By Aanen Butz Chattanooga, TN.–To understand Quentin Tarantino’s films, you must first try to understand him. Not necessarily as a writer and director, but as a person.
By most accounts, he is egocentric and hubristic.
He seems to be the kind of person who would be more interested in showing off himself rather than others.
This is why his films are often known for their tremendously quotable dialogue and highly developed characters, rather than their settings. He is simply more interested in showcasing his filmmaking and writing prowess than diverting attention away from it through glossy fantasy and filler.
The key with Tarantino productions is that it isn’t necessarily the story that makes them great; its the storytelling.
A prime example of this is his amazing debut, “Reservoir Dogs,” a movie about a heist gone awry.
People had already seen movies about them before, but it was the way in which this story was told (non-linear timeline, detailed character backstories) that got it, and him, so much attention.
Another example could be “Inglourious Basterds,” which is essentially a war movie about a band of American soldiers in Nazi-occupied France.
It wasn’t like he was breaking any new ground with his subject material. Instead, it is the writing, directing, and cinematography, rather than the story or setting that makes these films as outstanding as they are.
This has given Tarantino the reputation as one of the genius minds of modern day cinema. Also, he often brings out the best in everyone involved in his movies, because everybody wants to live up to the brand Tarantino has created for himself.
His most recent film, “Django Unchained,” is just another case of an already-been-done story, told in a never-been-done kind of way.
The setting, which is split 50-50 between vintage Spaghetti Western towns and pre-Civil War Southern plantations, is hardly anything that hasn’t already been covered on the silver screen.
By Aanen Butz — However, this movie is far and away one of the very best films of 2012. The characters are captivating, the dialogue is intelligent, the lighting is beautiful, and the original sound track, while at times slightly inconsistent, is one of the most compelling and eclectic productions of the year.
Also, this movie is full of some of the most memorable one-liners of Tarantino’s career, all delivered excellently by the stunning cast which featured Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington in the lead roles.
There are scenes in this movie that range from completely hilarious (KKK Bagheads sequence, Dr. Schultz’ charisma) to cruelly disturbing (Mandingo fight, various flashbacks) to downright enthralling (Calvin Candie’s glorious monologue), all of which are executed in typical Tarantino fashion.
Overall, this movie was engaging, fiery, dynamic, and positively enjoyable from start to finish.
It is nominated for five Oscars at this years Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Editing, and Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz.
It is surely deserving of a couple of those (screenplay, cinematography), and it wouldn’t surprise me if it won even more.
If you still haven’t had the chance to experience this movie, go out and see it while you still can.