When Quentin Tarantino releases a movie it’s an unofficial holiday for film fans.
Even when Tarantino stumbles, as he did with the Grindhouse misfire “Death Proof,” the former video store clerk delivers more cinematic chills than anyone in his peer group. It’s that simple.
So here comes our first extended glimpse of “Django Unchained,” a Tarantino western with more than a splash of soul. Anyone not eager for its Christmas time release to hurry up already?
“Django Unchained” stars Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo Di Caprio in a slave saga where the main character is nobody’s fool. You can tell by the fire in Foxx’s eyes, an intensity the Oscar winner delivers without nibbling a single shrub or oat on set. Foxx plays Django, the “D” is silent, a slave fighting for both his freedom and a reunion with his bride.
The trailer efficiently lays out the plot, while the trailer’s soundtrack shows Tarantino isn’t averse to smearing soul music all over a period piece. Will it work? Hard to bet against Hollywood’s brightest film nerd.
We get some standard long shots as well as a few glimpses of that Tarantino style that’s impossible to describe but instantly identifiable as his very own.
Foxx hasn’t had a meaty role in some time, and Django looks like the one to vault him back to the top of the A-list heap. But Di Caprio’s villain doesn’t raise a single goosebump. Either Tarantino is holding back, or the casting decision might rob “Django Unchained” of some of its urgency.