Quentin Tarantino's latest film, the spaghetti western-inspired Django Unchained, looks set to be a critical hit after US reviewers at an early screening gave it the thumbs up on Twitter.
Starring Oscar-winners Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz along with Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L Jackson and Kerry Washington, the film is Tarantino's follow up to 2009's second world war romp Inglourious Basterds. It is the story of a slave named Django (Foxx) living in the post civil war deep south who is freed by an Austrian dentist turned bounty hunter (Waltz) and taught the skills of the craft. Together the pair set out to recover Django's wife Broomhilda (Washington) who is being held on a plantation by the nefarious Calvin Candie (DiCaprio). The title is a tribute to the 1966 Sergio Corbucci spaghetti western Django, with that movie's Italian star Franco Nero making a cameo.
Attendees at the screening focused on the film's mix of extreme violence and more comedic moments. There were few negative verdicts, with some appraisals even suggesting Tarantino could find himself back in the awards season frame.
"Django Unchained is super violent spaghetti western w/ anachronistic songs. waltz & jackson steal it," tweeted Anne Thompson of the Thompson on Hollywood blog. "All talk & action. 1st screening." The New York Post's chief film critic, Lou Lumenick, said the film was "a three-hour homage to [classic Mel Brooks western spoof] Blazing Saddles".
Writer David Erlich tweeted: "DJANGO UNCHAINED: holy shit. brutally hilarious spaghetti comedy does for business what Basterds did for war. Best American film of 2012." Looper director Rian Johnson added: "Django was terrific. DiCaprio blows the roof off the joint."
Podcast host Jeff Goldsmith described Django Unchained as a "buckets of blood spaghetti western with a great sense of humour". He added: "Race is tackled, but I wouldn't say too controversially. Great action and dialogue – definite awards contender."
Finally film and TV producer D-Dub tweeted that film was "funny, crazy violent, thoroughly entertaining". He added: "Luv that Christoph Waltz. Don Johnson needs to work more. He and Christoph Waltz together … awesome."
Django Unchained will be released on Christmas Day in the US and 18 January in the UK.
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