Archive for February, 2013


Django Unchained (2012)

February 24, 2013

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Director: Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds)

Quick Thoughts: I’m starting to feel like I need to watch Death Proof again because I didn’t love it and Quentin Tarantino simply doesn’t miss. For the past twenty years I can’t think of a more consistent filmmaker. If nothing else, he makes movies that are specifically tailored to my tastes. Django Unchained is more QT awesomeness and I can understand arguments claiming it as his best film ever. It’s certainly his longest, clocking in at nearly three hours, but barely feels like two with its swift pacing and frequently comical dialogue. To paint this film as a comedy would be unjust, however, as slavery and racism are the biggest themes being tackled and there is nothing funny about whip scars and savage abuse. To his credit, Tarantino is absolutely fearless and it seems he’s earned the right to be. I can’t think of another white director/writer that could have pulled off Django Unchained–or more accurately, that has the balls to try to. Tarantino is a masterful filmmaker and Django Unchained is his latest classic, featuring another Oscar-worthy performance from the spectacular Christopher Waltz and a new cinematic hero in Jamie Foxx’s Django.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Tons. Like all Tarantino movies, a must own for any serious film collector.
Sequel Potential: Very unlikely.
Oscar Potential: Numerous nominations including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Waltz.
Nudity: Yes, but there’s nothing sexy about it.
Grade: 8.5/10 (Excellent/Potential Classic)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 89% Audience: 94%
IMDB Rating: 8.6/10
Recommendation: Even with its touchy subject matter Django Unchained is one of the most fun and enjoyable films of 2012. It’s so good my mom saw it in theaters and sat through the whole thing…twice. Another hit from the nearly flawless Tarantino.


Indentity Thief (2013)

February 19, 2013

Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy
Director: Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses)

Quick Thoughts: If you’re familiar with the television show How I Met Your Mother you may have seen the episode where Barney Stinson brings up the Crazy/Hot scale when evaluating women. Specifically, a woman must be at least as hot as she is crazy. Well, comedy films can be judged on a similar scale: Stupid/Funny. For a comedy to actually be good, it needs to be at least as funny as it is stupid and with its ridiculous premise, bounty hunters, and unbelievable characters, Identity Thief fails in that regard. It’s definitely far dumber than it is funny.

I’m not saying Melissa McCarthy isn’t funny or that she can’t carry a comedy, but after her Oscar-worthy performance in Bridesmaids, this film was a misstep. Still, most of the actors in this movie are funny, but the script doesn’t give them much to work with. There is a moment in the film when McCarthy’s character breaks down while telling the story of her upbringing and we see a glimpse of her acting chops, but by that point the movie has become far too silly to give the scene any weight.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Not much
Sequel Potential: It makes me cringe a little thinking I may have contributed to the potential of a sequel.
Oscar Potential: None.
Nudity: Bare man ass.
Grade: 3/10 (Skip It)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 24% Audience: 74%
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10
Recommendation: My family seemed to enjoy Identity Thief, but it was immature for my tastes and the heart they tried to inject into the film felt forced. If the previews look funny to you, maybe you will like this. To me, it felt longer than Django Unchained, which was nearly double the running time.