If the first "Django Unchained" trailer was an off-the-chain explosion of exploitation madness, the new "Django Unchained" trailer is more grounded in reality. Quentin Tarantino's ode to spaghetti westerns still looks like it has the potential to be one of the year's most fun adventures, but now with a beating heart underneath all the preening, humor and violence.
Starring Jamie Foxx as the title hero, "Django Unchained" is about a man's quest to find his wife -- it just so happens that the man is a freed slave and his wife is still in terrible bondage.
"This is about a man who, at a time when people are only considered three-fifths of a human being, so believes in his own humanity -- and the humanity of his woman -- that he goes across the country and into the depths of hell to rescue her," actress Kerry Washington, who plays Django's wife, told HuffPost Entertainment over the summer. "To honor their love for each other. That heroism, him facing all of that, doesn't mean anything if we don't represent the brutality of what he's coming out of. We had to go to all of these dark places, so him saving her really means something and we understand what the stakes were."
The new "Django Unchained" trailer presents those stakes with ease, allowing Tarantino's more madcap moments to pop off the screen. (Howdy, Jonah Hill as a Klansman.) Special mention here to Leonardo DiCaprio, who seems to be having more fun than he's had in years; the only thing separating DiCaprio's villainous Calvin Candie from a mustache twirl is his lack of mustache.
With its Christmas Day release date and all-star cast, "Django Unchained" is looming over Oscar season like gathering storm clouds. Will Academy members embrace it like they did "Inglourious Basterds"? Watch the new trailer above and decide for yourself. (Apple has the trailer in HD.)