I like Tarantino movies and Westerns, so I expected to love Django Unchained. I only liked it. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t live up to my expectations.
The Spaghetti Western is a subset of the Western genre, typified by antiheroes, revenge themes, extreme violence, slow scenes, scant dialogue, extreme close-ups, long running times, and heavy scores punctuated by stretches of silence. (My favorite is Once Upon a Time in the West.) The Spaghetti Western is a different breed from the traditional Western because all of these characteristics are done to excess.
I knew something was amiss with Django Unchained about two hours in when I wondered how long it would be before the film ended. Not a good sign, even when three hours is typical for Spaghetti Westerns.
Tarantino loves bad genre movies. He sees art where others see trash. His best works, like Kill Bill for example, blend clichés and corniness from multiple genres into a cornucopia of unexpected delights. Django Unchained seemed too predictable. Perhaps Tarantino’s shtick has run its course. I hope not.