Movie Reviews: Django Unchained and The Guilt Trip
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio
Runtime: 165 min
With any filmmaker, there are ups and down. This one is definitely up! Christop Waltz (in another winning performance) plays a dentist-turned-bounty-hunter who strikes a deal with a slave (Jamie Foxx in the title role): help him find his bounty and he’ll free Django and help him find his wife. They outsmart all the villains until they finally land at the plantation run by Leonardo DiCaprio. Despite the cruel depiction of slavery, this is Tarantino’s funniest film yet (the head bag scene is a classic). The violence leans toward comic book broadness with more blood splatter than guts or cuts…until the final shootouts, which ratchet up the body count. Performances are wonderful (Samuel L. Jackson is a riot) and Tarantino is at the top of his game with outrageous laughs, witty surprises, memorable musical choices, clever homage, showy direction and snappy dialogue. NOTE: Stay thru the credits for one final bit.
GAY ANGLE: Not one dandy in this pre-Civil War South.
The Guilt Trip
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen and Julene Renee-Preciado
Runtime: 95 min
The premise is simple and full of promise: A not-too-successful son (Seth Rogen) travels across country with his domineering mother (Barbra Streisand). With two comic greats, what could go wrong? A lousy script, that’s what. While their chemistry is good, most of the lines and situations simply don’t provoke laughter. There are a few chuckles sprinkled about and plenty of energy. You just keep waiting for the hilarity to begin and it just sputters along. The predictable personality conflicts and emotional moments are predictable and pedestrian. I’m a fan of both actors, but this good-natured attempt simply never gets into full comic drive. Stay thru the credits for the outtakes, which feature some of the best lines in the film.
GAY ANGLE: Babs looks great for 70, but she doesn’t sing.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.
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