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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Django Unchained [Blu-ray]


(Quentin Tarantino, 2012)







Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: The Weinstein Company

Video: Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:45:22.913

Disc Size: 46,269,556,228 bytes

Feature Size: 39,820,032,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.68 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: April 16th, 2013



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2782 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2782 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)

Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), Spanish, none



Remembering J. Michael Riva: The Production Design of Django Unchained (12:50)
• 20 Years In The Making: The Tarantino XX Blu-ray™ Collection (1:25)
• Django Unchained Soundtrack Spot (:22)
• The Costume Designs of Sharen Davis [Bluray exclusive]
• Reimagining the Spaghetti Western: The Horses & Stunts of Django Unchained

DVD and Digital Copy





Description: A former slave and a German bounty hunter become unlikely allies in the battle against a tyrannical plantation owner in this western from visionary director Quentin Tarantino. Two years before the Civil War pits brother-against-brother, German-born fugitive hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz) arrives in America determined to capture the outlaw Brittle Brothers dead or alive. In the midst of his search, Dr. Schultz crosses paths with Django (Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx), a freed slave and skilled tracker who seeks to rescue his beloved wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie (Academy Award-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio). Once Django has aided Dr. Schultz in capturing the Brittle Brothers, the two team up to capture some of the most wanted men in the South. Meanwhile, Django never loses sight of his mission to free Broomhilda from the treacherous lave trade before it's too late. Upon arriving at Candie's nefarious plantation, dubbed Candyland, Django and Dr. Schultz discover that slaves are being groomed for gladiator-like competitions by Candie's malevolent right-hand man Ace Woody (Kurt Russell), and skillfully work their way onto the compound for a closer look. But just as Django and his partner locate Broomhilda and plot a daring escape, Candie's house slave Stephen (Academy Award-nominee Samuel L. Jackson) catches wind of their plan, and informs his master of the betrayal. Now, as a clandestine organization attempts to back them into a corner, Django and Dr. Schultz will have to come out pistols blazing if they ever hope to free Broomhilda from Candyland and the clutches of its vile proprietor.



The Film:

Not that you need, at this point, to choose. Among Mr. Tarantino’s achievements has been his successful argument that the maligned and neglected B movies of the past should be viewed with fresh eyes and unironic respect. His own tributes to the outlaw, outsider film tradition — flamboyant in their scholarly care and in their bold originality — have suggested new ways of taking movies seriously. “Django Unchained” is unabashedly and self-consciously pulpy, with camera moves and musical cues that evoke both the cornfed westerns of the 1950s and their pastafied progeny of the next decade. (The title comes from a series of Italian action movies whose first star, Franco Nero, shows up here in a cameo.) It is digressive, jokey, giddily brutal and ferociously profane. But it is also a troubling and important movie about slavery and racism.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

In the past decade there were those who – perfectly reasonably – assumed that Quentin Tarantino’s time had passed. Following the exhaustive movie-geek sprawl of the ‘Kill Bill’ movies, the crass indulgence of ‘Death Proof’ and the diverting but directionless ‘Inglourious Basterds’, it seemed like the ultimate fanboy had slipped into a terminal, self-congratulatory decline.

Well, somebody’s clearly rattled his cage, because ‘Django Unchained’, for all its digressive, episodic and frequently ludicrous nature, is a blazing return to form. This is a meaty spaghetti western, heavy on the spicy sauce and ketchup and peppered with the sort of unforgettable touches only Tarantino could get away with.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Django Unchained looks predictably strong on Blu-ray from Weinstein/Anchor Bay.  The image quality has no flaws and showcases some rich beauty of certain sequences. Colors are bright with a shade of teal-leaning and contrast is layered and supports some impressive detail.  This is dual-layered with a high bitrate for the 2 3/4 hour film. Director of Cinematography Robert Richardson creates some delightful and unique framing adding a special touch to the film's already encompassing visuals. It is one of those films I could have taken screen captures all day. This Blu-ray produces and extremely pleasing presentation of a typically Tarantino-esque, encompassing, film experience from the saturated flashbacks to the constant attention to background details. Marvelous.



















Audio :

Audio comes in the form of a more-than-capable DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2782 kbps. It supports the aggressive effects as well as the music including Luis Bacalov's "Django Theme Song" to "The Payback" as performed by James Brown. There is some healthy depth and some crisp separations that continue to add the Django Unchained's overall impactful viewing power. Really, the lossless audio is another intuitive supplements to the presentation. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked although it will sell globally.


Extras :

Remembering J. Michael Riva: The Production Design of Django Unchained is a 13-minute piece focusing on the brilliant work of the production designer who passed away June 7th of last year. His credits include The Amazing Spider-Man, Seven Pounds and The Pursuit of Happyness and many more. Reimagining the Spaghetti Western: The Horses & Stunts of Django Unchained spends 14-minutes examining some of the details behind the stunt work in the film. As a Blu-ray exclusive we get a dozen minutes on The Costume Designs of Sharen Davis and there is a short trailer for the 20 Years In The Making: The Tarantino XX Blu-ray™ Collection and another advert for the Django Unchained Soundtrack. The package has a DVD of the feature and a Digital Copy code.



I don't know why I was so sour on this before even seeing it. I can be a real grumpy Gus at times. I ended up loving Django Unchained. It's hard to deny Tarantino's storytelling ability and brilliant use of dialogue. Add to this his flair for the 'pulp and respectful homage-style recognition of, frequently, forgotten movies gone by. I wasn't offended by the gratuitous violence (really not as bad as some make out).  The Blu-ray provides a marvelous presentation that I will, both show friends and, revisit with my wife. This is great cinema - unique, refreshing and embracing. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 2nd, 2013






About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze





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