Director: Quentin Tarantino
Year Released: 2012
Q.T.'s riff on pre-Civil War slavery in the Ol' American South, with freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) teaming up with dentist/bounty hunter Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) to kill various scummy white bigots - in part two of the film, Django and Doc go out to rescue Django's long-lost wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from a nefarious plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). If Inglourious Basterds was Tarantino's method of empowering the Jews during World War II (and allowing them to kill Hitler, which they were unable to do in real-life), this is his way of empowering Southern African-Americans, having Django stand up for the oppressed, abused and horrifically mistreated "property" of white folk. Though I am certain Tarantino's intentions are in the right place - he's basically Mailer's "White Negro" (in the most positive sense) and has affinities for black culture - I will admit that I found the third act a tad rote - after two hours of revenge tactics the scenes of calmness (inside the Candie Plantation house) punctuated by spontaneous outbursts of graphic brutality become all too familiar, and Django's final attempt to "even the score" doesn't quite have the same victorious feel it should (sure DiCaprio and crew are wiped out, but what about the countless other slave owners that didn't get shot through the heart?). Despite the slight flaws, no one references long-forgotten trash cinema like Tarantino, no one writes dialogue like Tarantino, no one is as (admirably) polarizing as Tarantino, no one would think to (intentionally) miscast himself as an Australian slave owner who gets blown to bits with dynamite ... like Tarantino.