Thursday, December 27, 2012

Seen & Read It: Django Unchained (2012)

I may have missed this small exchange in the movie, but its inclusion in the comic book adds
a level of depth to both Dr. King Schultz's characterization and Django's comment later in the film that has
been widely featured in the television ads.
As a Spaghetti Western fan and appreciator of Quentin Tarantino's film aesthetic, I have been awaiting the Christmas Day release of Django Unchained (2012) for quite some time. After seeing the reviews (both positive and negative) there is not much else to say that hasn't already been offered by more cultured reviewers worldwide, though I will say that among Django Unchained's greatest accomplishments is that it made me like both Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio and Samuel L. Jackson as incredibly gifted actors, rather than as simply celebrities. I also appreciated the bravery Tarantino showed in adhering to his vision of the film, which given overly sensitive studio (and societal) tastes, cannot have been easy. The film is violent, bloody, angry, raw, and thoroughly engaging as a piece of visual art. That being said, it is also definitely NOT for children or those who are unwillingly to see a filmmaker at his unflinching best.

Django Unchained is an unabashedly irreverent homage to the old school Spaghetti Westerns and, as such, it is only right that it, like many old traditional Western television shows of the past, have a comic book adaptation hitting the stands at the time of its release. Given the content of the film, and therefore the comic book, it is safe to say that few publishers could offer to present a "Director's Cut" of the film in comic book form like DC Comic's Vertigo imprint.

Featuring art by RM Guera (who recently concluded his run on the popular neo-Western-tinged Vertigo series Scalped), The first issue of the comic book came out two week's ago and has been sitting in my "To Read" pile until after I could see the film. In his foreword to the comic, Tarantino reminds the reader of his love of Western comic books and that the ability to do a comic book adaptation allows him to share with the fan the "ENTIRE SCRIPT," which if it were to be filmed would be almost "four hours in length. For fans of the film, Tarantino and just the editorial process, Django Unchained the comic book offers a view "the very first draft of the script." An excellent companion to the film, I enjoyed reading what Tarantino had not included in the film, but suspect some of it may turn up in a Director's Cut or as a Special Feature in some future Blue Ray release.

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