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4.5 out of 5 stars
Django Unchained (Blu-ray) [2013]
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on 20 July 2014
Classic tarantino
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2013
I wasn't expecting to like this and I did have to watch certain scenes from behind the sofa because like most of Tarrantino's work, it does contain a lot of violence. However ... brilliant story, fabulous performances from Jamie Fffffox et al (weakest performance was Tarrantino's cameo toward the end). Really gripping stuff with amazing production values. Every scene was like a painting and we watched in HD which made it even more compelling. Highly recommended but not for the faint hearted.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2013
It's common knowledge on Amazon reviews if you give something five stars and just wrote two words people will say you gave a helpful review, if you give something just one star but wrote degree level essay of critical detail and analysis of 5k words, you still gave an unhelpful review. Which is a good analogy for this movie - Django, Unchained itself.

Michael Mann's Heat is 170 minutes long, and doesn't come across as self-indulgent at all, yet this at the same running time was so much more diffuse, so little actually being said and meant, but massive running time. Why? You could have cut 30-40 mins off the running time, and still got the message of the movie. And this is where the film fails. Self-indulgence doesn't work, the scenes are over-long, over-wrought, and left me bored at times. The worst example of this was the table scene, what they're actually figuring out, takes ages of anti-climax, 'is that it' is always the feeling. Is that all he wanted to know and it took him that long to find out?

This film is intended to be about racism and slavery. But there's nothing about religion. Which is strange because the deep south is very religious, the bible belt is in that part of america, yet there's nothing religious in it at all not one single reference. Was that a deliberate ploy?

Tarantino's use of the 'n' word is not over done as some suggested, it's there to reflect how black people are seen, and how far down and utterly 'beneath' white people they are, you call them it, 'n' instead of their names, he's not Bob or Jake or Vernon, he's 'n'. He is an 'n' skin colour is the only identifier. The slavery aspect wasn't discussed that much, but was shown in the mentality of the movie - in nearly every scene you get the impression, blacks are primitive and inferior in every way. This isn't Ben Hur. This isn't a war epic. This is Django, and he is special though, he is "one in ten thousand." But I never get the feeling he actually is special. The movie just tells us he is. You can't tell people anything - you have to show them. Meaning, by the end of the movie, the racism and slavery aspect are taken over by Tarantion's style of making movies and his other favourite message.... we know, from previous Tarantino movies, his number one trait and his number one subject matter is always revenge.

But is this over done? The blood and the gore are too much. You sometimes wonder if he's just taking the mickey out of spaghetti westerns (he is) and everything else screwed up about America (and the movie making industry) for the fun of it. Also, annoyingly, he always has to have a part in his own movies and it was no surprise to see him again. He's was born in Tennessee. He should have known better. And that's the point - this aspect of what we are witnessing takes over from the main theme of the movie - and that's its failing. Tarantino has truly over cooked the goose this time.

This is a good cast, Waltz, DiCaprio and Jackson are first rate, but am not convinced by Foxx at all. He's just not cool enough, he's not 'in the film enough', Waltz takes over too often. He's not the main man, only right at the end, which is too far away. He gets his girl back, blows everyone up, and rides off.... we knew that was going to happen. The problem is 'how' did it happen was nothing new. The plot is too simple. The 'how' of the plot is missing, the scenes over-long and the dialogue, just like Avatar is not right. We're used to non-linear as well, the fact this is linear story telling, takes something away, from the plot and just adds to the running time.

I could say after 20 years or more I am bored of Tarantino now. Revenge films over and over and over, knowing what's coming all the time, gets tedious. Reservoir Dogs is still good to watch, and better than this.

Where he's supposed to win is how he shows it, for revenge has many forms - but he seems to have forgotten that. I was left feeling confused and empty after watching this. That 'big deal' feeling, you get. It's too long, too diffuse, and the mickey taking over does any real message or conveyance of what the deep south is really like. Tarantino can do way better. This was critically acclaimed and did massive box office, let's hope he gets it right next time. He's got plenty of years left, but the revenge thing has to change.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Director Quentin Tarantino's last film Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009) was very loosely based on a much older movie, and had it's own take on history.

He does the same again here, moving from war movie to Western. And drawing on Django [1966] [DVD]. A fact that it will slightly help you to know. British viewers who may not know anything about the American civil war might want to research that as well. But you won't need to in order to watch the film.

Drawing on probably every other spaghetti western ever made as well, Django Unchained is the story of Django Freeman [Jamie Foxx]. He is not free at the start of the film, but is rescued from slavery by Dr. King Schultz [Christoph Waltz] German Dentist turned bounty hunter. Because he needs Django's help with something.

That's only the start of a relationship that both finds goes in ways that they didn't expect. As they pursue Django's ultimate goal. To find and rescue the wife he was separated from long ago. A quest that gets tricky when it brings them up against ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie [Leonardo Di Caprio]. Will Django get to live up to his new surname?

This is a long film, but the first half fairly flies by. There's so many delights to take in. Beatiful locations and production design. So many homages to other movies. And the commanding performance of Christoph Waltz, who makes the Doctor a silver tongued charmer who can talk his way out of almost any situation and who is also very good with the gun when required.

There's lots of strong language and violence and usage of a certain racist term. But back then, it was par for the course. Many of the people of the kind depicted here did regard themselves as the right overlords of what they saw to be an inferior race.

The point of the film is to make you think what it's like to be on the receiving end of that.

Come the second half of the movie we do get more amazing acting with Leonardo Di Caprio as the absolutely monstrous Calvin. But as with all good villains, he's not just bad for the sake of it. He really believes in what he's doing. The pace of the movie does slow down at this point since, as usual with the director, we start to get long scenes of conversation. But as with his previous film [and not with the one before that] these always do feel as if they are going somewhere. And the end result is vicariously satisfying when it does come along. Mind you there are two unforgettably good scenes in the first half that do show how to write great film dialogue.

The movie gives Samuel L. Jackson a chance to do more acting than playing tough Samuel L. Jackson style role like he often does. Surrounded by all this great acting Jamie Foxx as Django doesn't come off as strong a character or performance initially. But then he's a character who has the most growing and changing and developing to do across the course of the film. All of which is pretty satisfying by the end.

It is perhaps too long in the second half, but the end results are well worth it.

A long and satisfying piece of movie making, drawing on so much but with so much of it's own as well, it's a very satisfying experience and deserved all the accolades and awards.

Do keep watching to almost the very end of the closing credits.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English, Catalan, Spanish.

Subtitles: English, Hindi, Spanish.

The disc begins with a very short anti piracy ad, but that can be skipped via the next button on the dvd remote.

The only extras are:

A short trailer for a box set of Tarantino movies on dvd.

A short trailer for the soundtrack of Django Unchained on CD.

A twelve minute long look at the production design of the film, which is also a tribute to one of the designers who passed away during production. A fascinating look at the work that went into this, and a very good tribute also, it's well worth a watch.

And in addition to direct scene access, the scene selection menu also lets you go directly to points in the film where certain bits of music are played. Be aware though that it will take you right back to the menu once the music is done.

Plus there's a flyer with a website address and a code to put in on that which will let you download a copy of the movie to a digital device.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2013
I really enjoyed Django at the cinema and was looking forward to re-watching on DVD. I was disappointed that this DVD version seems to have been cut differently to the UK cinema release as a number of scenes have been shortened or cut (it's been a while since I saw it at the cinema so can't be exact). Dialogue between Schultz and Big Daddy is shortened, the exchange between Django and Schultz outside the bar is shorter and the death of the female with the red bandana and axe has gone.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This was a film that I was very nervous about viewing. My fears were completely wrongfounded. Quentin Tarantino and company have created a motion picture masterpiece. The setting is very emotional but so is the story! This film summarises all that is good and important in film. It is funny, scary, witty, cinematic, exhilirating. The cast and crew work cohesively to delivery in an unusually entertaining and satisfying way. Excellent purchase and no regrets in this film at all!
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on 4 March 2015
first rate movie
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on 28 July 2014
Loved this film.
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on 27 July 2014
Dead or alive...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2015
This is a brilliant film. I'm not normally a fan of Tarantino films so started to watch it expecting to be disappointed. But from the opening credits and the old spaghetti western style music I was hooked. Yes there's a lot of violence some of it graphic but there's some comedy too. The Ku Klux Klan falling out about the quality of their hoods was funny! There are twists and turns a plenty and the hero gets his girl, eventually! Let's have a sequel!!
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