This one goes out to our main man, Barack Obama, as this is the 44th Edition of the Pop Culture Roundup of the United States of Merka.

From one cool brother to another cool brother; Django delivered, Fam. Previously:

By the way, I caught Django Unchained, with a friend yesterday, early evening on Christmas Day. Pretty much everything about the movie was great: the cast, the acting, story, tone, direction. Well played, QT. We continually marvel at Christoph Waltz, he’s just a lovely actor and it’s a mesmerizing, grand performance by the German-Austrian. What a find and discovery by Quentin Tarantino. Jamie Foxx, solid as always, brings spirit, pathos and charisma as the lead; he is a true cowboy and his titular character will go down as a film icon. The bromantic chemistry between the brotherly duo is magnetic and unrivaled.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a powerhouse; he organically delivers one of the best Tarantino-scripted monologues in film history. It is creepy and riveting all at once. Last, but not least, Tarantino staple,Samuel L. Jackson, as expected, heartily delivers as the hated and complex Uncle Tom villain, Stephen.

If I had a small gripe about Django, it would be that I found myself harboring mixed feelings concerning the soundtrack (previously featured). It seemed a bit too pastiche, even by Quentin Tarantino’s standards. Lacing moments with the cadence and tenor of Rick Ross and Tupac was, at times, übercool–but it was distracting enough to take me out of some scenes. I mean, if you’re going to make anachronistic choices like that, commit to it and do it from the start with consistency. But what do I know? He’s an artistic genius with an encyclopedic brain and I’m just a Tarantino fanboy.

And it is genius. The topical, “dumb” neophyte Tarantino fans gravitate towards his quip-y (but utterly entertaining) banter and shocking violence, the other side respects his attention to rich cultural subtext, social commentary and respect for film history. He is still one of our strongest filmmakers; he is both conscious and present as an auteur. He may heavily sample and borrow from his predecessors but he re-configures it in such an original way.

It’s the best dark comedy, slavery-era revenge pic, blaxploitation, spaghetti western you will ever see. It’s WAAAY better than Posse by Mario Van Peeples (that’s a sarcastic understatement/joke, Folks). So go see it immediately, Bagheads. Give QT and Miramax your money. Soft People, stay far away, as you won’t be able digest the thousand n-bombs or the relentless display of violence andviscera.

Seriously, go check this shit out and let it wash over your brain and soul. Django delivers. IgnoreSpike Lee, as it is an almost-perfect film that should not be missed. See it with an audience.

Some important Django links and video interviews of the exquisite cast. People who enjoyed the film will dig these nuts and bolts.

 

 

      
Django Unchained NECA Action Figures! We genuinely want these.
UPDATE: The Daily Beast has taken exception to these figures. It’s “selling slaves” and glorifying slavery they imply. On one hand you can say that this is just movie memorabilia and your Nontroversy of the Day. These will be even bigger collector’s items now. On the other hand, a Hans Landa (Nazi) figure from Inglourious Basterds would’ve been extra creepy and non-kosher. Is there some kind of double standard here? WE ARE SO CONFUSED.

 

 

TRAILERS, TEASERS and FEATURETTES

 

A Good Day To Die Hard (TV Spots)

 

      
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone – I think this oddball comedy has potential but Carell’s makeup seems distracting. It’s clearly lampooning the ludicrousness flamboyance of the magician culture, Siegfried & Roy, Criss Angel, et al. MIIIIINDFREEEEEAK! I think they should have gone full absurd a la Blades of Glory. We will see…on cable.

 

Warm Bodies (The First 4 Minutes)

 


Phantom (Official Theatrical Trailer) – Ed Harris plays the captain of a Cold War Soviet missile submarine who has secretly been suffering from seizures that alter his perception of reality. Forced to leave his wife and daughter, he is rushed into a classified mission, where he is haunted by his past and challenged by a rogue KGB group (led by David Duchovny) bent on seizing control of the ship’s nuclear missile. With the fate of humanity in his hands, Harris discovers has been chosen for this mission in the belief he would fail. Phantom is a suspense submarine thriller about extraordinary men facing impossible choices.

 

The Heat (Redband Trailer) – Paul Feig‘s follow-up to Bridesmaids.

 


Images of Star Trek Into Darkness from Empire

 


Empire also has a glimpse of Sharlto Copley from Elysium, Neill Blomkamp‘s first film since District 9Elysium is set in the year 2159, and pits the oppressed people of the ruined planet Earth against the privileged elite aboard the Elysium space station. Matt Damon is ex-convict man-on-a-mission Max, fighting with the Terrans for equality, and Jodie Foster is the dastardly government official intent on enforcing anti-immigration laws and keeping Elysium for the Elysians; Kruger is her relentless attack dog.

 


A new image of Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi from the highly anticipated Pacific Rim via Collider.

 


The World’s End – A first glimpse via Bloody Disgusting of the next Edgar WrightSimon PeggNick Frost vehicle. Another end-of-days comedy to hang in the apocalyptic genre. Sign us up. This flick appears Fall 2013.

 

 

MASHUPS and SUPERCUTS

 

Django Unchained x Blazing Saddles

 

The Movies of 2012 by Nick Kinder

 

Final Cut 2012 – A Cinema Tribute by JoBlo

 

38 End Of The World Movies (Supercut)

 

So that is this week’s package. Go out and see Django this weekend. Also, stay tuned as we roll out the “Best of 2012” installments over the next couple of days. “The Most Visited Posts in 2012” on Saturday, the “Soundsystem 30” on Sunday, and the “Superslice 100” on New Year’s Eve. Happy New Year, have a fun and safe one…

@teemunny


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Pop Culture Roundup 44 Thread