In an unusual confluence of influence, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald both gave positive reviews to Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Django Unchained.
From James Verniere’s Herald review:
Director charges into American slavery tale with guns blazing
You’ve seen “Lincoln.” Now, see the low low-down on slavery in America.
Brought to us by the much imitated, uniquely gifted and never surpassed Quentin Taran tino, the ultra-violent “Django Unchained” gives us a glimpse of a barbaric episode in American history through the twisted lenses of Tarantino and the Euro-spawned, Asian-influenced 1960s-’70s hybrid the spaghetti Western.
In addition to a terrific and fearless Jamie Foxx in the title role, a freed slave turned gunman named Django (“The d is silent”), the film has great Austrian actor Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”) in fine fettle as Dr. King Schultz, a silver-tongued German immigrant and dentist along with his horse Fritz, whom he introduces to strangers. Dr. Schultz traverses the frontier in 1858 in a small coach with a giant tooth on its roof. The truth is Schultz is a gun-slinging bounty hunter, complete with a spring-loaded derringer up his sleeve. Schultz brings in fugitives from justice dead or alive, preferably dead.
Equally enthusiastic was Globe film critic Wesley Morris:
In “Django Unchained,” Jamie Foxx plays Django, a black slave purchased for about a hundred dollars and freed by a German dentist and bounty hunter named Schultz (Christoph Waltz). A straightforward treatment might have involved having the slave run away north. But the movie Quentin Tarantino has written and directed is corkscrewed, inside-out, upside-down, simultaneously clear-eyed and completely out of its mind.
Django is married. He and his wife (Kerry Washington) were savagely lacerated and separately sold. He’s not free until she is. So he works as the bounty hunter’s sidekick, with the bounty hunter agreeing to help him find the wife and rescue her from a Mississippi plantation.
Set in 1853, this isn’t a runaway narrative. It’s a run-toward narrative, rigged for shock. Each scene lays a stick of dynamite and lights a fuse that runs down and down and down until the whole thing blows up like the Fourth of July. I’ve never seen anything like this movie, not in one 165-minute sitting, not from a single director, not made with this much conscientious bravado and unrelenting tastelessness — this much exclamatory kitsch — on a subject as loaded, gruesome, and dishonorable as American slavery.
But it was only Morris’s review that got whacked on Mediaite:
In his official review of Quentin Tarantino‘s box office smash Django Unchained, Boston Globefilm critic Wesley Morris likens the movie’s villainous “house Negro” to black Republicans like Justice Clarence Thomas or former RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
The positive review largely took note of the film’s successful twisting of the Spaghetti Western genre to fit a Civil War rebellion story, with special praise for Tarantino’s script and the actors who filled the screen.
But upon praising Samuel L. Jackson for his portrayal of Stephen, the head servant at the villainous Candie family mansion, Morris invoked the names of modern black Republicans whom he believes Jackson channeled in his “black self-loathing” performance . . .
Discuss among your self-loathing selves . . .