Quentin Tarantino unchains his penchant for violence in ‘Django Unchained’

Christopher Waltz (left) and Jamie Foxx in 'Django Unchained'
Christopher Waltz (left) and Jamie Foxx in ‘Django Unchained’

Django – nickname from the Romani language meaning “I awake”.

Django – A 1966 film in the genre of “Spaghetti Western” starring Franco Nero.

Django Unchained – a 2012 film from writer/director Quentin Tarantino.

If the name of Tarantino as writer/director didn’t make this clear upfront, Django Unchained is a very violent but stunning film. Don’t let its running time of 165 minutes give you any reason to hesitate choosing this fine film.

Read moreQuentin Tarantino unchains his penchant for violence in ‘Django Unchained’

Best of 2012: 3 films by foreign directors you didn’t see… but should have

Gareth Evans. director of 'The Raid: Redemption'
Gareth Evans. director of ‘The Raid: Redemption’

1. The Raid: Redemption
Written and directed by Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Doni Alamsyah, Joe Taslim, Yayan Ruhian
Welsh-born Gareth Evans brings one of the best-directed action/crime/martial arts movies of all time in his third film. The story itself is simple: A team of special force police officers in Jakarta are sent to a building to arrest the crime lord that owns it and rents apartments out to the seediest criminals in town. Once inside, the team is detected and the crime lord makes an offer over the building’s intercom — anyone that can kill the cops gets free rent for life. What follows is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride between good guys and bad guys featuring fast-paced Pencak Silat-style fight scenes. The story offers a few unexpected twists and turns, but it’s the level of danger and remarkable fight choreography that leaves you breathless.

Read moreBest of 2012: 3 films by foreign directors you didn’t see… but should have

‘Guilt Trip’ is a journey best intended for the challah-back crowd

Seth Rogan is tortured by his overbearing mother, Barbara Streisand, in 'The Guilt Trip'
Seth Rogan is tortured by his overbearing mother, Barbara Streisand, in ‘The Guilt Trip’

[rating=2]Starring: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Brett Cullen
Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Written by: Dan Fogelman

Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time fathoming why the characters in so many holiday movies cringe at the thought of reunion with their families. Am I the only one that likes visiting and talking to my relatives? It’s a mixed blessing. While it might be a sign of healthy relationships, I’ve been deprived of what appears to be endless source material for movies with a release date during the last two months of every year. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

Read more‘Guilt Trip’ is a journey best intended for the challah-back crowd

Forget the usual fare, these are the Christmas movies you need to watch

Billy Bob Thornton is one 'Bad Santa'
Billy Bob Thornton is one ‘Bad Santa’

Every year, movie websites list the best Christmas movies ever.  The same movies are always on those lists and at TailSlate we like to do things differently.  So here is our list of some of the best Christmas movies, but only those that were released in the last 25 years.  In alphabetical order (no value judgments about which is best) they are:

Read moreForget the usual fare, these are the Christmas movies you need to watch

Jack Klugman, ‘The Odd Couple’ and ‘Quincy’ star, dead at 90

Actor Jack Klugman passed away at the age of 90
Actor Jack Klugman passed away at the age of 90

Actor Jack Klugman has passed away at the age of 90 in Los Angeles.

Best known for his roles on television in the shows Quincy, M.E. where he played a coroner in L.A., and on The Odd Couple as Oscar Madison, sportswriter and slob, he was the last surviving member of jury from the 1957 film 12 Angry Men.

Read moreJack Klugman, ‘The Odd Couple’ and ‘Quincy’ star, dead at 90

‘This is 40’ is funny… but not that funny

Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in 'This is 40'
Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in ‘This is 40’

[rating=3]Starring:  Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segel, Annie Mumulo, Robert Smigel, Megan Fox, John Lithgow, and Albert Brooks
Director(s):  Judd Apatow
Writer(s):  Judd Apatow

This is 40 isn’t the first movie about the trauma of a birthday with a zero in it.  Nor is it the first to look at the concept of a mid-life crisis.  But it’s the first movie I can remember where two of the supporting characters from another movie become the central characters in a “sort of sequel” to that movie five years later.

Read more‘This is 40’ is funny… but not that funny