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Posts Tagged ‘Christof Waltz’:


Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” takes us back to the year, 1858, two years before the Civil War.  I appreciate any attempt to bring back Westerns. It’s a genre ripe for a resurgence.  The setting works:  A bounty hunter (Christof Waltz) teams up with a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx) to capture criminals & ultimately help find & free Django’s slave wife. (Kerry Washington)

There are excellent scenes within the film. You’ll enjoy textbook Tarantino dialogue exchanges. Leonardo DiCaprio turns in an excellent performance as a savvy & sinister slave owner, the callus Calvin Candie.

As a whole however, this wasn’t one of my favorite Tarantino films.  Going back a few years, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ was utterly brilliant.  The Hans Landa character played by Christof Waltz, in my opinion, should have remained inside the world of ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ Instead, I kept seeing Hans resurface in ‘Django Unchained.’  I know everyone else did too, but won’t admit it.  Let’s compare.  In ‘Basterds’ he was dubbed ‘The Jew Hunter.’ Here he’s The Bounty Hunter. For some reason I can’t explain, he also hails from Germany.  Oh, & he speaks at least (3) languages, just like Hans Landa.

This is just nit-picking now.  Why do certain directors always feel compelled to hurl themselves into their own movie? It stymies me. Why does Quentin do this?  My first thought every time I see him onscreen in one of his own films is: What is Quentin doing?  It catapults me out of the movie! No one in Hollywood will admit this. They all want to work on one of his movies. I’m not an actor. So again I ask Quentin, Why insist? Why?

Final note, “Django Unchained” is still better than 85% of what’s out in theaters.  It’s worth watching. You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones




Water For Elephants Film Freak Movie Review

“Water For Elephants” is a period piece dating back to 1931.  Right off the bat, something good happens: Hal Holbrook. He provides the bookend intro/outro.  He’s always so believable.  So the story goes….The Benzini Brothers Traveling Circus Train is always chasing Ringling Brothers Circus.  This is the backdrop to a love triangle between veterinary student Jankowski (Rob Pattinson) star performer, Marlena (Reese Witherspoon) & husband Ringmaster, August (Christof Waltz ‘Inglourious Basterds’)

Jacob loves animals. August utilizes cruelty to get results training his animal performers.  This obvious rub is the friction that drives the story forward.   August recognizes Jacob could be his dedicated circus vet and soon begins inviting him into his premium boxcar for fine dining & booze (all happening during prohibition.)  Of course, Marlena is there dressed to the nines, flirting within every moment.

On the brink of bankruptcy, needing to fill the seats, August acquires Rosie the Elephant.  This gamble turns to be a huge bust.  August unleashes pain upon Rosie beyond belief. Anyone who cares about animals in the slightest, would be unsettled.  Of course, this behavior catapults Jacob, who innately loves & cares for animals, into a vengeful rage.

Turns out Rosie is uber smart, for reasons I cannot give away.   If you listen closely to Hal Holbrook’s intro, you’ll already know what happens.  Water For Elephants is a popular book by Sara Gruen.  When I was leaving the theater, I couldn’t help but think there wasn’t a whole lot of sexual chemistry between Witherspoon & Pattinson.  That’s exactly what this type of fall-in-love story requires.  Since the Golden Age of cinema, all we really need are two stars who sizzle onscreen to make us swoon for romance & whirlwind love.  Without the spark, the end game falls flat.

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