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Open Thread: Post Your Thoughts About Django Unchained

django unchained quentin tarantino

So, what did you think about Django Unchained? Was it worth the 1.5 year-long wait? Where does Django Unchained rank among Quentin Tarantino’s filmography? Leave a comment letting us know your thoughts. Spoilers are permitted.

I want thank all of my readers who have supported Django Unchained Blog for the last year-and-a-half (can you believe it has been that long?!?) I never expected this blog to become as big as it did, and I couldn’t have done it without your support. I appreciate every one of your emails, tips, and pieces of fan art that you send me. I appreciate your patience when I’ve had to take breaks away from blogging. Thank you all so much.

36 Responses to Open Thread: Post Your Thoughts About Django Unchained

  1. Abel says:

    I loved the movie. It was worth the year and a half wait. It’s better than Death Proof but not better than Inglorious Basterds. I do have one major quibble: the editing was weird beyond believe, rushed, sloppy, too I don’t know Menkeless. Either way awesome movie.

  2. C J Phillips says:

    I just saw this, and this is simply Mr. Tarantino’s best film to date.

    Django Unchained is a completely fresh look at the big bad secret in American history: slavery. Yes, all but one of the bad guys is white, the hero and heroine are black, and the tables are turned on historical fact, here, much as they were in Inglourious Basterds. Not gratuitous in the least; this provides the framework for an ingenious tale in the style of a traditional spaghetti western, but with the Clint Eastwood part played by Jamie Foxx.

    Before Django Unchained, Hollywood gave us only tame looks at black slaves in such revisionist works as Gone with the Wind and Cabin in the Sky. But as great as these movies might have been, they failed completely to portray the great evils visited on African Americans, like whipping, castration, forced prostitution, branding, rape, murder, and the complete dehumanization of a people.

    Even more than a history lesson, though, Django Unchained is pure entertainment. As horrifying as some of the scenes are, the film is spangled with sly humor and outrageous caricatures of the KKK and their ilk. The good guys are nothing short of thrilling and the evil ones are magnificent monsters. All of the performances are nothing short of stellar, and anyone who doesn’t appreciate the level of villainy brought to the screen by Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo di Caprio doesn’t understand the art these men have mastered.

    That being said, if you don’t like spaghetti westerns, if you don’t like extreme violence in your movies, if you don’t like Quentin Tarantino’s fiendish sense of humor, this isn’t the movie for you. But then again, if you want to see a side of America that has been hidden up until now, then look under this rock he’s kicked over and see the evil for what it is.

  3. coolidge09 says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie! It kept me captivated from beginning to end. I didn’t even notice the run time. Thanks for such a wonderful movie, loved Foxx’s and Waltz’s performance.

  4. Django Unchained Blog says:

    An anonymous reader emailed me this message. I thought it was worth sharing:

    “The movie was well presented; an important point however is the possibility that a stereo type might be fostered by the un-founded belief that “black” skulls differ from that of “whites”. No effort was made to correct this message. For some of us we heard it for the very first time and had to research to discover it was un-true. Some others may not bother verifying and will go ahead to believe this. A very negative, hurtful and incorrect message – which could lead to a perception and begin to foster stereotypes”

    • C J Phillips says:

      I think that the best response to anyone wondering whether this had any factual basis would be to say, consider the source.

      White racists said a number of stupid things throughout the movie that they attempted to substantiate with false science, the bible, or accepted belief. For example, one of the Brittle brothers had pages of scripture hanging from his clothes and quotes slipping from his lips as he prepared to whip a young woman for breaking an egg. There is no need to explain to any thinking viewer that his doing so was both contemptible and ridiculous.

      Another example was when Candie talked about the high threshold of pain Black Americans (no, he didn’t use that term) were able to endure, which was his excuse for tearing the flesh off their backs. Another example of being contemptible and ridiculous.

      So, when Candie waxed about the false science of phrenology, it was another exercise in stupidity that the author probably thought was sufficiently ludicrous to be seen for what it was.

      At least, that is my take on it.

    • bookwench says:

      I thought the inclusion of phrenology into the movie was both a jolt and a perfect fit. I read a lot of crazy old stuff, and knew a lot about phrenology and the belief systems behind it anyways – the endless quest for visible signs of superiority and evil, so people can be easily categorized on sight. Your movie was the opposite of phrenology. Nothing could be easily categorized as one thing or the other.

    • Anon says:

      You can’t fight ignorance and you can’t fix stupid. Some people still believe the sun revolves around the earth. People who WANT to believe it, will believe it because they are ignorant and want a reason to feel superior to another race. Don’t waste any time worrying about this scene fostering stereotypes.

    • Phat_n51@yahoo.com says:

      This is one of the best movies I have seen in Many Many Years—Phrenology, along with Early Social Darwinism, was the science of that time. These theories were used to justify slavery, and later, all kinds of Jim Crowism…and it was totally appropriate and brilliant to include it in this film! And with all of that said this is one of a handful of Black Love Stories that stayed on point. The Black man went after his woman—walked through hell fire– and he got her. To the point, violent, and funny as heck—like ONLY Tarantino can do.

    • Carmello says:

      I saw it as a stab at the bat shit craziness of eugenics… People thought they had a justified reason to demonize others, even to the point of trying to decipher a skull. Just like others have said, the white slave owners used so many reasons to justify their actions, but were still just plain evil.

  5. Hardy says:

    I thought the film was awesome! I think that there was just the right amount of humor to balance out how uncomfortable some scenes were. Mainly Leo’s incredibly intense phrenology monologue. As a person who read the script last year, I was disappointed by some of scenes that got cut. I think that there were some important character development scenes missing. Considering that the film didn’t feel like it was as long as it actually was, I for one, wanted it to be longer. There definitely should be a director’s cut that runs about 45 minutes to an hour longer if they shot those scenes. Oh. And Quentin’s accent was atrocious. I’m gonna go see it again this weekend. I loved it! It didn’t offend me one bit, and I’m both black & southern. It was definitely worth the wait! Django is probably my second favorite QT film behind Pulp Fiction right now. Edging out Basterds…

  6. courtneyr says:

    Kerry Washington, Superb..Thanks kerry for taking the role for the reasons you stated.What her character went through was how it was and worse.

  7. Kathryn says:

    AMAZING!! You’ve outdone yourself yet again. I love this movie and I can’t wait to watch it again. Superbly done, there’s not a single thing I disliked about it, and I can almost always find SOMETHING I thought could’ve been better. Thank you so much for your time and effort in creating this masterpiece!

  8. danielle says:

    Loved this movie!!!!
    Great job Jamie Fox,Leonardo, and all the actors!!! I could watch it over and over, loved the setting, the story, the comedy and the black man on a horse. I hate prejudice and I loved to see those chains come off!!!

  9. kp says:

    WOW! I just saw it & am in my car in the parking lot writing this on this damned phone. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME

    I am a black female nearing 40 & Spike Lee is so wrong about u. Thank you for making this from the bottom of my heart.

  10. bookwench says:

    This is the best movie you’ve ever made and the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. I feel like someone hit me over the head.

    You take two faces here, one real and one revenge dream. You flip them every minute or so. Sometimes they’re on the screen at the same time. The way the other slaves copied Django when he threw off his rag, the way the tooth on the roof wobbled around, the clothes Django picked, pulling Hilde out of the hot box, Django watching the Doc so carefully to see how to do things so he can learn, every single scene with Samuel L Jackson and Leo DiCaprio (jezsus that almost made me sick from the tension), Django unable to pull the trigger on the farmer at first, the Doc worrying that Django will screw things up because of his emotions and then screwing them up himself because he’s a moral man and can’t stand what he’s seen. Django killing the sister without a second thought but letting the black women go free.

    Django’s glasses, at the end, being crooked. He’s put himself together from scratch, from nothing, in things he’s stolen and earned and killed for, and first try he’s got it almost perfect, but that one flaw just completely blew my mind. He’s putting on a show, acting. Deciding who he’s going to be. Seeing that, seeing it like the start of who he is, wow.

    And here’s where I descend into being a burbling fangirl and just keep saying “wow” over and over again.

  11. Robert Hill says:

    Quentin Tarantino all grown up with a vengeance! DJANGO UNCHAINED WAS OFF THE CHAIN!!!!!! Waltz and Jackson are Mr. Tarantino’s finest actors.

  12. Kathleen says:

    Excellent, classic Tarantino. Love seeing justice prevail and overthrow the twisted wreck of human indecencies. Question…we notice throughout the film there was a mystery character that made subtle appearances disguised behind a red veil. Who was this woman and/or what was the meaning behind its representation?

  13. Bender says:

    QT has created his masterpiece. This is the one. Bravo. An entire packed Los Angeles audience at a 4:30 pm Thursday screening was going wild.

  14. lucien says:

    I just saw django unchained and i loved it. I think mr.Tarentino depiction is on point.most of those atrocities happened wether it was in the west indies/latin america or in north america.we’re talking 18th-19th century,so man up people.

  15. matt landers says:

    I agree it is a better film about slavery that Lincoln. Worth the wait, so smart and courageous on so many levels, so beautifully written and shot. Classic Tarantino, subliminally instructional on basic intelligence, education, tolerance and human nature. An indictment of our country’s romance with violence made more powerful by recent events. Funny, lyrical, informative and still tough for an entire segment of today’s generation to swallow. Bravo.

  16. FDR Drive says:

    The movie requires time to reflect and probably deserves a second sitting to digest its true intent.

    My initial takeaways were that Dr. King, an effective bounty hunter accustomed to random violence, became visibly shaken by the institution of slavery. I found the flower on Candi’s chest and bible verse on the Brittle brother as symbols of hypocrisy that served as an appropriate bulls eye, but I could be reaching.

    I was aware of the conditions in slavery. Watching it, however, was uncomfortable. One can only imagine the reaction from those who were unfamiliar with it’s magnitude.

    Good movie.

  17. V.Davis says:

    AWESOME!!! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this move. This is one that will definitely be a part of my collection!

  18. Art Vaios says:

    “1858 somewhere in Texas” Lots of DYNAMITE blowing up lots of shit in this movie. DYNAMITE was not patented until 1867. OOPS! Lots of great killing otherwise! GOD JOB!

  19. Dan says:

    When Leo’s hand was bleeding, after he found out Django was after Broomhilda, was that supposed to have happened? Or did Leo ad lib and then QT wrote it in?

  20. Anna Murillo says:

    I just saw Django Unchained. I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it because of all the Criticism about the film. I went in Skeptical but ended up loving the movie. This movie was Great! I Loved it!! Quentin Tarantino did such a great job on this film I hope he wins an Oscar for it. I think it was his best! Yes even better than Pulp Fiction. Oh and all the actors were great as well. I’m already a big fan of Samuel L. Jackson & Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx is now becoming one of my favorites. Thank you to Spike Lee! If it were not for your criticism I probably never would have decided to see it for myself and so glad I did.

  21. Chris says:

    The most important film of 2012. This has changed cinema, and you will see the wave of change splash all of 2013 and beyond. Bravo Quentin. Bravo.

  22. R. Dickerson says:

    Spectacular film and performance. I went to the movies twice to see the film. Thank you

  23. D. & W. McClinton says:

    OMG! We are African American and history buffs for sure, Westerners living in the South for the last 13 years. My hubby and I could not wait to see this QT film. Already QT films, i.e. Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, for example. We know QT would deliver, especially with some of our favorite AM Actors, i.e. Foxx, Jackson, Washington, Decaprio. Oscars for Decaprio and Jackson. We hated their characters. Great depiction of how my folks suffered. Some of the best in cinema to date. Looking for more. Our people suffered greatly and we were glad it was QT that brought the truest of our plight to film so far. Although I had to hide my face a couple of times in my hubby’s chest, I am looking forward to more “true” history of what our AM bros and sis went through for us all to have the freedoms we have today. TY QT, you were the one to bring it first…and thanks for the comic relief. ONe for our collecion.

  24. R. Harnsberry says:

    We had a round table discussion regarding this movie. (family & friends) This movie was excellent. Well played & quite wickedly, twisted thought out. Spike Lee, so sorry you can’t wrap your mind around what this movie is really about.

  25. C J Phillips says:

    One thing I wish more reviewers would mention is the fact that is a contender for the most deeply romantic film of the year.

    Set up as a quest through hellfire — with Django as Siegfried and his wife Broomhilda as the legendary Brunhilda — the longing expressed through repeated visions of his beautiful bride are absolutely haunting. Washington appears as idealized mirages, the way that her husband must see her in his heart. I found these touches of pure longing superbly done; they were quick images almost as perceived out of the corner of Django’s eye, but they never veered into maudlin sentimentality.

    I also have issues with criticisms of Washington’s performance as Hildy, as if this film didn’t have any strong female characters. It did: Washington’s part was fleshed out more than any woman’s role in a spaghetti western that I can think of. Although Washington did not have any long speeches, she portrayed more heroic emotion through her eyes and her body than words could ever express. Her interchange with Stephen in the kitchen, for example, and the glimpse of her being whipped and branded were all terrifying and real.

    So much of the film was in shorthand — I think that, as with many of Mr. Tarantino’s films, many viewings are required to completely digest the rich layers — and so it is easy to miss things like the fact that Hildy is a strong person who has tried to escape at least more than once (Stephen: “She ran away… again.”)

    This movie’s love story was also the final note, a warm, sweet coda after a bloody rampage, and one which allowed viewers to leave the theater with a smile. Mr. Tarantino has a serious starry-eyed streak that has been humming in the background ever since True Romance and which blossomed in Jackie Brown. So nice to see it once again in full force.

    (I have to add that I really enjoyed the director’s cameo with James Parks and John Jarratt, and the way he, uh, resolved his scene. BTW, loving the comments here, too, especially: “You can’t fix stupid.”)

  26. Grahmhatch says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWhaJIWszdQ

    Tarantino interview with BET regarding the “N” word controversy.

  27. Brent S. says:

    I just saw this great film today with my son. We are both black men and as such would like to say that this film is the truth. I would like to thank everyone involved with the production of this film. It was brilliant. All the nay sayers can go to hell. It now has a place in classic cinema where it belongs. Bravo Quentin! I’ll be buying when its on dvd.I am not going to speak politically about the film. I stated earlier it was the truth,it needed to be told. Now this generation has a visual to put with the oral and written history that has been passed down.

  28. Faith Bowman says:

    When I saw the trailer, I was excited because I grew up in the 70s. I remember my mom taking me to see Uptown Saturday Night,Foxy Brown, and this horror flick Abby. I also loved the ‘spaghetti westerns’ that I saw ontv on the weekends. This film is an awesome mashup of the two genres, and I am wondering why no one ever did this before?!?

    I wrote a review and gave the film 4 stars. Days later I’m stil thinking about the film, puzzling out different motivations, and just seeing the world in a slightly different light.

    If you want to read my review it’s at this link: http://www.examiner.com/review/django-the-d-is-silent-but-the-film-speaks-volumes but I definitely enjoyed the film and hope that this isn’t the end of open, honest discourse on racism and the country’s history.

  29. Carole says:

    Everyone talks about Jamie Foxx but I think C. Waltz was the star of the show. Foxx did a terrific job but Waltz was extraordinary. He’s the one who should get an Academy Award!!! He fit his character so perfectly that you never had a doubt that’s who he was. Every move, every gaze, every inflection was wonderful. Wish you hadn’t killed him off. You could read his thoughts in his eyes which is amazing. I’ve never posted on any site before but was so moved by his performance that I couldn’t help myself — had to get my son to show me how. Besides, Waltz is beautiful!!

  30. Mountain Harpie says:

    It seems to me that QT has found a way to juxtapose different forms of racism into the same story. I believe that if you pay attention to what you find to be the most funny in this movie, it will help you to determine where your own subconscious racism exists within you. It has for me, and the results were surprising….