DJANGO UNCHAINED (eOne, 2012) D: Quentin Tarantino, w/ Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz. Rating: NNNN; Blu-ray package: NNN Rating: NNNN
The spaghetti western meets the blaxploitation flick, and they get along so well that you barely notice the nearly three-hour running time.
In the pre-Civil War American South, Django, a slave (Jamie Foxx) and Dr. Schultz, a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), work together for a winter, then set out to find and rescue Django's wife.
The first half plays as comedy, lifted on Waltz's airy charm, with the duo easily getting the better of everybody. Things turn dark when they find Django's wife on Calvin Candie's (Leonardo DiCaprio) plantation and Foxx morphs into the classic stone-cold badass.
His studied cruelty and brittle pretense of sophistication make DiCaprio's Candie a strong villain, but it's Samuel L. Jackson who gives the movie its only deep and lasting shock. He plays Stephen, Candie's top slave, in a way that turns the Uncle Tom stereotype on its head.
The extras take a decent look at production design, stunts and costumes, but given Quentin Tarantino's motormouth tendencies, I'm surprised there's no director commentary.
EXTRAS Production design doc, stunts doc, costumes doc, more. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.