Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Django: Hot Tub Time Machine.

My wife and I went to see Django Unchained last night. We liked Christoph Waltz. It took me forever to realize that I was looking at Samuel L. Jackson. Don Johnson added comedy that was the best part of the movie. I think that Jamie Foxx did okay with what he was told to work with. Not great, but okay.

But we didn't like it. First, the movie was WAY too long. 2:45 long. Every scene involved long, lingering camera pans that were unnecessary. I'm a Tarantino fan, but someone needs to edit the crap out of his stuff. Also, there was a logical ending, and yet the movie went on for another 15 minutes that should have been added in the director's cut DVD. Next, I get that Tarantino was trying to do a movie in the old spaghetti western-style (as even the name would tend to indicate), with a strong Peckinpah influence, but it really was over the top. Every single .36 caliber ball out of a Remington 1858 New Army or a Colt 1851 Navy revolver would cause sheets of blood to fly out of the recipient, coating the walls with blood.

And about those guns. The first gun we see in the movie is a double-barreled shotgun which was in keeping with the time, but is at the end of that scene referred to as a "rifle." The movie is set in 1858, and apparently Remington must have shipped cases and cases of their new revolvers down to Texas, Tennessee, and Mississippi for general distribution to every dirt farmer that year. These were very expensive pistols, and poor folk generally didn't have them. This would be like finding every convenience store clerk, gas station attendant, and parking lot attendant having a brand new HK or Springfield model fresh from SHOT, now. While not impossible, it's highly unlikely.

 There was a Colt Dragoon (Model 1848) visible, but it didn't play a big roll. We saw a pretty cool Remington Cattleman's Carbine (model of 1858), which would have been pretty damned rare to see.  The main character rides hard with it in his hand, but I don't recall him ever shooting it, even when he ambushes some baddies.

The rest of the guns were almost universally anachronistic. The derringer shown again and again was a modern replica of a Remington 1866 .41 rimfire tip-up derringer. I've fired a couple of dozen rounds out of one (using up a sizable portion of the world's supply of .41 rimfire at the time, too, I guess), and the round is anemic. If you shoot it at a hardwood tree, there's a decent chance that it will bounce back at you. It of course caused gouts of blood in this movie. Why not? It was being portrayed 8 years early. Anything could happen.

There was a Sharps rifle that played a significant role. They never showed him loading metallic cartridges into it, but it wasn't the slanting breech model of 1852. I don't know the 1848 model. I think that this was an 1859 rifle, and much of the movie took place in 1859.  The rich bounty hunter might have had newest kit. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

There's an iron-framed Henry that's a year or two too early.

We didn't mind the cussing. People cussed, then as now. Anyone who is offended by the use of the "N word" while complicit with the depiction of slavery by those uttering it is a confusing individual. There is reference to a gladiator-style culture of buying and selling slaves for the sole purpose of pitting them against each other for fighting, which is referred to as "Mandingo* fighting" in the movie.  My wife was surprised to hear me say after the movie that I'd never heard of such thing being popular. Oh, I've little doubt that it happened (Humans have always had a capacity for cruelty. And dogfighting has always been popular. So I'm sure that at times slave owners pit their laborers against each other.), but I've just never read of or prior to now heard of a real culture of slave fighting in the American South. Apparently, Tarantino just lifted the idea from a blacksploitation movie of the 1970's called Mandingo. He knows it's fiction.

The fact that this flick is a black man's fantasy about killing white slave owners doesn't bother me, any more than do the myriad of movies about getting revenge on the commies/men who murdered my family/enemy nation that attacked our country/etc, etc.

In an interesting reversal of movie styles, at no point is there any female nudity (beyond showing bare backs), yet there is a scene involving Jamie Foxx's taint, and his phallus. But that's not why the movie sucked.
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*A few years ago, I helped out on a case involving a hebephile who had met his male victim online, using the name "Mandingo." I had at the time thought it strange to use such a nickname, but had not researched it. Apparently, there is a porn star (whom I won't link here, but can be found on a specialty database site for adult film stars) who goes by that name, and is also black. I don't think that the suspect was considering himself a fighter, but rather was identifying with the black porn star. He pled out.

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3 Comments:

At Monday, January 21, 2013 3:56:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

I was going to pass anyway, but just more the reason... I'm not a big fan of Tarantino anyway.

Interesting comments on the guns, but on the money... You sure don't see EVERYBODY with a new gun.

 
At Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:27:00 PM, Anonymous Evyl Robot Michael said...

So which Tarantino movie is realistic and historically accurate? I haven't seen that one yet. ;)

 
At Friday, January 25, 2013 7:36:00 PM, Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

I wasn't planning on seeing this for any number of reasons and you just reinforced that choice.

As to having slaves fight each other? I don't know that it would be done since slaves had value as property and an owner would be foolish to risk serious injury or death in this manner.

As you note, it might have happened occasionally, but I doubt it was common.

 

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