Q30 Entertainment Review: “The Hateful Eight”

Photo courtesy of The Weinstein Co.

By Vincent Guarino

Writer and Director, Quentin Tarantino proved himself a long time ago in Hollywood. This is the man who has graced our eyes and ears with films like Pulp Fiction and more recently, Django Unchained. The man is a master at what he does. Even his worst film is incredible. His eighth of supposedly ten films, The Hateful Eight, brings Tarantino back into the western genre but this time puts more of a Reservoir Dogs twist to it.

The Hateful Eight stars Tarantino veterans like Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen. Other actors include Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walter Goggins, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir and another A-list star who I’ll keep a secret. Try not to pay attention to the opening credits if you want to be surprised.

Set in a post-Civil War Wyoming, The Hateful Eight tells the story of a group of mysterious characters staying in a cabin during a blizzard. During their stay it starts to become apparent that someone there is not who they say they are. In an interview with Howard Stern, Tarantino said that he was inspired by guest star appearances on old western television shows. He noticed how those characters had an aura of mystery around them and the main characters did not know whether or not they should trust those people. Tarantino’s story is pretty much about all of those types of characters being trapped in a cabin together.

What is so cool is that The Hateful Eight is a western mystery, of sorts. Like I said before it feels like it takes place in the same world as Django Unchained but the story is being told like Reservoir Dogs. I was invested in the story right from the start but once you get to the intermission, that is really where you realize how invested you are in the story.

Speaking of an intermission, the only way you can see this film with a break is if you see it in Roadshow form. What is a Roadshow? Well the Roadshow is a throwback to the classic way of seeing films. Tarantino shot the film on 70mm film and with the Roadshow you can see it in that format. The images are crisper and the colors are more vibrant. In addition there is an extra 10 minutes of footage, an intermission, and you get a booklet with information about the film.

Photo courtesy of The Weinstein Co.

While all of that stuff is awesome what really stands out about this film is the characters. Everyone is interesting and each actor adds something to their character. People like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Walter Goggins really get to shine and show Hollywood that they should be getting a lot more work.

That doesn’t mean that big stars like Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell are not standouts either. The two of them are incredible which at this point of their careers you know they are great actors. Samuel L. Jackson gives his best performance since Pulp Fiction in this film as Major Marquis Warren.

Cinematographer, Robert Richardson, takes advantage in shooting on 70mm film and shoots some absolutely jaw dropping shots. Shots like the first shot of the film are images that will stay in your mind for a long time. You can only have full appreciation for how gorgeous this film looks if you see it on 70mm.

The score accompanying the film is magnificent. Quentin Tarantino brought in legendary composer Ennio Morricone to compose the score. Just to give you an idea of who this guy is, he composed the scores to classic Sergio Leone films, like The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. It helps make the film feel even more like a classic western. When the music started to play during the overture, yes there is an overture before the film starts, I knew we were in for something special.

The Hateful Eight is a Tarantino movie through in and throughout. It is funny, gory, it has an extraordinary cast of characters, and the story is told in a non-linear way. If you are a fan of his work, The Hateful Eight reassures you that to this day Quentin Tarantino is still the writer/director he was when he made Pulp Fiction. He is on his eighth film in a career past his twenties and he seems to not be losing his skills. He continues to show Hollywood that he is getting better and better with each film.


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