Thursday, 24 January 2013



Genuine Grit.

165 Mins. Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christophe Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington & Samuel L. Jackson. Director: Quentin Tarantino.

Q.T. Quentin Tarantino is about to blow up...quite literally. After shooting and scalping Nazi's in 'Inglorious Basterds', Q unleashes his latest off the chain to add to his classic catalog of 'Pulp Fiction', 'Jackie Brown' and the 'Kill Bill' series. 'Django Unchained' adds more sauce and ketchup blood to the Spaghetti Western genre taking shots at slave owners with his own 'Basterd' take on history. Hold on to your spurs and scalps it's Q.T. revenge time again with the coldest blooded movie of the year.

From the old, classic 'Colombia' intro to the 'Django' theme and traditional-now hallmark-Tarantino opening credits this movie feels like an old Western with real 'True Grit'. Bravo to Q as his 'Rio' tale is both respectful to the genre and racial subject matter. Sure the 'N' word is used far too much more then his infamous "storage" cameo in 'Pulp' or the latest hip-hop album and there are two brutal scenes so graphic and disturbing that you won't be able to keep your focus, seat or lunch. What makes these scenes so much more horrific is the innocent victims who are mutilated without mercy. Normally to Tarantino's credit he deals his harshest punishment to his most abhorrent characters. Still this feels like more then Quentin's taste for the tasteless. From Musketeer references to swashbuckling stabs at modern day desensitization Quentin has something to really say. Kerry Washington at one point thought a slave mask scene was Tarantino taking it too far again until she read up the history books and saw that's how graphic it got. He's just showing us how really bad it was with no holes barred (speaking of which a scene that makes humiliation out of the KKK is truly hilarious) and then exacting glorious, 'Inglorious' style revenge over the guilty with Sam Jackson "strike down" vengeance.

Speak of the devil...and he shall appear. Samuel J. Jackson is back with his 'Fiction' partner aging and shaking his way into a horrible but hilarious character....FACT! The man who really is in everything as well as every Avenger film plays his best role in years. Old and new friends alike of Quentin Tarantino saddle up as the ever charming and charismatic Christophe Waltz shows he is just as convincing and cool as a good guy as he is as the sinister but sublime villain he was in 'Inglorious'. From his sweet and sincere chemistry with 'Django' telling him stories and teaching him to read, to acting as bartender with Tarantino precision, the attention to detail is perfect. The wonderful Waltz with leads the deserved Oscar nominations with every twist of his exceptional beard, tipping shells off his cap with style. The whole cast is class from our damsel in distress Kerry Washington to some classic cameos led by the Don Johnson and the current young king of comedy.

The real villain in this piece however is Leonardo DiCaprio's cruel and callous Calvin Candie. From his extravagance to his eccentric behavior and dedication and improvisation (DiCaprio actually drew his own blood in one scene and played through the pain) Leo's cancerous Candie is a star sign of truly one of the best bad guys played by a man who's so used to playing the conflicted hero. Drawing sinister scowls with every draw of his cigarette and Southern accented drawl 'Caprio hammers it down. This is yet another career turn for the classic catalog of the leader of leading men of our times. With the classic story of 'The Great Gatsby' coming next, Leo turns a page by shining in a movie that isn't even his.

Because the fact is this picture belongs to Jamie Foxx and despite critics saying he's the weak link among a cast of eccentrics his charisma earns his spurs as the strongest suit. From horsing around to whipping slave masters into submission (now that graphic scene is actually a deserved guilt pleasure) Foxx owns everybody. This role was originally meant for 'Wild, Wild West' Will Smith (who has filming 'Men In Black III') but despite Smith's leading excellence this feels more like Foxx's part. Jamie being the closest Hollywood player to Will in friendship and greatness and versatility (even beating him on that final point). Jamie doesn't even have to speak to act amazing and when he let's his guns do the talking backed by some Tupac, he really makes himself heard. The honored hero stands out, standing in a showdown with his persecutor in a blue frilly suit but this singer and comedian is no joke. With his one-liners ("Touch your guns and you die" and "I like the way you die boy" is just the start) and pistol, this man will have the last laugh, going out with a bang. Bullseye!

Three hours may be a long run time to sit through but it didn't do too bad for 'The Hobbit' or 'Les Mis'. Besides from American classic cinematography to Western shootouts that have more 'Heat' then 'The Town' (replacing the old smoke shots with blood spurts) believe me you'll be entertained in this engrossing epic, even when it goes down-under. In a saloon of its own from the fashions to the fedoras and the suspected style to the surprising substance the wilder west will never be the same. Listen out too for a soulful soundtrack and the traditional Tarantino dynamic dialogue at the heart. This is truly one of the great modern-day directors best classics. Just remember, "the 'D' is silent Hillbilly". TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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