With "Inglourious Basterds," Quentin Tarantino revised history. With "Django Unchained," he re-wires it beyond all comprehension; he throws a bomb into the history books and detonates it. His "Django" is influenced by spaghetti westerns, screwball comedies, and slave narratives; not by history. It's daringly political; presenting a world where a black man walks free as the most powerful force in the world, yet is still regarded as a 2nd class citizen - or worse yet, as subhuman - by a portion of America's population (sound familiar?) And finally, it features the finest acting to grace cinema screens last year, with pleasurably outlandish turns by Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio offset by a profoundly introspective performance by Jamie Foxx. "Django Unchained" is a great movie.
If you have the full selection of QT movies on your bookshelf, then you already know that he's hardly the biggest proponent of special features. And indeed, the precious few extras that accompany "Django" are more like promotional material than necessary viewing: one on the late J. Michael Riva's production design, another on the costumes, and one final entry on the film's stunts. But make no mistake; this Blu-ray is still a stunning purchase. Robert Richardson's golden-hued cinematography is transferred to disc with impeccable faithfulness. I saw this film way too many times in theaters, so I can say for sure: this disc recreates the intended look of the film with stunning clarity.
But still, even I - a special features agnostic, if you will - wish Tarantino would pony up and include deleted scenes on the discs. Rumor has it he had enough footage from the "Unchained" shoot to create two movies - and that Harvey Weinstein begged him to release the film, "Kill Bill" style, in two volumes. Not a solitary second of that cut footage is included here. I can only hope that Tarantino's saving it for a second cut of the film later on - or else he's gone ahead and shot the world's most expensive home movies. Come on, Quentin - bring us "Django Unchained Redux."
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack