The Hateful Eight (2015)

Cast includes: Samuel L Jackson (Kill Bill), Kurt Russell (Grindhouse), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Road to Perdition), Walton Goggins (Django Unchained), Demián Bichir (The Heat), Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk), Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Writer/Director: Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained, Jackie Brown)
Genre: Drama | Comedy | Mystery (187 minutes)

Huffington Post

Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film starts with an overture by Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), in keeping with big Hollywood films of a bygone era. Slowly a far away stagecoach comes into the snowy Wyoming mountain landscape… the last stage to Red Rock. “Got room for one mo?” “It ain’t up to me. The fella in the wagon paid for a private trip,” says the driver. “Hold it, black fella!” says John Ruth, demanding an introduction. “Major Marquis Warren,” says the black fella. Turns out Marquis and Ruth once shared a steak dinner together. Both of them are bounty hunters. Marquis is delivering 3 dead bodies, while Ruth is delivering the very much alive Daisy Domergue (DOM-er-GOO) to Red Rock for a $10,000 reward. That’s a mighty big reward for a lady… she’s gonna hang, of course, once they get to Red Rock. “My bandits never hang,” says Marquis. “I never bring um in alive.” They call Ruth “The Hangman” because “when the hangman catches you, you hang.”

“You still got it?” Ruth asks. “The Lincoln letter... I’d sure appreciate reading it again.” The showing of the letter leads to an altercation, in which we get an inkling of why Domergue has such a big reward on her head. As it happens, “there’s another fella on the road…” “There’s a whole lot a fellas on the road around here!” With a blizzard coming in, they can’t just leave the poor fella out here to die. Turns out it’s Chris Mannix, the new sheriff of Red Rock. As the wind howls and the snowfall goes from bad to worse, they come to Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover. Looks like this stopover is gonna last through Christmas. Inside, Ruth meets the other stranded travelers, including Confederate General Smithers and the traveling hangman, Oswaldo Mobray. “Looks like I’m bringing you another customer.” Marquis helps the Mexican with the horses while he asks the whereabouts of Minnie... “spending time with her mother.” “That sho don’t sound like Minnie,” says Marquis. Back inside, we learn that some ain’t comfortable sharing the accommodations with that talkative nigger. “That nigger has a letter from Abraham Lincoln... they were almost pen pals.” That don’t sit well with the general. Looks like Minnie’s is gonna need a Mason Dixon Line.

As the snow flies and the wind howls, we get the impression that things aren’t exactly what they seem. And since this is a Quentin Tarantino film, we’re pretty sure there will be bloodshed. Unlike his other films, The Hateful Eight began as a stage play, and Tarantino has deliberately kept the stage play feel. He decided to shoot it on 70mm film, a format that hasn’t been used since 1966. As homage to a bygone era, The Hateful Eight is first being released as a special roadshow event, complete with programs, in about 50 theaters with large format projection. It’s a 3-hour film (with an intermission) that makes no attempt to cater to the viewing habits of the multi-tasking generation… the primary audience for this film. There will definitely be those who find the film too slow and too long, but once we settle into the pace, it holds our attention. The big music, big format, big acting and big sweep of post Civil War Wyoming are totally captivating… as is Tatantino’s version of frontier justice.

popcorn rating

3 popped kernels

Bounty hunters in a big western with big music, big scenery and big violence

Popcorn Profile

Rated: R (Language, Violence)
Audience: Young Adults
Gender Style: Macho
Distribution: Mainstream Limited Release (followed by wide release)
Mood: Sober
Tempo: In No Hurry
Visual Style: High-End Production 
Nutshell: Bounty hunters
Language: Artful
Social Significance: Pure Entertainment

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