just don’t fire up your Hatred Engines.  This is a happy place.  Usually.

#7: Cloud Atlas
Three hours of philosophizing is a true-true way to test your patience.

#6: Prometheus
An awe-inspiring adventure into an alien world…that is, until the plot happens.

#5: The Hunger Games
It’s far from hazardous to your health (barring Katniss poisoning.)

#4: The Dark Knight Rises
You did well enough, Nolan -- now, about that spinoff for Commissioner Gordon…

#3: Looper
Commendable merely for not creating a time paradox with its existence alone.

#2: The Avengers
Do I really need to say anything besides “Puny god”?

#1: Django Unchained
This one’s gonna require some explaining…so let’s get right to it, yeah?

(WARNING: SPOILERS, as is my usual standard.  Also, this is going to take more than one sentence, so you might want to kick up your boots and take hold of a tall bottle of sarsaparilla.  Similarly, have your trusted six-shooter in your holster, because there’s no telling when some varmint might hassle you, and you’re thrown into a real hootenanny of a hoedown.

Being a pre-Civil War tough guy.  Am I doing it right?)

I want to start this by saying I had no idea what to expect of Django Unchained.  All I knew was that arrangements were made with a friend to see it on Christmas day -- a friend who I assume is a devoted fan of Quentin Tarantino -- and to refuse was to pop him, my brother, and the director on the chin.  It was kind of a weird feeling, deciding not to look into the movie any more than spotting its rating on Rotten Tomatoes (87% at the time).  I didn’t know what it was about besides “gunfights” and “general badassery”.  I didn’t know who was in it.  I hadn’t even seen the poster, or any commercials…though in the latter’s case, it seems like I only happen upon the very end of commercials to movies I end up seeing.  In any case, I pretty much went in blind -- not a preferable feeling, considering that I’m the kind of guy who won’t pick up a game unless he has an intimate knowledge of every facet of its life gained via particularly-illegal acquisition of documents and dossiers.

Sometimes going in blind is precisely as dangerous as you’d expect.  Had I read up on movies like Legion or 2009’s Friday the 13th or 2011’s The Thing, maybe I would have spared myself some heartache (and a headache).  But sometimes -- once in a while -- you not only end up pleasantly surprised, but outright thankful.  Not just because the movie exists and you see some real talent and passion on display, but because you’re experiencing it for the first time. 

Django Unchained is a good movie.  A good, great, fantastic movie.  In fact, you could close this page right now, because you not only owe it to yourself to get out there and watch it, but I’d argue that you should do so with an open mind unsullied by the praise I’m about to heap on it.  Buuuuuuuut if you know you won’t get there in time -- as you’re still in your bunker assuming that the Mayans’ forecast of the apocalypse was just a few days off -- or if you just want a little analyzing, then you can go ahead and read on.

So let me switch gears and say this: unlike my buddy, I have a general lack of movie knowledge.  There are not only a lot of “classic films” that are lost on me (there was a girl about ready to DDT me because I hadn’t seen Titanic), but the styles, strategies, and nuances of an army of directors are lost on me.  Well among them is Quentin Tarantino -- someone who I respect and can easily admire for his work, but not someone whose works I know intimately.  I’ve seen Kill Bill, but that was years ago; I can’t remember anything in-depth about it, and it doesn’t help that I haven’t seen the sequel.  And I saw Inglourious Basterds, but I fell asleep during it (it’s not something I’m proud to admit, but I was tired, and a nice carpet is surprisingly conducive to sleep).  So if you asked me, “All right, what’s Tarantino all about?” I could respond in one of two ways: “Durrrrrrrrrrrrr” or “He likes Samuel L. Jackson”. 

Now, in my defense, there is something I heard about Tarantino’s style and M.O. a while back.  I can’t say how true this is or how well I’ve remembered it, but apparently Tarantino doesn’t like violence.  When I told my brother that, he was rightfully skeptical -- just as I was.  Even in my limited knowledge of his work, I know Tarantino has put out a movie where dozens of people are cut down by a blood-speckled woman in a biker jumpsuit.  It’s like saying “I don’t like chocolate” while simultaneously taking baths in it.

But if there is one trend I’ve noticed/had pointed out to me, it’s that Tarantino is a fan of conversations.  Long conversations between characters whose relevance to the matter at hand varies…greatly.   I’ve gotten a taste of it in the other movies I’ve seen, but nowhere is the “power of the conversation” more evident than it is in Django Unchained

And it’s not only the movie’s greatest strength -- it’s likely the reason I enjoyed it as much as I did.

The gist of the movie is this: Django is a slave en route to his next destination, chained up to fellow slaves and herded across the landscape by rough-necked traders.  However, the timely intervention of the “dentist” Dr. Schultz leaves the traders dead and Django unchained by the doctor’s hand.  His reasoning?  Dr. Schultz is a bounty hunter, and he needs Django’s help.  He wants to catch a trio of no-goodniks, and to do that he’ll need the info Django gives him -- what they look like, chief among them.  In exchange, the doctor will give Django a cut of the money and freedom...and thus, a partnership is formed.  And so begins their wild adventure across the south -- though I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that a subtitle had to pop in under the year 1858 to explain that it was before the Civil War.  Yeah movie, I get it.  I went to elementary school.

Now, at that point I thought to myself “Wait a second.  Hunting after specific targets?  This smacks a bit of Kill Bill.”  But what’s important to note is that the hunt for the band of bandit brothers isn’t what makes up the whole movie.  In fact, that plot is over well before the first hour’s even up.  It’s not a movie about hunting after some bad guys and serving justice; it’s actually more or less a rescue mission, in which Django aims to find and rescue his wife, with the help of Dr. Schultz.  This makes for a much more meaningful movie, I’d argue; remember, Django is more or less a slave -- one given plenty of liberties by Dr. Schultz, and eventually earning his freedom (or something like it), but still a lesser man in the eyes of the white-dominated society.  As cool as it would be to see Django and Schultz gun their way to a happy ending, in the grand scheme of things their options are limited.  Societal pressures would snuff out both their lives long before they got within even a mile of Django’s wife Broomhilda.  They may be the fastest guns in the west, but all it takes is one shot from an angry grunt of an incensed southern gentleman to give the movie an unhappy ending.

But this is the clincher of their strategy, and the whole movie by extension: Django and Schultz’s greatest weapons aren’t their ability to win gunfights with skill and style.  It’s their ability to talk -- to converse, to calm, to con, to coerce, whatever they need to do.  In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that the gunplay isn’t the main draw of the movie at all.  The real battles, and the real tension, are held whenever two people sit down and have a discussion.

I’ve made comments in the past about how video games could stand to offer more than just violence and combat systems; likewise, I’ve wondered about the place (and excess) ofviolence in the medium.  Both of those points still stand.  I recognize that violence and combat are things that have their use, especially when it comes to video games.  But just as games like Catherine, 999, Katawa Shoujo, Mass Effect (to some extent), and the Ace Attorney series all provide alternatives to combat and violence to GREAT effect, so too does Django Unchained.  It’s proof that you can succeed without an over-reliance on wall-to-wall action -- and if games are going to take inspiration from movies and become more movie-like, this is the example that they need to follow.

Let me explain through the lens of Dr. Schultz, who’s not only one of my favorite characters in the movie, but now one of my favorites in movies period.  There’s no denying that there’s something callous and sinister about him underneath his pleasantries (ignoring the fact that he’s a bounty hunter by choice, he had no problem killing a man in front of his son).  Even so, there’s something genuine about his character.  He’s good-humored.  He’s good-natured.  He’s an all-around good guy who cares about people, Django most of all.  He’s no saint, that’s for sure, but Dr. Schultz is still a good, good guy.  If there was no Dr. Schultz, there would be no Django; he gave the slave a chance to realize his full potential, and I got a real sense of the bond growing between them.  I admit that for a little while, I was worried that he’d betray Django and become the movie’s main villain, but thankfully my forecast was misplaced.  He’s more than just an owner to Django; he’s a partner, a mentor, and a dear friend.  Their bond alone makes the movie worthwhile.

But getting back on topic, it’s the doctor’s linguistic ability that wins him the day.  Ignoring the fact that it helps characterize him, it helps him find peaceful solutions to deadly situations.  While I wouldn’t say that violence is a last resort for him -- barring a certain conflict near the end -- Schultz would rather diffuse tension with a conversation than a bullet through the head…probably.  He’ll go to town on bounties, but there’s no one else he’d shoot under normal circumstances; it’s more than a little shocking to have him blast someone, only to reveal that the person he shot was a wanted criminal -- with proof, no less, and after keeping his word that he’d surrender peacefully.  In plenty of other movies (and games), if the hero was pinned inside a saloon with a hundred guns pointed at every entrance, he’d just shoot his way out with style and a liberal application of slow-motion.  But Schultz’s preference to practical, peaceable solutions works in both his and the movie’s favor. 

Gunning their way to the slave holder’s paradise Candy Land and rescuing the princess from her castle Broomhilda would only spoil their chances at success.  They need to use tact and cunning in such a regimented society -- and by way of using that cunning, they create more satisfying victories and situations than a well-placed bullet to the trousers.  Granted their plan doesn’t actually work in the end, but considering how freakishly close they came to pulling off a steal it’s a noteworthy feat.  Think about it: Django and Schultz are two of the baddest dudes in antebellum America.  Barring some incidents near the end, every gunfight they get into is completely under their control, by virtue of their incredible skill, craftiness, and preparation.  If this movie was just one awesome gunfight to the next, then yeah, it’d have lots of cool moments, but it’d be a lot shallower as a result.  A lot of tension would be lost, and engineered through hit-or-miss elements.  Escalation would have to be employed frequently, making each baddie and each set piece more bombastic than the last.  The idea would be the virgin sacrifice needed to free the action-heavy lava beast from its volcanic prison…and then the volcano would fire rockets and one-liners in every direction.

I’m exaggerating, of course (only a little bit), but you get my point: victory in Django Unchained’s case doesn’t come from gunplay alone.  It helps, but that’s not the point of the movie.  The ability to communicate is far more vital, and far more dangerous; even the mere opportunity to communicate, and speak with someone standing higher up than you, is at once a privilege and an idea that the movie notes.  In fact, the one time when Schultz resorts to using his gun instead of his words, he ends up blasted.  (It’s also worth noting that his last words were “Sorry, I couldn’t resist.”  And also, his name is Dr. King Schultz.  Dr. King Schultz.  I see what you did there…)

While everything I’ve mentioned up to this point has been to praise the movie, I’ll gladly admit that it’s not without its flaws.  The biggest one that I can note is that its ideas very nearly kneecap the whole concept; in spite of being the title character, for a huge portion of the movie Django feels completely marginalized.  If you think of this movie as a series of dialogues -- a display of manners and graces, and the clashing of wills through “verbal battles” -- then you’d expect that in order to follow through on that idea the characters would have to talk quite a bit.  Schultz does.  Django doesn’t.  

That’s not to say that he never talks, because he does; we get plenty of characterization, backstory, and development from him.  But for so long I felt like Schultz was the one driving everything, and Django was just along for the ride (to the point where I assumed that Django would realize Schultz -- as the villain -- was just stringing him along as part of a scheme).  Schultz is the white one, so he gets to talk freely to other white men.  Schultz does a lot of the organizing and setup, while Django is quite often there for support.  But I really started to take notice when the duo visited Candy Land, and a huge percentage of dialogue was between Schultz and Candie, a key antagonist…and all the while, Django just sits there quietly.  The most he contributed was something for the camera to cut back to, showing off Jamie Foxx’s remarkable ability to give steely glances.

But of course, that was likely intentional -- a “functional flaw”, as I’d call it.  There’s the societal issue that’s deciding their moves long before they ever come up with them, of course.  But you know that this is Django’s movie well before the credits start to roll.  Those steely glances actually meant something.  Django wasn’t just doing it to look tough or cool; he was watching the conversations that transpired.  Watching, and listening, and learning.  You could make a strong argument that the lack of knowledge amongst slaves (and other oppressed peoples, by extension) is a means to oppress them even more; more knowledge opens up more possibilities, and a life outside of slavery, after all. 

So from the get-go, Django is actually arming himself with knowledge from the moment Schultz took him as a partner -- doubly so if we assume Schultz taught him things like how to read off-camera.  He’s a natural in more ways than one; sure, he’s a fantastic marksman, but it’s very likely that he’s a fast learner, and capable of picking up facts, concepts, and mannerisms that’ll help him out in the long run.  And they DO help him out in the long run; when he’s on his way to a new life of servitude after a disastrous shootout at Candy Land, it’s Django’s ability to speak (and con) that wins him his freedom and lets him resume his rescue mission.  In fact, it’s even more obvious that guns will get him so far when said shootout at Candy Land ended with him giving up in spite of his fantastic skills.     

I’m not wholly convinced that Tarantino doesn’t like violence -- there are guys in this movie that get absolutely wrecked -- but he is defensible in two ways.  First, and most obviously, he’s eager to suggest via this movie that violence isn’t always the answer.  It helps, of course, just like a hammer or a screwdriver helps.  In the end, though, it’s just a tool -- something that can be used effectively to get results, but only at the opportune moments.  Second, I’d assume that if nothing else, Tarantino knows how to use violence.  It would have been easy for him to make Django Unchained a wall-to-wall sequence of gunfights, or if not that then trimming the more sedate moments to make room for them.  But he doesn’t.  He makes you wait for the action.  He makes you earn it.  He makes you want it.  He makes you anticipate it, expect it, and hope for it.  It’s not a right to be graced with a cinematic massacre, but a privilege -- and because of that, you appreciate each grisly showdown more than you ever thought possible.  It’s a very effective strategy, one that emphasizes both elements of the movie without subtracting from either.

But with all that said, and all my dissecting in mind, there’s more to Django Unchained than just dialogue.  A fair number of things, really; Tarantino and his crew have put together a fantastic movie with plenty to latch onto, whether that’s in terms of ideas, presentation, or just some all-around interesting characters.  So without further ado, here are at least four reasons


1) An impressive array of villains
You know me -- a guy who likes his heroes.  But as I’ve said here and elsewhere, a hero (and the story, by extension) is only as good as his villains.  And as expected, Django Unchained delivers with aplomb.  Granted it takes a bit of time for them to appear, but when they do they make their presence known.

I have to admit I was tempted to call them “antagonists” instead of “villains”; in fact, I should probably start using the former phrase more often because it carries less of an “evil” stigma, and not every character that goes up against a hero is inherently evil.  But in the end, “villain” is the best way to describe Calvin Candie, as played by Dom Cobb Leonardo DiCaprio.  Much like Schultz, he carries himself with dignity and grace, and he has the expected mannerisms and cordiality of a southern gentleman.  But as is the standard, it’s all a façade; ignoring the fact that he’ll gladly watch two slaves fight to the death and casually let one of his fighters get torn apart by dogs, all it takes is one little con by Django and Schultz to have him reveal his true colors.  He doesn’t just start raging (and he DOES rage, believe you me), but he offers his rationale in a surprisingly chilling, but overwhelmingly-effective monologue.  To summarize quickly, you’ll suddenly have a desire to do research on human skulls.

But even beyond Candie, there’s a character who’s just as nasty, if not more (and that’s saying something): Mace Windu Samuel L. Jackson playing the role of Candie’s butler, Stephen.  He may look and act silly at times, but the level of menace -- and worse yet, competence -- makes him a legitimate threat, even if he doesn’t pick up a gun.  Also, it’s Samuel L. Jackson.  If you’re looking for a character to shout loudly and swear a lot, you won’t be left wanting.  

2) A movie that’s far, far funnier than you would have expected
What’s important to note about the dialogue and conversations is that it’s more than just plot advancement, character development, and proposal of ideas (not that those things aren’t important, mind).  There’s plenty of funny dialogue and other sequences that drew lots of laughs out of the audience, and certainly put a smile on my face.  I’m at a loss describing just what was on display, and certainly ill-equipped to deliver it in just the right way, so I’ll just say this: the scene with the rioters is enough to qualify this movie as a comedy -- and a great one, at that.

Hey, remember the Dramatic Chipmunk meme?

Yeah, that’s in this movie.  And quite frequently, at that.  It feels kind of comedic at times, and almost a misfit, but…well, it’s not a game-breaker.  It certainly lends a bit of charm, if nothing else.

It’s also worth noting that there are some other little tricks at play here.  There’s a motif where blood gets splattered on a white surface (flowers, a horse, a corsage), and I can think of plenty of ways to interpret that (violence against white people, for one, and willingly rejecting a life of purity in the case of the bounty-blasting Django and Schultz).  It’s very likely that I missed other instances and other visual cues, but it’s interesting to see certain things highlighted.  Though it’s just as easy to get set in your ways and assume that any time the color white appears, blood is sure to follow.  I figured that Candie’s white cake or Broomhilda’s white shirt would see some serious damage done, but nothing happened.  Fancy that, huh?  Though in the latter’s case, it’d be a kick in the teeth by a drunken horse to see anything bad…well, anything worse happen to Django’s poor wife.

4) The violence
A few years ago I remember talking to my dad about my impressions of a certain movie.  I can’t remember what that movie was, but I can recall a statement I made: “You shouldn’t go in expecting a lot of action, but even then it’s still a good movie.”

And that’s certainly the case here.  There isn’t a lot of action, but what’s here is potent, visceral, and stylish.  Its sparing use gives the movie the balance it so deserves.  But most importantly -- even if it is horrific, gory, unpleasant stuff -- it’s still kind of cool.  Verbal battles are a potent tool, of course, and I still stand by the opinion that it trumps straight combat.  But you can’t have a movie about cowboys and revolvers without people getting shot.  You just can’t.  It’s worth noting that there’s a certain level of discomfort on display with each bout of violence -- whether it’s in a fight or otherwise -- but that’s the way it should be.  It lends a bit of “realism” to the proceedings, and adds impact in ways that other movies (and by extension games) fail to offer.  If Tarantino really is outspoken against violence, then this movie once again offers proof to that claim.  If not…well, then he certainly knows how to stage a fight.

Also, there’s dynamite.  So, yeah, there are explosions too.

I guess what I’m getting at here is…go see the movie, guys.

I know I’ve said that about pretty much every movie I’ve talked about up to this point, but I mean it this time.  You really can’t do much better than Django Unchained.  If The Avengers is the world’s greatest sandwich, and Looper is a soup with plenty of deeper treats hidden in the broth, then Django Unchained is a full Thanksgiving meal jam-packed onto a plate made of diamonds and easily plucked-off dollar bills.  It’s got action.  It’s got action.  It’s got comedy.  It’s got drama.  Each element blends in nigh-seamlessly with the next, and each element has been prepared and served with virtual perfection.  You’re not just getting variety, but depth, a long-lasting impression, and most of all satisfaction.

I didn’t know what to make of Django Unchained at the outset.  But I can tell you right now that if I were to plot it on my SmartChart™, it’d be right around here:

Go see the movie.  Consider it a belated Christmas present from me -- and Quentin Tarantino -- to you.  Just don’t do what I did and turn your head away from the screen after the ending credits.  


  1. That Random Game BloggerDecember 27, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Couldn't read the Django review due to the spoilers (haven't watched it yet).

    As for your list, I feel that the Dark Knight Rises was the weakest in the trilogy

  2. I actually feel the same way about The Dark Knight Rises -- it has a lot of problems that makes it skirt dangerously close to being outright bad (if it hasn't crossed the threshold already). It's just fourth on the list because there were movies that were worse than that one, relatively speaking. Like I said, you can see what I thought about each movie in greater depth under the Movie Magick tab.

    That aside, it's good to hear that you're planning to see Django. You really can't go wrong with that one...at least, I assume so. The human race is plagued by little faults called "free will" and "opinion", I've found.

  3. That Random Game BloggerDecember 28, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    To be honest I really don't have any plans to go to the movie in the near future, the last few movies I saw were movies made in my own country (yes, we do have our small movie industry as well :P )

  4. My interpretation is that Dr. Schultz represents "The Will", Django is "Passion" or "Love", Brumhilda is "The Soul", Candy is "Death" and Steven is "Fear" or "Ego". The blood splattered white objects in the movie represent innocence. Anyway, people are extremely short-sighted and close-minded if they think this is some kind of racial statement of a movie. The only purpose race serves in this film is to represent the comedy that is the tragedy of our stupid species...we are so f*cking stupid and the fact that we are offended by stupidity only goes to show that we are stupid beyond repair. The entire audience in my theatre was having a ball and for that I have undying love and respect for them

    This movie is perfect.

    Thanks "]

  5. Well, I don't know if I'd call people "stupid beyond repair" for race issues, because there ARE likely some legitimate concerns most people -- myself included -- would gloss over. But you're right -- this isn't as much a racial statement as it is just a story that paints a picture using historical ideas and themes that are more than a little unpleasant to consider. It's easy to condemn it (if you're the short-sighted sort), but it seems to me like Tarantino just wanted to have a little fun with things as well as show the darker aspects -- and he pulled that off pretty magnificently, if you ask me.

    Although honestly...I wouldn't mind if Django made the whip one of his signature weapons. It would appease the Castlevania fan in me.

  6. I found this movie to be funny as fuck, but like you, I had gone in completely un prepared: hell, I had no idea not even DiCaprio was in it! But you know what? It was money well spent.

    Knowing however, that every tarantino movie exists in the same continuum, I'm curious as to how this affects the overall sotryline and what Django's events mean in relation to say, Pulp Fiction. Perhaps in this universe, the slaves took their freddom by force? If so, how will this be represented in a later movie?

  7. Well, after reading your review, I HAVE to say : give Inglourious Basterds a second chance. Because both Django and Inglourious are very, very, very similar movies. Hell, there are even some sequences in Django that are clearly a reference to ones in Inglourious (for example Dr Shultz speak in german to Brunhilda to not be understood by english-speaking people where in Inglorious, the same Christopher Waltz, as the nazi colonel, speak English to not be understood by french jews). Well, let's not forget the fact that Inglourious is much more a western taking place in the second world war than a war movie.

    This similarity is probably why I've been a bit disappointed by Django. Not that this is a bad movie - it's a great one - but because I found Tarantino a bit lazy in this one. This movie didn't surprise me. I don't say that I could predict the entire plot beforehand, no, but I could more or less predict the outcome of each sequence once one started, when there'll be some funny joke or some badass action, etc...

    I've watched all Tarantino's movies (and I advise you to watch all of them, except Deathproof : I liked it because I'm a movie smug, but a lot of people didn't. Even Tarantino doesn't put it at the same level than his other works) and it was the first time that I had this "nothing new under the sun" feeling. Yeah, I'm greedy : I want to watch a movie made by a particular person but still expect not some progress but at least some change.

    And I know that this feeling is a bit unfair because there IS something new in this movie : the frontal depiction of the horror of slavery. I know that it isn't the main point of the flick, but I do think that Tarantino went out of his way to not put only slavery as a context but also a bit to denounce it. Hence the two brutal scenes of the mangoose fight and the slave eaten by dogs. But, yes, slavery is only a part of the movie, it isn't a documentary and there are more interesting stuff on the subject existing out there (but not such crude depiction in movies).

    Moreover, with these two brutal sequences mentioned beforehand, it's the first time that in a Tarantino movie violence is painful to watch. Because you're right, violence in Tarantino's pictures is fun because it's so over the top, so grotesque, that it's innoffensive. In fact, with Django, we can really see that Tarantino abhors violence.

    Ah, also, I disagree when you eventually decide to qualify Calvin Candie as a villain instead of a antagonist. For me, Candie isn't a nasty individual or a psycho of some sort that goes crazy once pushed the button. No, he's a landlord. As a landlord, slaves are objects so whatever happen to them doesn't matter. As a landlord, he's pissed off when somebody try to scam/rob him. He acts perfectly normally (and I give a lot of credits to Dicaprio for that). His monologue with the skull is nothing more thant the scientific theories of that time. Well, if he was really a villain, he would have kept/killed brunhilda instead of agreeing of selling her. Yeah, I know, this last example is a bit weak : by selling her he won the dialogue fight that he would have lost if he killed her.

    So, well, glad to see that you enjoyed this great movie that nonetheless disappointed me a bit (also because i found that Christopher Waltz was acting a bit too much in this movie), and go watch other Tarantino's works, especially Inglourious. And personnaly, I think that actually Tarantino is the best living movie dialogist out there (I know another one that could compete with him (although with a very different style), but he died a few years ago).

  8. To be fair, I wouldn't say that Inglourious Bastards is a bad movie, and with Django in mind I'd actually like to see the movie again...especially when I'm not seconds away from conking out.

    In any case, I'm a little surprised that Django is so "similar" to Tarantino's other movies. Again, this is coming from someone who hasn't seen a lot of his movies (or a lot of movies in general), but I would have figured that each new movie brings something new to the table...if only because of the differences in setting and characters, but the effect is the same. I guess there are just elements of his style and themes that are constant...? I'll have to have a closer look on my own one of these days. I WOULD like to see how he handles violence in his other movies as a point of comparison/reference.

    Well, in any case, sorry to hear that Django disappointed you. Guess there's always next time. I can't help but wonder where -- and when -- he'll set his next movie. Maybe he'll keep going backwards in time.

  9. Gosh, did I really write mangoose instead of Mandigo ? Not the prettiest slip of the tongue (fingers, mind ?) that I've done.

    Well, Tarantino does have his own style. I mean, his first movie, Reservoir Dogs, contains all the features that we can see in (almost) every Tarantino movie. But yeah, each new movie was with some, if not progress, at least change. You could see an evolution in his filmography. But not really in Django (when compared to Inglourious), even if there's a different setting.

    Well, I'm probably too harsh with the guy. After all, I really enjoyed Django. It's just that I know that he can do better (and that I'm a bit afraid that he stays stuck in his own style (Tim Burton everyone ?)).

  10. Oh man, I haven't seen a Tim Burton movie in a while. Well, no, I saw his version of Alice in Wonderland on TV a couple of years back, and it was...uh...interesting, I guess? Also very Johnny Depp-y. Which is strange, because I could've sworn the story was supposed to be about a certain someone whose name is in the title. What's her name? Oh yeah, Mildred.

    Yup. Good ol' Mildred.