Okay. I watched the movie that got the Oscar for best screenplay.
Good God Almighty. Even the Breitbart reviewer liked it. Of course, Breitbart reviewers are stone illiterates, but how damn dumb do you have to be not to see that this movie is one of the worst of all time?
Let me count the ways. I’m not being figurative. I’m going to drive this piece of crap into the ground, no matter how much you Tarantino fans squeal.
I’m reminded of two movies nobody’s mentioned in regard to this one. Both were highly publicized products of Hollywood at its worst, famous more for their uncontrolled self-indulgence than any intrinsic merit. The original “Casino Royale” and a thing called “What’s New Pussycat?” Ever seen them? I doubt it. Both had incoherent scripts, tons of celebrity cameos, and an insider atmosphere that made it clear participating in the production was far more important than what was realized on screen. Oddly enough, Woody Allen was involved in both these monstrosities. At the time, the Hollywood press was enchanted. Today, nobody would regard either as remotely watchable. The only possible viewer response is “Huh? What were they thinking?”
Welcome to Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino is a redneck version of Woody Allen, a fanatical movie fan who can’t stop himself from copying, repeating, spoofing, and one-upping the movies he fell in love with during his horrible solitary youth. Both are curdled milk. Woody Allen has a thing for little girls. Tarantino has a thing for arterial spray, pretentious dialogue that Stephen King would consider wordy, a converted redneck delusion that he understands racial matters, and an image of himself as a post-modern film auteur. Oh. Yeah. That last one he shares with Woody.
He should have called Woody before he did Django. Woody might have told him, based on his CR and WNP experiences, that you can’t make six or seven movies at once, even if your script is longer than the lifespan of a manatee. You can’t do The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Count of Monte Cristo, American Gangster, Hannibal, Scarface, Sense & Sensibility, and Blazing Saddles in a single sitting and hope to get away with it.
You can’t count on the auditory drumming of the word nigger said every three seconds to have the necessary dramatic impact if the acting and direction is so over the top that it demands comparison to a silent movie from the 1920s. You keep waiting for the piano music and the caption screens imprinting “nigger” on your brain in legible form. That is the whole point, isn’t it? Along with all that eye-rolling and mustache-twirling villainy?
The amazing thing is how many celebrity actors past and present chose to participate. Not for the money, obviously, given the proliferation of cameo roles. They just wanted to be part of this Hollywood happening. Don Stroud. Lee Horsley. Don Johnson. Michael Parks. Walton Goggins. Tarantino, of course. Leo di Caprio as Simon Legree. and Samuel Jackson doing his best Clarence Thomas impression. Fools.
Because Hollywood blinders aside, it’s a truly terrible movie. The pacing is glacial, the climaxes are ALL anticlimactic, the action scenes are choppy and slurpy with blood rather than compelling, and the characterization throughout is cartoonish where it isn’t just opaque. Django is willing to watch a fellow black man torn apart by dogs to get to his wife but he feels entitled to torture the slave who has done the same thing to preserve his own life.
Like everything Tarantino does, it’s a moral mess. It’s not entertaining. It pisses away its conscription of Ennio Morricone and all its other anachronistic music. At the end, where it should seek a romantic resolution, it actually farts around with a spoof of NASCAR donuts on horseback, as if to sneer at us for wasting three hours caring about a love quest that was never believable in the first place.
Oscar? Anybody who found this piece of crap in any way laudable should be horsewhipped. The good news? There’s a horsewhip in the movie. Take off your shirt and bend over.
PS. Yeah. Why Raebert was grumpy. He had cause.