DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Django Unchained, Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy+Ultraviolet (2012)

An amazing film that will leave some thrilled and others repelled.

Published on April 25, 2013

Django Unchained, Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy+Ultraviolet (2012)

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Christopher Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio
Studio: Anchor Bay [2-disc Combo Pack] (4/16/13)
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p HD for 16:9
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; 2.0 French, Spanish
Extras: “Reimagining the Spaghetti Western: The Horses and Stunts of Django Unchained” featurette [BD]; “Remembering J. Michael Riva: The Production Design of Django Unchained” featurette; “The Costume Designs of Sharen Davis” [BD]; Tarantino XX Blu-ray Collection Promo; Django Unchained soundtrack promo
Length: 166 minutes
Movie: ****        Video: *****       Audio ****

There’s no missing that this is a Quentin Tarantino film. The whimsy, the sharp and intelligent script, the quirky photography and music are all there.  After wowing audiences with his take on a war film in Inglorious Basterds, Tarantino is back with Django Unchained, a tribute to the style of the Italian Spaghetti westerns that were so popular in the late 60s and early 70s.

The movie concerns a bounty hunter (Christopher Waltz) and a slave (Jamie Foxx) as they search for Foxx’s wife who was taken to the South and being held by a plantation owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio just two years before the Civil War.

The film is all style and slick acting, with Waltz as a standout with an Oscar-winning performance, and DiCaprio playing just about the meanest racist ever put on screen. Like other Tarantino films, Django Unchained is a revenge fantasy, with exploding heads and bodies throughout the film.

Django Unchained is a long film, almost three hours, but it moves quickly due to the tight script and impressive visuals. The Blu-ray transfer is flawless, and while the photographic style changes from time to time, as does the color palette, the disc is a perfect transfer of what Tarantino wanted. The DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is very involving, yet surrounds are used sparingly and only when required by the action on the screen.

Many will be thrilled by the movie. Others will be put off by the excessive violence and language. Still, any film by Tarantino is worth a close look at Django Unchained is one of the most memorable films of the year. There’s no modern director like Quentin Tarantino, and his films are worthy of your time. There are plenty of extras, but no commentary from Tarantino, which would have been the best extra of all. [Oh, there’ll be another more expensive reissue later with stuff like that...Ed.]

—Mel Martin




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