Tag Archive: states


Django Unchained is the upcoming western film from critically acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino. It is set for a Christmas release in the States and has a release date of January 18th 2013 here in the UK but so far, very little has been seen from the film. For a film that is already all but guaranteed success being a Tarantino film it is unusual that we have heard little of it; no trailer has been released and limited set photos and official photos have been seen but it is one of the films I am most looking forward to seeing in the next year and here is why:

The Story: Django Unchained is set in the deep south of America and follows Django, a freed slave who travels across America with dentist turned bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz. Together, they try to retrieve Django’s wife from the charming but sadistic plantation owner Calvin Candie and his band of ruthless slavers. It sounds like a good old revenge story, something which Quentin Tarantino has done excellently before with the wonderful Inglorious Basterds and possibly my favourite Tarantino film: Kill Bill.

The Genre: This is Tarantino’s first Western. Having dipped his toe in the action, crime, war and thriller genres he now turns his hand to this. The western is the oldest genre of film and cinema owes its heritage to the genre. However, recent westerns such as Appaloosa, The Assassination of Jesse James and 3:10 to Yuma haven’t been critical successes (despite the last two being brilliant films) and maybe the audience has grown tired with the genre as it offers nothing new really. Recently, sci-fi has taken over as the dominant genre of film in cinema but Tarantino obviously just sees that as a challenge.

 

The Cast: Regular Tarantino collaborator Samuel L. Jackson is on board (no surprises there) but in the main role is Jamie Foxx. Foxx seems to split opinion between film fans and it is obvious why, his back catalogue of films leaves a lot to be desired but he does have one Oscar win and another nomination to his name, proving that he does have the talent and Tarantino could easily get the best out of him.

Playing the villain of the piece is the phenomenal Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio started out as a young heartthrob but has developed into a fine actor and seems to get better and better with every film he makes; working with such a highly rated director could give DiCaprio the chance to win the Oscar he longs for. Playing the German bounty hunter is Christoph Waltz who, of course, won an Oscar for Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds where he put in a great performance and I think the same can be expected here. The supporting cast includes James Remar, Kerry Washington and James Russo, all well established actors themselves.

The Director: Everybody knows Quentin Tarantino and everybody on the planet should have seen at least one of his films during their lifetime. Ever since Tarantino made his directorial debut he has churned out success after success with Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds. He is yet to falter in the world of film making and so that pretty much nails success to Django Unchained. Everything that he touches turns to gold and, as a big fan of the Western genre, I hope he has the same effect here. His very unique style and love for action, dialogue and story make his films a delight to watch and Django Unchained should be fantastic!

Django Unchained comes out in less than a year, spot on for Oscar contenders and you have to imagine that this would be a tactical move by Tarantino and the studio. In the build up to its release we can hope for a lot of trailers and more pictures to be revealed soon which will almost certainly raise the hype for Django Unchained.

So The Avengers is finally upon us (in Britain anyway, over in the States you still have another week to wait. God knows where the logic in that is, but anyway) and fanboys can rejoice as their favourite superheroes are brought to the big screen together. Since the release of Iron Man in 2008, the excitement has just been building and today what I imagined throughout my childhood was put before me in the cinema.

The Avengers, if you don’t know the story by now, is the tale of these superheroes: Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow. Together they are brought together by Nick Fury and SHIELD to defeat the enemy that one single hero could never defeat alone. There is an army from another world waging war on Earth, led by Thor’s evil half brother, Loki. Family ties and egos get in the way but can these great people overcome their difficulties to save millions of lives?

The cast and director of the biggest superhero film to date.

The cast is incredible. Robery Downey Jr is, as we have come to expect as Tony Stark, fantastic. Joss Whedon’s snappy dialogue really lends itself to Downey’s portrayal of Stark excellently and he really continues to make the character so, just, amazing. Chris Hemworth is the Avenger stuck in the middle, on one side planet Earth and on the other his family, and he pulls off the torn God of Asgard well and the character continues to develop from his own film. Chris Evans as the ever warm hearted and honourable soldier Steve Rogers, or Captain America, is great. Jeremy Renner doesn’t have as much screen time as I would have liked or enough time to showcase his acting abilities but he does what he needs to, along with Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg. Tom Hiddleston once more continues to play the delightfully evil Loki but it is really Mark Ruffalo who impresses, especially as I was a big fan of Ed Norton as Bruce Banner but Ruffalo puts any doubts to bed almost immediately.

The Avengers is in a very lucky position in which all the characters are all already known to film audiences thanks to their own films. So here, we dive straight into the action and waste no time with character introductions which makes the first act one of the most compelling I have seen in recent times. How the heroes are brought together is very well done, it’s something I had my doubts about before watching and it could have been done very cliched so well done to Whedon for that. Thor’s arrival in the film in particular is well handled.

Hemsworth and Evans have expressed an interest in appearing in each other's sequels.

Most things that fans may question are put to bed almost immediately in The Avengers which leaves ties open to all of the other individual films that will surely follow once more. Things such as where Jane Foster is, why the Avengers are not after the Hulk (something alluded to during The Incredible Hulk‘s final scene) and how Thor returns to Earth are answered very quickly and very sensibly. The only thing is there is no mention of Peggy Carter which I think could have been hinted at (I know a scene that featured Steve and Peggy was cut but it would have been nice to have her name mentioned at least).

The Hulk is unlikely to get another film to himself.

The final war is incredible. These are some huge action scenes, whole sets are blown up and the special effects are phenomenal, especially in the case of the alien ships. Seeing Thor, Hulk, Cap and Iron Man all working together is something that is sure to get the fanboys worked up into a sweat and it will leave them grinning after leaving theatres for weeks afterwards. Watch out for the ‘continuous shot’ in the war scene which is one of the best scenes I have ever seen; in one shot we follow all the action and get to see each individual showcasing their skills. It looks as though one hero becomes the leader (although I shall leave out who so you can find out for yourself) and watching The Avengers one hero really steals the show: The Hulk. Ruffalo’s performance, as I said earlier, is really good! But when he turns into the Hulk you know that sh*t is about to go down. Every time the Hulk is on the screen he is destroying things and he becomes the best possible weapon for SHIELD and the Avengers to be in possession of. Words just can not describe how good it is to see these heroes fighting side by side.

The Avengers is everything that a comic book movie should be. We have heroes with a lot of heart, not always getting along (and the insults and little ego battles are really entertaining), we have a villain with motivation and a real sense of evil. There are huge explosions, great action scenes and the dialogue is full of wit. The direction is top class and everything just comes together superbly. The only phrase to describe this movie is with these two words: absolutely orgasmic.

My Rating (a little biased): 10/10