Movie Review: Django is Unchained

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“There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”
― Oscar Levant

I think he was talking about Quentin Tarantino.

I saw his new movie “Django Unchained” on Tuesday, knowing I was writing a review. Took me three days to wrap my head around it and all I can think to write is:

“Wow”

However, I’m not sure it’s a good “Wow.”  I’m still figuring that out.

At times horrifying and dark, at other times joyful and light, this film brings out many strong emotions.  If you’ve seen a Quentin Tarantino film before, you probably know the feeling. However, this one took it to a whole new level.

Let’s break it down.

Acting

The actors were amazing. Regardless of what you think of the plot, there can be no denying that Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson put on one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time.

Once again, Christoph Waltz stole the show. He played a horrific Nazi in his break out role in Inglourious Basterds, now he’s a slave freeing, bounty hunting, life saving German-American hero.  That’s quite the range. Leonardo DiCaprio was a remarkable villain and showed why he’s one of the great actors of our time. Jamie Foxx was Jamie Foxx.

Plot

This was the most twisted thing I’ve possibly ever seen. I don’t want to spoil the film for you, but I can say this: If you get bored with most movies coming out of Hollywood, you must see this one. It’s a three hour movie that goes by very quickly. That’s how I know I like it…I think.

It deals with extremely painful and difficult subjects (American slavery, bounty hunting, torture, etc.) and manages to add in humor and romance. Not easily done. I applaud him for his creativity.

In the end, I think he found a way to mix in historical reminders and entertain the audience at the same time.

Action

As expected, there was a lot of blood. Too much. He was surprisingly moderate for the first half, but more than makes up for it in the second half. If you’re like my wife and can’t stand gratuitous violence, this film won’t be for you unless you leave midway through.

Quentin seems to enjoy laughing at his own films and there were several instances where he had to know it was getting silly. In one case, a lady gets shot from the side and flies back at a 90 degree angle. He had to know yanking the lady back with a stunt harness would be look silly. It was.

I appreciated the comic relief.

Locations

The mountain scenes were beautiful. There’s some confusion as to how you can go from Mississippi to a desert and back in a short horse ride, but I got over it.

Conclusion

I will see it again.  If you enjoy interesting films, you should see it.  If you prefer romantic comedies, then I don’t recommend it.

This film is not for the faint of heart.

Thanks for reading and sharing. If you see it, I’d love to know what your thoughts were.

– Aaron @Biebert and the rest of the Attention Era Media crew

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About

Attention Era Media is an award winning film production company based in Milwaukee, with our work on televisions & theaters in five continents. In addition to filmmaking, we also have the capabilities to add support via LIVE broadcast, photography, music production, cinemagraphs, timelapses, aerial, & other visual tools.