Written and Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth, Demian Bichir, and James Parks
My Rating: 7.9
Worth: Paying to see it in the theater, 3 hours of your time - but to be honest, you could multitask.
Clairometer: The Bride (of course)
It begins with an overture, during which the screen is red and the music builds. This sets the tone of blood and escalating suspense. Also the mere presence of an overture in a film evidences its departure from the norm. This blog will not discuss 70mm in any way other than this sentence.
I love true filmmakers. There's nothing better than seeing the credit "A film by...." followed by a name that you not only recognize, but appreciate many of their prior films. You know what you're getting into by watching it. That moment we all had a few years ago when we watched the Hugo trailer and saw "A film by Martin Scorsese" is the opposite of what I'm describing. Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino are two of my favorites who are comforting in their predictability. With Quentin, you know you're getting violence, masterful dialogue, violence, plot twists, violence, and blood.
The last two films I've seen with Samuel L. Jackson have been Django and Kingsman. No one is really a protagonist in The Hateful Eight, but it was so nice to see him not as the flaming antagonist. If it were revolutionary for Samuel L. Jackson to play a role with tenacity and eloquence he would be nominated for an Academy Award. But alas, we've come to expect his quotable perfection so the Academy snubbed yet another well-deserving actor (**racial subtext**).
I found interesting the lack of cameo by Mr. Tarantino. Does one count a few sentence narration halfway through the film a cameo? I'm not educated enough (or at all) in the intricacies of film to know the answer. What puzzled me was the presence of characters with only a few lines towards the close of the film. These roles were ripe for yet another display of his acting and accent chops. By the looks of the setting, perhaps his tookus was frozen to his director's chair. On a tangential note, go see this while you can, even though The Hateful Eight does not grace Tarantino's top 5 in my book. He seems quite serious that he only intends to do 10 films. (source: Tarantino himself on the horrifically hosted Hollywood Reporter Roundtable. Seriously, who did Stephen Galloway bribe to hold this position for life? I'd give a kidney to host it.)