Film Sweat: To Chains

RECOMMENDED IF YOU’VE GOT NOWHERE TO BE: Hey, did you guys see Lincoln? Wasn’t Lincoln great? Yeah, it was long, and felt a bit longer, but boy was it something. Do you guys want to see Django Unchained? We really enjoyed it, but MY GOD DID IT FEEL LONG. Just know that going in. Make sure you hit all of your bases when it comes to bathroom preparedness, and for the love of God do not get the larger soda for just 25 cents more, it’s a trick.

Django Unchained, for those of you who haven’t been near a TV in the last three months, is Quentin Tarantino‘s slave-revenge drama/action/comedy. The movie follows a current/former/freed-ish slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who is enlisted by bounty hunter Christoph Waltz to help him identify and kill the Brittle Brothers and then Waltz will help Django rescue his wife because she has a German name and speaks some German and Christoph Waltz thinks it’s fate and all that jazz. Really though, it’s because Waltz, a German man who is anti-slavery, is the moral compass of the film (the fact that Tarantino named him Dr. King shows that Tarantino does not see eye to eye with subtlety). They track Django’s wife Broomhilda to Candieland, a huge plantation operated by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and blah blah revenge blah blah mexican stand-off blah blah you know the rest.

Django hits many of the same marks as Tarantino’s most recent masterpiece, Inglorious Basterds. In fact, the big climax scene seriously gives Basterds’ incredibly intense basement scene a run for its money when it comes to intensity. It’s a revenge film for an enslaved people, and boy is it fun when Django gets his revenge. Waltz is predictably great, as is Foxx, and once you get past the uncomfortable feeling that comes over your body when DiCaprio says the n-word, he’s great too. Actually, you’re going to need to do that really quick, because other than Kerry Washington‘s Broomhilda, we’re pretty sure every character in this movie drops a handful of n-bombs. Especially Sonny Crockett.

In the end, there is blood and guns and America’s great shame, but it’s all some good fun. Although the film is almost brought crashing down by being about 15 minutes too long, it’s certainly one of the more interesting ways you can spend this Christmas. Just make sure you budget your time.

Django Unchained comes out in wide release on Christmas Day.

NEW IN THEATERS TODAY: Jack Reacher, in which Tom Cruise does Tom Cruise things while being so very Tom Cruise about it; This is 40, where Judd Apatow plays out some weird fantasy that Paul Rudd has his life; The Impossible, the story of a family during the Tsunami in Thailand in case you forgot how horrifying and awful that was, at Ritz Five and the Rave.

ALSO NEW ON CHRISTMAS DAY: Les Miserables, people singing … for nearly three hours. If it’s your thing, go for it; and Parental Guidance, because movies with a nut shot in the trailer are always good, right?

For more recommendations on films currently in theaters, visit Philebrity’s Film Sweat archive. And click here for movie times. Need repertory film? Try Cinedelphia.

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