Nothing to hate about this Eight
I can't think of any other film director that suffers for his art more than Tarantino, nor one that can seamlessly weave a story with both depth and ultra-violence. The Hateful Eight can be considered one of many things: an ode to the westerns of the 60s, a love-letter to the golden age of cinema or a throwback to a long dormant format. Whichever you choose, Tarantino's latest does things that were once old new again. The Hateful Eight is setup in the same fashion seen in the director's previous films, separated into chapters and introducing the main players with heavy key dialogues. The setting takes place in the cold winter of Wyoming some time after the Civil War. John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) is on his way to Red Rock via stagecoach to hang Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and to collect the bounty on her head. Along the way, the stagecoach comes across Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), another bounty hunter on his way to Red Rock to claim his bounties in tow. The two get "acquainted" with each other after John lays out a deal to allow him to hitch a ride; but things become further complicated as they run into Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) who is also heading to Red Rock. John believes a trap is being set up upon him to spring Daisy loose and is hesitant on letting Mannix join them only to be coerced by him stating that he is the new sheriff to take over Red Rock as well as being the only one that can pay their collected bounties. With the blizzard slowly approaching behind them, the group takes shelter at a lodge called Minnie's Haberdashery where we meet the other key players in the story but not everything is quite what it seems, and neither is everyone.
Having the opportunity to witness Tarantino's eighth film on a 70mm screen has to be one of the most privileged experiences in my movie-going life. Rare is it to have the chance to watch a film as the spectacles they once were back in the day, overture and all. Even more fortunate is when the film matches the quality as the presentation. Tarantino borrows elements from his previous works , forging them into his latest; The Hateful Eight is standing proof that he has perfected his craft and is quite possibly the best film he's ever made. I seldom like westerns, and slow ones for that matter but damn did Eight blow me away. The choice to film in Ultra-Panavision is clear once you start seeing the scope and magnitude Tarantino put on film, from the deadly white snow to grand mountains in the far background, this is one beautiful film to look at. Even with the strenuous running time clocking at a little over three hours, it never feels like it drags on. The first act properly sets in motion the chaos that will evidently ensue in act two but not before establishing the fates of our characters. Speaking of which, I can't remember the last time I ended liking every character in a film, either good or bad; it's pretty ironic considering the movie's main title contains "hateful" in it. The cast plays well off one another thanks to Tarantino's spot-on writing and direction. For a while, Django Unchained, Tarantino's last film was my personal favorite from the director as well as my favorite western too. But now that title belongs to The Hateful Eight in both ranks. Most likely some of you will see this film in its' digital format when it releases nationwide; the version you'll end up seeing won't be the same as the 70mm one, nor will it end up feeling the same. Regardless, don't let that discourage you from see Tarantino's finest film yet; it comes highly recommended and rest assured you'll have a bloody good time.
-Reviewed by Razor, 12/28/15
-Reviewed by Razor, 12/28/15