I just watched “Django Unchained” and I realized one major thing about my movie personality: I don’t like spaghetti westerns.
And Django is a spaghetti western.
Don’t get me wrong: I love Tarantino. The filmography that I have seen, however, is quite limited (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Death Proof and Inglorious Basterds). And regardless of the fact that Tarantino himself has said that “Death Proof” is his worst film, I liked it slightly better than Django. And I’ll tell you why.
“Django Unchained” is a very long movie and before watching it, I really wanted to love it. In fact, I couldn’t wait till it hit theaters. To be completely honest, I never thought I would ever say a movie was too long. This is, of course, coming from a person who would in a heartbeat go out and watch the extended version trilogy of “Lord of the Rings”, all three in a row, at the drop of a dime.
Breaking it down, however, it is the part between killing the Brittle Brothers and going to Candieland that just seemed eternal. Getting ambushed by Big Daddy. Django’s costume change. Practicing in the snow. Brumhilda’s German connection. All important elements to the whole effect of the movie but it just felt as if someone was precariously piling on tiny boxes, one on top of another, to form an unsteady tower. I didn’t time them but I feel like the scenes themselves were shorter than in normal Tarantino movies.
And that bugged me a lot. It broke up the continuity for me. So much so that I can’t for the life of me remember how Candie hurt his hand enough for it to be bloody.
Waltz was engaging. Jackson was memorable. DiCaprio was all southern hospitality. Kerry was delicate yet brazen. And Foxx was an angry man wanting to get even.
Memorable moments? Russ Tamblyn (of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” fame) was in the movie, as was Zoe Bell, Uma Thurman’s stunt double in “Kill Bill” and lead character in “Death Proof”. The scene on the way to Candieland between Django and Candie. And why not? The entire ending of the movie.
All in all, “Django Unchained” was not a bad movie. It just wasn’t paced how I liked and I’m not fond of spaghetti westerns. And as always, this was Tarantino’s love letter to film.
I leave you with one of my favorite junket interviewers of the cast of “Django Unchained.”