Release of the Week
Django Unchained - Blu-ray and DVD
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz,Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins. Full cast + crew
Watching Django Unchained is like watching Quentin Tarantino play Five Finger Fillet (aka the knife game Bishop plays in Aliens) for 165 minutes; it feels like dangerous, on-the-edge filmmaking, but he never misses. Those who dismissed the film based on on the number of times it used certain words or the amount of blood in it are missing out on one of the most daring films in years. One that pushes extremes to make us feel uncomfortable and equally on edge about a truly horrific piece of human history.
It's a brilliant film, one that uses fantasy/damsel-in-distress conventions in stark contrast to an ugly, ugly world. It's not a historically accurate film and it's clearly not trying to be. It is, however, a film that's emotionally accurate; it's angry about the way slavery and institutionalized horrors are handled in other films, and yet, it's immensely entertaining. Striking that balance is just masterful filmmaking.
Special Features: "Remembering J. Michael Riva: The Production Design of Django Unchained" (13 minutes), a tribute to the film's late production designer; "Reimagining the Spaghetti Western: The Horses and Stunts of Django Unchained" (14 min), pretty much what it says in the title; "The Costume Designs of Sharen Davis" (12 minutes); ads for the Tarantino XX Blu-ray collection and the film's soundtrack
Check out our guide to the various exclusives different retailers are offering.
Other Notable Releases
Dragon (aka Wu Xia) is one of Donnie Yen's finest martial arts movies in years-- and if you've seen Ip Man or Legend of the First: The Return of Chen Zhen, you know that's saying something. It's got great character work, kick-ass fight scenes, and some really fantastic cinematography. If you like action movies about a retired badass who can't escape his old life, you'll love this. And if martial arts isn't quite your thing but you're looking for some Asian flavor this week, check out At The Gate of the Ghost, a unique Thai remake of Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon. And sticking with the Asian theme, there's also the super adorable Japanese anime Summer Wars.
Also on the animated front is Marvel's latest straight-to-video film Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore. For more info on that film, check out our resident Marvel expert's John Gholson's write-up. And finally there's the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of Alex Cox' cult sci-fi film Repo Man.