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Django Unchained

Django Unchained

Movie
Director(s): 
In Theatres: 
Dec 25, 2012
Grade:
A+
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 45 Minutes
21 DJANGO STREET

Keep an open eye during the raid on Django and Dr. Schultz' carriage for 21 Jump Street star Jonah Hill.

Finally, Christmas time is upon us. Snow is falling, fires are lit and families gather around their christmas tree to see what presents they're given this year. The only things missing from this joyous holiday are blood, slavery and vengeance! Thankfully, prolific director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds) knew exactly how to deliver all the aforementioned and much more with his newest film, Django Unchained. 

Freed from slavery by the eccentric and charismatic German, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), Django (Jamie Foxx) is given a deal by the trigger-happy dentist: If Django helps Schultz find and kill the Brittle Brothers, he will help Django find his kidnapped wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), wherever she may be. For the next few months, Django learns the ways of a bounty hunter and collects bounties on very many white men. After all, killing white folks and getting paid for it is the dream job for an ex-slave. After tracking down Broomhilda's whereabouts, Django and Dr. Schultz find themselves in the presence of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), one of the most notorious slave owners in all of Texas. Once the two bounty hunters convince Candie of their fake business offer, he brings them into his own personal castle, Candyland. It's in Candyland that Django not only finds his Broomhilda, but possibly his own death. Despite the name, Candyland isn't all laughter and smiles. Now having to deal with Candie's right hand man, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), Django and Dr. Schultz must find a way to get Broomhilda out of Candyland and back to freedom. 

Tarantino is a household name when it comes to cinema. His combination of gratuitous blood and dialogue-heavy scenes, Tarantino has a brand to his films and Django Unchained fits that mold to a T. To most filmmakers, the idea of tackling a rogue slave killing white folk while looking for his slave wife could be troubling as most audiences wouldn't respond well to this controversial topic. However, with explotation being nothing but an adjective to him, Tarantino owns the premise from the beginning and never lets go. The mere presence of Dr. King Schultz proves that the ambition Tarantino has always had is still alive and well. Schultz is the most fair man you will ever meet, until you break the universal law, in which case, he will shoot you down and collect the bounty on your head. A man who first pours drinks before shooting is a man that best describes Dr. Schultz. Calvin Candie and the title character Django bring a majority of the film to life, but it is in Schultz that the film keeps its' heartbeat. 

Casting is another area of Tarantino's expertise and Django Unchained is no exception. Jamie Foxx absolutely owns the role of Django and plays him with wonder and vengeance all at once. However, not one discussion can be had about casting for this film without mentioning the genius of hiring Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie. It has been far too long since we've seen DiCaprio play an unlikable character, even a villain. And it's no surprise why. He clearly is an extremely likable actor with spectacular abilities to become a character. Thankfully, he was able to channel all that charm and likability into the evil nature of slave owner Monseiur Candie (as he prefers to be called). DiCaprio's Candie and Waltz's Schultz will be the reason audiences revisit Django Unchained time and time again, as I will be doing as soon as possible. Tarantino also brought back a veteran of his films, Samuel L. Jackson to portray the sly and nosy Stephen, a man whose loyalty knows no bounds. Whereas Candie, Django and Schultz bring the drama and violence, Stephen is the source of the humor and believe me, Jackson brings the house down. 

Simply put, Django Unchained is another masterpiece by one of the world's most prolific directors and it fits perfectly with his previous entries. Violent, hilarious and more fun than a majority of the films released this year, Django Unchained is a welcome addition to Tarantino's films and one that will be met with nothing but praise. Believe the hype. 

Ryan Sterritt
Review by Ryan Sterritt
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Comments

Paul Arca's picture

How can anyone not like this movie? I thought it was a masterpiece. I would love to watch it again and will hopefully add it to my movie collection.