Making Shifty Eyes

 

The Hateful Eight

 

Tea: Coffee

 

The 8th movie by Quentin Tarantino has finally been released. After the controversy surrounding the leaked script, the movie can now be watched instead of read. Since Django Unchained showed us that Tarantino can make western cool again, we now find ourselves with another one of them (there are worse fates to be had). Does he run out of ideas or is Hateful Eight worth your time, which will suck almost three hours away like nothing. Here’s my opinion:

Without giving anything away, the movie focuses on a group of random strangers trapped in Minnie’s Haberdashery during a blizzard. One of the unlucky guests is John Ruth who is a bounty hunter chained to his latest prize, the 10000 $-heavy lunatic Daisy Domergue. Seemingly on his side is Samuel L. Jackson’s character Marquis Warren, a bounty hunter himself. Add a would-be sheriff, a smooth-talking British man, an old general, the temporary Mexican owner of the establishment, and Budd from Kill Bill, I mean Joe Gage, a cowboy on his way home. However, John Ruth is certain that among these men, one person is not who he claims to be and is actually trying to rip his prize from his cold dead hands, if necessary. Suspense ensues.

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– Basically you are looking at a Western-version of Reservoir Dogs –

I quite enjoy the movies by Tarantino, although I am not one to put blinkers on when watching a movie made by a director I like. Tarantino movies are at their best when he can display his talent for writing realistic and captivating dialogue in front of the backdrop of gratuitous over-stylized violence. And this is a perfect setting for his talent to play out. The story evolves constantly and there is not a moment that fells like filler-dialogue. Everything is saturated with meaning and possible interpretations. There is a lot of fun to be found in trying to figure out who is on whose side and who will live and who will die. I spoil that people will die with no shame, come on it’s a Tarantino movie.

The actors are all spot-on picks for their roles. With Samuel L. Jackson, once again, doing a great job as one of the leads. In fact, there is not one actor I would call miscast. The Oscar nomination for Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy is more than deserved and I would not be surprised if she actually manages to sack it. The Oscar for best original script should also be awarded to Tarantino so he may one day fulfil his delusional dream of this Oscar being renamed as The Quentin.

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– When THE scene hits you will understand why Sam Jackson shines in this role –

As mentioned before, Tarantino movies are only as good as their dialogue and the exchanges in this movie are no exception to greatness. What makes his writing so good in this department, is his ability to write dialogue of human beings and not movie characters. Snazzy comebacks feel genuine and not merely worked in to fit on a movie poster or t-shirt. It is honestly somewhat sad that I have to praise good dialogue this much, when it should be a given. But Tarantino stands as one of the few that can actually write captivating long exchanges that even stretch beyond the current scene.

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– Did I mention the amazing costume design? No! Well, it’s great. –

What is another factor that makes Tarantino movies great? The music, of course. While Tarantino’s soundtracks usually seem like the most random mixture of styles and genres, they always fit together perfectly in the final product. This movie is no exception to this rule, but there is an added bonus this time. Tarantino has often used music from Ennio Morricone’s scores for other films, but this time the great maestro wrote parts of this score only for him. A childhood dream come true for Tarantino, I am sure. The opening shot accompanied by the soundtrack is one of the best you will find in the western-genre. At the same time beautifully nostalgic, but also tone-setting for the entire experience.

Sadly, I could not watch the movie in the 70mm format it should be in, but if you can, I am sure it is worth the money. It is a love letter to cinema itself and the lack of green screened visual bullshit just adds to this. But even in digital form this movie is a blast. The three hour runtime is necessary and does not feel drawn out at all. And for the first time it is not solely about revenge, what a fresh change of state.

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– Every aspect of this movie is polished (be it indoor, outdoor, dialogue, costume, you name it). –

If you do not like Tarantino movies, this will not win you over. It is more of what makes his movies stand out among the crowd. If they are nothing but violence glorifying bloodbaths then you probably can’t see the aesthetic sense in the bloodshed. To shy away from violence displays in movies is a truly ironic thing to do, since altering reality to make it suit a conservative and stuck-up society will only fuel the tendencies that bring about violence in the first place. This movie’s message is as relevant in the time it portrays as it is now. Therefore, just go and watch The Hateful Eight, you will definitely enjoy the experience.

 

 

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