Ready for a rootin', tootin', gun-slingin', fast-paced trip through the lawless days of the Dirty South? Then you're ready for the Django Unchained trailer! BUT if you're ready for something completely different from all that, then you're ready for Django Unchained. Or so history might prove.
In 2009, Quentin Tarantino released Inglourious Basterds, arguably the director's best feature film to date. The story was sold to the public with the following premise: a ragtag gang of American Jews go Magnificent Seven against the Nazis through WWII-era Europe. What the world actually got was a more personal story, focusing heavily on the journeys of orphaned French Jew Shoshana (Mélanie Laurent) and meticulous sociopathic Nazi detective Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). The film was not without it's people getting their heads baseball-batted, but it was much softer and more sophisticated than the highly stylized films of Tarantino past, like Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.
But Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill are how you sell a Tarantino movie. And that looks to be what is happening in the Django Unchained trailer. In the pre-Civil War movie, Jamie Foxx plays title character Django, a freed slave who teams up with a bounty hunter (the great Waltz once again) to save his wife from the clutches of a dastardly plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). In the first assembly of footage from the film, there are guns blasting, quips dropping, and even a title card with the shameful tagline, "Django Is Off the Chain." Style over substance indeed.
But that's probably not what the movie is like. While Tarantino made the hyperstylized thing work in his first masterpiece Pulp Fiction, he has since cooled his jets, and has learned (as Inglourious Basterds proves) how to tell a calmer, more serious, and more intimate story. The mood of the trailer notwithstanding, that's probably what fans are in for with Django. But again, that doesn't scream "See this!" as much as a Pulp Fiction-esque trailer.
Tarantino might be cursed with his own early '90s image branding everything he makes. People might always hear his name attached to a project and assume that the film will be riddled with Blaxploitation music and people discussing cheeseburgers melodically. But the director has more in his holster than that. And if you can trust that enough to get past the moderately silly, grasping-for-Pulp Fiction's-audience trailer, then you'll probably be in for a great new movie in Django Unchained.
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Hollywood.com is on the scene at the 55th Cannes Film Festival, seeing the films and sipping with the stars. Check in every day to get the latest!
Day 4: The weather at Cannes is behaving like a temperamental movie star, but last night's rainstorm didn't do a thing to dampen partiers' spirits. Here in the morning during Le Festival du Cinema, as revelers meet up after stumbling down from their hotel rooms, the de rigueur question is not, "How are you?" but rather, "What party did you go to last night?"
Just as we thought, the very hot Scorched blast was the party to attend last night. Many of filmdom's wild and creative danced along the windy shores of Majestic Beach at the invitation-only event. Spike Jonze was there being, well, Being Spike Jonze! Also partying into the night was Christina Ricci and Melissa Joan Hart.
The characters of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron may be animated, but their voices come straight from the very real mouths of some famous movie stars, like Matt Damon. Who better than he to narrate this adventure about a wild and rambunctious mustang stallion as he journeys through the untamed American West?
Unfortunately the Academy Award-winning star couldn't come to Cannes because he's wowing the Brits onstage playing a stoned slacker in London in Kenneth Lonergan's play This Is Our Youth.
But to the crowd's delight, singer Bryan Adams, who supplied the original songs for Spirit, was still able to croon his tunes live at the screening despite some hard luck. Last Tuesday the singer/songwriter broke his right hand in a motorcycle accident. Luckily he found a local bass player to strum along while he sang.
Even the stars that can't get to the Fest want to be with all the rest. Academy Award winner Tatum O'Neal phoned Glen Pitre, the director of her new movie, The Scoundrel's Wife. "I wish I could be on the Riviera, but my kids are still in school!" she bemoaned. For the movie, shot in the wild bayous of Louisiana, Tatum not only had to learn to peel shrimp like a real fisherwoman, but also trained to captain a big shrimp boat well enough to man it during a chase scene at night on the open seas!
Renowned British director Michael Winterbottom is premiering his new movie, 24 Hour Party People, which is perfect timing because tonight is Saturday night! They'll be partying all night long.
But that's not the only place to be. Parties are erupting all over. At the Cap d'Antibe, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is throwing his annual fete extraordinaire at the world famous, trés expensive (and we mean cash only!) Hotel du Cap.
But perhaps the wildest party tonight is being thrown by MTV to celebrate James Bond at the appropriately magnificent castle on the sea, Chateau La Napoule. Everyone is begging in every language they know to get in to the seaside stone palace, with its huge courtyard perfect for hours of dancing.
Only those with coveted invitations will be allowed inside--like the dashing Pierce Brosnan, who was spotted on the beach earlier today entertaining a crowd with some funny stories. Unfortunately, the bad news for the entreating crowd is that they won't have an opportunity to Bond inside; they'll just have to spy on the fun from outside.