Django Unchained: Entertaining but weak and tethered to Basterds...

Django Unchained is an entertaining film but a weak one by Tarantino's standards.  While it makes you laugh and wince and retort, it still lacks the overwhelming punch of its predecessors, notwithstanding those being some of the most amazing films of the last decade ("Kill Bill", "Inglorious Basterds".)

Although in some ways, it seems like a thematic remake of the brilliant "Inglorious Basterds" in being a story of an implausible revenge fantasy by a horribly exploited class of people. This derived theme is one reason the film is weak. The other is that it seems to drag at times. Least episodic of all Tarantino films, Django's linear narrative steals some of the edge-of-seat tension build-up in his previous films.

And still, it is one of the most entertaining films of the year. It is very funny, features good dialogue (again, not as good as '...Basterds'), excellent music, and excellent performances by Chrisoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson  and surprisingly enough by Leonardo DiCaprio, who seems to savor every moment of his evil, Southern personality adding a much needed credible villain to the film. This may be his best performance ever.

Django adds another trophy to Tarantino's illustrious career - even if it is not his biggest or brightest.