The Hateful Eight (Blu-ray)
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Review of "The Hateful Eight (Blu-ray)"
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’Star – Samuel L Jackson
Genre – Western
Run Time – 187 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Oscars – Won 1 & 1 nomination
Golden Globe – Won 1 & 1 nomination
Awards – 35 Wins & 107 Nominations
Amazon – £5.00 DVD £7.95 Blue Ray
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” “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” The past has these people between its teeth”
(William Faulkner – ‘Requiem for a Nun’)
Quentin Tarrantino, like many directors with a vision, is a big enough name to have the luxury to only make the films they want to make, so often very good or very average films, Tarantino comfortably near the top of that particular pile. Inglorious Bastards made my teeth itch with that Brad Pit character yet I really enjoyed Django Unchained, The Hateful 8 being another western with a bit of both thrown in. As one critic said:
’…..Nobody does what Tarantino does, and that alone, in a world of copycats and sequels and rip-offs, makes him priceless…..’ But another critic said: ‘For some years, [Tarantino's] movies have felt less like great films, more like exacting punishments to be nobly endured in the name of Cinema…’
Quentin has said ‘The Thing’ and ‘Reservoir Dogs’ are his influences for this one and it shows, Kurt Russell joining Samuel L Jackson, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen for this one. 77-year- Ennio Morricone is also back with QT and scoring his first Western for 34-years, famous for the early 1960s Spaghetti Westerns, of course. Interestingly, QT reveals in the extras that Morricone used a lot of off cuts from The Thing for this movie. There are some strange and pretension slow motion moments that point to that soundtrack stuff.
The films biggest problem was distribution. Quentin insisted it was shot in 65mm ‘Ultimate Panavision’, a process from the 1950s and 1960s, only 10 films ever shot on those cameras with this film size, Khartoum (1966) the last. In fact he had to dig the cameras out from the Panavision museum, refit them to survive the extreme cold for the mountain shoot and pray the only three available didn’t breakdown. The camera was designed for sweeping panoramas and there are plenty of those here. It looked great on Blue Ray so I can only imagine how it looked in the big screen cinemas. But some chains refused to take the film in the U.K. as they simply didn’t have the projection to show it or not prepared to pay the extra for the kit and specialist projectionists’ required. As a result, 50 theaters internationally were retrofitted with anamorphic-lensed 70mm analogue film projectors, to display the film as he intended it to be seen. UK cinema chains, Picturehouse, Curzon and Cineworld, did not be show the film. Rather ironically most of the film is shot in a wooden cabin.As usual Tarantino can’t resist the ‘N’ word and a bit of female beating thrown into shock some more. For his penance, disaster struck early on after the script was leaked online. Quentin Tarantino did not then want to make the film. However, the project was rebooted after the cast did a brief reading of the script and got excited for the film, Samuel L. Jackson persuading him to do this film, Tarantino accepting and giving Jackson his first lead role in a QT film in return. There was further disaster when a studio executive appeared to release the movie online a week before the adapted DVD release.
TriviaA guitar destroyed by Kurt Russell's character in the film was not a prop but an antique 1870s Martin guitar loaned by the Martin Guitar Museum. The guitar was supposed to have been switched with a copy to be destroyed, but this was not communicated to Russell; everyone on the set was "pretty freaked out" at the guitar's destruction and Leigh's reaction was genuine in the film, though "Tarantino was in a corner of the room with a funny curl on his lips. The museum will no longer loan guitars to film production companies because of this incident. Insurance covered the loss.
-Main characters-• Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren a.k.a. "The Bounty Hunter"
• Kurt Russell as John Ruth a.k.a. "The Hangman"
• Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue a.k.a. "The Prisoner"
• Walton Goggins as Chris Mannix a.k.a."The Sheriff"
• Demián Bichir as Bob (Marco the Mexican) a.k.a. "The Mexican"
• Tim Roth as Oswaldo Mobray (English Pete Hicox) a.k.a. "The Little Man"
• Michael Madsen as Joe Gage (Grouch Douglass) a.k.a. "The Cow Puncher"
• Bruce Dern as General Sanford "Sandy" Smithers a.k.a. "TheConfederate"
-Supporting characters-• James Parks as O.B. Jackson
• Channing Tatum as Jody Domergue, Daisy's brother
• Dana Gourrier as Minnie Mink
• Zoë Bell as Six-Horse Judy
• Lee Horsley as Ed
• Gene Jones as Sweet Dave
• Keith Jefferson as Charly
• Craig Stark as Chester Charles Smithers
• Belinda Owino as Gemma
• Quentin Tarantino as the narrator (uncredited)
PlotIts years after the American Civil War and high in the snowy mountains bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (SLJ) is transporting three dead bounties to the town of Red Rock, Wyoming. Warren is known for not bringing them back alive. When his horses give up on him he hitches a ride on a stagecoach driven by a man named O.B. Jackson (James Parks). In the carriage is John Ruth, another feared bounty hunter, known for bringing in outlaws alive just to see them hang. The feisty murderer Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is handcuffed to him, also heading to Red Rock. Both men are suspicious of anyone who might steal the claim to the substantial bounties they have between them and eyeing ach others pieces at all times. Ruth knows of Warren and vice versa and bond over Warren's personal letter from Abraham Lincoln.
Now we have another man wanting to hitch a ride with them as the blizzard catches them up, former militiaman Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who brags that he is traveling to Red Rock as the town's new sheriff, soon on the stagecoach. Neither men believe he is sheriff material.The coach is not going to make it to Red Rock in the storm and so they seek refuge in Minnie's Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge. They are greeted by Bob (Demián Bichir), a Mexican who says he is the stand in for Aussie owner Minnie Minx (Dana Gourrier), who is visiting her mother and left him in charge. The other lodgers are the talkative hangman Oswaldo Mobray (TimRoth), Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a quiet cowboy traveling to visit his mother; and elderly Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern), a former Confederate general traveling to put his missing son to rest. Ruth decides its best they all disarm and put their guns in a bucket if they are to sleep the night through here, a room full of men and women not best trusted around their valuable human cargo. It proves the case as the killing begins and we discover who is who and why they are really here…
ResultsA Rogues gallery with no one to root for is the tag line here and spot on, the Hateful 8 indeed. As usual Tarantino is detailed on all aspects of the movie and nothing left to chance. As I said he loves to offend wit the ‘N’ word and some women beating and claims its authentic behavior of the time. There are also some pretentious scenes of horse and carriage racing across the plains in slow motion so he can linger on those 65mm panorama shots. Why take 5 minutes for a scene when you can take 20 is Tarantino’s mantra. Because of this the film gets flabby and so we end up with three hours of it and three more on the cutting room floor. QT is definitely chasing Oscars here. It got just one and nothing to do with him.
Critics have said the fact that the film is set at an undetermined point shortly after the end of the American Civil War is obviously no accident. As the guy from The NY Times said: ‘Minnie’s Haberdashery becomes America writ small, fraught with all the hideous, baked-in racial tension that lingers in the United States to this day. (At one point, the room is even divided into rival North and South areas.)”. When I read that line I looked back on the film and thought, yep, spot on, I didn’t grasp that. In fact its one of those films you only know how good it is after you have actually thought about what you have been watching. Often something really good is judged as OK as you take if for granted because of the talent making it.As I say its way too long at 3 hours and a more realistic two hour run time would have earned its fourth sheriffs star for me. At $44m its one of Tarantino’s more expensive projects and actor’s salaries always kept low as they are desperate to work for him. It did $158m back and so one of his better earners.
You will enjoy it if you watch it but you just need it to move a little faster and not one you would watch again, as you would Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. Its classic Tarantino non linear stuff with a decent twist built in and appropriately hammy performances by the cast. As entertainment goes it’s a decent film ad looks incredible as we unpick the mystery as the macho men face off in the cabin as the storm howls.
Imdb.com – 7.8 /10.0 (325,536votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 75% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 68% critic’s approval
This is a rare case where you really need to rent or buy this one in Blue Ray as that detail is the real kick of the movie. It looks fabulous as the sweeping panoramas and rich Rocky Mountain vistas splatter across your TV screen.
-Sam Jenkins guide to 70mm-
The cinematographer talks about using the old cameras and lens and how they got it all to work.
If the cameras failed at altitude there would be problems.
Sunday Times –‘For some years, [Tarantino's] movies have felt less like great films, more like exacting punishments to be nobly endured in the name of Cinema’.Sight & Sound –‘Nobody does what Tarantino does, and that alone, in a world of copycats and sequels and rip-offs, makes him priceless’.
New Statesmen –‘"Hateful" isn't the word I would use. Wasteful sounds right - of our time and Tarantino's talents’.London Evening Standard –‘It's mannered, grandiose and self-indulgent, but in its own way absolutely expert. Aesthetic, even, if you like that’.
Empire –‘As the pieces slot quickly into place, the investment you made in these people and their predicaments begins to pay off, big time’.Financial Times –‘Tarantino has returned to his first film's template - colorful characters, a single room, blood and betrayal - but this time in a framework that is deliberately designed for repeat viewing’.
The Mail-‘These characters are, as we are told from the outset, all hateful... and they aren't interesting or dynamic enough to overcome that fact’.The NY Post –‘The movie isn't one of Tarantino's fantasies correcting historical atrocities, it's about American history *as* an atrocity. The declaration of an angry political consciousness from an artist I never imagined having one’.
Product Information : The Hateful Eight (Blu-ray)
Manufacturer's product description
Actor(s) (Last name, First name): Jackson, Samuel L.
Video Category: Feature Film
Director(s) (Last name, First name): Tarantino, Quentin
DVD Region: Blu-ray
Classification: 18 years and over
Production Year: 2016
Listed on Ciao since: 20/02/2017