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movies / January 6, 2013
By Eileen Jones

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.

Let me just say that I’m not enjoying hating Django Unchained while so many others have a good time loving it. Hating Django Unchained puts me in company I really don’t want to keep. Fretters who can’t bear the idea of revenge narratives or filmed violence. Morons who hate genre movies. Spike Lee.

I’m not with them, I swear!

The problem here isn’t that Quentin Tarantino made an ultra-violent film about a slave’s epic revenge—that’s what I wanted, that was the whole point. It’s that he turned it into a big lame fatheaded joke with a Jim Croce song in it. That’s unforgivable. Greatest opportunity a filmmaker has had in years, and he fucked it up.

And the bitter irony is, I read the script months ago, so deep-down, underneath all my fondest hopes, I knew he was going to fuck it up.

Here’s what I wrote last February:

Django Unchained is the Tarantino film that takes on slavery in America, turning it into a kind of Spaghetti Western bloodbath relocated to the Deep South….I’ve got a lot riding on this radical “Southern.” Big emotional investment, partly because of how rotten American films are lately and how much a new genre is needed to breathe a little life into them. And partly because I have so much faith in genre film as The Better Way to approach cultural history and experience, better because genre actually works. It has an impact, influences how people feel. History lessons and documentaries and high-minded period dramas, when they can’t be avoided, sometimes have their place in making us think dutiful thoughts. But an effective genre film…can go right into our nerve centers and makes us love things, and hate other things, and long for a scenario in which to act on our feelings.

That all might be very deplorable or even dangerous—some people think so, anyway—but there it is….

Django Unchained is about how the slave Django (to be played by Jamie Foxx) is unexpectedly freed by an urbane German bounty hunter, Dr. Schultz (Basterd’s celebrated Christoph Waltz) and teams up with him to go on a plantation raid to free Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). The despicable plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) uses his spread as a giant “house of ill-repuke” as Popeye would say, for white Southern gents with a hankering for “ponies,” generally light-skinned female slaves judged the best-looking. “Candyland” also showcases a slave-fighting ring featuring “mandingo” gladiators who battle to the death.

Obviously, all that has to be stopped in the goriest way possible. Fine, good. Necessary, even. An ultra-violent, vengeful “Southern” can be the pop media form of “the fire next time” James Baldwin promised us: “We are going to burn down your house.” On film, anyway.

Make that a plantation house in antebellum Mississippi and what decent person, black or white, doesn’t want to help torch it?

But the problem is, it all reads so…stupid. Tarantino’s script is everything his detractors say he is, derivative, obnoxious, juvenile. There are terrible scenes of cornball humor, like when Django…wear[s] a blue satin Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit in order to impersonate Dr. Schultz’s valet, and is confronted by a slave:

“Betina: What’cha do for your massa’?

Django: Didn’t you hear him tell ya, I ain’t no slave.

Betina: So you really free?

Django: Yes.

Betina: You mean you wanna dress like that?

Django fumes.”

You come to dread the scene descriptions because they’re so embarrassing:

“The men go to different stores to purchase Django’s wardrobe….Django looks damn handsome in his new duds. Brown cowboy boots, Green Corduroy Jacket, Smokey Grey shirt, Tan Skin Tight Pants, and Light Brown Cowboy Hat. He looks a bit like Elvis in “Flaming Star” and a Little Joe Cartwright on “Bonanza.””

Or this one:

“Stephen has been Calvin’s slave since he was a little boy. And in (almost) every way is the 2nd most powerful person at Candyland. Like the characters Basil Rathbone would play in swashbucklers, evil, scheming, intriguing men, always trying to manipulate power for their own self interest. Well that describes Stephen to a tee.

The Basil Rathbone of House Niggers.”

Tarantino writes like some of my students, and he’s getting way too old for that. All that writing-like-talking can be great if you’ve got control over it (see Mark Twain), but it’s godawful when you suffer from logorrhea and have the sensibility of a stoat. Tarantino’s ain’t-it-cool gloating is just as hot for the joys of Candyland, which he seems to wish he could visit personally—maybe he and Leo having a pony-party—as it is for the burning of Candyland.

But everything equally “awesome” gets boring fast, and finally has no impact. Django’s revenge just tails off into nothing—I can hardly remember it. There’s no slave uprising, no Nat Turner action. Django and Broomhilda are somehow going to escape from the Deep South on their own after wasting everyone at Candyland, and lead really cool lives somewhere. Maybe head to California, open a store on Melrose Ave., sell the Django Look, corduroy jackets and skin-tight pants…?

Hell, Tarantino’s half-convinced me the PBS types are right: you can’t deal with slavery in a genre film, it’s insulting. You think of every old photo of a slave you ever saw, and wonder how Tarantino could write such crap. And here’s the guy who wants to make a movie about John Brown! It’s laughable!

Still, I hope I’m wrong. Maybe it just reads stupid, and all the sound and visuals will transform it. Or maybe he’s on the set desperately rewriting the script between takes. He should be.

Yes, I had naïve hopes that Tarantino could bring it off in spite of everything. But no. No, no, no, no, no—that was me in the theater during most of the movie, with one stream of word-thoughts running constantly in my head—oh, no no no no no no NO.

The fucking thing’s a tonal nightmare, wrong here, wrong there, all adding up to one giant mess of wrong. From the time Dr. Schultz shows up in the first scene driving a little caravan with a gigantic plaster tooth on top of it, attached to a spring so it bounces around goofily to advertise his supposed trade of dentistry, I found myself in a kind of cinema-hell.

Even prepared as I was, I couldn’t believe what I was looking at, this goony series of expensively overproduced skits about slavery, built for guffaws as much as for  “ewww” reactions over gloppy blood spurts that accompany all the shooting scenes—the cost of the fake-blood-thickener they were apparently using must’ve almost busted the budget. There’s Jamie Foxx striking Bonanza poses in his fancy new duds. There’s Samuel L. Jackson, wearing an Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice get-up, playing one of those uppity Gone With the Wind-type slaves who get laughs by giving their masters a lotta lip. There’s Tarantino himself swaggering up as an Australian slave-driver with a cartoonishly bad “G’day mate!” attempt at an accent.

Sure, there are some fine things in the film—great actors, lush cinematography—but that can’t salvage the sheer amount of dumbfuckery going on. Prime example: there are horses doing tricks, repeatedly. The last shot, over the grand finale of the exploding Candyland plantations house, is Django showing Broomhilda that he taught his horse how to do some annoying dressage move.

It’s ghastly. All the controversy surrounding the movie seems to miss this central point, that Tarantino’s punctuating what ideally should be a serious-as-a-heart-attack revenge film with inane laffs and hijinks. It’s adding insult to injury that now Big T is going around to interviewers pontificating about the horrors of slavery and how all his research indicates it was far worse than he depicts—duh!—as if he’d just made an avenging-slavery movie that’d give you nightmares for weeks.

But he hasn’t. It’s what he SHOULD’VE done.

And I realize I’m arguing that what’s wrong with Tarantino’s Django Unchained is that he didn’t make a totally different Django Unchained, i.e., the one I wanted to see, about a Nat Turner-esque slave revolt. That seeming unreasonableness kept me from writing about this movie for awhile, too.

But fortunately, somebody else found the reasonable basis for such an argument, and had more nerve than I did. Here’s a quote from Remeike Forbes’ astute article in Jacobin Magazine called “Why Django Can’t Revolt”:

Django Unchained‘s single obsession with the hero’s manhood renders more epic possibilities unimaginable. One question looms over the film — where’s the slave rebellion? Even Calvin Candie asks himself this.

Remarkably, a story about slave-on-slaver violence barely makes a nod at slave revolt. Some might say that such a grand gesture isn’t really in Tarantino’s repertoire, but Inglorious Basterds shows this to not be the case at all. In the movie he allows for history to be completely rewritten, as a band of Jewish-American soldiers and a Jewish theater owner murder the entire Nazi leadership in one night. Why then should something as plausible as a slave revolt be considered an absurdity?

There is one moment that seems like the perfect opportunity for Django to evolve from his lone gun-slinging to rallying others to fight. After fooling his captors and preparing his return to Candyland, Django goes over to the wagon where a few of Candie’s former slaves are sitting in a cage. One would imagine that now free and moved by Django’s feats at least one person, if not all, would join him and take the opportunity to reap revenge on the Candie plantation, where they themselves had lived dehumanizing lives as Mandingo fighters. Instead, they look on at Django awestruck, as he rides off. I guess their balls just weren’t quite as big as Jamie Foxx’s.

Forbes has zeroed in on one of two really telling points in the narrative, when it seems like Tarantino is deliberately psyching us out with the possibility of Django joining forces with other slaves.

The first is the opening scene, when Django, a member of a chain gang of manacled slaves shuffling through the harsh cold terrain of Texas in winter, is liberated by Dr. Schultz, who shoots the slavers. Dr. Schultz then counsels the other slaves about how to negotiate their own way to freedom, and Christoph Waltz’s singsong voice is light and frolicsome throughout. Django never speaks to them, seems too shocked by rapid developments. This seems like the film’s starting point on slavery: there is no cooperation among slaves, there’s hardly even sympathy or communication amongst slaves, and therefore, no possibility of united action. We know that’s not true as a rule, historically. But as a genre film set-up it might work well if, for instance, you intended to rectify that terrible state of affairs with gradually increasing sympathy, communication, and cooperation, all leading up to a goddamn SLAVE REVOLT.

Instead, later on, as Forbes indicates, evil Calvin Candie speculates about the reasons why slaves don’t revolt, and makes a lengthy, outrageous argument, illustrated with the skull of a dead slave, that black people in general are biologically inclined toward submission. Only one in ten-thousand, Candie opines, would prove to be the exception to this rule. At the climactic moment of the movie, Django proudly announces himself as that one non-submitting black person, embracing Candie’s theory.

It’s a hell of a thing, lemme tell ya.

The second time in the movie that the possibility of a slave revolt gets dangled in front of us is the more egregious one. Django gets freed from his captors once more—actually, frees himself this time, through smooth-talking guile followed by unforeseen violence, clearly demonstrating what he’s learned from Dr. Schultz in their bounty-hunting ventures—and once again he’s looking at his fellow black men, who are still sitting in the cage, though the door is open.

The scene is held dramatically, letting us consider what’s about to happen next. Pretty clear Tarantino is building expectations—will they leap up to join him, or will Django have to urge them to grab this extraordinary chance at revenge and freedom…? Nah, neither. Django demands the dynamite and rides off, the other men staring after him. Then, the shootings—Broomhilda rescued—Candyland goes kaboom—dressage—THE END.

It seemed so artificial and atrocious an ending, I thought, there has to be something else going on in the film that justifies this, and I’m just not getting it. Tarantino ain’t THAT crazy. Turned out a friend of mind had a theory about how the whole movie is really a meditation on contemporary “slavery” in the form of the inescapable, exploitative worker system we’re all enmeshed in right now. Or something like that. I was trying to follow it—it got kind of tricky in its particulars—but the restaurant was getting loud and the drinks were going around and pretty soon I lost the thread. Not sure it would’ve mattered anyway, because the last thing I wanted of Django Unchained was some allegorical exercise. The first major Hollywood genre film about slavery with the slaves as the heroes, and we’re going to get meta about it? On purpose?

But I don’t know how else to explain the movie’s unique rottenness. Or the Jim Croce song. Readers, please advise.


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Add your own

  • 1. Shade  |  January 6th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for the warning about the Jim Croce soundtrack. I was actually tempted to check this movie out, but the flashback to the truly awful soundtrack to “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (an otherwise excellent movie) has me running like hell away from this movie. 70’s wuss rock has NO place in an action flick. Period. (or anywhere else except a yuppir couple’s dinner party for that matter) I’ve tried to like Tarentino’s movies, I really have, but I can’t help but see him for what he is: an overage, overrated self-apointed king of the fanboys. Fuck that shit.

  • 2. what  |  January 6th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Honest question, I’m not trying to troll here: but what was the last movie you saw in the theater and liked? Or is this some post-post-exercise in just not liking stuff? I looked at the first page of your articles and I don’t think you liked any of them. Hell, I agree with it, I just was wondering if this was a gimmick or not.

  • 3. Doctor Memory  |  January 6th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I can help you, but you’re gonna have to do something that hurts a little bit. All you have to do is swallow your goddamned white hipster pride, take a deep breath and say it:

    “Spike Lee was right.”

    It’s no so bad, honest. You don’t have to do anything crazy like re-watch “She Hate Me”. Just admit that in the same way that he was 100% correct about what a waste a Norman Jewison “Malcolm X” would have been, Lee has had Tarantino’s number foryears, and the only thing he had to do to know that this film would be an insulting mess was think about it for half a second.

  • 4. taryn  |  January 6th, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    probably has something to do with the fact that tarantino’s a white man making the movie. if someone like spike lee was making it, you’d be sure the main black character wasn’t a two-dimensional figure with barely a page of lines. just doesn’t have the perspective necessary to dredge up the blood.

  • 5. Dr Sanchez  |  January 6th, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Why the hell would you expect a Tarantino movie to be “serious-as-a-heart-attack”? The problem with Django is that the jokes suck (jokes are fine, just make them funny!), Django himself is flat as a pancake, and Waltz’s bounty hunter is a pale shadow of Hans Landa.

  • 6. marc  |  January 6th, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    you had to watch this to know it was going to be shit? You didn’t realize Tarantino stopped making good movies after he blew his wad with Pulp Fiction?

  • 7. The Gubbler  |  January 6th, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Many years ago, I was watching a tape of “blaxploitation” trailers, one was for a film called “Slaves” starring Dionne Warwick. I was intrigued. From what I recall, Dionne was being sexually abused by her master.

    Haven’t been able to find it. Maybe I just dreamt the whole thing, but I am pretty sure it was real. Not listed on IMDB. Not online or at Scarecrow Video.

    Haven’t seen Django, but I can say for absolutely sure you are quite right to be offended by Quentin’s extra-special musical selections.

  • 8. The Gubbler  |  January 6th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I found the trailer.

    This calls for an extra-special musical selection.

    The Stanglers – Blue Sister

    With a few well placed drum fills and a guitar solo…. oh, forget it.

    At least you have your genre films to dry your eyes and go back to Eileen.

  • 9. ferd  |  January 6th, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Yeah, it almost all falls flat. For example, the dog scene should have been powerful, but wasn’t.

    But Django going it alone is saying, “I’m gonna do it just like Dirty Harry — single-handedly blowing away the bad guys left and right with the dead eye accuracy and the Bronson/Eastwood vengeance, and even wearing the cowboy hero duds and riding the Roy Rogers horsey, AND EVERYTHING according to Hoyle. Except you still don’t like it ’cause I’m black. So, now, watch my horsey dance sucka.”

    II laughed at the horse and at M I S S I S S I P P I. The rest was meh. “Pulp Fiction” was great!

  • 10. ferd  |  January 6th, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Adding: We liberals were all deeply rooting for Poitier’s Tibbs in “In the Heat of the Night.”

  • 11. Hannibal  |  January 6th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    i downloaded the dvdscr, it was shit, also downloaded zero dark thirty that was also shit shit shit. hurt locker was shit (they wanted to give the oscar to a woman, those magnanimous academy pricks; granted, the field was shit but…)

    i think tarantino makes the plot/narrative development shitty on purpose, as some sort of sick, twisted homage to the shitty plots in his favorite movies from the 70’s (he probably remembers them as great, just like i remember mighty ducks as being FUCKING AWESOME.)

    bottom line, anybody who ‘loves’ this flick has conformist-shit-for-brains.

  • 12. Galtic Warrior  |  January 7th, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Enmeshed in? Feel free to start your OWN company if you’re feeling shackled by the people you CHOSE TO WORK FOR!

    Comparing this heinous evil–an act of terrorism to the horrific slavery

    It’s all a plot to stoke a fear of black people, giving the United States Government a reason to disarm the teeth of the people when a Timmy Mcveigh type plant goes postal in a civil rights museum!

    He’ll probably get as much help from the U.S Military as Holmes did! All to comply with UNITED NATIONS regulations.

    At long last, the die is cast, the implications are vast; we’re soooooo fucked. The Illuminati will have it’s one world government.

  • 13. Bulfinch  |  January 7th, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Shoulda used a Terry Jacks tune instead.

  • 14. Zog  |  January 7th, 2013 at 2:50 am

    I’m going to wait for this to get on DVD. Or better, pirate MP4.

  • 15. EdensThaw  |  January 7th, 2013 at 6:49 am

    So, basically, you were hoping the movie would incite layabout white people to start shooting each other and stop turning their guns on rural, flyover blacks — aka the only half-way interesting blacks left on the planet — but instead you are disappointed to discover that A.) the attempt at incitement was a dud and B.) whites are a lazy, shitburger eating race today just like they always have been.

    That said, don’t give up yet, there’s a good chance we’ll see a few Django murders — crowds of white “youths” ganging up on one or two listless whites. But, chances are the blacks that get killed will be The Right Kind of Blacks (urban liberals), while The Wrong Ones continue on unharmed thanks to their 1.) foresight to avoid areas with a concentrated white population and 2.) being getting an education and skill.

  • 16. TrangleC  |  January 7th, 2013 at 6:58 am

    What would a serious slave revolt be doing in a Spaghetti Western?

    Those Italians (and many other Europeans) who made those movies didn’t care about slavery and other serious historical issues.
    All they knew about the “Wild West” was that they played Cowboy and Indian as children and as gritty, violent and dirty those movies depicted the Wild West, it always was a romantic and sentimental view and position they took.

    Complaining about a throwback to Spaghetti Western not being serious, somber and realistic enough about historical facts is like complaining that “The Hobbit” doesn’t depict the horrors of life in the medieval dark ages.

    This is missing the point to a absolutely ridiculous level. “Django” is as much a “story about slave owner violence” as “SS Girls” is a story about the Holocaust.

    Speaking about the Holocaust, did you also have a problem with “Inglorious Basterds” because it wasn’t “Saving Private Ryan”?

    Did “Kill Bill” disappoint you because it didn’t deal with the Tibet issue?

    Snark aside, like I said, Spaghetti Western were about larger than life characters and their personal adventures, not about socioeconomics, policy and racism.

    Sure, you could argue that Tarantino should have left slavery out of the movie altogether if he wanted to make a Spaghetti Western and nothing more, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was unrealistic and silly to expect him to turn something that was supposed to be a throwback to a form of exploitation cinema into a more violent mixture of “Roots” and “Amistad”.

  • 17. DarthFurious  |  January 7th, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Why no slave revolt? What kinda stupid fucking question is that?! Tarantino has wealthy masters to answer to like anyone else. There was no depiction of a slave revolt because guys like Jamie Dimon and Tim Geithner don’t want the current crop of “servents” (sorry for the pretentiousness, but I already got banned for life from the Buffalo Beast for referring to “employees” as slaves) getting any fucking ideas.

    And if you can’t see that, you’re a far, far dumber cunt than I thought you were.

  • 18. Ozinator  |  January 7th, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for watching it for me so that I wouldn’t have to. I no longer make trans Pacific flights, so have no occasion to waste time watching horrible movies. I had read awhile back that someone was going to turn the Captain David Fagen story into a movie and after reading this review, I’m hoping it doesn’t happen!

    Tarantino is a racist who brags about having black friends and none of his life experiences are worth writing about. Fuck him

  • 19. Cum  |  January 7th, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Have you watched the Spartacus: Blood & Sand series yet? The first few episodes are a bit rough as they later learned to tone down the comically overdone cheap blood effects, but by the first season finale it delivers everything you could want. You asked for a new Spartacus a year or two ago, well it exists! It achieves where Django fails.

    For the record I enjoyed Django Unchained, despite the glaring flaws. I happened to be reading a little bit of the screenplay the other day and Tarantino’s juvenile writing syle really cracks me up. I’ve never read the actual screenplay for any movie that I’ve seen before, and the description of characters seem like they were written by a kid, so that was a bit of a shock to me. I kinda love it.

  • 20. Kramer  |  January 7th, 2013 at 10:17 am

    You might think he’s a sleepy-type guy — always takes his time. Soon I know he’ll be changing your mind when you’ve seen him use a gun.

  • 21. SN  |  January 7th, 2013 at 10:26 am

    The Zapata westerns of mid 1960s to early 1970s shows that slaves, peon, peasants can have an uprising and not become a droll overburdened political drama. In no particular order, Two Mules for Sister Sarah, Duck you Sucker, Viva Maria, The Mercenary, and others that take up political violence of the masses against the elites but don’t end up being all Ken Loachy in doing so. While we are at it Inglorious Bastards is shit. It is Tarantino doing a too self-conscious homage to his own tropes and tricks. At this point Tarantino is a washed up cover band with nothing of his own to say.

    It’s good Tarantino didn’t make a John Brown flick. The man is too important to be dragged through the self-referential hipster mud of style for style’s sake. The John Brown movie probably does require someone with the solid politics of Loach but tempered by someone who can shoot combat scenes like the best episodes of Band of Brothers. The Battle of Osawatomie could show, the soul crushing of loss of having your son killed in a struggle you brought him to, the inhumanity and barbarism of 300 Missouri Bushwhackers attacking a small town, and the personal bravery and military acumen of Browns small band to carry out a fighting retreat that decimated the ranks of the pro-slavery vandals attacking the village. But the film would also need the debates between Brown and his men at the Kennedy farm in Maryland. With Brown suggesting that the gospels and the declaration of independence are the greatest ideas ever and his men openly challenging his faith and mysticism and offering up Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man as the better foundation for a society built on freedom. Only Loach could pull off that kind of debate. So, don’t make Brown into a cartoon via a genre film. The greatest white American needs a mix of Ken Loach for the politics and the Band of Brothers episode where the company takes out the Kraut field artillery at Carentan for the combat scenes.

  • 22. x  |  January 7th, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Siegfred didn’t lead a slave revolt, he freed broomhilda solo. Django = Siegfred.

  • 23. x  |  January 7th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    D’Artagnon, motherfuckers!

  • 24. Ralph Chaplin  |  January 7th, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Sounds like Spike Lee was right. A more talented director might have proven him wrong.

  • 25. Vendetta  |  January 7th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I can’t really agree with you on hating Django. I do agree with you that a Nat Turner slave revolt movie is something I want to see. I didn’t go into Django expecting that nor setting that kind of standard. I went to see a Tarantino movie, and I think he made a hell of a good Tarantino movie. I don’t think he’s the director to do a serious revolutionary-toned movie, but I hope someone else does get around to that.

  • 26. Bad Bad Leroy Brown  |  January 7th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    What? A sopmoric film that says “nigger” ten thousand times, has a Wagner leitmotif, and references bad retro exploitation flicks that weren’t even cool forty years ago and had minimal gratuitous nudity doesn’t turn you on and on and on? You’re one inglorious basterd, yo.

  • 27. Rob Cotton  |  January 7th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I’m not sure why I continue commenting on Eileen Jones articles. Probably because I wish I was her, but instead am a chronic masturbator and not very funny, enlightening or intelligent. Yeah, you get it, Eileen – I love you.

  • 28. philip  |  January 7th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    i was really looking forward to your review, with horror, since i had similar reaction, in fact my gf had to put up with days of spontaneous rants on how “tarantino fucked up”. some two thirds into the movie i was thinking “damn, maybe spike lee is right”. i think you’re spot on on the tone, tarantino can’t quite figure out how serious he wants to take the whole thing, but the framework, the tongue in cheek appeal to grindhouse, allows him to never have to decide. at any point he can freely escape into camp, and the campier it is, the more he can pretend like he was being clever, free to do whatever due to genre conventions. kind of like how blazing saddles or monty python “fall apart” in the end. i think tarantino goes for something like that here. he can’t quite fully commit to the serious and the epic, so every chance he gets he just goes for “falling apart”: increase the level of camp, which is supposed to be humorous (though comes off as juvenile) but ironically masks his own ambivalence about the plot. it’s interesting to contrast with inglorious bastards. and i think the reason why qt was able to be so cavalier with the subject, is because wwii is not a particularly strong event in american history. growing up in russia, with some jewish roots, exposed to years of soviet propaganda movies, i had very mixed reaction to inglorious bastards. something along the lines of “that’s just not right”, but that sort of makes it brave. now, after watching django, i realize that tarantino wasn’t brave, he just had enough distance from wwii to not really care that much. confronted with a much more complex, relevant to americans subject he falls apart.

  • 29. mr. brojangles  |  January 7th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I wanna see a good movie about the Haitian slave insurrection. Hell, I’d settle for a War Nerd piece. Gary?

  • 30. marlon brawndo  |  January 7th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    “ultra-violent film” — Eileen

    “…bit of the old ultraviolence.” — Alex

  • 31. radii  |  January 7th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Wow, never seen Eileen vexed before. Transference of hopes perhaps.

    Tarantino is a stylistic auteur to be sure, but we must remember that in terms of narrative and ambition he is a the film equivalent of a DJ – a remixer.

    Never expect deep meaning from T. He can throw down some mad beats, make you feel like you’re in the coolest club, drop in the most unexpected counterpoint or interlude and make is seem effortless. But it’s just about dancing and having a good time. There is no philosophy, no worldview, no political agenda.

    Since T likes to mish-and-mash his film influences it seems clear he wanted Django as a black Clint Eastwood-type from the Spaghetti Western era – the intense loner who only might get close to a lady-love. It was this stylistic choice why Django doesn’t get all political up in this hizzie and urge the other black-skinned people to revolt.

    I do not agree that Inglorious Basterds was a good film. The David Bowie music video in the middle was stupid. And, after starting out brilliantly in the prologue with our heroine escaping, later in the movie it is anticlimactic when she meets the evil Nazi face-to-face. You expected the Beatrix Kiddo theme ( to play and be off on our revenge portion of the film. Instead only inanity played out from there – seriousness descended to low farce with the silly fake Italian accents and such (after setting up how carefully they all learned the German only to be undone by a slight failure in social behavior) – hated that movie.

    Hopefully T will abandon his stated intent to do one more historical revision film and just skip ahead to the Kill Bill epilogue film featuring Vernita Green’s daughter

  • 32. jyp  |  January 7th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    You know what? I feel the same way about all of Tarantino’s movies. All of ’em. All crap. All of ’em. He’s a writer. Writers make crap movies. Writers who direct, that is. Writers should never be allowed to direct films. Photographers. Photographers make great films. From then till now. Writers are useful for writing novels, say, to build a rough frame on which to hang a movie but let a writer loose within it and you get crap. Not all the time. Just most of the time. Coen Bros? Crap. Because they’re writers. Scott? Brilliant (most of the time) because he’s a photographer. Kubrick? Photographer. Brilliant (most of the time).

    And–oh, I don’t care if you approve of my view or not. I never read responses. Life is too short.

  • 33. gc  |  January 7th, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Case for the defense:

    You can either make a movie about what slavery was like for most slaves, or you can make a movie about a Nat Turner-ish slave revolt. But you can’t do both, because most slaves never did participate in a Nat Turner-ish slave revolt.

    The idea with Django Unchained, it seems to me, is for half the movie to do what’s already been done in a hundred Holocaust movies – reenact the historical atrocities, to make them tangible to the modern audience, and not just a litany of unpleasant facts in a history book.

    But if that were the whole movie, it would be just as unentertaining as most Holocaust movies. (Or Roots.)

    So the other half of the movie is a silly western with two Clint Eastwood-ish superheroes – Schultz and Django – strolling through the south and singlehandedly disposing of bad guys in a way that no real person ever could.

    A movie about a slave revolt would have its uses, as an exhortation to and/or guide for rebellion. But it would also let slavery and its modern “states rights” apologists off too easily, because it wouldn’t convey the basic reality of slavery – not just the vicious repression of slave revolts, but constant abuse, intimidation, and manipulation of the slaves, in a mostly successful effort to keep slave revolts from happening in the first place. (If you’re depicting the everyday treatment of slaves, you don’t have to try to make it an allegory for the treatment of poor people in America today. It happens automatically.)

    As for the “I am one in ten thousand” line… well, to me that one’s indefensible (Farrakhan, on the other hand, thinks it’s inspirational), but let’s at least try to explain it. It’s a safe guess that Tarantino doesn’t actually believe that 99.99% of black people are naturally more subservient than white people. So I’m assuming what he means is that Django is better than 99.99% of all human beings, regardless of race. Doesn’t come off that way, but I’m assuming that’s what he means. If he’d made a movie about slaves in Greece or Rome, I can imagine him still making his hero say the same kind of thing.

    So, maybe not a racist sentiment – but still a fascist one. Maybe no intentional racist implications – but still accidental ones.

    Of course, accidental implications are the basic problem with Tarantino. (Well, that and the fact that he’s both so sophisticated and so fucking puerile – makes you doubt your judgement and wonder whether you’re just kidding yourself about the sophistication. And by “you” I mean “me”.)

    Let’s assume that Tarantino knows the difference between the serious and the silly parts of Django.

    And let’s say that Tarantino does address his own enjoyment of the atrocities inflicted on the slaves at Candyland. This is a regular feature in Tarantino’s movies: The moment when a character who’s been coasting through all kinds of cartoonish brutality turns introspective, and starts to act like a real person in a real life situation. The problem of aesthetics versus morality; of appreciating the intellectual skill with which the imperialist plays subject people’s off each another, or the military skill with which he cuts up the rebels, or the nihilist intellectual’s imperviousness to social pieties, regarding the rulers and their victims with the same open, lofty, indifferent contempt – versus understanding that all this comes at the cost of real human suffering.

    In Django, the key moment seems to me to come (spoilers, kids) as Schultz, who starts out at the beginning of the movie saying “I hate slavery, but that’s the way things are here in the south, and I’m willing to work within that to get what I want”, is making his final deal with Candy, and slowly comes to the conclusion that he should kill the slave owner (with the certainty of getting himself killed in the process).

    The point: “Christopher Waltz went all spaghetti western on some piece of criminal white trash. Wasn’t that awesome? Leonardo di Caprio just fed a slave to his dogs. Wasn’t that awesome too? I sure thought it was. Except, when you stop and think about it for a minute, that last thing actually happened to real people. So on a more important level, that was actually horrible. And the people who created and defended (or still defend) that system are some of the most disgusting scum to ever have blighted the face of the world.”

    (So yes, it’s really a movie about how white people should feel about slavery, not about the slaves. The deconstructionist carrion birds will presumably be descending shortly, if they haven’t already.)

    So, again, let’s assume Tarantino’s heart is in approximately the right place. Let’s assume that this comes through to somebody who thinks about movies. (And I do mean “assume” here. Jones certainly thinks about movies, and this obviously isn’t her take on it.) Let’s assume all that. Does this come through to someone who watches movies and doesn’t think about them? (i.e. most people who watch movies)

    I doubt it.

    A lot of moviegoers are probably going away feeling exactly the way that Jones worries they will: That it was totally badass when Jaime Foxx killed all those people, and that it was likewise totally badass when Leonardo di Caprio put Kerry Washington in a box. Just like a lot of moviegoers think the best thing about Pulp Fiction is how it was totally badass when Bruce Willis blew John Travolta’s guts out.

    So at best Tarantino is the equivalent of a guy peddling high quality hard drugs indiscriminately to people who can handle them and people who can’t, and may very well be teetering on the border between those two categories himself.

  • 34. gc  |  January 7th, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Forgot: To Tarantino’s credit, the conservative commentariat is clutching pearls over how Django Unchained is racially “divisive” – so he did something right.

  • 35. Andrew  |  January 7th, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I liked Django Unchained.

  • 36. Elfride Petri  |  January 8th, 2013 at 1:39 am

    No Remeike Forbes you dullwad, Inglorious Basterds is ALSO offensive, for the same reason. THERE WAS NO Jewish uprising – okay SOBIBOR but WHO CARES. Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, THIS PREPOSTEROUS BULLSHIT IS NOT HOW IT HAPPENED. Sure fine so why do they exist?

    Because they’re asking the same question, the old excommunication of Hannah Arendt question. They’re answering it differently because there is no answer. THESE MOVIES ARE AWFUL FUCKING JOKES. THIS IS WHY AUDIENCES LOVED THEM BUT LEFT THE THEATERS REALLY FUCKING DISTURBED. OKAY?

  • 37. Adam  |  January 8th, 2013 at 6:07 am

    The critics hated Lincoln, loved Django. And from what I gather, the people loved Lincoln, were repulsed by Django. Why? Because Lincoln actually happened, was based on historical fact. That “artificial and atrocious ending” was the final denouement of an artificial and atrocious story line. Surely, there are real stories – you suggested the Nat Turner revolts – that could have been adapted to a genre film. But this is not what Tarantino set out to do.

    He fully indulged himself in a tendency that began in Inglourious Basterds – stripping storytelling of all it’s historical fetters.

    It’s not surprising that the post-modernist crowd love this film – why else could a reviewer from The Nation say that Django is a better movie about slavery than Lincoln?

  • 38. Garland Briggs  |  January 8th, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Anyone else not surprised that this movie was a disappointment?

    What I really wanna hear is your take on “Cosmopolis.” Please?

  • 39. hnnmw  |  January 8th, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Thank you. You are one of the few reasons I keep faith in criticism, cultural or otherwise.

  • 40. Rex Reed  |  January 8th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    If Quentin Tarantino took a shit and filmed it, Ebert would praise it as a masterpiece

    If Quentin Tarantino took a shit on my face, I’d rim his anus with my wrinkled tongue and call it a masterpiece.

    His films suck, but he’ll do anything for me to get a good review.

    And he will.

  • 41. anonymouse  |  January 8th, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    It leaves you angry, frustrated and unfulfilled because you, like most of us, are slaves. This planet didn’t revolt when a clique of oligarchs stole more from us and humiliated us in worse ways than the most depraved slave owner. This is despite ‘the west’ growing up on freedom and liberation motifs. We don’t revolt because we are enslaved.

  • 42. Cavoyo  |  January 8th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Before the film was released, Tarantino said that he thinks the prison-industrial complex and the War on Drugs are the same as slavery:

    So when Stephen revealed that Django wasn’t going to be castrated, but sent to slave away at a mining camp for the rest of his life instead, I knew exactly the point Tarantino was making.

  • 43. Eddie  |  January 8th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Want to make a real harrowing movie about slavery.

    I think I have the script for it. I won’t give away all the details but there is a scene there where a Steve Jobs like character brags about how he made his money.

    He goes on and on about how 14 year old Chinese teenagers working 14 hours a day in Shenzhen for 14 cents an hour made it all possible. How they are beaten and frequently
    raped and how if they don’t fill their quotas they are not even paid. He takes great pleasure in explaining the simplicity of it all. How even if they wanted to the workers could not change the system or even protest since if they did he would just move the factory to another part of the planet and start the process all over again.

    But don’t worry I have a real American ending to it. Again not all the details but let just say he get’s stabbed to death with a tool for assembling Ipads.

  • 44. jimmy james  |  January 8th, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    We’d love to talk about this, Eileen, but Ames is off huffing glue somewhere in Nevada and isn’t approving any more comments!

  • 45. Lex  |  January 8th, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I liked it. Sure, there was no big slave revolt, but if they had been…. what then? There were a handful historically, but most were violently repressed.

  • 46. darthfader  |  January 8th, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    It all became more than irritating to me when, after the fizzle of an ending that Tarantino tries to cover with a literal bang, I remembered that Django objects to being a black slaver by noting that not even the head house slave is lower than a black slaver.

    Yet there is no dialogue in this movie between the slave characters that plausibly represents any sort of conversation that would lead to any common opinion at all, let alone collective action – and since that actually happened in history, it’s bizarre of Tarantino to actively, studiously ignore it.

  • 47. Michael Doliner  |  January 8th, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    It’s hard for me to imagine a twenty-first century American movie where the hero rides into town, unites the people, and foments a slave rebellion. We don’t believe in heroes who act for other than personal reasons. If we did we would have to face our own low-down selves.

  • 48. Phil  |  January 9th, 2013 at 4:57 am

    Test. Curious why this post has received zero comments. Either something’s broken or traffic has really dropped.

  • 49. philm buff  |  January 9th, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Okay…I’m not crazy. You and I saw the same film so expertly criticized and fairly analyzed in this article. All the praise for that awful violent filled buffoon fest is completely beyond my comprehension! Tarantino knows how to make a profit not a decent film.

  • 50. adam  |  January 9th, 2013 at 9:13 am

    jesus christ quit writin about hollywood dreck.
    i’m supposed read your cogent analysis of some piece of shit flick i wouldnt touch with a 10 foot pole? perhaps you can do a nostalgia piece on howard the duck? you just became irrelevant.

  • 51. Matan  |  January 9th, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I totally agree that the movie sucked, politically and artistically. But if we’re looking for any enlightening points, the Mandingo fighting theme could be taken as a commentary on contemporary US sports (NFL etc.) Still weak though.

  • 52. korman643  |  January 9th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    @6 TrangleC: “Those Italians (and many other Europeans) who made those movies didn’t care about slavery and other serious historical issues.”

    Looks like you don’t know much about the history of Spaghetti Western. ALL those Italians who wrote/directed those movies cared about “serious historical issues”, because, in the overwhelming majority, they were coming and had grown up in the same left wing politics who had produced neorealism. Sergio Leone was a big leftie, and the same is true for most of the rest. The producers of course wanted the movie to make a lot of money, so you get the blood, the violence, the scantily dressed girls, but the basis of these movies was political, and most of the fans of these movie were firmly on the left side of the political spectrum.

  • 53. Fissile  |  January 9th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    When I saw the picture at the top of the post, the first thing I thought was that the black dude jumped Hop Sing and stole Little Joe Cartwright’s clothes.

  • 54. Lex  |  January 9th, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Would a better ending have been if a bunch of Confederates, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, etc. had all been burned alive during a barn dance thanks to the heroic efforts of a bunch of freed ex-slaves who spent most of the movie using branding irons with the symbol of Africa on slave owners’ faces?

    Come on, man. If it was EXACTLY like Basterds, only with freed slaves, it’d be way too derivative.

  • 55. Dan  |  January 9th, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    If you want real history… Read a book… Don’t watch movies. Get over yourself.

  • 56. SweetLeftFoot  |  January 9th, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I saw this as an Aussie in America. Seriously, what the fuck where the Australians doing in fuck arse Texas in 1858? If they were miners they would have been in Victoria exploiting the world’s greatest gold rush.

    Seems like a cheap dog whistle – AUSTRALIA IS RACIST! – from Tarantino to me. And dynamite wasn’t invemnted until nearly 20 years later dumb cunt.

    But really, not my history, entertaining flick, troubling politically. It’s no Rabbit Proof Fence in terms of of whitefella weeping over the holy horror we inflicted, but it is a bit over the top.

    If I had a fanny like Eileen, I’d be asking where the fuck all the female characters were? Django’s missus (Brunhilde – yes we get it, QT) and then the creepy sister Leo was insinuated to be fucking?

    If I had to make an IDENTITY POLITICS judgement on this film it would be a feminist one – as history has shown, the USA will elect a black man President before a woman.

  • 57. Ozinator  |  January 10th, 2013 at 12:13 am


    yes, it would have been better…i’d have watched it!

  • 58. Skeeve  |  January 10th, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Uh, Tarantino, Spielberg, James Bond…we already know it’s shit! Where’s “The Hobbit” evisceration? You know, the thing you love (Tolkien) being savaged for profit yet again…

  • 59. anon  |  January 10th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    but blacks luv it

  • 60. Jim Vail  |  January 10th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Tarantino’s got many talking about slavery, our white elephant history. When was the last time that happened?

  • 61. Morgan  |  January 11th, 2013 at 10:18 am

    @55 SweetLeftFoot

    Totally agree!

    Tarantino is obnoxious. I love the way his movies look…but his politics is typically uneducated at best and vile at worst.

    Drove me nuts when people were calling the Kill Bill series “feminist.” Give me a break. It was exploitation all the way. Every female character was a comic-book fantasy.

    On that note…here’s something I noticed about QT: none of his characters are remotely believable.

    They can be entertaining, but not believable.

  • 62. Matt Osborne (@OsborneInk)  |  January 11th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Wow. I saw a completely different movie — a meta-narrative about movies about the 19th Century. Remember how Inglourious Basterds was really a meta-movie about WWII movies, the destruction of European cinema in the cataclysm of war, and the arrival of Hollywood after the war? That’s what Django Unchained is to movies like Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind. Tarantino is attacking the way our cinematic culture has approached the slaveholding South.

  • 63. casino implosion  |  January 11th, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    “…Tarantino’s ain’t-it-cool gloating is just as hot for the joys of Candyland, which he seems to wish he could visit personally—maybe he and Leo having a pony-party—as it is for the burning of Candyland….”

    This sums up everything loathesome about Tarantino as well as anything.

    It’s impossible for me to see his gross, toad-like smirking visage without thinking “this guy is a human dorian grey portrait. He’s as ugly on the outside as the inside”.

  • 64. Whatever  |  January 11th, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Haven’t seen it yet, but the most obvious answer to why no slave revolt would be: because such an ending would make it seem like it has the same plot as Inglorious Basterds.

    I like a movie to not reflect my expectations. I want scenes where my brain is expecting, “Ooh, now is when the slaves revolt,” but the movie slaps me down and says, “Nope, you’re wrong.”

    Is it true that the movie just doesn’t deliver. Maybe, I don’t know yet, but nothing that you’ve stated convinces me that it must be a failure. I had concerns going into Inglorious Basterds as I’ve heard expressed towards DU, and I was delightfully wrong — IB is not a wholly successful picture, flawed in a few ways, nowhere near his best, but definitely much better and more successful than I feared would be the case.

    I hope for the same with Django.

  • 65. Alex  |  January 11th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    You could tell there was no danger in the scene where Django was threatened with castration. Tarantino might cut off an ear, but no American filmmaker would have the balls to make a movie with a castrated hero.

  • 66. Mr. Bad  |  January 11th, 2013 at 4:37 pm


    Just checkin’ in.

    Remember this:

    When 1/2 of you CRACKERS and Eileen were wanking it to your wet ghey dreams I was trying to help you see that you were just foolin’ yurselves. Where the fuck is “GC” now, where is that CRACKER! I’m callin’ you out CRACKER! Take a moment off from your ritual self abuse and log in under you old handle, my CRACKER!

    But seriously, let’s chat, take a peek at the old comments so you’re up to date, CRACKKKKKKKKER! Aww-ight, I’m out my CRACKKKERS!

  • 67. Mr. Bad  |  January 11th, 2013 at 4:47 pm


    Oh it’s glorious isn’t it? It’s a fucking beautiful word! Go ahead, it’s OK now, you can say it at home, you’re just “quoting” a movie now.

    I can’t fucking stop saying it now! What a great movie!

  • 68. Strangefate  |  January 11th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    ‘S’what happens when you go and let yourself believe Tarrantino knows what he’s doing and always has known. That he’s not in fact the big goofy poster child for arrested development that he seems to be in interviews but in fact a subversive genius. He makes movies for thirteen year old boys. Always has, always will. Which is fine — he’d be a hell of a comic book writer, I bet — but any sophistication you thought you saw there was surely just a mote in your eye, a false hope that maybe modern American genre films aren’t utterly devoid of ideas. (Alas they are.) He made Django Unchained not because he felt he had something to say, an expert jab to aim at the heart of Caucasian American mythology, but because he thought it’d be funny cool to smash together spaghetti westerns and blacksploitation flix tropes.

    And, sadly, I expect the genius you ascribe to him for Inglorious Basterds was probably accidental as well. I recall seeing an interview of Tarrantio where he basically credits most of what he wrote in that script to a perverse desire to surprise audiences by foiling their expectations, not because he was trying to make a point about stale WWII cliches or revenge narratives. In another interview, he gushed over how writing the scene where that chick got strangled was the most enjoyable part of the film for him by far.

    Awkward dorky white guy is, in fact, an awkward dorky white guy. S’all that’s going on there, I’m afraid. Look elsewhere for subversive and brilliant. He’s not your man.

  • 69. Morgan  |  January 11th, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Something else…

    I don’t have the movie in front of me now, but when I watched it, there was a scene with the KKK.

    I thought the KKK wasn’t formed until after the Civil War.

  • 70. Moe Fink  |  January 11th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I bet Eileen doesn’t even care about the patrons of that restaurant.

  • 71. Ozinator  |  January 12th, 2013 at 2:22 am

    well said, strangefate

    I’ve been using more words than that to try and say it. thanks

  • 72. gc  |  January 12th, 2013 at 3:31 am


    but any sophistication you thought you saw there was surely just a mote in your eye

    Wrong parable.

  • 73. Mr. Bad  |  January 12th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Wait, what, I can write “nigger nigger” on the Exiled?!? Eileen was so sure after reading the 100+ “n*gger” lines in the script that Tarantino was a fucking genius as opposed to just another white merchant of honkified black culture, a slaver “genius”. I just wanted to be a genius too… shucks.

  • 74. ferd  |  January 12th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Changing my mind after writing that most of Django was ‘meh’ in order to agree with much of what Bob Cecsa says in Huffington Post, here . . .

    Improbably, using spaghetti western schtick, Tarantino manages to bring a new kind of reveal about the hideous perversity and barbarity that was Southern slavery. And then, Tarantino says, ‘OK, I’ve shown you what perverted monsters these slavers were, and then I had a pretty darn traditional hero ride in, ON A HORSE, wearing cowboy HERO DUDS, and I had him conquer the monsters and rescue the damsel. But you still can’t quite embrace this classic hero ’cause, well, he’s black. Right? You know I’m right. So, what’s a n___ gotta do to get some respect from you? Have his horse dance like a Roy Rogers/Lone Ranger hero horsey? Well, alrighty then. How’s that? Do you like the spin? How ’bout if we do a little dressage? Feeling me yet? I know you’re not. And you know I know, sucka.’

    Still wondering if the drama and comedy elements might have been more powerful if Jamie Foxx and Samuel Jackson had switched roles. Am imagining Foxx giving shit to Candie, and Jackson saying, “The ‘D’ is silent” and such.

  • 75. Mr. Bad  |  January 12th, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    It’s amazing how naive some of these comments are, Tarantino hates, absolutely hates black people. Sure, he loves black culture but that’s not the same thing. Call it Eric Clapton syndrome… T made the whole movie so he could get in as many “Nigger” lines as he could, it’s the fulfillment of his life’s dream and every artistic, or should I say autistic dream he’s ever had.

    Rememeber the beef with Spike Lee, the “I’m blacker than you” line? Who the fuck would say something like that if they actually viewed black people as human as opposed to commercial property, T BRANDS himself as having a black sensibility to sell to racist white audiences who would otherwise be forced to accept the fact they want to see black people humiliated for fun.

    The whole movie is about reminding black’s they’re still owned by the man, to the point where he shoehorns the black hero into a white man’s cowboy boots (because black culture is just filled with admiration for the whole western genre)and congratulates himself for “inventing” a new genre, the “Southern”. It’s a fucking Blacksploitation movie, that’s not a new fucking genre.

  • 76. gbby  |  January 12th, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    My wife is watching this abomination right now. I’m sitting about 10 feet behind her, pretending to do some work. Gets to the preposterous scene when Jamie Foxx shoots a snowman, and I think to myself: “somebody has to have panned this trash… I’ll bet Eileen Jones would have!” Click over to exiled for vindication.

  • 77. gc  |  January 13th, 2013 at 1:15 am

    @Mr. Bad

    I already had one comment published here before you joined the party (currently #34), you idiot.

    (And another that didn’t get approved.)

  • 78. E  |  January 13th, 2013 at 1:57 am

    I think there was nothing profoundly contributing to historical relevance of slavery in this movie. It only seemed edgy cus it was during slavery times but it wasn’t about slavery. It was about Hollywoods usual putting a white man in a Jesus figure role(Shultz sacrificing himself thinkin about the poor slave that was mangled by dogs by the greenlighting of Django to “keep his cover”). Django was not empowering, it was pathetic and he was nothing more than an attack dog on a horse;Thoughtless; Conscienceless. Schultz got all the meaningful kills and Django got none(Schultz got to kill Calvin and the guy with the eye patch that was whipping his wife. And Django got to kill the guy he was begging to stop the other guy from whipping his wife, oh and Django got to kill another black man….real heroic as people in the audience clapped at the black on black violence) its funny how Django kept almost drawing his gun and not doing shit. After a while I didn’t take him seriously. By the time he actually did it was only because white Jesus got killed and he was In survival mode. Funny how Calvin Candie placed more value on her than QT as she was silenced throughout the film and relegated to a peaceful figment of Djangos imagination throughout the film. I should’ve done the right thing’ and listened to spike lee. Spike lee should not be criticitized for not making a slavery movie theres a lot of red tape in Hollywood. They always want your white hero or white Jesus figure. Nevertheless, Django was a great side kick they should’ve named the movie Schultz Unchaining. That movie was great for white folk cus it makes slavery seem like it was our fault. Mandingo fights, dog attacks, killing uncle toms, looking down on other black men from a horse. Classic deference of blame shit. This movie made me sick and pissed me off for reasons that don’t begin with the letter N, that’s another issue. And yes Im black.

  • 79. Иван Грозный  |  January 13th, 2013 at 10:46 am

    ” . . . the whole movie is really a meditation on contemporary “slavery” in the form of the inescapable, exploitative worker system we’re all enmeshed in right now.”

    ‘Meditation’, ‘exploitative worker system’.

    Mebs! Mebs!

    We shall overcome some day. Or not.

    Oy, the crabs in my shorts just rebelled. Will Quentin roll out another comic book yarn about them?

    Незамужних матерей из всех стран, соединяйтесь! Вам нечего терять, кроме своих ин-матки устройств!

  • 80. Epsilon  |  January 13th, 2013 at 12:14 pm


    That’s a lot of words for “it has to be stupid so the dullard masses get it”.

    If you are right, then the people won’t stand to fight against anything as long as they get their placebos. So yeah.

  • 81. Myrmecodon  |  January 14th, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Sure, there are some fine things in the film—great actors, lush cinematography—but that can’t salvage the sheer amount of dumbfuckery going on. Prime example: there are horses doing tricks, repeatedly. The last shot, over the grand finale of the exploding Candyland plantations house, is Django showing Broomhilda that he taught his horse how to do some annoying dressage move.

    Eileen doesn’t watch American football, otherwise she’d know the concept of an “end zone dance.”

    Actually the entire article bespeaks a lack of familiarity with the vast majority of actual black folk, who tend to love this shit.

    Tacky physical/oral demonstrations at wildly inappropriate times are the very beat of the Negro experience in America. The ‘dressage’ moves were a rare moment of black people acting black in a film that was mainly black people acting like white avatars.

    Yes, you saw the movie, but you failed a white privilege check, try again after you’ve gained some experience of American blacks instead of just ‘awareness.’

  • 82. Anonymous Coward  |  January 14th, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Rest of the world finally figures out Tarantino is a derivative hack, acts shocked.

    He’s never been good. It’s nothing personal, he’s just never been good. There’s a great story about Friedkin in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls talking with his uncle or someone who says something like, “Why you wanna waste your time making all these movies that no one wants to see? You should focus on making movies that are entertaining first.” I forget the exact quote, but that’s the gist. Tarantino always has made movies primarily with a giant smirk across their faces and that’s why all his movies have been so droll. If he took himself seriously he has the chops to do something truly interesting, but exposing yourself is a lot more difficult than sneering and irony-ing your way through art.

  • 83. Mr. A.  |  January 14th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    An update on

    Does this mean NSFWCorp’s investors have pulled the plug, and it’s time for the eXiled crew to get a day job?

  • 84. Rich  |  January 14th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Why the F do the lot of you go to the movies if you all hate them so much anyway? I mean – who’s the bigger fool here? The fool, or the fool who follows?
    I thought the movie was a brilliant distraction for a measly $12 bucks, made me realize that life could EASILY be a lot, lot, lot worse. Throw in some spaghetti western music you don’t hear everyday.. I got my money’s worth.
    You want dead on accuracy? Invent and F’n time machine or just stop bitching already. Bunch of professional crybabies in this joint… jeesh!

  • 85. SU'AD  |  January 14th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Its quite something when a movie reviewer misses the whole point of a movie. It was his take on/tribute to Spaghetti Westerns.
    Of course there’s going to be unrealism cornball humour and cheesy music.
    ” It should be as serious as a heart attack revenge film” Oh, please.

  • 86. Mallory  |  January 14th, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Tarantino makes movies that he wants to see, and that he thinks people will have fun seeing. He wants people to have a great time at the cinema.
    Regarding the 70s music being inappropriate and specifically the Jim Croce song being poorly placed: what?! Tarantino loves the 70s and its music. Remember K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the 70s from Reservoir Dogs? QT has always inserted pop culture references and seemingly random but perfect and fitting music selections in his films. He used “I Got a Name” not only because he likes the song, but because it is at that point that Django is no longer a slave, but a full-fledged professional bounty hunter.
    Those who wanted a slave revolt….why did you expect unity and a slave revolt? I mean, sure that’d be great too, but this is not that story. If you followed any promotion of the movie and are familiar with and/or like Tarantino’s work, then you would not be upset about this. This story is a spaghetti western in the antebellum south with romance, revenge and a black Clint Eastwood. The primary goal was for Jamie Foxx to find and rescue his wife. Why criticize it for not being a completely different movie that it never claimed to be in the first place?
    He did what he usually does. Django Unchained lived up to the expectations I had because I expected a great Tarantino film.

  • 87. Mr. Bad  |  January 15th, 2013 at 5:06 am

    @ 76. gc

    Oh, sorry, I must have passed right by your cute wittle comment. So once you discount the pseudo intellectual term “conservative commentariat” and the idiotic canned phrase “clutching pearls” you have exactly, what? Your unabashed fanboy ball-licking of Tarantino’s infantile racist schtick.

    Is the Hollywood foreign press part of that “conservative commentariat” too? Apparently hearing a proud brother like Tarantino resignifying “Nigger” for a roomful of rich white people is just too much for them honky’s to take!

    I really hope Tarantino tries that shit around some black people who aren’t well paid uncle tom actors someday. Fuckin’ “Bamboozled”, watch it, nigga.

  • 88. This Movie Sucks  |  January 15th, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Just another anti-white, jewish produced, pile of crap from Hollywood. Yep, Jews are anti-white now. Just check out this vid of yids in the Holy Land:

  • 89. Morgan  |  January 15th, 2013 at 9:17 am

    @77 E

    Woah…you know, I didn’t think of it that way till I read your comment, but I really think you are right: Shultz WAS the hero and most noble character in the film!

    I think QT has some major masculinity issues.

  • 90. Uma Tumor  |  January 15th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I swear, I used to hang out with this Quentin dweeb and he never even ogled me. Even fuggin’ Pee-Wee Herman ogled me!!! I think he’s a virgin, or worse—gay!!!

  • 91. Ozinator  |  January 15th, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    83. Rich said January 14th, 2013 at 2:54 pm….

    “Why the F do the lot of you go to the movies if you all hate them so much anyway? I mean – who’s the bigger fool here? The fool, or the fool who follows”?

    Well Obi Wan Kenobi, I’d have to say the fool who follows and that ain’t the people who hate this movie

  • 92. jimmy james  |  January 15th, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I really don’t know how you could’ve liked LINCOLN, Eileen. There wasn’t much in the form of slave rebellions in that film.

  • 93. Mr. Bad  |  January 16th, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Ok and one more thing. It is fucking wrong. just plain fucking evil for QT to use the word “Nigger” as if he were in fact black.

    The nature of slavery in the America’s practiced by Europeans was different from the sort of slavery practiced in Africa and indeed from almost every other type of slavery since ancient times.

    A slave may have been chattel, but that could and often did change over time, as opposed to the RACIST slavery practiced on Haitian plantations and the American south which had for it’s fundamental moral assumption the notion that black’s were subhuman, deserved to be slaves, etc.

    Ya’ see, in order to justify slavery in a post enlightenment political climate the only moral rationalization that would work was the inferiority of black’s. To make a long story short, “nigger” does not just mean “a black person”, it means a piece of property who happens to be black and therefore predisposed to be a subhuman slave.

    Black’s have always been ghettoized and forced to live together, first by law and then by informal policy (redlining), this has led to a strong community feeling based not on class but on race and to a lesser extent religion. The black community is the only thing black people have white society cannot take away. “Why do all black people seem to know each other?” and other such confounded honky jokes.

    There may always have been a black “middle class” but up until very recently they were still forced to live and work right next to working class black’s and in the same community.

    When white people use the word “nigger” not as I’m using it now but in the way black people use it they are essentially claiming to be part of the black community (taking it away, in the case of QT for profit) but also essentially reintroducing the master slave relationship and the implied critique of the “subhuman black”. A white person cannot, can never be a “nigger”, cannot have been a “nigger” and so while you can understand intellectually what “nigger” means you cannot experience that emotion, cannot be harmed by it personally or professionally, stand to lose nothing at all, it is an UNEQUAL relationship.

    So white people should shut the fuck up about “nigger is just a word” as QT so stupidly puts it. Nigger is not just a word, it’s what black people were, a thing, A MOTHERFUCKING LEGAL STATUS that many, many people still think exists informally and probably does.

  • 94. Cum  |  January 16th, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Where were the close up shots of feet in this movie?

  • 95. RObb  |  January 17th, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Trent Parker and Taratino are the the two closet-cases that laid the emotional framework for fascism in America over the last two decades.

    ‘It’s only entertainment, just relax’ – but the piles of real human bodies just keep stacking higher and higher…

  • 96. gc  |  January 18th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    @ Mr. Bad

    God you’re stupid.

  • 97. Marc Hamel  |  January 19th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Ya know, I wanted to like it. But damn it if Quentin’s ticks and stupidities like that dancing horse bullshit just left me scratching my head. Yeah Quentin, we get that you owed Zoe Bell a close up, but stay focused dude.

    Anyways, Quentin has a tendency to ramble. I still maintain he can build interesting characters, but there’s just a bit too much flotsam and jetsam in this thing to make it jell.

  • 98. Giskard  |  January 22nd, 2013 at 9:59 am

    This is a Tarantino movie with a soundtrack that makes you cringe – and this alone is sufficient for me to declare him legally dead as a director/writer of any value. Whatever brilliance he once had it fizzled out a long,long time ago.

  • 99. dgm  |  January 25th, 2013 at 12:01 am

    It’s telling that the majority of Americans seem to be in one of two camps re this film. Right wingers who are offended because it portrays whites negatively & those who defend the constant use of the n word because “that’s what was said in those days”.

    Either way, they’re both apparently not the least bit interested in the fact that, as Spike Lee has pointed out, Tarantino has taken the reality of generations of Africans being uprooted, enslaved, tortured, raped, murdered…and merely used it as an exploitative backdrop for another 3 hours of superficial, wise cracking, violent & expletive ( particularly QT’s much loved n word ) filled self indulgence. The idea that Tarantino ( or Foxx, or Jackson ) should’ve been remotely interested in accurately portraying the era has barely been touched on by viewers. It’s just assumed that, like his offensive & inane Inglorious Bastards, this incredibly irritating & uber arrogant plagiarising hack would jizz out another pubescent revenge fantasy for his intended audience of cinema-illiterate morons.

    I agree with Spike Lee, Tarantino just enjoys hearing the n word.

  • 100. monk  |  January 25th, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Tarantino uses the song because his movies are parodies of exploitation movies from the ’70s, etc.

    I’m surprised that various viewers are still trying to see something serious about his movies.

  • 101. Ozinator  |  January 27th, 2013 at 8:21 pm


    not that you being full of shit means Mr. Bad isn’t stupid…but you are full of shit and he isn’t stupid

  • 102. Andrew  |  January 28th, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    As Django Unchained opens we see a title that`s reads: “1858, two years before the Civil War.” The American Civil War began in 1861. 61-58=3. The slavers are carrying Henry rifles and those are also the primary rifles used by all the characters throughout the entire movie–either Henrys and Winchesters.Henry rifles were invented in 1864. The most popular Winchester rifle widely seen in Django was invented in 1873. Also most other weapons used in the movie hadn`t been invented yet. The Derringer (1866), Sharp rifle with metall rounds ( late 60`s ), cartridge Revolvers ( late 60`s, early 70`s ) and….Dynamite ( 1868 ) Nobody in 1858 could possibly have had them…
    Even though it is just a movie, I think Tarantino should focus a bit more on historical facts. I could go on for ever…
    The song played on the harp was not published before 1865, the word ” motherfucker” not in use before 1920. bounty hunters weren`t in use before 1873,……

  • 103. Mr. Bad  |  January 31st, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    @ 95. gc

    So brevity is the soul of your dipshit wit or was your comment cut short by an aneurysm?

  • 104. blah  |  February 2nd, 2013 at 6:56 am

    why on earth are you all looking to tarantino for a comprehensive and racially sensitive reframing of slavery era social structures? what is this, fucking tumblr?!

  • 105. keith von local  |  February 5th, 2013 at 5:01 am

    I interpreted the scene with the employees of the mining company:-

    1 spoke with a South African accent, 1 with an Australian accent and the third with a british accent – its no coincidence that the largest modern slavers – the mining companies are owned by these countries – It was also clear that a banishment to a mining company was worse than death and also clear that if you show a mining company a new way to make money – bounty hunting – they will jump at it as long as the return is good

  • 106. Rosie  |  February 5th, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Not trying to refute Eileen’s arguments about what’s wrong with the film, but what about what’s right about it? Christoph Waltz is an absolute delight, DiCaprio’s performance was very good and SL Jackson as the ultimate HNIC was fantastic – maybe Eileen only saw the big laugh lines he got in front of the white people without noticing the subtle and truly menacing performance he delivers in the scenes where he truly is “in charge”.
    I enjoyed the movie although it was not what I was expecting – I was expecting a bloodbath, it is Tarintino after all, and after reading Ms Jone’s pre-release article, I expected at least one large gambling filled cage match style Mandingo fight, as well as a scene in which “ponies” are displayed and chosen brothel style. I was surprised and actually pleased that neither of these scenes appeared because they would have been cliche (if possibly fun to watch) and I thought by avoiding them, Tarentino produced a more mature and serious film. He could have gone much, much more graphic, but I’m glad he didn’t because it gave more impact to the horrors he did show – the masks and spiked collars, the chains, the whipping – the everyday brutality of slavery. Anyway, I liked it, even the silly tooth cart because it contrasted with the nasty/ stained/ missing teeth of almost every character – I think it was a clever symbol of Waltz’s character bringing modern thinking to the South.

  • 107. Hilary  |  February 6th, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Is it possible that Jamie Foxx is just a mediocre actor, Oscar notwithstanding?

  • 108. Mr. Bad  |  February 9th, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Chris Dorner, can you please visit Quentin Tarantino? Just say “hi”, I’m sure QT would be more than happy to explain to you why “nigger” is just a word. From his Manifesto:

    While traveling back to the station in a 12 passenger van I heard Magana refer to another individual as a nigger. I wasn’t sure if I heard correctly as there were many conversations in the van that was compiled of at least 8 officers and he was sitting in the very rear and me in the very front. Even with the multiple conversations and ambient noise I heard Officer Magana call an indivdual a nigger again. Now that I had confirmed it, I told Magana not to use that word again. I explained that it was a well known offensive word that should not be used by anyone. He replied, “I’ll say it when I want”. Officer Burdios, a friend of his, also stated that he would say nigger when he wanted. At that point I jumped over my front passenger seat and two other officers where I placed my hands around Burdios’ neck and squeezed. I stated to Burdios, “Don’t fucking say that”. At that point there was pushing and shoving and we were separated by several other officers. What I should have done, was put a Winchester Ranger SXT 9mm 147 grain bullet in his skull and Officer Magana’s skull. The Situation would have been resolved effective, immediately.

  • 109. Mark Gisleson  |  February 12th, 2013 at 8:55 am

    The most annoying thing about Django Unchained is the way it presents “House n*ggers” as being worse than slave owners. Check out the final battle: last to die is the evil Stephen (Samuel Jackson) who is actually running the plantation while rivaling DeCaprio’s character for sadism.

    A very bad movie that mangles history in ways that won’t revise anyone’s beliefs. History in, garbage out.

  • 110. MoZeu  |  February 19th, 2013 at 7:29 am

    You are right that Django is not a serious film about slave rebellion. It’s a genre film and the lead character is explicitly drawn to be a folk hero.

    Having recognized that fact, I’m not sure why you keep on and on and on about it. It is what it is. It will undoubtedly provoke more intense, passionate and serious discussion about slavery and contemporary racism and race relations than “serious” movies like Lincoln could ever dream of.

    Does this prove that Tarantino knows what he is doing? I guess maybe he’s just lucky. Or maybe he actually understands how to make a film that people – black and white – will watch and discuss and ponder and debate. Being a little bit infuriating, setting up unfulfilled expectations and forcing us to question why our expectations when unfulfilled and what that means, is part of the art of a great artist.

    You can laugh about the Croce song all you want — but please tell me you don’t think it was chosen intentionally. What song would YOU have put there? And why? And why do you believe those shots should have been “exhilarating”? What is the basis for this conviction, and is it possible that your expectations about what a newly-freed slave should be and feel are the problem?

  • 111. Cracker Charley  |  February 20th, 2013 at 7:27 pm


  • 112. Thom Wares  |  February 20th, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Eileen Jones is now my favorite movie reviewer. I was finding it hard to put into words the reason I found Django such an unremitting crap-fest, falling so short of the cultural touchstone it was being heralded as. Thank you, I needed that. Every word rings true in this review and it really makes me question our supposed critical establishment for the self-congratulatory circle-jerk it has had over this overrated juvenilia masquerading as “high ART”. I must now read all of your recent reviews. Thanks again.

  • 113. FOARP  |  February 22nd, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I watched this film and came out of the cinema annoyed that, yet again, the film had gone on for at least 30 minutes longer than it had any right doing* but once I had a while to think about the flick, the real issue dawned on me – none of the scenes had any real impact: Not the scene where a slave gets mauled to death, nor the scene where Broomhilda gets whipped, nor the scene where Jamie Foxx’s character is about to get castrated, nor any scene in the whole damn movie came across as convincing. This wasn’t just because of the comedy aspects – I’m pretty sure some way could have been found to accomodate those. This also wasn’t because of the unbelievability of the plot – I’m just as capable of over-looking plot holes as any other Joe-Shmoe. I just got the impression that neither the cast nor the even the director really bought the film’s main premise – whatever that was.

    Believe me, I’m not anti-Tarantino. I first saw the the Crazy 88’s fight scene from Kill Bill Part One randomly on the big screen at a (legit) Chinese massage parlour whilst eating a bowl of noodles and the whole thing simply blew me away. But this film was regrettable, irredeemable garbage. A missed opportunity to say something meaningful about slavery? Maybe – but I doubt Tarantino is the guy you’d go to for that. What it certainly was was a poor use of potentially rich and untapped material.

    *I mean WTF Hollywood: Days were directors would complain about having their movies chop-shopped to please the audience but nowadays it seems like your bending forwards to indulge them! In the future studios will have to release a “Studio’s Cut” removing all the self-indulgent back-story/character development/scene-setting dreck that films get loaded down with by directors nowadays.

  • 114. not a gator  |  March 2nd, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Wow, what a dumb commentariat. Employees are not slaves. Grow a brain, Zoidberg. Or just read some slave narratives. You don’t have to read those icky Black slave narratives, just read accounts from modern slaves put together by the CIW.

    I think Eileen’s rant put me in touch with what I found unsatisfactory about the ending. Unlike others, I was highly entertained (although Broomhilda lacked agency, and that was annoying). I’m more annoyed by dead tree reviewers cawing over diCaprio’s paint by numbers performance than recognizing Jackson’s incredible turn as the true big baddie of the piece. But the ending does not make Django a hero. Yes, he kills all the bad guys, but he leaves the slaves to fend for themselves, most likely condemning them to torture and death.

    A slave revolt in a place like that seems almost hopeless because there’s nowhere to run. And I figured Django was set apart as a man because of the curiosity of him walking around openly in the daylight as a freed man, as if inviting recapture. (Freemen did return to the Deep South to try to free family members but they often used agents or crept in under cover of darkness.) I think there is a suspension of disbelief issue, although I was also irritated that probably, due to the movie’s tone, a lot of elements would be taken by a majority of the film’s audience as fictional when they weren’t, strictly speaking, untrue.

    I left the film with the question as to whether Django was a hero or unforgivably selfish.

    Maybe the concept of a revenge flick doesn’t work well in this context.

    Also, diCaprio kinda sucked. Had to say it.

  • 115. Toba  |  March 9th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    You boys need to cut Quentin some slack. Despite him, his Mommy preferred black dick so this is just his way of mentally ‘getting the taste of it out of his mouth” so to speak even though his mother’s preferences don”t concern him in the least
    Who gives a fuck about the word Nigger!. White people should use the word as freely as possible, after all they came up with it after digging deep down into their hate. Please don’t use the word because because it will hurt my feelings but in private, nigger this and that and whatever. BFD Americans are so ridiculous. At the end of the day blacks and the males of other races want to fuck white women and white women want to be fucked by black men and men of other races. It’s american as apple pie and that’s a fact.
    Django sucked because Quentin knows and plays these assholes ( of all races) and their sensitivities, so he made it a race theme and sat back and laughed as the idiots came out to hem and haw about nothing. I saw the original when I was about 13 years old and am one of those who believe if you’re going to copy a masterpiece at least make a proper effort instead of some bubble gum production as Quentin did…

  • 116. blabla  |  March 30th, 2013 at 4:52 am

    i know monkeys that could write a bad review.
    it needs skill to write a good one.
    will that ever happen lady?
    will we ever see a movie you truly liked and u do not smear with smug pseudo intellectual remarks? is your ego that small that you only feel good if you can bring it down?
    i mean nothing about a bad review if it is deserved. but it seems there never was any good movie according to you.

  • 117. Foofalina  |  April 20th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Thank you so much for being able to admit that this stupid movie sucked ass!

  • 118. ChicaBella  |  June 9th, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Lol the underlying reason you despised the movie because – aw hell I’m sorry, I’m a PR troll paid by the movie company people to try to undermine your criticism. Your article is better than the film. My apologies.

  • 119. read a history book eileen  |  July 26th, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Eileen. I am a wanker first of all. My writing is jumbled and all over the place. It reads like I am trying to rant but I’m too thick in the head, I just can’t stop.

    A slave revolt in that landscape would not be likely. Slaves adapted in different ways in different areas sa one poster has stated. In more tropical places like the caribbean and south america they ran away and formed small communitites in the jungle. In the East coast many slaves were skilled sailors. Fred Douglas ran away by dressing up as a sailor. In the hot, flat, dry, south you could go to Mexico or run all the way up to the north under the cover of darkness. Many slaves looked out for number one in the continental U.S.A. That extended to their immidiate family and that’s it. This aspect to the story is extrememly accurate. When given the chance, in fact Black men did horrible things to one another for various reasons such as emotional damage from abuse. This never claimed to be a slave revolt story only a slave revenge story. I should read a history book before posting retarded comments on about nothing.

  • 120. John Mercutio  |  January 29th, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Is Tarantino’s obsession with his beloved theme “Pulp Fiction”. He produce movies after movies taking model of a”pulp fiction screenplay”. By the end is about this old Afro-American guy that at his personal level is a tragic example of crossing the lane in his desire to achieve his human condition and by accepting the reality that Afro-Americans are dum to exist in the only frame possible for them meaning slavery system. By doing this he succeed to achieve the greatest possible position for his race in this system. Is the same tragic old story for a native Indian accepting to fight against his fellow Indians or for a Jews accepting to fight against fellow Jews by serving nazi.The story is childish and preposterous like a true pulp fiction creation but that is not mean that can’t have a message by the end.

  • 121. Katie  |  March 28th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I don’t think this movie is about slavery but cinematic myth

  • 122. Kay  |  November 18th, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Is this for real? Django was fantastic! DiCaprio is fabulously evil. Don Johnson was spectacular. Samuel L Jackson, amazing as always. Werent there a couple of academy nominations and a win if I’m not mistaken? The Jim Croce song was perfect, just as every other songTarantino uses in his films like Strawberry Letter 23 in Jackie Brown. I guess you don’t get Tarantino. BTW- Tarantino is contemplating making something out of the cut footage from Django. So look forward to more Django!

  • 123. Susan  |  December 6th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I just watched “Django Unchained” and it pissed me off so much, I immediately went looking to see if anyone else saw the same movie I did. I am glad I’m not alone.

    I don’t know if I am just not hip enough to ‘get’ Tarantino or if he really is a lame-ass teenage nincompoop but I don’t really care. That’s it. No more Tarantino for me.

  • 124. Whyawannaknow  |  January 16th, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Can you imagine the absolute hell it is to be a physical SFX person after every twerp wannabe auteur in the USA has seen this piece of shit, and starts their request for effects work with XXXXX “like in Django”.

    Jesus God in heaven, can’t these fools watch some of Sam Peckinpah’s work and get a friggin’ CLUE.

  • 125. Charlie  |  August 5th, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Doesn’t ANYONE know how to spell Brunhilda? This is not the only web site that thinks Django’s wife is named after an American cartoon character, rather than the heroine of a German epic. I see that over and over, every page I look at talking about this movie.

    There are some silly anachronisms in the movie too… like, southern men didn’t ride around at night in “full regalia” before the Civil War, they could commit their crimes openly, in full daylight. They had to hide behind hoods after the war, when slavery had been formally abolished. Free colored people were few, but no surprise, anywhere in the south, and it wasn’t unknown for people of African descent to ride horses. Steven wouldn’t have been at Candyland for seventy years, not in Mississippi. Virginia maybe, but Mississippi’s plantation class were nouveaux riches, some established only 20 years, few for even forty.

    But I just love the killing of the Brittle brothers, especially the way the last one is shot down and his blood splashes across the cotton bolls in the field as he falls off his horse. Oh, and the actress who plays the woman about to be whipped for breaking eggs… her expressions as a six foot tall black man in a blue suit walks up and drills a bullet through the man with the rawhide whip… priceless.

  • 126. Brad  |  December 23rd, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    This is an old thread but:

    1) Charlie #25, all the sites refer to Broomhilda as Broomhilda because that’s her name. In the script, in the movie, as QT wrote it. Yes the character in the legend is not spelled that way, but the character in the movie is.

    2) In general I’m just commenting because it was refreshing encounter someone else who likes QT for the most part, but hates Django Unchained. My GOD is this particular movie overrated. It boggles my mind that anyone would consider it among QT’s best, as many people inexplicably do. I chalk it up to white guilt and self-back-patting. It is easily the dumbest movie QT has ever made. It is ineptly written, needlessly wacky, generally tone-deaf, badly paced … the list goes on. It’s the most embarrassing movie in QT’s filmography (as writer/director) and it feels like a rough, clunky first draft of what should’ve been a much, much, much better movie. Like the author of the article, I love the *idea* — but the movie is an extremely disappointing execution of the idea. Among the problems: boring as hell, badly cast hero; vacuous, unteresting, badly cast love interest given zero personality and nothing to do; cringe-inducingly cartoonish depictions of slavery that, oddly, bordered on racist caricature just on the basis of their ineptness; scenes depicting horror of slavery that (for the most part) weren’t nearly as dramatically effective as the movie seemed to think they were; cartoonish, wacky-ass villains; a really lazy mid-movie text segway; stupid attempts at comedy (the ‘ill-fitting KKK hoods’ bit that everyone raves about is fucking awful, like a bad SNL skit in the middle of this supposed revenge epic) — hell, even the soundtrack, normally a strength of QT’s, is bad. The songs are mismatched and poorly chosen, over-loud in the audio mix, and tonally/aesthetically all over the map. It’s really a failure as a movie, and I say that with no overall disdain for QT — I like most of his films, and absolutely love a few. When he nails it, he nails it good. The only ones I really dislike are DU and Kill Bill, but Kill Bill is at least interesting, with a few amazing sequences and ideas. DU is strangely dull, for all its pomp. Really, really, really overrated movie. I watched it again recently to prep for Hateful Eight, wondering if maybe I’d missed something or it would be better a second time, but, nope — it’s just really bad. I hope Hateful Eight is an improvement and a return to form.

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