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mygif

I thought the different plot strands of Inglourious Basterds all converging on the movie theatre gave it a sense of the genuinely epic to make it the 2nd best film of his after Jackie Brown, but yeah, as much as I love the “eyeholes” scene with Jonah Hill as it feels like a cut scene from Blazing Saddles, it sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of this film.

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This was the first three-hour movie I have seen that didn’t drag.

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Tim O'Neil said on January 3rd, 2013 at 2:29 am

What would you cut? I can’t think of anything the absence of which wouldn’t detract.

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Farwell3d said on January 3rd, 2013 at 4:01 am

Besides, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown are both well, well over 2 hours.

I thought Django was in the upper half of his career, at any rate.

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Ian Austin said on January 3rd, 2013 at 4:15 am

I think the problem with Tarantino is that he doesn’t make films anymore, he makes movies.

When he started we got Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction that felt like B-Movies elevated to A+ films because of the unique structures and way he played with convention and narratives to make these films about violence and crime about the characters rather than the story itself. To the point where we percieve that a lot happens, but in actuality not very much actually happens on screen (Butch’s story is the peak of this, as it’s ten minutes of actual story scripted so well that there’s minimal filler.)

And then he made Jackie Brown.

That was when Tarantino graduated to outstanding for me. As good as RD and PF were, Jackie Brown did numerous things no-one expected,

1) Tarantino wrote a beautiful female lead character that had depth and meaning.
2) He wrote one of the best subtle romances in cinema history.
3) The man gave up on all of the tricks from his previous films… except for one absolutely brilliant editing trick when it came to the drop-off.

So much as I like Kill Bill (nothing after, sadly), I think Tarantino could have been one of the best directors of all time in an actual sense had he stuck to playing it straight like he did in Jackie Brown. But it didn’t do so great, so he became a little boy making little boy films that would top off at really entertaining but never go much farther than that.

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mygif

i really didnt like it, i thot it was his first major failure…and i think he has lost his plot. i wrote this about it:

django unchanged thots

a) my fear was that he had nothing left to say after he killed off cinema, and with two or three possible exceptions (including two that were direct allusions to birth of a nation and gone with the wind) this proved to be true.
b) spike lee had an interview where he talked about how people ignored john singleton’s rosewood, but gave permission/capital for tarintino’s unchained, and how he thot that was realvent. i kept thinking about that quoute, and thinking–that though qt was right that the slave story in american cinema needs to be told, and needs to be told in ways that aren’t roots, singleton is much more likely to do a good job (and did a good job) than qt
c) man, the female roles in this were almost non existent, and when they were present, they were hella misogynst, and featured almost no dialouge from kerri washington–no matter how problematic qt has been about race, he has been unusally good at allowing women to speak, and allowing that speech to be equal to men. it is a complete backslide, from a writer who created bunny, mia wallace, beatrix kiddo, o-ren ishii, abernathy, zoe bell, etc etc to write as shallow, violated, and dull a charachter as bromhilde von shaft. even the idea of her as matriach to the legacy of black cinema, instead of part of it is problematic (call her coffy or jones or something)
d) speaking of actors–it was mostly terrible–jamie foxx cannot act, weitz was playing who he was playing in IB w. no one to play off, don johnson was a cartoon, dicaprio is still too nice and too soft to play someone sufficently amoral, they didn’t use keri washington or jonah hill enough, etc et al.
e) lastly–the violence, while lampshaded a bit, is not morally ambigious or reflexive enough–there is not enough analysis or talk about the actions that are occuring, not enough justifiaction, or even lack of justification.

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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on January 3rd, 2013 at 9:52 am

What’s a thot?

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Aside from little quibbles here and there my only real beef with DJANGO was QT’s directorial cameo just minutes before the film’s climax.

Tarantino’s wooden acting and ludicrous Australian accent aside his little cameo interupted the film’s pacing and took me right out of the action.

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mygif

I’ve said before that Tarantino’s movies fall into a continuum of two extremes: jaw-films that defy expectations of what movies can be and stretch the boundaries of film-making in the process, and self-indulgent excess involving him basically jerking off onto celluloid. As much as I’ve loved some of his movies I always feel uncomfortable when someone is doing the latter and it’s quite visible when he does it.

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mygif

This is an attitude that has always baffled me.

I can count on one hand the number of movies I’ve seen that I thought were too long, whereas the number where I end up thinking ‘you were trying to tell a 180 minute story in 90 minutes’ is far, far too many to keep track of.

If it were up to me two hours would be regarded as the FLOOR for cinema length.

Oh, right, Django and Tarantino.

If you don’t think Basterds was a great movie, I dunno we’ll ever see eye to eye on things, but Tarantino’s primary problem isn’t so much bloat as it is soullessness. He’s such a talented filmmaker you usually don’t even notice and has produced some great movies regardless, but THAT’S what’s holding him back. Not packing too much in.

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Michael P said on January 3rd, 2013 at 2:43 pm

A Thot is a rank in the Breen military.

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THOUGHT, FINE.

CAN WE NOW TALK ABOUT CONTENT

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Ian Austin said on January 3rd, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Murc – my issue with IB is that it has TWO great sequences… and then there’s a film around them. The second long sequence actually feels like Tarantino changed his story mid-script, because everything after that moves into full-blown revenge mode, whereas before the revenge was merely part of a wider story.

Not to say the opening or bar sequence aren’t amazing, but they aren’t supported – for me – by a good film.

Pulp Fiction was full of great sequences that all merged together to form an amazing whole. Samuel L. Jackson’s Ezekiel speech from the open builds to the end, where it takes on new meaning BECAUSE of what he experiences.

It’s the difference between a movie with two great sequences and a film full of brilliance throughout.

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Dave O'Neill said on January 3rd, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I have to add to the “Didn’t drag at all” crowd. I loved it, and can’t think of anything I’d have cut.

Turns out I missed a post credit sequence and all, I would have waited for that.

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Candlejack said on January 4th, 2013 at 12:54 am

Not until you start using caps appropriately, anthony. It’s not an all-or-nothing matter, you know. :P

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mygif

Isn’t the mindless and somewhat irrelevant stuff what -made- things like pulp fiction and death proof good? You never felt “oh, they’re mentioning something, so it’s going to come up later, obviously”, but never really knew what was -important- and what was -chatter-, just like in, y’know, real life.

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I am using caps properly, to emphasize.

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Ian Austin said on January 4th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Quixim – Pulp Fiction was only irrelevant on the surface.

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he always wants to put in all the things and while the extra stuff is usually entertaining it’s almost never necessary.

Ironically, this sums up my feelings about the single-sentence reviews.

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Wolfthomas said on January 5th, 2013 at 8:44 am

I realised from reading this earlier today I’d never seen Jackie Brown. I quickly rectified that, saying I’m a better person for watching it would be too much, but wow it’s good.

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Tim O'Neil said on January 5th, 2013 at 5:46 pm

You know, I’ve been thinking about this for a couple more days and I have to say that, with all respect, I just don’t see what he could have cut. Sure, there’s a lot of stuff in this movie, but that’s kind of the point – if you cut it down to a lean two hours with a more rigorous focus on the main plot, you’d have a leaner movie but you wouldn’t have THIS movie, you’d have something else entirely. Maybe that other movie would be good as well, but it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting or with as many ideas.

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Ian Austin said on January 6th, 2013 at 5:34 am

Tim – that’s the thing though, we’d never know what we missed.

Richard Kelly put out a (to him) compromised shortened version of Donnie Darko that is one of my favourite films. He then put out a longer director cut that, to me, ruined the pacing. If he’d put out the directors cut first, chances are – without having seen the shortened version – I’d have really enjoyed it.

This is the DU you got, so it’s where you form first impressions. If he released a shorter version, then a directors cut, you may have viewed it differently. We’ll never know.

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sgt pepper said on January 6th, 2013 at 11:50 am

To be fair, he likely did cut out some interesting stuff–he made Zoe Bell one of the trackers (along with several other famous B actors) and gave her a really interesting look but had nothing for her to do except get blown up? Surely he filmed some fun scenes with her that got cut. Also, the credits list Rus and Amber Tamblyn, but I don’t remember them getting any lines in the movie (Did they? Am I just forgetting?). He must have filmed something with them and cut it.

That said, Django could have easily been tightened up by 15 to 20 minutes without losing any important scenes, and I agree that it would benefit from a tighter cut. Anyone who’s compared the tighter theatrical cut of Death Proof compared to the longer DVD release knows the drastic impact that a firmer editing hand can have on Tarantino’s films (Death Proof theatrical cut=a thrilling study in suspense; Death Proof DVD cut=a bloated bit of nonsense with some fun automobile violence).

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mygif

Amber and Russ Tamblyn don’t have any lines. You can see them in the opening sequence when Django and Schultz ride into the town. I assume whatever they were there for got cut.

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Actually, Tarantino submitted a 3 hour 12 minute cut to the Weinsteins, which they then worked together on to shorten for theatrical release. There will almost certainly be a “Director’s Cut” released at some point.

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Tim O'Neil said on January 6th, 2013 at 7:29 pm

If I recall correctly the only reason Tarantino had Russ and Amber Tamblyn do their cameos was as a nod to Russ’ Western past, so he could have a character named “Daughter of the Son of A Gunfighter” in the credits.

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sgt pepper said on January 6th, 2013 at 8:40 pm

@Tim O’Neil: if true, HA!

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Doctor Bloodmoney said on January 7th, 2013 at 8:09 am

@anthony

“English, motherf*cker, do you speak it?”

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mygif

While I’m a huge Tarantino fan (who has yet to see Django Unchained), and really appreciate what he and his films have done for cinema, surely I can’t be the only person troubled by the fact that he’s made nothing but revenge flicks for going on ten years. Right? And while I suppose there’s been an element of it in most of his other work, everything since Kill Bill has focused solely on the main character exacting revenge upon an enemy.

Kill Bill: The Bride vs Bill and the Deadly Vipers
Death Proof: the girls vs Stuntman Mike
Inglorious Basterds: Jews vs Nazis
Django Unchained: slave vs slave owners

After Basterds, I thought, “OK. He did a Jew/Nazi revenge story. They killed Hitler. That’s the ultimate revenge fantasy. Where else could he go?” Now, having told a slave revenge story, I find myself thinking the same thing.

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