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April 14, 2013

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Chris

I meant to say Shultz and not stephen

Chris

You guys are arguing about the difference between "characterization" and "Character". The characterization he is given is of a self-preserving egoist. But the choice's the character makes, that drive the plot, runs counter to this, there's something in the character of either him or django that make Stephen become a more virtuous man. This is really intentional, not sloppy, and it definitely part of how the movie is attempting to work. If he was as self serving as he appeared, would he have helped Django to start with? They established how dangerous Mississippi would be-- why help him? He also makes a comment about being bored -- and we saw this is a rouse to fool Candie, but maybe there was a little truth to it and Stephen was tiring of his successful life as a bounty hunter-- he wanted to stand for something eventually.

Billy

Having now seen the film, with a full audience reacting...differently than Walter did...I feel like Walter's review points to intentions Tarantino might have had, but did not pull off with the audience. The toughest moment is hardly when Django kneecaps Stephen, and part of it tied back to the way Jackson plays a slave in 1858 like Ordell Robbie. (Candie is his Melanie...Stephen trusts Candie to be Candie). I "get" that Tarantino's making a commentary that blacks did and still do turn their abuse and subjugation into a petty fight over who gets more scraps from the white power structure. But the contrast in the Foxx/Jackson performance is so much more embedded in movie archetypes that the actual point -- and thus the supposed horror of the kneecapping -- is lost on audience. It's easy to say, when they're howling at Jackson's squeals, that they're too dim/cinematically immature to "get it," but this is no art film; it's a populist, big Christmas release. There's some onus on Tarantino to not get lost trying win Jackson an Oscar (he won't even get nominated; Leo will) and get the depiction right.

And Tarantino can say whatever he pleases about the mechanics of Waltz's character -- his unwillingness to "lose" to Candie -- but, again, it's not on the screen. Schultz has to shake the man's hand, and everything we've been led to believe to that second in the film suggests his priority is to get out of there with Hildie. And he was out of there. Tarantino's description reminds me of a great football coach who was just sure he had the right playcall until something went wrong, and still wanted to prove he was right.

Tarantino had the same problem in Kill Bill; we never do see any evidence that Bill's a great swordsman, and the scene that would have proved it is left on the cutting room floor. You spend four hours with those characters in that movie, and Tarantino cheats on the final sword fight, giving some garbage rationale for it.

I like the guy. I like his work. But his ambition and ability to spin pretty about the flaws in his films outruns the actual final product. And it has since Jackie Brown.

Slick McFavorite

@ B careful not to choke on his cock

Maximilian

@ B - check out this interview that QT conducted with Mike Ryan of the Huffington Post regarding your question of the motivation and reasons of Waltz's character in that scene.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/12/20/quentin-tarantino-django-unchained_n_2340987.html

B

First: long time FFC/Chaw fan. Don't worry about the loudmouthed haters. Your enthusiasts are legion.


**** SPOILERS AHEAD ****

So about this movie. I saw it yesterday. It's really entertaining, thought provoking, beautiful and exciting to look at. But I have a major qualm about the Waltz character's climatic decision to plug the Leo character rather than just shake his hand. Besides as a plot necessity, to set the final-act Grand Guignol in motion, I and the friend I saw the movie with couldn't between us make that climactic decision make sense. It's senseless in the moment, and runs against the grain of the Waltz character's whole motivation throughout, an eminently pragmatic self-preservation instinct, along with a strong respect for Django and even Django's welfare; yeah, the dog attack changed him, but to the extent that he's willing to throw ALL his scruples out for one little cathartic murder? I don't buy it. Can anyone give me a reason to think otherwise? I'd like to.

Also -- nitpicky -- but man, the Tarantino cameo was awful. Just a grinding halt. His posture, his face, his costume, his Aussie (!!!) accent--he was like some schlub they pulled out of Customer Service to stand in. It was pleasing to see him get blowed up, but overall, eesh. Bad decision there.

Still a good movie, but I still think Basterds is better.

JE

Ugh Chaw you are such a bipolar douche. You give the hobbit a half star and this anti-white PC claptrap four stars? You do realize there options between 1/2* and ****? Worse still, this review isn't the least bit entertaining. Couple that with more run-on sentences more masturbatory madlib abuse of adjectives and you just have to love to hate the schizotypal reviews of Mr. Chaw.

Maximilian

Caught it today, avoided all reviews beforehand, and am pleased, but not the least bit surprised, that you bring up what I also felt was the crux of the film.
Yes, Stepin Jacskon did awful things, took full advantage of his elevated "house nigger"/confidante status, for sure. Ending the film as QT did [spoilers] with black on black violence raised all sorts of sticky icky questions, and as you alluded to, was hardly the only pointed critique QT threw into this stew of the black experience not only in the film's time period, but the ramifications from then until this very day.
Kudos for Samuel for taking that role and playing it full hilt, as a lot if his roles are excalty what Foxx's Django ended up at the end of the film. The film, for all it's surface rabble rousing moments, raises a cuntgaggle of conundrums with regard to capitalism, the psychological/sociological scars of what slavery has wrought and continues to reverberate from it's inception to today.
Everyone, per usual with QT, brings exactly what they need to their performances, with Waltz's winning hamminess, DiCaprio's pomp and flair, Foxx's brilliant, low key quiet rage boiling eventually over the surface, Goggins cracker ass cracker funny scary skeeviness, two roles for always welcome James Remar, Don Johnson's genial racism...the list goes on to include everyone, and Jonah Hill continues his winning streak to boot).
I can't recall a rabble rousing film successfully incorporating so many instances of queasy thought provocations and questioning of the actual implications of what the film is showing us.
I heard about the longer cut as well, and while I would jump into the fire for a chance of seeing that, I did feel that one could go the opposite way and edit it down to make it tighter, to excise some bits to emphasize the thorny questions raised throughout. Not being an editor, it's hard for me to guess what Menke would've brought to the film, as the editing was generally pretty sharp, but I dunno, I think the finished film would've been a bit better in that deparent with her hand. Also noticed that Lawrence Bender wasn't listed as producer - is this the first QT film where he wasn't involved?
If this and Inglourious Basterds is QT settling into his elder statesmen dotage, I hope he never gives up the ghostly images of cinema.

Great stuff as usual Walter, and thanks to you and Bill for getting two reviews out in one week (along with Angelo's damn nigh unassaible breakdown of ZDT. Please, keep them coming, as this week's crop of reviews proves y'all are still amongst the best in the business.

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