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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

“Django Unchained”: a film without end

We fought our way through the crowds to see a movie today. But the crowds, which I'm fairly certain were there for "Les Miserables," didn't fill up the seats in our theater. That's because we'd bought tickets to "Django Unchained," the new flick from Quentin Tarantino.

And, look, I will forgive Tarantino pretty much everything because of his 1995 masterpiece "Pulp Fiction." And even though I haven't liked anything he's done since then nearly as much, I will admit that parts of his films are amazing: some of the fights in "Kill Bill," the opening sequence of "Inglorious Basterds."

But here's the thing: Both "Inglorious Basterds" and Django Unchained" prove that, as a screenwriter at least, Tarantino has lost the ability to write a decent third act. Two-thirds of the way through "Django," which features Jamie Foxx, Christophe Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, I was having a great time.

And then, just as "Inglorious Basterds" did, the film turned into a simple revenge flick. No subtlety (not a Tarantino strong point), no twist, no emotional or intellectual depth. Just … simple … revenge. And massive killings. Not to give anything away, but just as "Inglorious Basterds" rewrites the end of World War II, "Django Unchained" tries to find justice for the evils of slavery.

Not a bad intention. If only the execution had been better thought out.