Posts tagged with “christoph waltz”
Django Unchained (2012/In Theaters)
Sarah: Kim! OK so um Django. We saw it. We sure did. I’m not so sure about this one. I am a fan of Tarantino and went in with pretty high expectations. But for me, Tarantino’s usual skillful balance of brutality and levity was off on this one. Too much of both, I think, and not in the right places. Exploitive levels of brutality and then odd outbursts of silliness that pulled me out of the story completely (especially in the third act which I will admit I pretty much hated). And, boy, he doesn’t turn away from that violence at all. Of course, every gunshot creates an outlandish explosion of blood and a loud squish. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows the director’s work. But scenes of violence not involving gunshots (hammers, for instance, or attack dogs) are much, much more painful to watch. Whereas in Inglourious Basterds, he made sure we understood the horrifying acts that were happening just off-screen (or onscreen to Nazis and therefore not as horrifying), or in Pulp Fiction, he had us look right at a fatal gunshot to the head but then used the tension to make us laugh, the violence against slaves depicted in Django is bloody and cruel, and we have to look at it all. It is difficult and will be way too much for a lot of viewers, as will the ridiculously frequent usage of the N-word (again, no surprise). For me, all of that would have felt justified if the movie hadn’t ended up feeling so uneven. That makes it sound like I hated the whole thing, but I really liked a lot of it. In fact, I was on board until that last half-hour. There is a scene involving KKK hoods that I guarantee is the most you will ever chuckle about KKK hoods, for instance. And Christoph Waltz and Samuel Jackson are both so great. Leo is perfect in his against-type performance, truly. I mostly liked Jamie Foxx, too, until the very end. (Have I mentioned yet how much I hated the very end?). I thought the incongruous score was really fun, too. And how about all the cameos?! Hi for literally 4 seconds, Amber Tamblyn! I enjoyed your 7 minutes of screen time, Jonah Hill! Don Johnson! Walton Goggins! That one guy from “Lost”!
So, yeah. I don’t know. B-, I guess?
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009/DVD) Roger Ebert recommends seeing all Quentin Tarantino movies twice before judging them. Good advice. I found the movie, after two viewings, to be fun and classic Tarantino—violent, yes, but more than worth it. One advantage of watching the film on DVD is the opportunity to take a break after Chapter 3 (of 5 total). Up until then, the story is moving along in a fairly straight-forward manner. We have been introduced to Christoph Waltz as the incredibly smooth “Jew Hunter” Colonel Landa and to Brad Pitt as “Aldo the Apache” with his Basterds. We’ve gotten to Paris by Chapter 3 where Melanie Laurent (Shoshana from Chapter 1) makes her re-appearance as Danielle Mimieux, owner of the cinema where the final act will largely take place. Chapter 4 opens with a tutorial on German cinema, delivered by an unrecognizable Mike Myers as British high command and continues on to a lengthy but fabulous game (literally) of cat and mouse in a French basement bar. I won’t spoil the ending by describing Chapter 5 but let’s just say it’s PURE Tarantino. As for the acting, it’s largely very good. While the Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson chemistry of Pulp Fiction is lacking, it’s true that Christoph Waltz—sure to be nominated for an Oscar for Supporting Actor– single handedly steals the show. And hey, Brad Pitt is clearly having fun here, along with Mr. Tarantino. Good for them.
Be sure to check out this great post which describes the German reaction to the movie—worth the read.