Django is a slave freed by Dr. Schultz,
a German bounty hunter/ ex-dentist, to track down three wanted men that Django knows what they look like. They form a partnership beyond that and Schultz promises to help Django get his wife Hildie (short
for Broomhilde) back from brutal slave owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
DJANGO UNCHAINED isn’t a masterpiece
by any means. It is an overlong and over indulgent homage to Spaghetti
Westerns directed by Quentin Tarantino. The movie is inspired by the Django films
and Tarantino has re-imagined the character as a black bounty hunter played by Jamie Fox.
Fox isn’t a bad actor, but he is overshadowed by better actors in this film like Samuel L. Jackson (as an evil
black house slave) and Christoph Waltz (Dr. Schultz) who is easily the best character of the whole movie (and in THE INGLOURIOUS
BASTERDS). I liked the way the movie comes alive when Django and Schultz interact. DJANGO UNCHAINED does have one of the bloodiest shoot outs since THE WILD BUNCH.
However, Tarantino thinks the movie
is perfect at this length and he is even considering putting together a longer cut (and the Weinstein Company wanted him to
release DJANGO UNCHAINED as two movies). I do think there is a better movie
hidden in this overlong mess if Tarantino took the time to edit the film down by thirty minutes. Since he didn’t trim the movie down, we get a movie that has a personality crisis. It is trying to be a Spaghetti Western at times, and then it either tries to be a Spaghetti western
music montage or seems to come off as a docudrama of plantation life and the life of black slaves. Due to Tarantino deciding not wanting to trim the fat, the movie starts to drag after an hour of
setting up the partnership between Shultz and Django before digging down into the overlong quest to rescue Django’s
wife from Candieland.
The two Tarantino films I consider to be
his best work are RESEVOIR DOGS and THE INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. DJANGO UNCHAINED
is an OK film, but it isn’t one of Tarantino’s best films due to it being overlong and QT not giving the film
more of a clear identity instead of trying so hard to have it come off as a homage.
The last thirty minutes do run a little smoother even I still see some padding that Tarantino could remove from the
REMEMBERING J. MICHAEL RIVA: THE PRODUCTION
DESIGN OF DJANGO UNCHAINED- a look at the production design of Michael Riva while also acting as tribute to him (because he
passed away during the filming of the movie)
REIMAGINING THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN: THE
HORSES AND STUNTS OF DJANGO UNCHAINED- the stunt team, the cast, and the director talk about the stunts and horse riding in
DJANGO UNCHAINED with some behind-the-scenes footage. Learn some facts like multiple
family members worked on the horse team and Jamie Foxx even used his horse during some scenes in the movie.
THE COSTUME DESIGNS OF SHAREN DAVIS- Cast
and the costume designer talk about the costumes of the film as the cast give high praise for the costumes
20 YEARS IN THE MAKING: THE TARANTINO XX
Blu-ray Collection promo
DJANGO UNCHAINED Soundtrack spot
Also included in the combo set is the movie
on DVD and a code for a digital Ultraviolet copy of the movie.
The Target release comes in a Steelbook
case that includes a bonus disc that has a 53 minute San Diego Comic-Con 2012 panel of the stars and director talk about the
movie and take audience questions (in THE STARS OF DJANGO UNCHAINED UNLEASHED AT COMIC-CON 2012).
FINAL ANALYSIS: DJANGO UNCHAINED is a flawed and yet enjoyable homage to the Spaghetti Western which is a little long. The featurettes give a good behind-the-scenes look and the Comic-Con panel gives additional
insights into the making of the film.
This review is (c)4-22-2012 David
Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to email@example.com