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On not being chained to ‘Django’

Among the various welcome things about catching “Django
(2012) on disc: We can finally unchain the movie from its lengthy, self-defeating running time. There’s plenty to satisfy genre fans in Quentin Tarantino’s characteristically
customized spaghetti Western ode, starring Jamie Foxx as a freed slave on a quest for his lost bride and bloody vengeance. Django’s meanderings with gentleman bounty hunter King Schultz (Christoph Waltz, shifting from “Inglourious Basterds” Nazi to liberator) are such an odyssey, in fact, that Tarantino considered splitting the film into two parts, as with “Kill Bill.” And maybe he should have. Think about it: Would we have grooved to
David Carradine’s “Kill Bill” Superman monologue quite as much if it came at the 200-minute mark of some one-shot cut, rather than at a timely moment in “Vol. 2”? Viewed in a theater, the first half of “Django” crackles, but there’s some good material in our heroes’ second-half showdown with villainous plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) that falls victim to overlong buildup. After a point, you itch for Waltz and DiCaprio to stop chewing Tarantino’s Oscar-winning dialogue, and just get shootin’. Watching at home, though, you can make your own intermission, and come to such late-game moments with fresher eyes. It’s a DVD reviewer’s itty-boo lament that all too often films turn into miniseries: The phone rings, there’s a knock at the door, life intrudes in general.
Finally, a case where that might actually free a movie to be all it can be.
Extras: design and production featurettes. (Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99)

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