Archives for posts with tag: Jamie Foxx

Grade A

From the talented and eccentric mind of Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained” is a violent, surreal story of an ex-slave (Jamie Foxx) teaming up with an extremely well-spoken bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to get back the wife of Foxx who was sold to a barbaric slave owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).   This being a Tarantino movie, going from point A to point B is done in an unconventional way which makes it hard for the audience to guess exactly what happens to the main characters (this is a good thing).  Along the journey, we are treated to Tarantino’s style of writing and directing: mimicking some camera movements of the 1970s; copying the look of the film stock of the 1970s; and the rich, expansive, mostly witty  dialogue.

Although Waltz and Foxx are the main characters, it is the relationship between DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson (DiCaprio’s head slave) that is the most interesting.  The roles of master and slave seem to switch back and forth at various times, and I believe many viewers will be very puzzled by this; but it’s really simple — the DiCaprio and Jackson characters go way back, and the decades spent living together obviously led to a mutual respect, trust and love for each other.  They have essentially become father and son.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Django Unchained” is the scene when Foxx is hanging upside down, completely helpless; and one of the bad guys is about to castrate Foxx using a red hot knife!

Tarantino fans won’t be disappointed with this movie, as it has everything you’d expect from a movie written/directed by him.  Although part satire, and therefore cannot be completely taken seriously overall, the movie’s depictions of punishments of slaves are very disturbing; and disturbing people is something Tarantino doesn’t shy away from.

— M

 

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Some of you are saying, “this movie is like ‘Olympus Has Fallen.'”  And you’d be right.   Only “Olympus Has Fallen” is a much superior movie than “White House Down.”   For those wondering why Hollywood tends to put out similar movies at about the same time, it’s because a movie gets its start as an idea; and ideas are discussed heavily among actors, directors, producers, and screenwriters over a period of months or years.  Sometimes it leads to two studios making the same type of movie.  Anyway…

“White House Down” has the White House attacked by domestic enemies who have multiple axes to grind against the U.S. government.  The security personnel within the White House are easily taken out like the resident slut in your High School.  It’s a bit funny, actually, how easily the bad guys took over, because I kept thinking “it can’t be this easy.”    Yes, there is an inside man — and no, I’m not giving anything away, as the audience can tell within the first few minutes who the inside man is — but the defenders of the White House were made to be no better than inept, mall cops who are secretly eyeing the butts of teenaged girls.  It’s lazy screenwriting.

Jamie Foxx is the president.   Are you giggling already?  That’s the problem of having him play POTUS.  Sure, he can play serious roles, but I just knew he was going to be cracking jokes along the way, and I was right; and that gives this movie a much less serious tone than “Olympus Has Fallen.”  It’s still a fun movie, but it’s much less intense than it could’ve been, and doesn’t emotionally engage you as it could have.   It’s like watching a “Die Hard” sequel.

Playing the hero that puts a wrench in the machinery of the bad guys is Channing Tatum, a Washington, D.C. cop who is applying for a job with the Secret Service, and at the same time trying to connect with his little girl by taking her along so she can have a tour of the White House.  Tatum has the looks of a leading man, and he has decent acting abilities; but he doesn’t have the “it” factor — you know, when you look at a person’s performance and say, “damn, that person is a movie star.”  Add to this the lack of chemistry between him and Foxx, and it’s just another problem for this movie.

You’d be surprised to know that my most memorable, movie moment of “White House Down” is a funny part.  It’s the scene when Tatum and Foxx are running from the terrorists, and they both get into one of the Presidential Limousines.   Tatum gets in the driver’s seat, and Foxx gets in the backseat, and Tatum asks the President why the hell he’s getting in the backseat.  The timing on that scene was perfect, and it brought lots of laughs from me and three of my best friends who were watching the movie.

“White House Down” brought the entertainment, that’s for damn sure.   So if you look at it that way, it’s a success.  But it’s not enough for me to buy it on Blu-ray.

M

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