Quentin Tarantino has done it again with this spaghetti style western. 'Django Unchained' is set in the South, two years before the Civil War.
Not only has Tarantino created an over the top funny, graphic, violent film, but he also manages to show the horror of slavery in a way, I can't ever remember seeing in a Hollywood film. Then again, Mr. T. doesn't do Hollywood films. He does Quentin Tarantino films and this one, in my humble opinion is...a masterpiece.
Jamie Fox is 'Django' (the D is silent), a slave who's been brutalized by his former owner (Bruce Dern). One day, German born, retired dentist/bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (the outstanding Christopher Walz) comes across Django chained to other slaves. Schultz buys him and agrees to give Django his freedom if Django agrees to help him find the murderous Brittle Brothers.
Only Django knows what they look like and he agrees to help. In exchange, Schultz teaches him everything he knows about tracking, hunting and shooting.
It doesn't take long for Django to become Schultz's star pupil. To say the former slave is extremely motivated would be an understatement. Django is determined to find and rescue his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) whom he lost to a slave trader years ago.
Through a series of flashbacks, we see the sick, cruel, inhumane treatment that Django, his wife, and the other slaves endured.
Django and Schultz's search ultimately leads them to a plantation called 'Candy-land' owned by the monstrous Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio, in a tour de force performance)
They get into Calvin's plantation under false pretenses, pretending they are interested in buying a slave for fighting. (think 'Mandingo')
It's here they meet Calvin's trusted house slave, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson). Mr. Jackson has never been better as the manipulative, self hating, Uncle Tom. He's so good in the part, he made my skin crawl. This is a man that would sell out his own mother just to stay in favor with his master.
Too say anymore, would spoil this brilliant, must see film.
The supporting cast including, Don Johnson, James Remar, James Russo, Dennis Christopher, Franco Nero, Robert Carradine, Tom Wopat and Tarantino are all excellent.
I gave 'Django Unchained' which opens in theaters, Tuesday, December 25, 2012...5 bagels out of 5. Check out our video to find out John's score and for more of our silly banter.
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