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Review Roundup: Quentin Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED
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Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Quenin Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED stars Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz). The film opens nationwide on Christmas Day.
In the film, Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles - dead or alive. Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South's most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.
Django and Schultz's search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of "Candyland," an infamous plantation where slaves are groomed by trainer Ace Woody to battle each other for sport. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award-nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candie's trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival.
Let's see what the critics have to say:
Scott Mendelson, Huffington Post: Quentin Tarantino arguably made Django Unchained (teaser/trailer) because he wanted to try his hand at a Spaghetti Western, and that's basically what he has done. Alas, the film is little more than a genre exercise, with little more than the obvious role reversals to justify its artistic existence. That is is mostly entertaining and well-acted across the board goes without saying, but after the slyly subversive Inglorious Basterds, I frankly expect more from the filmmaker.
Betsy Sharkey, LA Times: In "Django," Tarantino is a man unchained, creating his most articulate, intriguing, provoking, appalling, hilarious, exhilarating, scathing and downright entertaining film yet. Even given the grand tradition of artists using their work for sharp social rebukes - Mel Brooks' genius swipe at Nazism in "The Producers," for one -Tarantino's mash-ups between the unconscionable inhumanity of others and his outrageous riffs on the matter defy comparison.