A career of playing righteous bad-asses in Pulp Fiction, the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the Marvel superhero movies has made Samuel L. Jackson one of the highest grossing actors of all time. Which makes his decision to play Stephen, the calculating and merciless right-hand man of plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, Jackson's most daring acting choice yet. more »
Quentin Tarantino says slavery continues in the United States. The outspoken filmmaker — whose spaghetti southern Django Unchained unflinchingly depicts the brutality of slavery — stoked the debate on race Tuesday night when he appeared on the Canadian television talk show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight to suggest that the United States' "war on drugs" and its "mass incarcerations" of black men is "just slavery through and through." more »
With a turn as the sinister Billy Crash in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, Walton Goggins nails his second supporting appearance in a period Oscar contender this season. (His other 2012 prestige performance? Playing the meek Clay Hutchins in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln.) Goggins sat down with Movieline/Beyond the Trailer's Grace Randolph to talk the necessary difficulties of depicting the brutality of slavery, why the need for retribution is utterly human, and how he feels about the path his career has taken during his two decades as a rising character actor.
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino defended the heavy dosage of violence in Django Unchained, his latest film starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. As with many of his past offerings, Tarantino's Oscar hopeful includes a graphic depictions of blood and gunshot victims. Tarantino was asked about the violence over the weekend in New York in the wake of the tragedy in a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 dead, most of them children.
Samuel L. Jackson has created, as he put it, "the most reprehensible negro in cinema history," with his portrayal of Stephen, the slave who runs Calvin Candie's (Leonardo DiCaprio) Candyland plantation in Django Unchained. But, the actor told Movieline that he's even more despicable in scenes that were cut from the final print of Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti southern. more »
Prognosticators have maybe five (or even as few as two) possible Oscar winners, and most lists of ten (or so) have many of the same titles though perhaps in various orders. But folks, the nominations have yet to come in and the Academy made that clear today with its list of 282 feature films for 2012 that are eligible for Best Picture.
Rules are rules and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officially considers a feature film that played in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31 and begin a minimum seven consecutive day run.
[Related: Golden Globes Unveil 70th Edition Nominees]
Under Academy rules, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format. Feature films that receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release are not eligible for Academy Awards in any category.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days to Django Unchained; The First Time to Flight; Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted to Magic Mike; 17 Girls to The Sessions… They're all on the official list, so don't count out the non-elite not making Awards headlines.
The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013
REVIEW: Bloody Hilarious & Hilariously Bloody 'Django Unchained' Is Tarantino's First Real Love Story
The "D" is silent, though the name of Django Unchained's eponymous gunslinger sounds like a retaliatory whip across the face of white slaveholders, offering an immensely satisfying taste of antebellum empowerment packaged as spaghetti-Western homage. more »
The Oscar Index’s head is spinning. What critics organization didn’t announce their nominees or award-winners this week? On Thursday it was the Golden Globes, on Wednesday the SAGs, and Monday the AFI and BFCA. The Boston, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis and Washington critics associations also weighed in with their picks.
But critics don’t vote for the Academy Awards, so much of this will have little bearing on who will be nominated for an Academy Award; not Lincoln’s seven Golden Globe nominations, not Dwight Henry’s Best Supporting Actor win from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for Beasts of the Southern Wild, and not the Washington D.C. Film Critics Association’s pick of Zero Dark Thirty as the year’s best film.
Django Unchained had its New York City premiere last night, and like me you probably weren't there. Sorry on all our behalves, everyone! Luckily we can console ourselves with the ongoing reveals of tracks from Django's soundtrack. The latest is Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable), a mashup of James Brown's The Payback and Tupac's Untouchable. Ready for a listen?
You guys, I really want to love this. But despite the fact that James Brown and Tupac are both insanely dope, the track sounds like exactly half of awesome. Blame for that goes to Swizz Beats, who produced Untouchable for the 2006 album Pac's Life, AKA the moment when the dead horse that is Tupac's posthumous career was finally flogged into its component atoms.
Tupac was a genius, but that doesn't mean he's a cipher that can be fitted into whatever era wants him. His flow was built on bomb-squad influenced beats and g-funk. Warping his rap style around the bob-free beats that popped up in the aughts is like releasing a disco remix of Paul Whiteman's version of You're The Tops. Frankly, Untouchable is in strong contention for the absolute worst of Tupac songs.
Particularly hilarious is the fact that Swizz looped Pac to make him fit the track, so we get Tupac shouting "Y'all know me Y'a-Y'all know me" like a Shep Pettibone remix from 1988. Meanwhile, James Brown's music was tailor made for a remix like the one used to make Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable), and the combination only makes the molestation of Pac sound even worse.
I wish they'd just requested access to Pac's original vocals instead mashing up a superior song with an inferior song. Luckily, the beats and the remix of "The Payback" are great, and once you get used to how Tupac is criminally misused, you can enjoy the other more solid moments unfettered. No doubt it's going to sound even better when it plays over scenes of blood-spattered cotton fields, so I'm in.
The original Tupac track: 10 out of 100 black coffins for making one of the greatest MCs in the game sound wack.
This mashup: 80 out of 100 black coffins for proving once again that James Brown's music can always be used to make everything sound cool, despite the wackness.
The original version of "Untouchable":
[Source: A.V. Club]
READ MORE ON DJANGO UNCHAINED:
Ross Lincoln is a LA-based freelance writer from Oklahoma with an unhealthy obsession with comics, movies, video games, ancient history, Gore Vidal, and wine. Follow him on twitter (@rossalincoln).
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Quentin Tarantino continues his quest to fight history's great oppressors by way of the movies in Django Unchained. Inglourious Basterds conjured up a squadron of tough Jewish-American soldiers who took Nazi scalps and chased down Hitler with the help of a French Jewish theater owner, a British film critic turned lieutenant and a Allies-affiliated German movie star. Django Unchained doesn't literally bring the forces of cinema to bear against slavery in the same fashion, but it does use tropes of Spaghetti Westerns and exploitation films to build the character of a former slave who learns to shoot and eventually faces down the residents of a plantation in order to retrieve his wife. There's something inarguably rousing about Tarantino's exuberant revisionist history, about the way he rewrites wretched eras in the past so that those who suffered are able to have their bloody revenge.
By now you know that the list of songs eligible to be nominated for Best Original Song at the 85th Academy Awards is kind of mind-blowing. Not so mind-blowing is the generally risk-averse bent of the average Academy voter, which is why we should probably just send congratulations now to Brave, Les Miserables, and Adele, resting easy one of them will actually be the right recipient.
This just in from the Academy: This year's Oscars could see the best Best Song race in history. See which original songs are in contention, including unconventional tracks from Django Unchained, Magic Mike, The Man With The Iron Fists, and Casa de mi Padre.
Quentin Tarantino wants you to know that if his depiction of slavery in Django Unchained disturbs you, the reality was much grislier. "I'm here to tell you, that however bad things get in the movie, a lot worse shit happened," the filmmaker told a British Academy of Film and Television Arts crowd after screening his hotly anticipated spaghetti western in London. more »
Welcome back to the Gold Linings Playbook, otherwise known as the Oscar Index, in which we take the pulse of the pundits handicapping this year’s emerging Oscar class!
Oscar handicapping began in earnest this week with The New York Film Critics Circle’s selection of Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty as Best Picture, adding further speculation that the hunt for Bin Laden drama may steal some of Ben Affleck’s Argo’s thunder. In the past decade, four of the NYFCC’s Best Picture winners have gone on to win the Academy Award: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; No Country for Old Men; The Hurt Locker, and The Artist.
Quentin Tarantino is one of America's most celebrated living filmmakers and his latest film - currently due out Christmas day - is highly anticipated. But even a critically acclaimed filmmaker can have a dud, even if some fans might disagree. Tarantino himself weighed in on what he considers his least accomplished work.
"Death Proof has got to be the worst movie I ever [made]," Tarantino told THR. "And for a left-handed movie, that wasn't so bad, all right? So if that's the worst I ever get, I'm good. But I do think one of those out-of-touch, old, limp, flaccid-dick movies costs you three good movies as far as your rating is concerned."
Death Proof was part of Grindhouse, a double feature along with Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror. The duo didn't exactly score at the box office either. It took in just over $25 million domestically on a budget that reportedly reached $67 million. Not all turned out dismal though, it did receive a 65 percent on Rotten Tomatoes among critics - not horrendous though certainly not gangbusters.
Tarantino recently hinted to Playboy that his latest film Django Unchained may signal the sunset of his filmmaking career, saying that he wants to "stop at a certain point."
"Directors don’t get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film fucks up three good ones … When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty."