Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

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Movie Review

Django Unchained 7.8 — dir. Quentin Tarantino

I saw Django Unchained two days after Christmas, but I had no desire to write about it until around noon yesterday. I guess I just needed that much time to process. My initial feelings were mostly ones of a grudging admiration for the balls it took to make it, combined with a disgust for the epic and gratuitous violence, as well as the depictions of slavery in all its permutations. It's amazing that the movie was ever made (or should I say financed) and certainly Quentin Tarantino is the only director, black or white, who could have pulled it off. Due to his previous association with Samuel Jackson, Ving Rhames, Elmore Leonard, Pam Grier, Fred Williamson, and even John Travolta, Tarantino has banked enough street cred and leeway to make a fetishist comedic cartoon about America's most shameful behavior. It's no coincidence that Tarantino appears in the movie playing with dynamite (get it? Get it?) before being blown to smithereens. Although Tarantino has come to look almost exactly like a fleshy Australian badlander, his accent is atrocious, and once again his Hitchcockian appearance in his own film is one of the worst aspects of the production. As with the Keitel/Winston Wolf scene in Pulp Fiction, Tarantino's presence takes us out of the narrative, not only due to the psychic dissonance of his failure to embody the character while reading his own lines, but his utter inability to read his own lines convincingly. The "Cleaner" scene in Pulp Fiction nearly derails the movie, sucking all the tension out of what should be the perfect lead into the final scene at the diner. As so too does his presence neuter the rage and indignation the audience should be feeling after Jamie Foxx's escape and final attempt to free his wife.

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