Django Unchained [Blu-ray]
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Set in the South two years before the Civil War, DJANGO UNCHAINED stars Academy Award ®-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with a German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award®-winner Christolph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive.
Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.
Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award®-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz rouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award®-nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival…
• Remembering J. Michael Riva: The Production Design of Django Unchained
• The Costume Designs of Sharen Davis
• 20 Years In The Making: The Tarantino XX Blu-ray™ Collection
• Django Unchained Soundtrack Spot
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Top customer reviews
Christoph Waltz shines again. Back to back in Tarantino films. But this time you get to loved his character. Truly a great actor. You should enjoy him in Damage.
Jamie Foxx, DiCaprio, Sam Jackson all give stellar perfomances as well. Love that Tarantino has done a western movie.
I wonder if his appearance in Sukiyaki Western Django turned him to do a sphagetti western. By the way a great movie that you should at least look up.
A new classic all the way. No doubt recommend.
In brief and without giving up too much plot information, this movie is about a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who was separated from his wife by his master as a form of punishment common in the Antebellum South. As we meet our soon to be hero, he is without hope and has all but given up on everything. Everything begins to change when a former dentist-turned-bounty-hunter named Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) finds him and through a witty and hilarious scene frees him, formatively then, eventually, in the literal and legal way. The two quickly become friends and partners as Django learns to be a bounty hunter. Eventually, the two hatch a plan to find and free Django's wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). To do so, they have to find a way to trick the maliciously evil slave owner and slave fighter Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Worse yet, among the various miscreants and thieves in Candie's employ is his seeming butler and slave boss Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), who is his equal in cruelty and even sneakier and more suspicious of everyone than he is. The acting is, in all cases, superb and powerful. How these men and women brought this story to life is a true marvel and truly makes you feel like you are yourself transported back in time.
The thing that I value the highest about this movie, above even the masterful performances and stunning scenery, is that it is both entertaining as an action-western but also educational. Much like the hardships of the Great Depression, World War II and the price paid by the Greatest Generation to ensure everything that Americans have today, the more years that pass under the bridge the more distant the days of slavery become. The more removed we become from the evil of those times, the more easily we as a society forget what slavery meant and what it was. While Django Unchained is not completely historically accurate, the portrayal of the way blacks were treated in those days is absolutely true to the nature of the beast. The slave owners convey a dedication to being vicious, heartless and cruel. They treat their slaves as less than property, less than people, less even than valuable livestock. The slaves live and die at the whim of these masters, whose only distinguishing skills are their talents at inflicting suffering and their deference to their own shortcomings. For instance, DiCaprio's character, Candie, is French but doesn't speak his own tongue and even gets offended when that language is brought up. While perhaps not suitable for small children, this movie definitely entertains while also educating a post-Roots generation. It reminds us to value the freedoms that we have today.
Obviously, being a Tarantino movie, this isn't just a satire, comedy or revenge tale. It's definitely an action flick and, loyal to his fans, Tarantino delivers many fast-paced fight scenes, many with hysterical twists to them. For instance, I love the scene where Tarantino is abruptly blown up by dynamite. The way Tarantino always appears in his own films is reminiscent of the Great Masters, the great artists of yesteryear who had a tendency to always paint themselves into their masterpieces. To find the scene that I am talking about you just need to watch the movie - it is well worth the effort. The film is well paced, not spending too much time on Act I where Django is introduced nor on Act II where he transitions into a hero-in-training. It builds up to a climactic Act III, which is an all-out gun battle (several actually) where Django finally gets revenge on the people who hurt him, tortured his one true love and at last killed his one and only friend. Whatever else it does, this movie will please fans of both the Kill Bill films, classic westerns and also the old spaghetti westerns, which it almost seems to pay tribute to in simple terms of the number of fight scenes.
As to picture and sound quality, these are near perfect like most new releases. The video was encoded perfectly in 1080p and I do not recall any pixel problems at any point. This was a great thing given the dramatic cinematography which included old west town sets, deep forests, mountains covered in snow, rolling plains, desert mountains and southern plantation houses. An epic film deserves epic b-roll and Django delivers. The extras that come with the Blu-ray release are tasteful and appropriate, adding some depth and background to the film. These include such discussions as the reimagining of spaghetti westerns and such. All around, these aspects of the release are very good.
In summary, I highly recommend this movie. It educates and entertains which makes it a value to all generations and also marks a pinnacle of achievement for both its director and the actors who made it come to life. I cannot speak highly enough of the work they put into this. The best thing you can do is give it a try if you haven't already. It will make you laugh, and you may cry, but you will certainly raise your hands and cheer for the hero before it is over.
Like movies it is playing homage to, "Django Unchained" features Ennio Morricone music, along with a subversive plot line, a necessity for films of this genre. "Django" tells the story of a slave (Jamie Foxx, who joins the ranks of such masters of this forum as Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, and Steve McQueen. Stars in these films are strong and silent, with little dialogue to work with. Foxx, with one look of his eyes, can speak volumes, and he shoulders the responsibility of carrying this epic with a lightness that suggests he was born for this kind of role) who is purchased by a 21st century liberal's idea of a 19th century bounty hunter, Dr. Schultz( Christoph Waltz, delivering a master class in character acting). After Django aids the bounty hunter in tracing down several brutal workers from a plantation Django once tried to escape from, Dr. Schultz grants Django his freedom and agrees to join Django in rescuing his wife, still in bondage at a large plantation deep in the dark pre-Civil War heart of Mississippi (the plantation owner is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who becomes white supremacy incarnate, the other villain is a "House Negro" played by Samuel L. Jackson; neither DiCaprio or Jackson compromise an inch in their performances. They are totally dedicated to the evil their characters represent. DiCaprio is a Devil, and Jackson a man who did not sell his soul to the Devil, and still knows where it is, but loaned it out, and long ago forgot where he put it. (In interviews Jackson stated he based his performance on Clarence Thomas.)
Of course, the true star of any Tarantino movie is Quentin Tarantino, and in many ways "Django Unchained" is his most accomplished film yet. While some characteristic Tarantino hallmarks are present -- the use of pop songs on the soundtrack, populating the supporting cast with action movie heroes and TV stars -- others, such as titled chapters or a jumbled narrative structure, are not. Unlike a typical Tarantino film, the narrative structure in "Django Unchained" is pretty straightforward, with the exception of a few very quick flashbacks. Apparently Tarantino believed the basic story was strong enough to carry the film, and was a story best told in as simple a cinematic manner as possible. Like many Tarantino films, "Django Unchained" is the story of a character on a quest, a journey, one driven by revenge (and, in this case, by love as well). Tarantino draws on a number of sources, from German myth to classic American Westerns, to deliver a story with resonance and one that is uniquely his own. In typical Tarantino style, "Django Unchained" features several set pieces of action, very well done, but none quite on the scale of the "House of Blue Leaves" battle in "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" or the burning down of the movie house packed with the Nazi high command at the end of "Inglorious Basterds," which is why I'm giving it four stars instead of 5.
Like many Tarantino films, "Django Unchained" does have a long running time (166 minutes), but it does move quickly overall. Tarantino does have his own, deliberate pace when it comes to movies, like the Spaghetti Western directors he so admires, such as Sergio Leone, he seems as interested in the moments leading up to an outbreak of violence as in the actual violence itself. It's one of the artistic traits that separate the truly great directors from the journeymen and the hacks.
And to his credit, while he does not shy away from depicting a number of all-too-common horrors inflicted on the slave population, Tarantino does not treat those scenes as "entertainment." The fun comes when Django becomes an agent of vengeance and justice, unholstering his six-shooters ands blasting the slaveowners and their private armies to the hell they so richly deserve.
Most recent customer reviews
Filled with violence though, which isn't unusual.
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