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Django Unchained Blu-ray Review

Django Unchained Blu-ray

“Django Unchained” is almost great.

The logline: Bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz befriends and trains a former slave (Django) in the ways of being a bounty hunter in order to track down wanted men and to try and rescue Django’s wife Broomhilda from an evil plantation owner named Calvin Candie.

After hitting it big with the alternate history film “Inglourious Basterds,” director Quentin Tarantino goes to that well again with “Django Unchained.” In this outing, Tarantino has created a violent pre-Civil War western story about slavery, revenge, love, friendship, bounty hunters, and humanity. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart (as with any Tarantino film), but the film isn’t all doom and gloom (as with any Tarantino film). Despite the subject matter, Tarantino carefully balances the disturbing and tragic scenes with doses of trademark quirky and witty humor (mostly by Schultz). For the most part, Tarantino succeeds in his storytelling ability, but without getting into heavy duter spoiler territory, the last half hour is a bit of a mess. Essentially, the viewer thinks the film is about to wrap up, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t and the film needlessly drags on for nearly another half hour. As talented of a writer and director as Tarantino is, he does have a tendency to be overindulgent and that’s certainly the case with the final act of this film.

While the award winning script may be a bit frustrating at points, the acting here is the true highlight. Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington give some of the best performances of their careers, but it’s Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio that really impress here. After giving an Oscar winning performance in ‘Basterds,’ Waltz gives yet another Oscar winning performance in ‘Django.’ From the lengthy opening sequence where Dr. Schultz first meets Django to his witty tirades that get him out of troubled situations, he simply steals the show here. Waltz is clearly becoming one of the best working actors in the biz today and I hope to see him in more films soon. DiCaprio meanwhile is given the most difficult role of his career, but he pulls it off with flying colors. He plays the villainous, disturbing plantation owner Calvin Candie. It seems weird to imagine DiCaprio as a villain, but he goes all out here. It’s a shame the Academy overlooked him.

Video/Audio:

‘Django,’ which is presented in glorious 2.40:1 1080p, is arguably Tarantino’s best looking film to date thanks to Robert Richardson’s cinematography.

From the shootouts to the bendy tooth atop Schultz’s cart, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is crisp and clear from start to finish.

Extras:
* DVD copy, digital copy, and Ultraviolet copy.
* “Django Unchained” soundtrack and Tarantino XX Blu-ray collection promos.
* “Remembering J. Michael Riva: The Production Design of Django Unchained”- A tribute to the late, great production designer and his work on “Django Unchained.”
* “The Costume Designs Of Sharen Davis”- The title says it all.
* “Reimagining The Spaghetti Western: The Horses and Stunts of Django Unchained”- Another featurette.

Summary: Despite a few flaws, “Django Unchained” works on a variety of levels (especially on the acting front). As with any Tarantino film, it is well worth seeing. Recommended.

April 30, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I thought ‘Django’ was terrific, and I agree that DiCaprio was robbed by not getting at least a nomination.

    Comment by dmanderson | May 11, 2013 | Reply


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