Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Reel Opinion: Tarantino and his DJANGO

Fans of Quentin Tarantino were happier than a tumbleweed in the wind last week; the first trailer for DJANGO UNCHAINED, Tarantino’s first undisguised venture into the old west, debuted. You can watch it here.
Although the trailer showcased an interesting cast and good photography, there doesn’t seem to be much of a “hook” other than wink-wink-Quentin-is-making-a-western. If any other name was attached to it, most people would barely give it a glance. It is the Quentin Tarantino name which is the selling point for this film. Not such a bad thing if it gets people into the theatres, but not a great thing, either.

Directors and artists putting their names up front of the marketing is nothing new. Tarantino has been doing it ever since his second film. In literature, the cover of the newest Stephen King novel usually has King’s name printed twice as large as the title of the book itself. The approach has worked well for both of them, but depending on who the name is, it can backfire. Michael Bay doesn’t need to put his name up front on any of his blow-em-up films, but he does, and people veer away.
Quentin Tarantino has very much become his own Franchise; when you see those Golden Arches on the horizon, you know exactly what you are going to get. You know this from past efforts and reputation, and those Arches will keep you coming back for more no matter what grade the meat is.

This Blogger takes issue with judging a film by way of who is in charge of it. It is the film’s merits; acting, directing, story, etc., which matter the most. A bad film should not get a pass just because of the director’s name, and a good film should not be drubbed for the same reasons. If DJANGO UNCHAINED gets high praise upon its release (December), it should not be because of the Name trying to be bigger than the Movie.
What say you?

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