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Django Unchained? A Little TOO Unchained

django-unchained-poster3Easter weekend at home… What does that mean? Watching some movies, of course! My dad and I watched A Few Good Men, in which Jack Nicholson was fantastic as usual, but we also watched Tarantino’s latest, Django Unchained. Now, before you start sniggering at the fact that I’m watching an Oscar-nominated movie this late, this is what my family and I usually do. We do end up having watched a few award-worthy movies before the Oscars, but normally we end up saying, “Oh hey, that was nominated, so we should probably watch it.” Sometimes we get around to it, sometimes we never do. Case in point, The Hurt Locker is still on my to-watch list.

Anyway, this was my first Tarantino movie, and though I’d heard that pretty much all his movies are bloodbaths, I wasn’t too nervous. I mean, I’ve watched war movies, I’ve watched a couple of slasher movies, I can take blood. But alas, Tarantino must have heard me and said “Challenge accepted!” because Django actually made me a little sick to my stomach.

Django_unchained_jacksonwashingtonDon’t get me wrong, I started off liking the movie. And even after I finished watching it, I thought Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio all acted well. Sure, there were fountains of blood gushing from anyone who was shot, and there were A LOT of people who got shot in Django, but that isn’t anything new for someone who reads Robert Ludlum. Trust me, in the last Ludlum I read, there were about five deaths in four pages. There was some violence in Django that would probably have been chopped out off any other movie, but I thought that was just Tarantino.

And then I got to the last half hour. The last half hour where I lost count of how many people had died in the first sixty seconds. The last half hour where Django walks through a room with streaks of blood dripping down the walls, and so many bodies on the floor that he has to pick a path through them.

Django1__120426173850-575x387Anyone who watches Django can see that Tarantino is an extremely talented writer and filmmaker with a sense of humor. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a plantation owner named Calvin Candie. His plantation’s name? Candieland. There are moments and scenes throughout the film where you just have to say, “That Tarantino, he’s a genius!” But he also has that little spark of craziness, that little spark that makes him push the envelope just a little further. Some call it genius. It just turned me off. There were at least three points in the movie where I thought “Okay, this can end now.” And it just kept going, seemingly to cram in as much blood and as many explosions as possible.

Django Unchained was nominated for Best Picture, and on the strength of the first 135 minutes or so, I can see why. But to ruin my impression of a movie in half an hour takes talent. And I guess Quentin Tarantino is just a multi-talented guy.

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