Thursday, January 3, 2013

Movies: Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino is a brand name. He stands for sharp violent movies which are a lot of fun. But the world is changing and adapting and now many directors deliver flicks in the manner of Tarantino. Some of these films - like "The Paperboy (director: Lee Daniels)", "Killer Joe (director: William Friedkin)" and "Lawless (director: John Hillcoats) - are even sharper than the original. But the master still produces bloody but highly entertaining popcorn movies.

"Django Unchained" (, Tarantino`s newest epic, refers to the 1966 spaghetti Western movie "Django", directed by Sergio Corbucci. Tarantino transferred the idea of a super fast gunman to the US shortly before the civil war. "Django" is another example of the revenge movies, Tarantino seems to love so much. Now a bunch of highly sadistic slave traders get messed up by a German bounty hunter and his African-American companion, a freed slave.

The film shows, typical for Tarantino, a bloody mess. But, even though "Django" is a 2 hours 45 minutes long orgy of violence and mayhem, the film is sophisticated and at least partly elegant. It seems that Tarantino has invested more time into the development of the dialogues than in his former works. Hence the filed conversations grant the film a lot of his pleasure.

Christoph Waltz almost owns the movie. The Austrian actor, whom I had loved for his role in Polanski´s "Carnage", delivers another brilliant feat as a German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz. I adore the sophisticated and elegant manners he uses to stultify his opponents.

Leonardo DiCaprio, as a violence freak and perverted slave owner, is the perfect adversary to Waltz`s character. The American actor plays a villain of whom each James Bond movie could be proud about. Contrary to the usual redneck & brain dead slave holders his sophisticated style matches Dr. Schultz`s brilliance in a very entertaining way.

Jamie Foxx is a cool and deadly "Django", almost like the original, the Italian actor Franco Nero. The beauty of Kerry Washington, as Django`s enslaved wife, lends the film more charm.

But all these fine actors are standing in the shadow of Samuel L. Jackson as house slave Stephen. This factotum is obnoxiously obedient to his master, the slave holder, but vicious to his fellow slaves. His creepy and somewhat demoniacal style reminds me a bit of the character "Gollum" in "The Lord of the Ring".

A Tarantino movie wouldn`t be a Tarantino movie without a superb soundtrack, this time with a lot in the style of Ennio Morricone, the score master of the spaghetti Westerns.

"Django Unchained" is a fairy tale for grown ups who don`t mind when the screen gets sometimes a bit bloody.

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