Django Unchained (2012)

Gorgeous poster, though probably not in the category of previous Tarantino films.  Argue about that.

Gorgeous poster, though probably not in the category of previous Tarantino films. Argue about that.

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino (we could argue over what his “best” movie is, but the safe bet will most likely always be Pulp Fiction)

Written by: Tarantino

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Remar, Kerry Washington, Laura Cayouette, Walton Goggins and Samuel L. Jackson.  Also, check the tags for many actors that basically filmed cameo roles.

What it’s about: in 1858, a former slave becomes a bounty hunter and searches for his wife

B-Movie Alternate Title: It’s a pretty B-Movie title already

Movie Mash Up: Inglourious BasterdsTombstone + probably hundreds of blaxpoitation movies that Tarantino has watched

What I liked: I have to admit, Jamie Foxx ruled in this movie, and I hate having to say that.  Tarantino wrote such a great character in Django, and knew exactly how he wanted the character to appear and succeeded on all levels.  I would argue that Christoph Waltz deserves to be nominated in the Best Actor category, rather than the Supporting Actor category for his performance in this movie, but whatever.  It is a fun movie, dealing with some super serious themes, and it may be Tarantino’s funniest movie yet.  Argue some more about that too, if you want.  The movie looks gorgeous, and flows fairly well (see below), so well that at points it doesn’t exactly feel like a near three hour-long movie.  DiCaprio was amazing in it as well, particularly the scene in which he actually accidentally cuts open his own hand, bleeding profusely all over himself, and continues acting.  Don’t know how Kerry Washington felt about having his blood smeared all over her face, though.

What I disliked: The running time of nearly three hours is fairly daunting, Tarantino movie or not.  You could make arguments about trimming the fat and lessening the homages to whatever obscure movie Tarantino was referring to with whatever camera angle or sound cue, but you don’t have the same movie then.  I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable movie fan, but I probably don’t know half of the references Tarantino is making, even in regards to certain actors and actresses he ends up casting for whatever reason.  There were some scenes throughout that I thought were misplaced or came from some wacky sitcom script (the Jonah Hill cameo scene springs to mind), and while they weren’t terrible, they did put me off a little.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: While it is pretty great, the exceedingly long running time and excessive (but totally in context) usage of the word “nigger”, probably means it isn’t for everyone.  Tarantino fans will eagerly lap it up, though.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

I am surprised this .gif hasn't been Hasslehoff'd.

I am surprised this .gif hasn’t been Hasslehoff’d.

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POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)

Marketing, advertising, product placement is everywhere.  I’m even guilty of it.  Look at the tags on this entry.  All of those names appeared in some form in Morgan Spurlock’s documentary.  Some of them a fleeting 45-second interview, OK Go did the theme song.  I tag the ones that I think people will be searching for and hope that they come across this write-up and then continue to come back.  Occasionally Rarely, when I post the review link on my Twitter account (link to the right —-> somewhere over there), my Tweet will be ReTweeted by someone involved with the film or they (or one of their bots) will follow me back.  For me, that’s kinda cool, it’s a measure of some degree of success.  I don’t know how often the actual entries are clicked on (though thanks to WordPress, I have the ability to check that out), but it’s a start at least.

(Actually, I just took a look, and the write-up that I last recall being RT’d was Best Worst Movie.  That was RT’d by one of the producers of the movie I believe, which means that everyone on that person’s Twitter feed may have seen the link to my article.  Now if they’re following the producer, chances are good that they’d be interested in the write-up for a not-so big documentary of a cult horror film.  Well I had nine views.  The day before – with no RTing mind you – I had 10 views for Is Anybody There?  The day after, X-Men: First Class came out on DVD/Blu-Ray, my review was posted and I had 30 views.  NOBODY CARES but I find it fascinating.)

Anyways, this is Spurlock’s (of Super-Size Me fame) documentary about advertising and product placement in movies and how he wants the entire movie to be funded by corporate entities and the process behind that.  I found it quite entertaining, as Spurlock is a very energetic and likable host.  The issues he explores are fascinating, as I’ve had an interest in this area for years, going back to when I read “No Logo” by Naomi Klein.  If you don’t like Spurlock, well you won’t like the movie and what’s the matter with you.

4 / 5