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December 20, 2012


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That has got to be the most disheartening headline I've ever read in this blog.

Ali Arikan

I must say I am dreading this.

David Ehrenstein

I don't know what you're disappointed about. Tarantino's entire career is devoted to juevnile genre pastiches of 70's obscurities. This is just another one.

Not David Bordwell

Yeah, this review has me kinda fucked up, since Glenn found things to like (his wife even more so, apparently) about the critically reviled DEATH PROOF and was over the moon about INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, which more or less reproduce my own feelings (and, oddly, those of my wife, go figure).

Noam Sane

"Juvenile genre pastiches of 70's obscurities" seems to be the go-to hater line on Tarantino. I don't buy the "juvenile"; I'm guessing you are going with the 3rd Random House definition, "immature; childish; infantile." I don't see his "pastiches" as being any more immature, childish, or infantile than their inspirations, which is to say, not. And, not all of his numerous inspirations are obscure. So, raising the bullshit flag on your pithy bon mot, David.

He makes big, broad, unsubtle films. Parts work, parts don't maybe. I see a lot of films and I generally appreciate his enthusiastic borrowings and gleeful mindfuckery. Mileage will vary, but I find your generalized condemnation to be, in a word, doo-doo.

The previews have been intriguing and I will look forward to seeing this. I probably will be let down, as I was by the Killer Car and Nazi efforts, but he's one of a kind and I root for him.


Glenn's review of the film makes it sound like it emphasizes Tarantino's biggest weaknesses, particularly his tendency to draw out certain dialogue-based scenes -- especially dialogue scenes that ostensibly highlight QT's cleverness -- well past the breaking point and his tendency to cast himself.

However, I gotta tell ya, as an abstract proposition, a three-hour homage to Blazing Saddles directed by Quentin Tarantino doesn't sound too bad to me.

That Fuzzy Bastard

Dammit, this is the first QT film I've been looking forward to in years. Here's hoping it's not as bad as all that.

David Ehrenstein

"Mileage will vary, but I find your generalized condemnation to be, in a word, doo-doo."

You're clearly as juvenile as the auteur whose ass you so eagerly kiss.


I can't bring myself to read this yet. I will, I promise. But not yet.

Jack Laughing

@David Ehrenstein: I've been quietly reading your comments here for quite some time and a number of times you've lead me to think "Wow, what an arrogant dickhead." But this one takes the cake. Just wishing a Happy Holidays to you and I wanted you to know that I will be not only boycotting your reviews going forward, but boycotting the publications foolish enough to employ your boorish opinions. Happy New Year!

David Ehrenstein

Fuck You Too!

Not David Bordwell

Oh, come on, Jack Laughing. We all already know that David Ehrenstein is the Joan Collins of GK's comments section. Get over it.

David Ehrenstein


rob humanick

David's first comment reads as an opportunistic grab at Glenn's disappointment with this film to suggest that, hahaha, he's been right all along that it's director isn't worth the hype, as if that opinion is self-evident upon even the slightest infraction. And it reads that way because it is. This commencing war of words is already reminding me of O'Reilly and Stewart, and the one who self-consciously invoked feces is definitely the more mature of the two.

I can't believe I just watched that whole video.


Thank you, Glenn. I walked away feeling vaguely disappointed (amidst hosannas from basically everyone else at the screening), but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. This helps, though I think I'm less negative overall - I did think there were interesting thematic undercurrents, especially in the difference between how the violence against slaves and the violence against slavers are depicted and framed.


Any Miike connection?

Josh Z

From the review:

"Only why, oh why, is the character's name spelled as that of a comic-strip character instead? The figure of German legend is called Brunhild, or Brünnhilde. Maybe Tarantino's operating at a level of metatextuality that's beyond me."

It seems to me that you just explained the metatextuality right there. "Broomhilda" is a bastardization of Brünnhilde with a wink towards the comic strip character, because... I don't know, why not? Since when have Tarantino's hodgepodge of pop culture references ever needed to be logical?

Glenn Kenny

Josh Z: I wrote that in a sense that gave an impression that I actually did not know to what "Broomhilda" referred. But yes, I do know the reference. You ask "since when have Tarantino's hodgepodge of pop culture references ever needed to be logical?" I can't answer that question, but more often than not, they have parsed, even the bit about "Douglas Sirk steak." The wink at the comic strip character, in this context, struck me as deeply, deeply stupid. Might as well have dropped winks to Marmaduke and Heathcliff while he was at it. Why not Scooby Doo? Etcetera. In other words, like so many of the other jokes in "Django Unchained," a bad one, a tinny one, one that annoys more the more it is repeated.

Josh Z

Fair enough. Wasn't trying to defend the film. I haven't seen it yet. And frankly, I didn't care much for Inglourious Basterds for many of the same complaints you leveled against this one. (Yes, I'm aware that you were a fan of Basterds.)

David Ehrenstein

"Broomhilda" is also a (snide naturally) reference to the marital rights freed Afriacn-Americans eagerly embraced. Getting married was known as "Jumping the Broom."

Dan Coyle

I dunno, I thought it was pretty good.


I enjoyed it quite a bit. Good fun. Crowd sure seemed to like it too. (Hint don't go in with expectations).

Clayton Sutherland

Yeah, I actually found the film to be far more emotionally potent than Basterds, which I watched again on Saturday night in preparation for this. Perhaps that was down to the subject matter being less familiar (Nazis, and even Hitler, are used as dramatic cannon fodder with much greater regularity), to some degree.

But when the opening credits rolled, I was reminded of Menke's passing, and wondered how it would affect the film. To be honest, I felt the extended scenes carried considerably more tension than in IB, and it may be the first time since Jackie Brown that I was genuinely emotionally involved in the content of a QT fim, rather than just being generally entertained by it.

As another review noted, it's a bit of a sick joke that the white man most sensitive to Django's racial suffering is a German, but damned if Waltz isn't the most loveable hired killer I've seen in a film in some time. And the pre-KKK scene was hysterical; the theater I attended was rolling with laughter; it's broad, but it works, IMO.

It's interesting that you felt the timing was off here, Glenn, as most of your complaints seem to echo those of many individuals to QT's previous films, which you actually enjoyed. So I guess it's just a YMMV sort of deal. And folks who haven't been taken with any of QT's previous endeavours certainly won't be swayed by this one.

I agree that QT's presence as an actor in this was jarring, but at least he had the good sense to take the piss out of himself rather quickly, and aggressively. There's something to be said for that.


Still haven't seen the film, but I've seen at least one review somewhere that said "Broomhilda" was a slaver's mispronunciation that stuck. But since no one else seems to have picked up on that, maybe that reviewer was just making an assumption.

Michael Webster

Going off on a Spike Lee related aside, I too thought Tarantino's acting turn in the movie was atrocious. Of course there were plenty of other poorly realized scenes that it didn't significantly detract detract from the overall quality of the film (which was not great. In short, I found it sufficiently entertaining to not bitch and moan about having to pay big bucks to sit through another boring movie, but not great, not anywhere close to great, with the possible exception of of Samuel L. Jackson's performance).

I thought Spike Lee's even more idiotic acting appearance in Red Hook Summer did very much detract from the overall quality of that film. Without Mookie, I think RHS would have been much further up the best of 2012 lists, possibly even awards worthy.

Anyway, given that those two seem to be somehow eternally entwined, I thought it somewhat interesting that within a few months of each other they both somewhat fucked up their movies by inserting themselves into them.

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