Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Hateful Eight [2015]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (L)  ChicagoTribune (2 Stars) (2 Stars)  AVClub (A-)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review (M. Zoller Seitz) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review  

The Hateful Eight [2015] (written and directed by Quentin Tarantino) is, for better / worse, "a Quentin Tarantino movie" ;-).

Hence it is _needlessly long_ and is punctuated with brief moments of QT's signature (but still needlessly) extreme violence.  Seriously, it's obvious that Tarrentino thinks very highly of himself in forcing his viewers here to sit through this 2hr 45min movie that could have easily been an hour shorter and better for it.  As it is, the only humane way to watch this movie is on a widescreen TV at home.

YET, the characters, dialogues and even outdoor cinematography in this "Agatha Christie meets The Western" mash-up are often exceptional, outstanding even spectacular.  Again, seriously, by the end of the film Jennifer Jason Leigh's Daisy Domerge is _utterly unforgettable_, and Samuel Jackson's former Union soldier turned black bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren, Kurt Russell's more conventional "John Wayne-like" white bounty hunter named "John Ruth" and Walton Goggin's Chris Mannix a former "Confederate Marauder" turned future Sheriff of a "hole in the wall" Wyoming hamlet called "Red Rock", together comprising the first four characters introduced to us in the film, are all extremely well (and with very broad strokes quite amusingly) drawn. 

And the story, which by the end (not much of a spoiler alert here ...) doesn't exactly "leave a lot of people still standing" takes place in the context of a spectacular "Big Sky Wyoming winter blizzard" and then largely at a circa-1880s "Stage Coach Inn" in the middle of nowhere.

To say more would start to spoil the film.  My only advice is wait for it to come out on DVD / Blue Ray, because it's really too long to watch in a theater.

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