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« Podcast Unchained: Top Ten Sneaks, Actresses of Color, Movie Gifts | Main | Curio: Frank Langella at 75 »
Tuesday
Jan012013

Django Dolls, Les Miz Fighters and Other Odd Film Fantasies

If you're a collector o' memorabilia or receive lots of movie-related christmas gifts you've probably already seen, received or ordered the complete set of Django Unchained dolls from NECA. They're 8", poseable with cloth clothes based on the costumes designed by former Oscar nominee Sharen Davis (Dreamgirls, Ray) who could be nominated again for Tarantino's explotation flick. I've paired the Schultz, Candie and Stephen dolls below because Michael and I kept telling you that Samuel L Jackson was the movie's standout despite what movie awards have been saying. But now that you've seen the movie, you can say who you think is best!

 

 

So curious to know how you'll vote!

As for the dolls... I've read a few articles about them and none have yet answered the spoilery but standard doll question: Anatomically Correct? more

[SPOILER] I mean how are you even going to restage reimagine the movie at home with your dolls if you can't undress Django and have Billy grabbing his huge ween in one hand with a knife in the other whilst Stephen monologues at him!?! How!? 

But never mind. I just realized they don't include the Billy doll in this set (Walton Goggins was robbed. I don't even remember "Butch" in the movie but he gets a doll.) so there'll be no castration-anxiety for this 8" Django toy even if he is anatomically intact. [/SPOILER]

ANYWAY...

This doll set made me think of this  hilarious tweet from Fake Michael Haneke on Twitter.  

 

 

Speaking of weird movie-related junk, apparently you can play Street Fighter-like arcade games with the Les Misérables characters somewhere in this mad mad mad world...

This is the only video I've seen on the game but I am DYING to know what Cosette or Eponine's special combo attacks were? Drowning their opponents with tears? What? And why can't you play Fantine or Gavroche or one of the zombie whores?

If you know please end my suspense in the comments. 

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Reader Comments (25)

Considering how non plussed I was with the casting, no one is more surprised than me that I actually thought Jamie Foxx was the MVP of the cast. I really thought he grounded the movie in a necessary way, and I completely dug his arc. Leo would probably be runner up. Waltz and Jackson were very good as well, but it didn't feel SO dramatically different from what I'd seen from them before.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWill h

I don't even remember "Butch" in the movie but he gets a doll.

James Remar plays him.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Am I the only one who found DiCaprio disappointing? It felt like the role was playing him rather than the other way around. It was kind of like watching a little kid playing dress up. He just didn't melt into that role as well as he should have, or as powerfully as another actor might have.

I definitely go with Christoph Waltz as MVP. Jackson next.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

@George - I liked Leo, but I definitely agree.

I thought Waltz was really great, but I had to go with Samuel L. Jackson. He was just superb. But I really loved the whole cast honestly.

The actressexual in me really wanted to choose Kerry Washington, and she was definitely great, but just didn't have enough to do to be named the greatest in the cast.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Jackson was by far the most inspired performance in the film. Tarantino definitely saves some great roles for his regulars. Imagine a lesser performance in the same role and how terribly it could have gone.

I also mirror your thoughts about Waltz. He was great but just a rehash (a lesser one at that) of what we've already seen.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames

I would rank them:

Christoph
Leo
Sam

I was ready to not like Christoph because it seemed like he was playing the same sort of guy as in Inglourious, without the villain part, but he really is good under Tarantino's direction.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Ha - someone's always saying DiCaprio looks like a kid playing dress up. Never fails. When he's 60 years old people will still be saying that!

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I thought Leo and Sam were a great one-two punch. they were at their best and most dynamic playing off each other.

Honestly, I found Django overall to be a bit of a mess - very narratively unfocused. But I thought the movie was at its best during the Candieland sequence, with Leo and Sam drawing most of the attention and really giving the story direction. a joint MVP award to them!

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

DiCaprio was better here than I've seen him since The Departed. He chases the role with gleeful abandon, which makes him so interesting to watch and makes him that much more twisted. Jackson was perhaps given the juiciest role by the script, but his performance didn't strike me as being a huge stretch for him, even if his character wraps up in a fascinating way. I personally find Waltz and his schtick overrated - Foxx was a much better lead, and brought the right touch to his role. In a weaker year he'd probably make my top 5 for Actor.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Love the Leo doll...

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Btw, Jaime was great, but I still think Will Smith would've been more interesting in the role.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

I was torn between Leo and Christoph but had to go with Leo. He made me jump out of my skin a couple of times, and I don't recall seeing him play a role similar to that before. Sam was great, too.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Django doesn't open in Australia till 24 Jan, so I haven't seen it yet, but it's really confusing from a distance trying to work out who from the film will be nominated in Supporting Actor (if anyone).

Christoph Waltz seems to be getting the most critics' prize mentions, which means there are now *6* (!) former Oscar winners looking good for this category: Tommy Lee Jones, Alan Arkin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Javier Bardem and Waltz.

I really hope they include someone who's never been nominated (or won) before, like McConaughey or Dwight Henry, but it's not looking promising.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

Leo, Foxx, Waltz and Jackson all give much different performances but are all so great. My opinion on the best supporting player (waltz, Leo, or Jackson) keeps changing the more I think about it. I voted for Waltz but my mind could change easily. Leo brought a whole lotta crazy energy to his perf that we havnt seen from him before. Jackson was hilarious and brought the theater down. Man QT didn't let me down, quality wise it's very close to his last film which is a very good thing.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnonny

Roark - but I normally like DiCaprio. This is honestly the first time I've felt less than enthused with a performance of his. I think he's incredible and extremely immersive in "The Aviator," "Blood Diamond," "The Departed," and even "Inception" among recent films. This one just felt off. He didn't blend into that character. Maybe he overdid the ham?

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Christoph really is playing his Inglourious Basterds part, only using his charm and abilities in the pursuit of good.

Leo I think was a little overwhelmed by the part. It was a little too Tarantino. Or maybe I mean Tarantino's wordplay was a little much for Leo, and he didn't really inhabit the part.

Jackson I thought was killer though. I really didn't know where Jackson was going to take that character, hobbling out of the house but then proving Candie's MVP, even though I should have.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

I can't pick. I literally cannot pick between the three of them.

SJ is hilarious and definitely the most memorable of the bunch, but the role is so short compared to the others. LD is having a ball and it's nice to see him against type almost. And CW is superb as ever but this kind of feels like a lesser act 2 of Hans Landa for him.

I imagine vote splitting is going to be what might ultimately cancels out all of them from the Oscar race this year. Any of them making it in would be a fun surprise.

Also love Kerry of course but just not given enough to do to warrant awards attention.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLuke

It makes me incredibly uncomfortable that the focus is almost entirely on the white actors from what I have seen(this being an exception). It is interesting that white actors playing racist characters is seen as a huge transformation, when our reality indicates that dehumanizing Black people is very much a part of our culture and not rare in the least. Additionally, Black actors playing abused characters are so normalized that they aren't considered extraordinary, with few considering it a transformation or example of amazing acting. For example: Jamie playing someone who is illiterate is not splashed across headlines in the way that Leo !~finding that deep dark place~ to play a slave master is, or Anne Hathaway playing a prostitute is. I thought Jamie, Sam, and Kerry were fantastic, as well as the Black actors who were featured briefly. They all had a much tougher time being a part of this project than the others ever could.

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVal

I totally played the Les Miz street fighter game back in my windows days. The actual name is Arm Joe. It's pretty awesome. You can play as Valjean, Eponine, Marius, Enjorlas, The Thenardiers (at the same time of course), Cosette, and Javert. You get to play in a bunch of stages from the novel. The final boss is naturally Robo Valjean.

Download link here.
http://db.tigsource.com/games/arm-joe

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharles

Charles - thanks! i was beginning to think nobody read that far but i was just laughing laughing when i saw this.

January 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

That Les Miz Street Fighter game is HILARIOUS.

But on to more pressing matters, Samuel L. Jackson is easily MVP in Django for me. I was much higher on Jamie Foxx than I thought I would be, but he's nowhere near the level that Leo, Waltz, and Jackson are playing at. I totally agree with Nathaniel's tweet that Waltz is basically doing Hans Landa 2.0, but it's so entertaining and he's so good at it that I would gladly sit through Hans Landa 23.0. So he gets points deducted for degree of difficulty. I really liked Leo too, but I wanted him to go further with it. He's not a natural at comedy, and I think he could have found a lot more humor in the part than he did. Jackson was just a delight, start to finish. I can't imagine another actor playing that part as well. Can't really say that about Leo, much as I liked him (just imagine, for example, Matthew McConaughey in that part).

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I would play the hell out of that Les Mis game. Holy shit, hilarious!

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClayton

denny -- you know that McConaughey has turned a corner in his career when people are wistfully wishing he'd gotten a DiCaprio parrt :)

January 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'd have to go with Waltz, because I find him to be the most seasoned and skilled of the actors. Leo and Samuel were both great, but bordered on cartoony, especially Leo. I still don't know how people find Dr. Schultz to be a "rehash" of Col. Landa. Schultz had a completely different affect and a far different character arc-you're watching this slick and confident bounty hunter slowly crumble into a morally and emotionally conflicted man over the course of the story. He's nothing like Landa. Just because he maintains his Teutonic lilt and intellectual delivery doesn't mean the characters are alike.

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

This just in. The Chicago Reader gives Django Unchained 1 star. Yikes!

January 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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