HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Amulet
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
   
 
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Django Unchained Cry Freedom
Year: 2012
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, David Steen, Don Johnson, Franco Nero, James Russo, Russ Tamblyn, Bruce Dern, Jonah Hill, Michael Parks, John Jarratt
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 1858, around about a couple of years before the American Civil War, and in the Southern states a group of slaves are being marched in chains across rough terrain. During one of the nights the two slavemasters leading them are confronted by one Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) who claims to be a dentist - he is travelling in a dentist's wagon, certainly - and wishes to know if any of the slaves can help him. The slavemasters are sceptical and do not like the way he speaks to one who can assist, a man called Django (Jamie Foxx), which spells doom for them and a new life for Django...

After rewriting World War 2 with Inglourious Basterds, director and writer Quentin Tarantino sought to rewrite the antebellum United States of America, with specific interest in the international scandal of slavery, though in this case he did not fashion a story that was unhistorical more than it was an obvious fiction with a slavery setting. As it was, he didn't free the slaves himself, he freed just a few in the great scheme of things, yet that feeling of the tables being turned, the oppressors getting their much-needed comeuppance, was what fuelled the drama rather than the more familiar outrage about the political state of the South during the era depicted.

If anything, what Tarantino appeared to have been influenced by was not so much the Spaghetti Westerns of the sixties and seventies, in spite of that Django-referencing title and Franco Nero showing up to wink at posterity, but by a semi-obscure American Western of a few decades before called Skin Game, which starred James Garner and Louis Gossett Jr as a pair of friends in pre-Civil War times who scam ignorant whites by posing as master and slave. Once Schultz has explained that he is a bounty hunter who needs Django to identify three outlaws, they strike up a strong bond and become partners in scouring the land for lucrative jobs, all accomplished by execution - nobody gets taken alive by these two.

There is but one scene which questions the morality of such actions, speaking to more subtlety than you might have anticipated, but once that first act is over we have to deal with Django's main concern, which is getting his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) back from a flamboyant Leonardo DiCaprio's pretentious and hateful plantation owner. His first film apart, Tarantino's laddish favourite reputation has nevertheless provided strong female characters in the tradition of many a genre movie in a way the mainstream often paid mere lip service to, but with this one he played down the women, with only Washington making up a substantial part of the plot, and then as more of a quivering trophy for the hero to win back, which was perhaps surprising but arguably in keeping with the boys' club of Westerns.

More notable than that was the overall tone which merely by dint of its setting could have been even more subversive than his previous hit in that Tarantino seemed to be adopting the role of the kid who shouted out to draw attention to The Emperor's New Clothes, only in this case it was the Emperor's old clothes he was pointing out. There was a needling quality to his insistence on pointing out what too many Westerns, the obvious example of Blazing Saddles aside, did not: the country they were set in could be massively racist, and the makeup on Don Johnson to have him resemble a certain fried chicken restaurant icon and the formidable, pointedly troubling Samuel L. Jackson as a domestically sold rice logo meant there was a more political edge to his work. In its wiseacre manner, this suited him, and created a depth to what could have been his usual list of references and favourite actors appearing. If it was a tad too stretched out to generate the required tension when a snappier edit might have given it more punch, an almost shyly developed point about acting and pretending as a way of getting to the truth was another string to its bow.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4139 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Quentin Tarantino  (1963 - )

American writer/director and one of the most iconic filmmakers of the 1990s. The former video store clerk made his debut in 1992 with the dazzling crime thriller Reservoir Dogs, which mixed razor sharp dialogue, powerhouse acting and brutal violence in controversial style. Sprawling black comedy thriller Pulp Fiction was one of 1994's biggest hits and resurrected John Travolta's career, much as 1997's Elmore Leonard adaptation Jackie Brown did for Pam Grier.

A five year gap preceeded Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Volume 2, a spectacular, ultra-violent martial arts homage. Tarantino also provided screenplays for True Romance, From Dusk Till Dawn and Natural Born Killers (subsequently disowned after Oliver Stone rewrote his script), and directed a quarter of the woeful Four Rooms. More recently, he helped out on Robert Rodriguez's Sin City then teamed up with him for double feature Grindhouse and began to prepare his long-promised World War II movie Inglourious Basterds, which he followed with racially charged Spaghetti Western homages Django Unchained and power play musings The Hateful Eight. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood was a radical rewriting of the Manson Family murders, in extreme bad taste that was somehow excused by many.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: