The Hateful Eight (2015)
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Rating: R Running Time: 2 hr. 48 min
A brutal Wyoming winter sets the stage for Tarantino’s eighth film (he’s going to stop at ten apparently). A visceral violent shocker that pits Tarantino’s penchant for writing great characters and dialog, against a talented cast equal to the challenge. This is eight bad people with hidden agendas, mixed with some deep-seated racism, all trapped in a confined space. A powder keg ready to explode – and it does, frequently.
As I watched, I compared Tarantino to J. J. Abrams, because they’re both lifelong fans of film. But while Abrams mimics his hero’s, Tarantino salutes his much broader base of inspiration, and then creates his own work. Carefully building in this instance, a set of gloriously despicable characters, while simultaneously setting an eerie tone with Ennio Morricone’s pounding score, and Robert Richardson’s beautiful photography.
This to me was the perfect modern western. It’s raw, bold and a little insane. The Special 70mm Roadshow’s opening overture and midway intermission break were nice touches, if somewhat unnecessary, and the thankfully brief narration from Tarantino in the second half of the movie is the only thing that betrays the writer’s confidence in his audience.
If you’re a fan of Tarantino’s work, then I’m pretty certain you’ll enjoy this film. This is like the best bits of the warehouse scenes in Reservoir Dogs, but told with more gusto, flair, and believe it or not, blood! The Hateful 8 is rated R for language and extreme violence.
Quentin Tarantino shot this film in Ultra Panavision 70, and there are a limited number of theaters available that are capable of projecting that format properly. If you’re within reasonable driving distance to catch a 70mm Roadshow screening, I suggest you make that trip. You also get a nice color booklet about the film when you visit a Roadshow screening.
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>
All seems right in the world of cinema when Samuel L. Jackson is belting out a speech written by Quentin Tarantino. His conversation with Bruce Dern’s General Sandy Smithers before its predictably explosive conclusion, was epic!