1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2013
It's common knowledge on Amazon reviews if you give something five stars and just wrote two words people will say you gave a helpful review, if you give something just one star but wrote degree level essay of critical detail and analysis of 5k words, you still gave an unhelpful review. Which is a good analogy for this movie - Django, Unchained itself.
Michael Mann's Heat is 170 minutes long, and doesn't come across as self-indulgent at all, yet this at the same running time was so much more diffuse, so little actually being said and meant, but massive running time. Why? You could have cut 30-40 mins off the running time, and still got the message of the movie. And this is where the film fails. Self-indulgence doesn't work, the scenes are over-long, over-wrought, and left me bored at times. The worst example of this was the table scene, what they're actually figuring out, takes ages of anti-climax, 'is that it' is always the feeling. Is that all he wanted to know and it took him that long to find out?
This film is intended to be about racism and slavery. But there's nothing about religion. Which is strange because the deep south is very religious, the bible belt is in that part of america, yet there's nothing religious in it at all not one single reference. Was that a deliberate ploy?
Tarantino's use of the 'n' word is not over done as some suggested, it's there to reflect how black people are seen, and how far down and utterly 'beneath' white people they are, you call them it, 'n' instead of their names, he's not Bob or Jake or Vernon, he's 'n'. He is an 'n' skin colour is the only identifier. The slavery aspect wasn't discussed that much, but was shown in the mentality of the movie - in nearly every scene you get the impression, blacks are primitive and inferior in every way. This isn't Ben Hur. This isn't a war epic. This is Django, and he is special though, he is "one in ten thousand." But I never get the feeling he actually is special. The movie just tells us he is. You can't tell people anything - you have to show them. Meaning, by the end of the movie, the racism and slavery aspect are taken over by Tarantion's style of making movies and his other favourite message.... we know, from previous Tarantino movies, his number one trait and his number one subject matter is always revenge.
But is this over done? The blood and the gore are too much. You sometimes wonder if he's just taking the mickey out of spaghetti westerns (he is) and everything else screwed up about America (and the movie making industry) for the fun of it. Also, annoyingly, he always has to have a part in his own movies and it was no surprise to see him again. He's was born in Tennessee. He should have known better. And that's the point - this aspect of what we are witnessing takes over from the main theme of the movie - and that's its failing. Tarantino has truly over cooked the goose this time.
This is a good cast, Waltz, DiCaprio and Jackson are first rate, but am not convinced by Foxx at all. He's just not cool enough, he's not 'in the film enough', Waltz takes over too often. He's not the main man, only right at the end, which is too far away. He gets his girl back, blows everyone up, and rides off.... we knew that was going to happen. The problem is 'how' did it happen was nothing new. The plot is too simple. The 'how' of the plot is missing, the scenes over-long and the dialogue, just like Avatar is not right. We're used to non-linear as well, the fact this is linear story telling, takes something away, from the plot and just adds to the running time.
I could say after 20 years or more I am bored of Tarantino now. Revenge films over and over and over, knowing what's coming all the time, gets tedious. Reservoir Dogs is still good to watch, and better than this.
Where he's supposed to win is how he shows it, for revenge has many forms - but he seems to have forgotten that. I was left feeling confused and empty after watching this. That 'big deal' feeling, you get. It's too long, too diffuse, and the mickey taking over does any real message or conveyance of what the deep south is really like. Tarantino can do way better. This was critically acclaimed and did massive box office, let's hope he gets it right next time. He's got plenty of years left, but the revenge thing has to change.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2013
This was a film that I was very nervous about viewing. My fears were completely wrongfounded. Quentin Tarantino and company have created a motion picture masterpiece. The setting is very emotional but so is the story! This film summarises all that is good and important in film. It is funny, scary, witty, cinematic, exhilirating. The cast and crew work cohesively to delivery in an unusually entertaining and satisfying way. Excellent purchase and no regrets in this film at all!