Andrew W. Cooper / The Weinstein Co.

Jamie Foxx, left, and Leonardo DiCaprio in "Django Unchained."

New DVDs this week

Published: Friday, Apr. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 15TICKET

"Django Unchained" (R, 165 minutes, The Weinstein Co./ Anchor Bay): Even as Quentin Tarantino liberally peppers the dialogue in his film with racial epithets, the director doesn't shrink from the inhumane realities of life for enslaved people in 19th century America: One of the film's first shots captures the horrifically scarred backs of several men as they're force-marched through the Texas countryside in chains. That's where the title character (Jamie Foxx) meets an itinerant dentist named Schultz (Christoph Waltz), who turns out to be a bounty hunter on a job. For viewers who already share Tarantino's love of genre, "Django Unchained" is enormously satisfying. But colorful characters and performances can mask thinly schematic underpinnings for only so long. Eventually Tarantino resorts to his usual fallback position, which is to bathe everything and everyone in sight in gunfire, gore and geysers of blood. Contains strong graphic violence throughout, a vicious fight, profanity and some nudity.


"Orchestra of Exiles" (unrated, 85 minutes, First Run Features): Josh Aronson's film shows how the great violinist Bronislaw Huberman saved as many as 1,000 lives from Hitler by creating the Palestine (now Israel) Philharmonic. Aronson's film takes dutiful note of Huberman's life as prodigy and virtuoso. But only on reaching Palestine does it become genuinely interesting. Still, re-enactment scenes are not the film's strength. Cameos by Ivry Gitlis, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Leon Botstein, reminiscences of second- and third-generation orchestra players, and interviews with surviving contemporaries cover soft spots.


"One Day on Earth" (unrated, 104 minutes, New Video/ Cinedigm): On 10/10/10 across the planet, documentary filmmakers, students and other people recorded the human experience over a 24-hour period and contributed their voices to a global day of media creation called "One Day on Earth." The first simultaneous filming event occurring in every country in the world, it became a showcase of the amazing diversity, conflict, tragedy and triumph that occur in one day. Extras: behind-the-scenes footage; extended scenes.


Also: "A Whisper to a Roar" (documentary on democracy activists), "The Colombian Connection," "At the Gate of the Ghost" (2011, Thailand), "Save the Date," "The Great Divide," "Crazy Enough," "The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia," "Future Weather," "Makers: Women Who Make America," "Eclipse Series 38: Masaki Kobayashi Against the System" (four films, 1953-62, from one of the most important filmmakers to emerge from Japan's cinematic golden age, the Criterion Collection), "Not Suitable for Children" (Australia), "4Some" (Czech Republic), "DisneyNature: Wings of Life," "Dragon" (2011, Hong Kong), "Iron Man: Rise of Technovore" (animated, Marvel), "Pedal-Driven," "Repo Man" (1984, the Criterion Collection) and "Women in Love" (BBC).

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