Blowhard, Esq. writes:
The latest in Tarantino’s Minorities Get Revenge on White People Series, the director said on Fresh Air that if the audience doesn’t cheer Django at the end, he’s failed. Well, the audience I saw it with didn’t cheer. [I’m hiding the rest below the fold as it contains spoilers.]
The movie beings promisingly with Christoph Waltz as a charismatic German bounty hunter and Jaime Foxx as his bewildered yet stoic protégé. Foxx’s Django just happens to be a perfect sharpshooter and seemingly impervious to bullets, which robs the story of a lot of narrative drive and suspense. The second act is bloated — a good 45 minutes could’ve been cut — and third act contains Tarantino’s worst scene since his segment in Four Rooms in which Django convinces the world’s dumbest slave traders to free him by retelling what we’ve seen for the previous 30 minutes.  As a visual analogue to his weak storytelling, Tarantino appears in the Worst Director Cameo Ever as an Australian cowboy. As a friend pointed out, “It’s like that scene in Attack of the Clones where Yoda does all those flips with the lightsaber. Didn’t anyone tell Lucas how stupid that was?” Indeed, didn’t anyone on set tell Tarantino how ridiculous he looked and sounded? The ending is so slapdash it’s almost as if Tarantino meant it to be nonlinear but forgot to clue us in.
Story problems aside, I enjoyed the visuals and Robert Richardson’s cinematography. As Steve Sailer notes in his review, Tarantino knows where to point the camera. I’ll leave it to friend-of-the-blog Lloyd Fonvielle to evaluate the Western period detail but I found it sufficiently immersive, even if it was clear Foxx and Waltz didn’t know how to ride a horse. But the principal actors all seemed to be enjoying themselves and Samuel L. Jackson especially had a great time playing the movie’s true villain, Evil Uncle Ben.
 I just noticed that Tarantino’s long-time editor, Sally Menke, died in 2010. Perhaps that had something to do with the distended final product?