Tag Archives: Oscar nominee

Django Unchained (2012)

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This is an extra long review than usual, so thanks for your patience if you get through it! Ultimate thanks go to MissNJ! for the edit.

Quentin Tarantino has never been shy about his love for the Spaghetti Western, nor his being influenced by the likes of Sam Peckinpah and Sergio Leone. A lot of that influence has crept into his previous films, including Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds. The director has also demonstrated his love for Blaxploitation-era cinema in the past with the likes of Jackie Brown. All these elements and genre styles make their way into his latest epic, Django Unchained. For all its expected whimsical dialogue, quirky visual nuances and clever edits, the film eventually becomes the closest thing to Tarantino (finally) producing his very own literal meld of Blaxploitation and Spaghetti Western; and to view it in any other way would be a mistake, doing one of the most recognizable and popular American directors a disservice. There is no need to be confused, take overly seriously or, god forbid, be offended by Django. A film of two distinct halves, if you do make it through the often brisk but occasionally gruelling 165 minutes to the post credits visual quip, the main thing you should be, is entertained.

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Blue Valentine (2010)

Note: This was my number one film of 2010, and this review was written at the end of that year.

Set in an unknown, unimportant time and place, Blue Valentine is the story of a couple, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams). As well as their young daughter, Frankie (Faith Wladyka). The story, in the direct sense is about their first meeting, their falling in love, marriage and eventual divorce. However, the film never plays it that straight. And it doesn’t always limit itself to questioning only their relationship. It goes beyond one couple’s existence, inevitably analysing the notion of what love can mean between any two people.

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The Descendants (2011)

As a significant Alexander Payne fan I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed with The Descendants, his forth feature film and his first since 2006. At least compared to his three previous efforts and especially his last and my favorite, Sideways. I don’t really think as a director he is overrated like some do, but maybe his latest film is. Perhaps it is somewhat unfair to do so, but his movies tend to warrant comparison given their similar cues and nuances; all low key stories composed merely with different players and settings. I couldn’t really review this one without making them unfortunately, though I tried not to let that overtake the experience too much.

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