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Non-Review Review: Django Unchained

“They’ll call you the quickest gun in the South,” bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz remarks to the freed slave Django Freeman. The cliché would suggest that he meant to say “West”, but Django Unchained has its mind firmly on the Southern United States. Producing the film, writer-director Quentin Tarantino argued that he wanted to produce a “Southern” rather than a “Western”, and he has done an admirable job. However, what’s really remarkable about Django Unchained is the way that it balances Tarantino’s trademark grindhouse aesthetic with considerable mature nuance. Django Unchained is the story about two bounty hunters tracking down wanted men dead or alive, but it that doesn’t mean that it is afraid to tackle more substantive and challenging aspects of American history.

If you’d asked me whether I thought that Tarantino could produce a powerful and insightful exploration of slavery in the Deep South before I saw Inglourious Basterds, I would have hesitated before answering. Django Unchained is smart, sophisticated and thoughtful, but never pretentious, never pandering, never dull. In a rather unlikely way, it is the most mature film Tarantino has ever produced.

An ice cold killer...

An ice cold killer…

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Non-Review Review: Paul

Paul is a charming little film. It’s not the most consistently hilarious comedy of the year, and it occasionally gets a little bit too hung up on a particular joke, but it does have a few chuckles and an affable quality that allows it go down easy. There’s a genuine sense of affection in the film, following two British nerds and the eponymous alien escapee on a road trip across America, but there’s also enough of a bite the film never wallows too much in sentimentality. It’s hard to find a single quality that Paul excels in, but it has a broad enough mesh of qualities that it makes for a pleasant enough viewing experience.

Ap-paul-ling behaviour...

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