Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ah! Badder they are, bigger the reward.

Oh, revenge. I've been thinking a lot about you lately. How do you square up with someone who has wronged you? Do you deliver an exact amount, eye-for-an-eye style? What if that's impossible, then what? What do you do, huh? And what about those people who take the high road and don't seek revenge at all? Those amazing bastards have always baffled me, honestly. Maybe the feeling of getting even doesn't actually feel good, and provides no real pleasure. Maybe exacting revenge is joyless, but watching someone get theirs? Well, that shit's gold.

Admittedly late to the party, I had a real good time with Django Unchained. Skipped theatrically due to its epic runtime and holiday release (an unfortunate combo for a family man), I jumped at the chance to rent it. In fact, I actually considered purchasing the blu ray, but ownership removes any immediacy from actually viewing it. That nasty buck and a half redbox late fee is just enough of a kick in the balls to motivate the uninitiated. Oh, and this texted threat from my good friend, Haspe [hass-pee].

if you don't watch Django the second it's released I will fly out there and pistol whip you.

See, back in 1994, Haspe and I went to the Hualalai Theaters in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i and had our minds f--king blown by a little film called Pulp Fiction. This was likely a watershed moment for our appreciation of cinema as the bar had not only been raised, but also smashed over our fragile, little minds. Quentin Tarantino, a director we then knew little about, had shown us the way. There was no going back.

Django Unchained, not that I need to tell you, continues the streak of impossibly cool cinematic spectacles Tarantino has unleashed upon audiences. Set in 1858, Django tells a fairly straightforward tale of bloody revenge, set in a pre-Civil War South. And while I think Kill Bill was (marginally) better in terms of revengey-ness, Django features something that not enough films do: motherf--king Christoph Waltz.

While Jaime Foxx kicks ass anyway that ass can be kicked, Leonardo DiCaprio is as hilariously evil as he is dashingly handsome, and mainstay Samuel L. Jackson the rottenest of f--ks, all end up a notch below the dignified ruthlessness of Waltz. He's infinitely charming, incredibly smart, but has absolutely zero problem shooting someone directly in their black heart. His ability to combine good and evil so effortlessly is truly something to marvel at. Makes me want to watch Inglourious Basterds again. Immediately. As if you need a reason, you can see it for Waltz alone. But beyond that is also a bloody good time.

Speaking of a good time, the Yays and Boos are happy to be back after what seemed like 900 days without my laptop. But thanks to Father Flem, lone member of Two Dollar Cinema's IT department, Jurassic Park is back online. Unfortunately, we can't pay him, what's the word, oh yes - money. But the Boos said they'd take him out for a tasty burger. And a Sprite.

I see Leo, I think of an old boy. I see a hammer? I think the same thing.
  • Wow. The opening scene with the Specks is all kinds of great. Not sure what's better, the witty dialogue...or the bloody action.
  • Put your hands together for Fritz the horse, everyone. Take a bow, Fritz.
  • It's a pretty sweet day when  you murder the town sheriff and don't go to jail. In fact, you pass go and collect $200.
  • I loved every scene where someone was completely befuddled in regard to how to treat Django. Big Daddy's bewilderment was particularly amusing.
  • Okay, one of my favorite scenes in the whole film was the bit about the eyeholes. It not only takes us completely out of our bloodlust for a minute, but it's f--king hysterical.  Look, nobody's sayin' they don't appreciate what Jenny did...
  • Django. Not only is this dude a real badass, but he's one Hell of a shot. Damn.
  • Ah, Candyland. What a place.Well, unless you're on the wrong end of a Mandingo fight, even if they never really took place. Um, officially, anyway.
  • My favorite sound effect ever? The sound of someone turning around real fast. Hands down.
  • While there are a lot of tense scenes in Django, Hildi's scars at the dinner table was probably the best one. Well, worst one.
  • I literally want to open a store or an auction house or something, only so I can rightfully exclaim Sold! to the man with the exceptional beard!
  • Speaking of exceptional, that shootout at the end was f--king madness! Django's backward jump move was pure insanity. I was so pumped, I wanted to shoot someone's d--k off. Out of joy.
  • Even though I found it unnecessary, I think the shot of Django standing in a cloud of QT was one of the coolest moments in the entire film. F--king epic.
  • Though another cool moment, is when we are all treated to a little singing courtesy of Samuel L. Took me back to Black Snake Moan for a minute, thankyouverymuch.
  • Good bye, Ms. Lara.
  • And a little more love for Waltz. Is it me, or has he become not only the perfect Tarantino leading man, but maybe even the perfect Tarantino? It reminds me of how the leading men in Woody Allen movies are almost always doing an Allen impersonation. Except Waltz has impeccable skills. I even laughed at his pronunciation of the word charade.
  • And finally, I loved the simple gesture of the kiss. Auf wiedersehen.
Only reason this picture is in the Boos is because I don't have that hat.
  • Ooooh. Even worse than the rightfully maligned dog killing trend in movies? Horse killing. At least he apologized.
  • Poor Little Jody.
  • Man, that Mandingo fight was pretty gruesome. Get him, Big Fred.
  • Monsieur Candie is the biggest poser. Francophile, my ass.
  • Speaking of ass, Marsha and her bitches tore some up. Nuts.
  • Stephen. You are in the Top 5 of biggest douches ever to grace the big screen. You couldn't just let it go, could you?
  • The hotbox. Sure, the nudity is cool. But that's it.
  • And while we're at it, was Hildi's character not as important as we needed her to be? I wanted them back together, but in a nearly three-hour movie, Hildi seems to be the forgotten one.
  • The only thing worse than being known as Naked Guy? When your name's changed to That Guy Who Had His Dick Blown Off.
  • What's with the horse tricks at the end? Seemed odd.
  • And finally, though it's impossible to say really, is there a chance, even a slight one, that the cast made this script seem much better than it was? Just a thought.
I don't think I've ever really gotten revenge. In fact, I don't think I've ever been wronged in a way that truly warranted retribution or retaliation, outside of some really bad movies I've subjected myself to.

But how would I ever get revenge on a bad movie? Oh, right.

I'd start a blog.


  1. Good review M. My favorite from last year, with great reason: fun, entertaining, and compelling from beginning to finish. Never lost me for a single second.

    1. Agreed. There is no downtime. At all. I think had I seen it theatrically, it would have been one of my favorites of last year.

  2. Great review! I love that you mentioned the theater run time and being a family man, because I totally spaced the run time when I saw this in theaters and had to do some major apologizing to our babysitter for coming home so late. I think this movie may have the best shoot out in cinematic history. I also kind of hope Tarantino continues to cast Waltz in everything.

    1. You're right about the shoot out, Brittani. I kept wondering what their budget was for fake blood. I suspect it rivaled the GNP of some small nations.

    2. Brittani - I actually edited the post to put that 'family man' line in there, glad it struck something in you. I'm lucky that my wife is cool with me going to the movies (a lot?), but leaving for 4 hours might be more than I'm willing to ask. Especially in between awkward holiday gatherings with the in-laws. On second thought...

      Steph - While I was completely floored by that epic shootout, I think I'm overall kind of numb to that kind of stuff, due to all the silly action movies I watch. But for a quality flick? That. Was. Crazy.

    3. To show you how sick and twisted I am, I actually laughed during that scene because they absolutely insane amount of blood struck me as humorous and distinctly Tarantino-esque, somehow. I was a sane and sensitive human being at one time. I choose to blame my husband for corrupting me. :-P

  3. I'm late to this party, too, since I ended up needing to wait for the DVD. Oddly, I do not consider my 9-year-old of an age where she can go to Tarantino movies. We saw it last week, and my teens are ready to watch it again -- and show it to a friend.

    Outstanding review, M! Seriously, it's hilarious and brilliant -- I love everything about it.

    If I were Quentin Tarantino, I would pay WHATEVER it takes to get Waltz to sign a contract promising to be in every movie I ever make in the future. For QT to ever make a film without Christoph Waltz, after Inglorious Basterds and Django, would almost be an abomination.

    That scene with the eye holes. While I was watching it, I felt oddly uneasy. I kept thinking, "This ought to come across as pointless and dumb -- maybe even unconscionable, making light of the long-standing evil that is the KKK." But somehow, it was just freaking pure gold. How does Tarantino pull stuff like that off? :-)

    1. So nice as always, Steph. Huge thanks, right there.

      If I were a teenager, I could see myself endlessly adoring this movie, as a younger version of myself did with Pulp Fiction. Easily.

      Waltz. Goodness. I don't have anything else to say. When he won the Oscar (again, right?) I was unsure as to its merit, but after seeing his performance, I'll give him next year's Oscar, too. BRILLIANT!

      Exactly. It was jarring, carried on uncomfortably long, but was really funny. QT has balls. Big ones.

    2. Ginormous balls ... no doubt! :-) I suspect he's actually somewhat insane, a condition that sometimes works to somebody's advantage, provided he's also a genius. Which QT is, methinks.

    3. Yeah, that's probably not a stretch. He's definitely crazy. Just the right kind of crazy.

  4. Oh, yeah. Waltz is the man.

    If it wasn't for him I think I'd dislike this one. I read about some of the things that were in original script and the way it played out was a bit disappointing for me, because they omitted so much stuff and I felt Candy was really underused. The fact that I can't stand looking at Foxx's smug face really didn't help.

    But I did adore that shoot out. Badass music there, too.

    1. For whatever reason, I thought Foxx essentially played a supporting character. Even if he was on screen a lot, it seemed to be the Waltz and DiCaprio show.

      I completely agree with a severe lack of Candyland. I felt we had just got there when things went south.