“The Hateful Eight” is Quentin Tarantino’s eighth movie as writer and director. If you know anything about Tarantino, you either hate his films or have a sense of guilt about loving to see what over-the-top thing he’ll do next.
Movie poster ‘The Hateful Eight.’ Courtesy Reel Deal Theater
This movie will not change your mind about hating or loving Tarantino films. Just look at the rating: “Rated R for strong bloody violence, a scene of violent sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.” You can take that as a warning.
All that being said, I love Tarantino’s films. I may turn my nose up at language used and blood splattered unmercifully in his films, but I do try to see them when they come out. “Why?” Because, they are, in short, brilliant.
Tarantino is not only a very original creator, he is a huge fan of the medium of film. Each of his movies pays homage to a genre of film, with details and dialogue that will honor the best of that style throughout movie-making history. Often I find myself laughing in recognition at his presentation, as well as at his “take no prisoners” approach to violence.
It is, as I said, usually so over the top as to make one guffaw in the theatre. But that is only if you can watch with the realization that “it is only a movie” and that what you are seeing is nearly improbable in real life.
So, if you are up for another Tarantino film, read on… You should know going in that none of the characters will survive, there will be a lot of blood, the worst of epithets and name-calling will be used, none of the characters is altruistic or to be trusted.
My giggles at Tarantino’s style began with the opening credits—seriously. The bold letters across the screen hearkened back to old Westerns, including TV shows like Bonanza and Gunsmoke. The score by Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) sets the tone immediately and we are watching a spaghetti western, a tongue in cheek, Old West film. And, pow… “Filmed in 70mm Panavision” flashes onto the screen! The cinematography is fabulous, and within minutes we feel cold, watching the blizzard catch up with the stagecoach. Admittedly, halfway through the movie, my giggles stopped. “Disturbing” is probably an understatement.
The best aspects of Hateful 8 are the story and the dialogue. The scenes in the coach stop are like a stage play of a who-done-it. Each “chapter” is perfectly crafted.
As with the old films, all the actors are named in the opening credits, not at the end. Samuel L. Jackson lights up the screen from his first interactions to his last. He joins Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh in the stagecoach, which soon picks up Walton Goggins. Waiting in the coach stop, where they will take shelter, are Bruce Dern, Tim Roth, Damián Bichir, Michael Madsen and Channing Tatum. Why do such big name stars appear in Tarantino films? Because they have fun doing them. And you can see that these artists are enjoying themselves immensely, working for Tarantino.