Trailer Reaction: “Django Unchained”

The awards season is always a tricky time; just when I felt extremely confident enough to call Moonrise Kingdom and The Master the top two films of the year, the latest trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is released and I realize that nothing can ever be set in stone when it comes to the movies. The seventh film from the pulp movie master, Django Unchained looks to be a ferociously entertaining mash of violence, comedy, wit, and everything Tarantino, and if that doesn’t sound like one of the best films of the year than I’m not sure what does. Although we have to wait until Christmas for the film to come out, Columbia Pictures recently released a second trailer for Django, further wetting our appetites for what is poised to be one hell of a time at the movies; check out the new trailer below:

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Why I’m Sold

1) Leonardo DiCaprio: We’ve seen glimpses of DiCaprio’s Francophile slave owner Calvin Candie in previous clips, but this second trailer unleashes a bevy of new footage that has DiCaprio locked in for a Best Supporting Actor nomination come the winter (a win seems likely enough too). Tarantino has long specialized in creating some of the big screen’s most psychotically seductive villains, and Candie, played by DiCaprio with dementedly fiery eyes and a part-haughty/part-sinister/part-sarcastic vocal tone, looks to be another winner in the tradition of Christoph Waltz’s Col. Hans Landa and David Carradine’s Bill. Honestly, just the sight of DiCaprio slimily whispering into Foxx’s ear, “You got me curious”, is enough to make this movie a must-see. If there’s any performance that will challenge Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Lancaster Dodd (The Master) at the Oscars, it’ll damn sure be DiCaprio as Calvin Candie.

2) Fresh Faces: While the chemistry between stars Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz looks to be hysterically classic, the latest trailer finally gives some screen-time to a host of characters we haven’t seen much of in past clips. Not only do we see a white-haired Samuel L. Jackson as what looks to be a caretaker on Calvin’s plantation (we all know what wonders Jackson and Tarantino can produce together; i.e. Pulp Fiction), but we also get more glimpses of the beautiful Kerry Washington as Django’s wife, Broomhilda. I’ve long been a big fan of Washington, and the fact that Django reunites her with Ray co-star Jamie Foxx and has her go head-to-head with DiCaprio has me extra thrilled. Perhaps best of all, however, is our first quick peek of Jonah Hill as “The Regulator”, and the scene of him depicted in the trailer (“Does anyone have extra bags?” is sickly funny) looks to be a comic highlight of the film.

3) Typical Tarantino: If the second trailer proves anything, it’s that Django seems to follow the genre-bending narrative that has turned many Tarantino films into timeless masterpieces. I mean, seriously, can you possibly put a genre on Django at this point? The trailer suggests the film is an exhilarating Blaxploitation western wrapped in a revenge tale wrapped in a buddy cop comedy and if anyone can mix those up to perfection it’s Tarantino. Above all, Django seems to be chock-full of the same subtle comedy that made Kill Bill one of my favorite Tarantino pictures of all time; if the entire movie can use comedy the way we’ve come to expect from a Tarantino picture (to give scenes an added edge of deranged knowledge), than there’s no way this won’t be one of the most entertaining films of the year.

4) Is that a UFC/MMA Slave death fight?: Just before the one-minute mark, DiCaprio’s Calvin exclaims, “Come on over, we got us a fight going on that’s a good bit of fun,” and then we see two slaves fighting it out to the death; now, this could totally be a throwaway scene, but if I know Tarantino, this slave fight will be a bloody, sweaty, animalistic, and down right dirty brawl that could be one of the many highs of Django Unchained. Tarantino has always been a master at unleashing unexpected shocks of violence, and a slave death match just sounds like a Tarantino classic in the making. Throw in some rapid montages of ruthless shoot-outs and explosions to cap off the trailer, and Calvin’s line, “Adult supervision is required”, seems like a pretty valid statement.

Are you guys excited for Django Unchained? Does the latest trailer seem to confirm that Tarantino’s latest will be one of the year’s best films? How sensational does DiCaprio look?

Article by Zack Sharf

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