This Rotten Week: Predicting Django, Les Mis, And Parental Guidance Reviews
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Presents wrapped? Stockings stuffed? Cookies and milk sitting by the fireplace? Plenty of booze set aside? Umm, other stuff going on if you don’t celebrate Christmas? Whatever you’re up to right now we’re here to put you in the holiday spirit with this week’s slate of movies. Well, that’s not exactly true, these films being about as far away from the holiday spirit as possible, but we can still have a little fun. Let’s start Christmas break with escaped slaves, French musicals and babysitting.
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Just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer. In case you were wondering why Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty isn’t on the short list of eligible documentaries in this year’s Academy Awards race, it’s because the director’s intense, seemingly thorough procedural on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden isn’t actually a documentary at all.
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I’m going to make a bold statement here so prepare yourself. Quentin Jerome Tarantino is good at making movies. BOOM! That’s the kind of hard-hitting, informed, cutting-edge “journalism” you come here for and I don’t plan on backing down from controversial statements. Tarantino is good. In fact, to go one step further, he’s a f@#$ing genius who holds himself to a higher standard than just about any other director out there. He’s a genre dude who’s homage style often produces movies that are equal parts quirky and layered analysis of the human condition. (Which is to say they deal with deeper issues in an avalanche of blood.) He’s covered martial arts, gangsters, Nazis, drug dealers, stunt men, while at the same time commenting on faith, family, love, exploitation, genocide, good, evil and a lot of other shit in between. And now he’s rolling a commentary about slavery through a spaghetti western. He probably says to himself, “Why not? I’m Quentin f@#$ing Tarantino.” I mean, I’m sure most of us could have figured that out on our own. The presence of actors like Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke and Kyle Chandler give it away. But acting CIA director Michael Morell felt the need to clarify that detail – and a few other points – in a press release circulated over the weekend
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Jamie Foxx is Django a slave freed by Dr. King Shultz (Christopher Waltz making up for the sins of Colonel Hans Landa by icing slave owners) and trained to be a bounty hunter. Leonardo DiCaprio is a sadistic plantation owner. A bunch of other famous/ B-list actors and actresses cover a variety of roles in a story about dudes killing other dudes in a number of over-the-top ways all while the white man gets his comeuppance. So yeah, it’s a Tarantino film.
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The consensus is already in and critics love it. At 92% with more than sixty reviews in it’ll undoubtedly be at the back end of the Oscar discussion. No chance it wins but having it in the discussion just further solidifies Tarantino in the upper echelon of the all-time greats. A guy who took a bunch of other B-styles and created one larger form that’s all his own.
Morell jumps on a bandwagon driven by senators like John McCain claiming the depiction of torture employed by our military in the hunt for Bin Laden as overstated. “What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts,” he states. “CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.”
Morell then went on to document the various ways that Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal drifted from the facts.
The filmmakers attributed the actions of our entire Agency -- and the broader Intelligence Community -- to just a few individuals,” Morell wrote. “This may make for more compelling entertainment, but it does not reflect the facts. The success of the May 1st 2011 operation was a team effort -- and a very large team at that.”