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Django Unchained (2012) Review

Some match-ups are literally made in heaven.  Lies and lawyers; beer and puking; Tarantino and Christmas.  I can comfortably say that both Die Hard and Pulp Fiction make an ideal Christmas double feature, while Iced Earth and Emperor compel me to hit the neighborhood doors for carol singing.  It’s a nice change of pace, especially compared to going through 24-hour marathons of It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story on television.  So, naturally, Tarantino has sewn together slavery, gratuitous violence and undeterred profanity to keep our holiday cheer in check.

Django Unchained pays gleeful homage to the spaghetti Western genre, giving us two acts of glee-induced entertainment stemming from its characters.  Christoph Waltz sets the standout performances up, boasting a wonderfully articulate persona, expressing equal parts humanity and insanity.  Dialogue and grizzly sections embody the 2 1/2 hour runtime, but it passes with next to no qualms.  Assuming, that is, you aren’t the least bit squeamish.  Remember the Saw movies at their most gruesome?  Imagine a colorfully entertaining version of all that with a relatively cohesive plot and good characters.  Did I say entertaining?  I meant, to quote one elegantly maniacal Leonardo DiCaprio, rambunctious.

With the exception of one 10-15 minute stretch in the last act, Django proves almost unrelenting in its dark, twistedly fun sense of personal amusement.  Yeah, there’s history and reality at the backdrop, but adult-edge slapstick violence remind us this is less a drama and more a crazy blend of comedy, action and tension.  Talking is in heavy supply here, but even the smaller ongoings help break up and compliment the wonderfully burst-like pace.

Those who know and enjoy Tarantino’s techniques, along with the style paid tribute to, are bound to get the most out of it.  Several people won’t react kindly to the film simply because of its content, regardless of the fact it’s almost too deliberate for its own good.  But the more open-minded (or secretly cynical) viewer will get a lot out of Django, the least of which is a bloody good time that’ll make you want to shout “play it again” when the end credits begin.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Blog, Film, Film Review, Movie Review, Movies, Review

 

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Quote Review: Raging Bull (1980)

“Don’t overcook it. You overcook it, it’s no good. It defeats its own purpose.”

Scorsese gives us probably his most hard-hitting film (pun not intended) in the over three-decade-old Raging Bull, providing a great break in the routine of inspirational boxing films.  This examination of a tragic inevitability isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s sure to stick with viewers long after their (first) experience with it.

 
 

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Quote Review: Bowling for Columbine (2002)

“If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?”
“I wouldn’t say a single word to them, I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.”

Moore’s works clearly aren’t intended for everyone, and though one might argue his recent films (Fahrenheit 9/11) don’t hit the right mark, what can’t be denied are the valuable points made here. It’s incredible that even with the film having been released nearly a decade ago, we still have the same problems going on. And like a proper documentary, the analysis we get throughout most of the film isn’t the (only) final point made. Yet what’s best is that Bowling for Columbine doesn’t try to force its own ideas, but rather leaves the audience wondering what to think and do after watching. The topic being discussed is more important than the filmmaker’s own views or personal thoughts.

What did you think of Bowling for Columbine?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

 
 

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Quote Review: Bellflower (2011)

“I’ll hurt you.”

If Bellflower truly accomplishes anything worthwhile, it’s the hypothetical commentary that can be taken from all the preposterous occurrences. Unfortunately, one very select interpretation doesn’t translate to a good movie.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Film Review, Movie Review

 

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Quote Review: Rambo (2008)

“This is what we do, who we are.”

Stallone’s fourth outing as John Rambo attempts to tread the line between intense action and realistic violence with horrific scenes to boot on both ends. The film does get off to a sloppy start and it is admittedly difficult to become invested with the story and especially the characters due to the short runtime and ultimately glossed over development. But when the action builds it’s sure to keep viewers gripped and even walk away with an idea of the fact atrocities still occur in less publicized areas of the world.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Film Review, Movie Review

 

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Quote Review: Miller’s Crossing (1990)

“When I’ve raised Hell, you’ll know it.”

Miller’s Crossing is one of those rare treats that demands complete attention and, in exchange, drills repeatedly into your mind with every scene. The experience of simultaneous entertainment and heightened tension is so incredible that it makes you want to immediately return. That is, of course, if you can recoil fast enough.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Film Review, Movie Review

 

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Quote Review: Harry Brown (2009)

“You failed to maintain your weapon, Son.”

The film offers a lot of strong, graphic and gritty images that seem intended to provide an accurate depiction of Britain today. And though it’s true the film’s harsh reality and occurrences are gripping (at first), everything loses steam after the first act. Michael Caine provides a serviceable performance, but the progression and development don’t seem to do his character’s potential justice. And while things do unfold in a slow manner, it could have definitely benefitted from an extra 30 minutes to let everything play out in a far more fluent manner.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Film Review, Movie Review

 

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Quote Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

“Personality?  What personality?”

The film wastes little time setting the tone and getting into a groove that viewers might be able to get behind and cling to for the whole runtime. That said, the non-linear approach to telling the story actually impedes the film rather than complimenting it. Additionally, the characters and tension begin to feel like they’re going through one-note repetition from incident to incident. The potential engagement is there, but too much of the conflict and “rising action” feels like a flatline.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Film Review, Movie Review

 

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