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Quentin Tarantino

I waited to write about Django Unchained because I couldn’t figure out how to account for its maddening effects. But they’ve gotten more and more maddening over time, to the point that I found myself in a restaurant the other night ranting about the sheer horror of hearing Jim Croce’s soporific ‘70s soft-rock ballad “I Got a Name” scored over should-be-exhilarating shots of Django as a newly freed man riding a fine horse through a grand Western snow-scape.

Sorry, other patrons of the restaurant in question! But consider the provocation! “I Got a Name,” for the love of Christ, right there in the middle of my pre-Civil War slave-revenge epic that I’ve been waiting a year to see! “I Got a Name”! I mean, why not the mellow stylings of James Taylor while we’re at it? Maybe Django could sing “You Got a Friend” to his horse or something! My God! Has the whole world gone crazy?

So what the hell, after that there’s no point holding back.

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January 6th, 2013 | Comments (121)

Seven Psychopaths and One Pissed-off Reviewer

  Seven Psychopaths is one of those movies that’s too cute by half. If I hadn’t been so fried, I’d have paid more heed to the warning signs—the arch title, the “quirky” poster images, the fact that Tom Waits is…

October 14th, 2012 | Comments (34)

The Best Film List Ever (Not)

I can’t do Best Film lists. Somebody recently asked me to—a former student—it was sweet of him and all—but I can’t. They’re so embarrassing.  You no sooner put down a title than you feel like an idiot—really, this is the…

August 6th, 2012 | Comments (97)

Screenwriter Smackdown: Tarantino vs. The Coens

I got ahold of the script for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and was mildly smug about it till I found out everyone’s read it already. Apparently it got leaked ages ago. Nobody tells me anything. So what’s everyone saying about…

February 4th, 2012 | Comments (86)

Rat Bastard Jesse James and a New Film Genre, “The Southern”

It’s Jesse James’ birthday today, September 5th. I mean the famous “frontier outlaw,” sometimes referred to as “America’s Robin Hood,” but actually an obnoxious Missouri sumbitch still venerated and romanticized by an addled public. In movies he tends to get…

September 5th, 2011 | Comments (44)

Feckin’ Independent Film

Feck, as the Irish say. Feckin’ independent film, it’s not worth shite. I just watched Ondine, this Neil Jordon thing set in contemporary Ireland about a soulful fisherman played by Colin Farrell, who catches a young woman in his fishing…

May 31st, 2010 | Comments (17)

Inglourious Basterds: Interesting? Boring? Both?

When I heard Quentin Tarantino was making a Dirty Dozen-like action film set in WWII, I groaned in spirit. With all the amazing eras and dazzling historical figures and slaughterhouse horrors not yet represented in cinema, we’re going to visit…

August 23rd, 2009 | Comments (36)