Movie: The Hateful Eight
My Rating: 4 stars
I was pretty excited about this movie. And, it’s not because I’m a big fan of Quentin Tarantino or anything. Although, I do have to admit that he’s got a certain talent for aesthetics. His movies certainly are very stylish, and I’m a sucker for that. He also always casts really fun actors—Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Walton Goggins—it’s always a great lineup. But, Tarantino’s always trying just a little too hard. He wants to be cool soooo bad. It’s shameless, and it’s painful to watch. And, I always feel a little confused about my feelings for these films. The result is that while Tarantino isn’t the kind of director I want to like, I always begrudgingly look forward to his films.
This movie is fun. I saw the big, three-hour “road show” version of the film. It was complete with the rather self-indulgent Overture, and ten-minute intermission. And, while that sounds like a really long day at the movies, I’m pleased to report that the movie was fun enough and paced quickly enough for me not to notice how long it was. By the time the intermission rolls around you’ll already have watched a whole feature-length film. But, I was honestly surprised when we got there because it seemed like not much time had passed at all. Of course, it might have been that the intermission card pops up abruptly during one of the most shocking scenes in the film. (I’m not going to give it away). But, I’ll still give it credit.
I was actually pretty impressed by how completely the movie managed to hold my attention. And, that’s really saying something since Tarantino tends to go in for really talky scripts. This one actually felt like a cross between two of his earlier works. It’s got the rough, Western frontier vibe from Django Unchained, and combines it with the closed-room mystery format from Reservoir Dogs. It was actually a fun combo. So I definitely recommend this film to people who go in for Tarantino films. By that I mean, movies with brutal violence, degrading sexual situations, comic book aesthetics and pacing, and a generally black sense of humor about all of it. I enjoy all of those things—usually if the humorous element is thrown in there too. But, I’ve been known to watch some pretty hard core stuff.
I think I’d encourage you to see this one in the theater if at all possible. It was really fun watching it with a full audience reacting to the same things. And, with all the ego-stroking, cinematic elements Tarantino added, I think he definitely intended for audiences to enjoy it in that format. And, while I’d be tempted to go against his wishes out of spite, I have to admit that it really was fun seeing this movie on the big screen in a full house.