Django Unchained

Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

Happy New Year. Are you still hungover? Did you start a gym membership and spend the last three evenings touring the place, contemplating which machine you’ll eventually saddle up on to fulfill your resolution to get fit? Whatever your excuse for not monitoring FSR every moment of your week, especially Tuesday when you barely got out of bed let alone took a shower, leave it at the door and just enjoy catching up with this first recap of 2013. So far, the only new release reviews are for the VOD and limited theatrical title Crawlspace and the also-limited foreign film Tristana. Obviously, with the holiday it’s been a light number of days as far as content and news is concerned. But it was also a time in which we continued our massive, awesome year-in-review content. This included our annual Reject Awards, our staff picks of the best films of the year, the Internet’s picks for the best films of the year and our lists of the best foreign films, TV shows, trailers, posters and films you didn’t bother to see. We also prepared you for the future with our most anticipated movies of 2013, a list of must-see films in January alone and a look at the short film that inspired Guillermo Del Toro to produce the upcoming horror film Mama. Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

The Oscar nominations will be announced next Thursday, January 10th. Who’s excited? Perhaps more tellingly, who’s geared up enough to wake up early to watch the press conference live? It’s at 5:30AM PT! I’m planning on it, but I’ll probably just add another year to my tradition of sleeping through my alarm and missing all of the fun. That’s a shame, because surprises are always best in the moment. And there are always surprises. The trick is trying to predict them. Last year people were somewhat taken aback by Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close grabbing a Best Picture nomination, intrigued when Demián Bachir pulled off the nod for Best Actor, and impressed when little distributor GKIDS managed to get both A Cat in Paris and Chico and Rita in for Best Animated Feature. There are also always a few omissions that upset the common wisdom. Remember when Dreamgirls missed a nomination for Picture, knocked out by Letters from Iwo Jima? The twists and turns make the season fun. You wouldn’t want to wake up that early only to have all your bland suppositions simply confirmed by the Academy. So let’s predict the unpredictable! Here are five potential surprises to look for next Thursday morning. Don’t hold it against me if I’m wrong, but if I’m right you should totally tell all your friends.

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Culture Warrior on 2012

In this end-of-year editorial, Landon Palmer discusses the pattern that movies demonstrated in 2012 for telling stories through protagonists defined by their various personality traits rather than through conventional, straightforward characters. In so doing, movies this year showed how our individual identities have become divided within various aspects of modern social life. This trend made some of the year’s movies incredibly interesting, while others suffered from a personality disorder. Landon argues that movies ranging from The Hunger Games to The Dark Knight Rises to Holy Motors alongside cultural events and institutions like the Presidential election, social media, and “Gangnam Style” all contributed to a year in which popular culture is finally became open about its constant engagement with multiple cults of personality. Six years ago, Time magazine famously named its eagerly anticipated “Person of the Year” You in big, bold letters. Its cover even featured a mirror. As a result of the established popularity of supposedly democratized media outlets like Facebook and the home of the cover’s proverbial “You,” YouTube, Time declared 2006 as the year in which the masses were equipped with the ability to empower themselves for public expressions of individual identity. More than a half decade later, social media is no longer something new to adjust to, but a norm of living with access to technology. Supposing that Time’s prophecy proved largely correct, what does it mean to live in a 21st century where we each have perpetual access to refracting our respective mirrors?

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Django

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Django Unchained (and all of Tarantino’s other films). With Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino has taken a decisive shift in his approach to storytelling. Abandoning the non-linear, present-set depictions of an organized criminal underworld in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and the Kill Bill films, Tarantino has not only transitioned to more conventional linear storytelling (with the exception of the requisite flashback), but chooses familiar historical contexts in which to tell these stories. With the WWII-set Inglourious Basterds and now with the pre-Civil War-era Western Django, Tarantino has made a habit of mixing the historical with the inventively anachronistic, and has turned recent modern histories of racial and ethnic oppression, dehumanization, and extermination into ostensibly cathartic fantasies of revenge against vast systemic structures of power.

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

Due to the holiday, the past week has been lacking in movie news and light on posting in general compared to normal. So, if you were worried that all your family time and present opening cut into the hours you could have been reading FSR, don’t be. But that doesn’t mean we’ve been slacking on the features, either. You do have a lot to catch up with if you’ve been away from the site the past seven days, but it’s an organized pile of reading material for you, because most of the necessary content from the week is part of our Year in Review. And hopefully you got an iPad for whichever holiday you celebrate, so you can very easily read all the goods in our special tablet format (and check out the best downloads and apps for movie lovers). Before you get to the lists, take a look at our reviews of the movies that opened this week, including Django Unchained, Promised Land and West of Memphis (we also posted a late take on The Guilt Trip) and our interview with Promised Land director Gus Van Sant. Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.

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Quentin Tarantino

Emerging from a nitrate fire in 1963, Quentin Tarantino was fed only exploitation films, spaghetti Westerns and actual spaghetti until he was old enough to thirst for blood. He found his way into the film industry as a PA on a Dolph Lundgren workout video, as a store clerk at Video Archives and by getting encouragement to write a screenplay by the very man who would make a name for himself producing Tarantino’s films. Peter Bogdanovich (and probably many others) think of him as the most influential director of his generation, and he’s got the legendary story to back it up — not to mention line-busting movies like Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained under his belt. He’s also the kind of name that makes introductions like this useless. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a guy who really loves Hi Diddle Diddle and plans to keep 35mm alive as long as he’s rich enough to do it.

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DJANGO UNCHAINED

Quentin Tarantino has very quickly, but not so quietly, found a new niche for his filmmaking talents as a teller of tall tales with a historical bent. He’s less interested in historical accuracy than he is historical tomfoolery, but that never lessens the sheer entertainment he finds in mankind’s relatively recent foibles and misdeeds. From Inglourious Basterds‘ band of World War II Nazi-killers to his latest film’s vengeful slave turned bounty hunter, Tarantino has shown a knack for fitting his charismatic and electric characters into unexpected historical contexts with entertaining as hell results. It’s 1858 in America, and Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a dentist on a mission. It’s light on tooth decay, heavy on bloodshed and utterly unrelated to the field of dentistry. He’s a bounty hunter whose latest targets, The Brittle Brothers, present a challenge in that he has no idea what they look like. Undeterred, Schultz acquires, apprentices and befriends a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who can identify the brothers. In exchange the ex-dentist will help the newly freed Django reunite with his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), who currently belongs to a cruel but undeniably charming plantation owner named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). What follows is a tale that would have made American History class a hell of a lot more memorable as Schultz and Django cut a bloody swath across the post-Civil War South through racists, enforcers and recognizable TV actors (Tom Wopat! Lee Horsley!) from decades past. The cinematic violence is paired with […]

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boiling-point

If there’s one thing Spike Lee is known for, it’s complaining about racism. Turns out he’s also a sometimes movie director, which I hadn’t realized, what with him being mostly in the news for being an asshole or calling Clint Eastwood a racist. This time he has his sights set on Quentin Tarantino and the upcoming Django Unchained.  Lee blew up Twitter (or at least my Twitter), criticizing the film and his perception that it makes light of slavery and uses it for laughs and entertainment rather than being Amistad 2. Lee said the film was “disrespectful to his ancestors” and called slavery a holocaust via Twitter. His exact words: “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.” Wow, seeing Django Unchained must have really gotten under Lee’s skin – or I guess it would have, if he had actually seen it. Yeah, Spike’s diatribe against the film comes from his perception of it, not him having, you know, actually seen it.

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Holiday Gifts for Movie Lovers

It’s way too late to even mail order something for your movie-loving loved ones this holiday season. Do you arrive to your holiday gathering empty-handed to the disappointment of all? NEVER! Please consider the gift options below for any of the movie nerds in your life, which neither require shipping nor a long wait. Nor a trip to a shopping mall, which as you can imagine, might be a life-risking endeavor. You are liable to be trampled, after all…

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Zero-Dark-Thirty

As dissent continues to flourish in this country, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that discordant responses to films is also on the rise. Divisiveness has always been one thing among film critics, with publications throughout the past decade loving to showcase opposing views of everything from Dancer in the Dark to Tree of Life. But it’s another thing for broader American society to not only disagree with one another but to really go at each other over a certain motion picture or movies overall. This is the year that a right-wing political documentary (2016: Obama’s America) outgrossed all but one of Michael Moore’s films, including the gun violence issue doc Bowling for Columbine. It’s also a year, now, when the notion that violent films may have an impact on gun violence more than guns themselves is being spouted by everyone from NRA leaders to actor Jamie Foxx. Does that make Foxx’s new movie, Django Unchained, one of the most dangerous films of 2012? It depends on whether or not you agree with that idea of films and video games being so influential. Also depending on your side of a debate, you might agree with those calling Zero Dark Thirty “dangerous,” as Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side; My Trip to Al-Qaeda) has now done. I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t offer any real opinion on the torture scenes provoking discussion, but here’s what Gibney has to say about it in a lengthy article he wrote […]

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mnad_burgundy

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the thing that tucks you in at night, ensures that not a creature is stirring and keeps an eye out for that chubby guy with the red suit. It’s on duty all year ’round though, so late nights get a little boring. Luckily there’s movie news to talk about. Anchor Date – Great news this week from the Channel 4 News Team. Ron Burgundy and his friends have set a date for their return. The long anticipated Anchorman 2 will hit theaters on December 20, 2013. Luckily, the world did not end today as planned. Suck it, Mayans. Now we get more of Ron, Brick, Champ, Brian Fantana and all the wonderful supporting characters that populate the Sex Panther-scented world of San Diego.

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Film Jockeys 2 - Snob Who Stole Christmas

Check out Derek’s porfolio His other webcomic “Northern Empires” And/Or the Film Jockeys Archive

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Django Unchained

This last month of 2012 is packed with movies to suck up our time when we need it the most. You got Tom Cruise stretching his acting muscles as an action hero, Russell Crowe singing in the shower, Matt Damon getting all teary eyed nostalgic over old America, and more. Plenty of variety before the apocalypse ruins our chance of ever seeing what Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s Batman would be like. If this is our final month of filmgoing, then so be it. With Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson, Judd Apatow, Kathryn Bigelow, Christopher McQuarie, and Gus Van Sant all jollying up our holiday season, we couldn’t ask for a better last hurrah for movies if those apocalypse rumors are proven correct. Before we all die horrible and painful deaths, make sure to see these films:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that falls in love with you all over again, five nights a week. It’s also a movie news column that’s debuting a new element this week — the MNAD Mini-Review — a chance for its author to deliver even more commentary, but in short, capsule review style bursts. Look for these all throughout awards season (and perhaps beyond). DJANGO! – We begin this evening with the hottest story of the weekend: people have seen and reacted to Django Unchained. It was a slow weekend, what can I say? Alas, there was great praise for the latest of Quentin Tarantino. But more on him later. For now, there’s Django buzz, and /Film is recapping it like a motha… 

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With the year winding to a close, the last great hopes of the 2012 movie-going public are left resting on the final films set to roll out in the coming weeks. Let’s be frank – 2012 has had some real disappointments in various ways (we’re still wincing from Prometheus, and plenty of people didn’t find what they were looking for in The Dark Knight Rises), but there’s still time for certain productions to deliver on their promise. Certain productions like Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, for instance. While we’ll have to wait until next month to see the film (one that Tarantino is probably still cutting together as we type this), we can certainly have a good time with the project’s latest batch of marketing materials. Months from now, they may be all we have to look back on fondly, should Django follow in other disappointing footsteps (however, we pray it won’t). The film’s official website has recently rolled out and, in addition to being just damn fun to explore, it also features some fun takeaway bits, like these new wallpapers that focus on seven specific Django characters (and Tarantino himself, of course). It looks like all the wallpapers are also available as Facebook cover images, if you’re into that sort of thing. Just go Django-crazy, okay? Check out the eight new wallpapers after the break. Doesn’t your computer deserve a flashy, anachronistic treat today?

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“In a perfect world, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ would be a lock for a Best Original Screenplay nomination.” – Joey Magidson, The Awards Circuit It must be frustrating to write for an awards blog (aka an Oscar blog, since the Academy Awards are always the main focus of these sites), and know that the best films of the year are not necessarily the ones that will be nominated. Magidson’s comment above, from his April review of The Cabin in the Woods, sort of sums that up. But at the same time I don’t know if the movie truly deserves the statement. Something to consider, semantically speaking, is that the Academy’s award is not for “Most Original Screenplay” but “Best Original Screenplay.” This isn’t to say that the script, by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, isn’t well-written, and you’re welcome to argue its case for a nomination. Is it the best-written original screenplay of the year, though? All my time as a movie lover and watcher of the Oscars, including the past few years of hate-watching, the original screenplay category is one I’ve constantly been excited about. It’s the place where you could find some of the more clever and creative efforts, including a number of films that might not get other nominations. You could find a good number of interesting foreign films outside of the foreign-language award ghetto (such as Bunuel‘s two nominations for writing), as well as an interesting showing of mainstream and blockbuster fare, especially in the […]

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If you want to go into Django Unchained unspoiled, then watching the second trailer isn’t the brightest idea. While the first teaser was all about attitude, this one is much more story heavy. It has the set up, the conflict, and some rather spectacular money shots. A few of those shots may be best to experience on the big screen first, so if you want to go in fresh, stick with the first trailer. However, if you want to see more of a slave owning Leonardo DiCaprio, then check it out:

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What to Expect at Comic-Con 2012

Check out a preview of what the Rejects will be up to this year at the San Diego Comic-Con, beginning with SDCC virgin Brian Salisbury… Having never been to Comic-Con, in fact having never before set foot in the state of California, I can’t help but feel a tinge of trepidation as I pack for San Diego. Chief among these concerns was whether I’d even get an adequate feel of the Con on my first outing as I darted from roundtable to roundtable, from press screening to blogger party. Would I leave my first Comic Con with no legitimate understanding of what keeps people coming back year after year? It was then I decided that, as a noob, it was best to experience the convention as a fan and not an industry professional. I needed to separate these two factions of my personality, to make a clean break from the behind-the-scenes journalism aspect and the intrepid geeks who walk the floor without the benefit of credentials. That’s when the idea of wearing a mask came into the picture, to disguise myself and resist the temptation of professional perks. I will walk the floors, stand in lines for panels in the various halls, and talk geek shop with the other attendees; providing journal entries for each day. This seems doubly fitting given the amount of cosplay that I’ve heard takes place at Comic Con. I will blend in even under fantastical vestments. So what character would I choose? What hero, outlaw, […]

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From the looks of it Django Unchained, Pacific Rim and Anything Marvel Does Forever are topping the list of the most anticipated movies hitting Comic-Con 2012. The question is, with 400 million (number estimated) other movie panels showing up in San Diego, how will you possibly see everything? And how can you see anything if you aren’t going to be there? Since the list of events is massive, we’ve teamed up with 14 other movie websites to make sure that every inch of the convention center is locked down. Consider this your portal, bookmark it, and return often to check out the full spectrum of coverage from ours and other fine sites. To get started, here’s a small look at what all of us are most excited to see.

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No one would blame you if you were under the impression that Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained had finished casting, especially since we’ve seen no less than two trailers and rumors swirled that the film could have unfurled some footage at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, but apparently the film isn’t quite done lining up talent. Deadline Burlingame reports that Jonah Hill is now set for an unspecified role in the upcoming film. While we don’t know who Hill will play, we know who he won’t – Scotty Harmony, a part he was originally being looked at for when the production was initially starting casting. Harmony is “the kid who loses Django’s slave wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) to Calvin Candie, a charming but utterly evil plantation owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, which sets up a showdown with Django, the former slave turned bounty hunter played by Jamie Foxx.” Even if we don’t know what Hill’s role will be, it signals the Oscar-nominated star’s continued wing-stretching when it comes to his works.

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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