Trailer Trashin’: Bullets are Flying in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained
Premise: Django (Jamie Foxx) is a slave living in the Deep South after having been separated from his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). When Django is held for a slave auction, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a German bounty hunter who uses his former profession as a dentist as a cover, frees Django from his vicious masters, the Speck brothers (James Remar and James Russo), and gives him the option of hunting down and killing the Brittle Brothers, a ruthless gang of killers whom only Django has seen. In return, Schultz will free Django from slavery completely and help rescue Broomhilda from the plantation of the charming but brutal Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
My take: Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Quentin Tarantino has made a big impact in Hollywood. With Pulp Fiction (1994), he essentially redefined what independent cinema could be, and in the almost twenty years since, his name has rarely been out of the conversation for long. Tarantino, along with his friend and frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez, has also done everything in his power to keep the spirit of old-school B-movies and grindhouse cinema alive and well. His latest creation is Django Unchained, a revenge western inspired by Italian director Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti western Django (1966) starring Franco Nero. This is the third trailer we’ve seen for Django Unchained, and I still think it looks awesome.
All of Tarantino’s films have had eclectic and interesting casts, and Django Unchained is no exception. I wasn’t sure about Jamie Foxx as Django at first, because Foxx is such an affable, upbeat guy, but he’s won me over with how totally badass he looks in the role. Christoph Waltz was amazing as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009), and I can’t wait to see what he does with the good guy role of Dr. King Schultz. Leonardo DiCaprio looks like he’s enjoying himself immensely as the evil Calvin Candie, and it’s great to see him as a villain again, which he hasn’t done since The Man in the Iron Mask (1998). I’m still surprised by how little we’ve seen of Kerry Washington as Django’s wife Broomhilda in these trailers, and I’m wondering how much screen time she’s going to get. Samuel L. Jackson plays Stephen, Candie’s house slave and one of the secondary villains, and the character’s perspective on his own enslavement is supposedly one of the darker elements of the film, from what I’ve heard. We haven’t seen hide nor hair of Walton Goggins, Don Johnson, M.C. Gainey, Tom Savini, James Remar, Tom Wopat, RZA, or Michael Parks, but they have to save something for the actual movie.
All the usual Tarantino elements are in full effect here. We’ve got the large ensemble of quirky, twisted characters, many of them with awesomely improbable names. We’ve got the stark scenes of violence – I still love that moment of the guy of horseback being shot and his blood splattering the cotton plants. We’ve got the sharp dialogue and smattering of humor to contrast against the violence. And we’ve got the cast full of faces both new and familiar, which I’m sure will include plenty of moment that will make us go “Hey, it’s that guy!”
Honestly, my only complaint about this trailer is the music. I have no problem with rap, and I often enjoy the juxtaposition of modern music with a period setting. But I have to agree with all the people who have said that the Rick Ross song used here just didn’t feel quite right. I’m sure the makers of the trailer could have found a song that fits better.
But that one quibble aside, this is a good trailer for what looks like it could be a great movie. Tarantino hasn’t let me down yet, and I think he’s going to serve up another slice of cinematic awesomeness. There’s a crop of great-looking films coming our way in the next few weeks that I’m chomping at the bit to see, and Django Unchained is definitely one of them.
ANTICIPATION: It’s Tarantino – enough said. Gotta go see it.
Release Date: December 25th, 2012
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Walton Goggins, Don Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Laura Cayouette, Dennis Christopher, Cooper Huckabee, Doc Duhame, M.C. Gainey, Tom Savini, Anthony LaPaglia, Bruce Dern, James Russo, James Remar, Tom Wopat, Misty Upham, RZA, Michael Bacall, Robert Carradine, Rex Linn, Ned Bellamy, Franco Nero, Sharon Pierre-Louis, Michael Parks, and Jonah Hill
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino