Django Prepare a Coffin (UK - BD RB)
Marcus buries his DVD copy and machine guns up a review with this BD
*Note: I reviewed Django Prepare a Coffin a few moths back on DVD - so the feature element of this review will include my original overview. Jump to the later sections of the review for the Blu-ray release specific elements*
Django (Terence Hill) is a gunslinger hired by a corrupt local politician to kill innocent men for their land but Django has other ideas and instead bands the men together to turn the tables on the politician and get his revenge for the death of his wife.
As is regularly the case, Quentin Tarantino releases a movie ( Django Unchained as if you didn't know) and suddenly we are inundated with DVD releases of the titles in his chosen genre that inspired him over the years. Django: Prepare a Coffin is after all Quentin's 19th favourite Spaghetti Western (I love that we live in a movie world where that's a fact we can find out), so we should all really see it, right? Who am I kidding, this is Tarantino, of course we're gonna wanna see it!
This Sequel to the 1966 Django (another Tarantino favourite of course - No.3, I'm told) is full of revenge western goodness. There's plenty of twists and turns and of course a mythic type cowboy hero to get behind until justice is served. I could go on but given that I got this review disc a little late and I'm not really the biggest fountain of knowledge for westerns, I'll skip embarrassing myself with woeful amounts of observations fans probably know about the film already and skip right to the presentation of this release.
This Blu-ray presentation here is a mix of Western visuals. On one side is a warm creamy HD presentation with plenty of orangey colours and strongly lit sets, the other a rather washed put browny-beige looking flick seen through a blue filter. Blacks are nice and natural and don't hide detail in their depths and speaking of textures there's plenty to enjoy here. Fabrics and clothing look very good, as do the largely wooden sets and Western landscapes.
The image reduces in quality in the exterior scenes quite dramatically and the blueish tint plagues a lot of the visuals giving the soft image an even more washed out, contrast iffy appearance. Even with that said, there are big improvements over the recent DVD release even if it's far from perfect. Skin textures can often feel waxy, it's not the most natural looking of images and the sharpness and colours between interior and exterior scenes can hold quite a big difference. However, the overall style of Django Prepare a Coffin is pretty well celebrated here in 1080p. The old school Western looks here are served well, with the HD colour boosts and the bright lighting sources stepping the film up in line with modern presentations but always keeping a orignally intended look to everything. It's just a shame that the levels seem all over the place when it comes to the exterior scenes.
The English and Italian dub are both very much disconnected from the visuals, as is the case with many of these Italian made Westerns. Because of the post recorded technique, dialogue is clear and crisp and works very much as an overlay to more natural sounding sound effects and ambience of the film. The score is strong and works in nicely subtle ways, even if its occasional crackled recording is more obvious in certain places than I noticed on the DVD release. The main theme (sampled years later by Gnarls Barkley in their hit Crazy) explodes out of the track with all the right power behind it and makes for some very cool feeling moments.
Django Explained (08:32 HD) breifily skips through the history of Django. With sixty plus films with the character, his popularity in Europe is discussed and even Reggae songs dedicated to him in Jamaica. It later goes into Django Prepare a Coffin but at just over eight minutes, this interesting featurette doesn't really go as far as I would have hoped.
The only other extra is the film's trailer (03:04)
My second viewing of this Django adventure was actually more fun than I expected. It probably has something to do with me being more accustomed to the material now but I found myself getting quite excited for the machine gun filled finale as it came closer and really liked Terance Hill's Django. I also noticed he looks a lot like upcoming Superman, Henry Cavill, making dark hair and blue eyes the go to look for a mythic heroes I guess. That said, on the cover art he looks like Lee Majors, adding another hero to the pile of look-a-likes.
This Blu-ray is a noticable upgrade when lined up against the DVD but it's by no means a show off disc. All the enhancements are there to make the film look better in HD but there are still some visual niggles that might bug the fans out there. This one comes in at a 'good' but never 'great' HD overhual, largely down to some odd levels when it comes to contrast. As for extras, there's a good but brief overview of the legend of Django but otherwise, nothing.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 10th June 2013
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: LPCM 2.0 English, LPCM 2.0 Italian
Extras: Django Explained, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Ferdinando Baldi
Cast: Terence Hill, Horst Frank, George Eastman
Genre: Action, Drama and Western
Length: 91 minutes