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The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino’s new western. Eight vile characters on their way to Red Rock Junction are together in Millie’s Habadashery in the middle of a blizzard. The story is about how they ended up in the Habadashery and their fates during the course of their day together. I start by qualifying that I am a very huge Tarantino fan, so with that, I say that this movie is amazing, over the top, and totally characteristic Tarantino. Why is it great: a) it is shot in 70mm (and I was fortunate be at a place that used a 70mm projector), allowing for very wide shots and the greatest detail of every facial expression; b) it felt like one of the old style Westerns – Mariccone, who composed the music for movies like the Good, Bad and the Ugly, composed the score for this movie; c) the cinematography was gorgeous and felt like the old westerns I used to watch as a kid; d) the film combines a number of genres – typical Tarantino – including Western, the Agatha Christie “who done it” mystery, and horror films; e) it is overall a sharp critique of slavery, race, and race relations; and f) it is very funny. I saw the “Roadshow” version, which had an overture and a 15 minute intermission, which was much fun. At almost 3.5 hours, the movie never felt long; during the first half, the narrative slowly simmers as the true natures of each character slowly are revealed, and everything comes together in a pretty dramatic, suspenseful, and violent second half. The acting was fantastic, especially Samuel L Jackson (he has a standout scene describing an encounter with the son of the character played by Bruce Dern), Walton Goggins (who played the incoming sheriff of Red Rock), and Kurt Russell, the bounty hunter bringing Daisy to Red Rock for a trial and hanging. The standout is Jennifer Jason Leigh (Daisy) – wow! She was funny, evil, and near the end, she looked like the girl from Carrie. Big thumbs up for one of my favorite movies of the year. Tarantino fans will surely find this enjoyable, although the violence sometimes goes beyond what is typical for even him. See this one on the big screen for sure. I don’t think a download will do it justice. (2015; 4.5 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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