Thursday, January 7, 2016

Movie Review #359: "The Hateful Eight" (2015)

Movie"The Hateful Eight"
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 48 minutes
Image Source
A bounty hunter named John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) is taking his bounty, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), to Red Rock, Wyoming to hang. Unfortunately, a blizzard is closing in and John is forced to stop at Minnie's Haberdashery, along with the traveling companions he reluctantly picked up on the road, to hold up until the storm passes. Already there are a motley crew of individuals who John worries could be after his $10,000 bounty.

Chunky marinara, anyone?

Quentin Tarantino's eighth film, the aptly titled "The Hateful Eight," is a western style picture shot in 70MM panavision that takes place almost entirely inside a single roomed haberdashery. Like all of Tarantino's films, "The Hateful Eight" is primarily driven by strong, witty dialogue, some gorgeous, wandering cinematography and lingering camera shots, and the occasional bloodbath. We are big fans of his style in general, but for us, this one felt like it took a little while for everything to fully get going, and at 2 hours and 45 minutes, it feels a bit long, which is not something we have ever felt about Tarantino's past works. Once this film does get going, in classic Tarantino fashion, it offers up its fair share of blood and gore, far more than what you might see in most modern horror movies. The film has some good, well-developed characters played by many fabulous actors. Most of the titular Eight are Tarantino veterans returning to work with him again. First, Kurt Russell plays John "The Hangman" Ruth, a gruff bounty hunter who always brings his prisoners in alive. Samuel L. Jackson plays Major Marquis Warren, a Union army officer who now makes a post-war living as a bounty hunter. He is the first to come across Russell on the snowy trek to Red Rock. Walton Goggins, the second about to get snowed-out passenger plays Chris Mannix, the son of a confederate renegade turned sheriff-elect of Red Rock. Already at Minnie's is Tim Roth, who plays a Englishman named Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman on his way to Red Rock to act as executioner, Bruce Dern, who plays perpetual sitter General Sandy Smithers, a former confederate general looking to get a tombstone for his son who disappeared years ago, and Michael Madsen as Joe Gage, a cow puncher on his way to see his mother. Only two of the Eight are first-time collaborators with Tarantino, and they are Demian Bichir, who plays Bob "The Mexican," who is currently running Minnie's Haberdashery, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays Daisy Domergue, a murderer with a $10,000 dollar bounty on her head. Leigh has also earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in this film. All of the performances are solid in this tense, confined, don't know who to trust scenario. Russell and Bichir are probably our standout favorites, but everyone is amazing in this movie.

Tarantino is a master filmmaker, and it pained us to hear he wants to make 10 movies and then quit, leaving his body or work to stand on its own before he works himself into the ground. "The Hateful Eight" is a great piece for that anthology of work. This time around, mixed with the signature dark comedy and long, drawn out drama elements, he also incorporates the western and mystery genres with a lot of "whodunit" twists and turns and revelations. Don't go in expecting a balls-to-the-wall action in the first 3/4ths of this film because almost all of it is dialogue-heavy build up. Before anyone gets to Minnie's on screen, Tarantino gets a chance to showcase his camera skills early on, and there's no doubt you're watching a Tarantino affair, right down to his excessive use of the "n" word, which he seems to love in a controversial kind of way regardless of if it makes sense or not. The cinematographic elements scream Tarantino, too, with a vast array of thick, billowy snowscapes, lush mountain grounds, and hellish bloodsplatters. This film feels cold to watch in a theater, and you know as audience members none of it is fake and it's obvious it was all shot on location. We appreciate the painstaking effort he puts into all his works.

"The Hateful Eight" offers up an enjoyable experience, albeit a bit long, and though we liked this film quite a lot, it's not Tarantino's best offering.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 75%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment