Even with all the talk of projector problems…it’s still worth your time. All 167 minutes of it.
Django Unchained. Kill Bill. Inglorious Basterds. Sin City. Yeah, I’m big on these films. I *love* Quentin Tarantino, so it wasn’t a question of if I’d be seeing The Hateful Eight. It was a matter of when.
A great contemporary take on an old-school Western (and I hate Westerns), with sort of a “whodunnit?” air, Tarantino’s 13th directorial effort tells a tale of bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) trying to get outlaw Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to her hanging. On the way, Ruth meets bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) who is trying to get his own round-up of dead outlaws to the town of Red Rock. Ruth and Warren also meet Chris Mannix, a guy who claims to be Red Rock’s new sherrif. Ruth ultimately gives them both a ride – but first, it’s a stop at a stagecoach lodge to escape a blizzard – they take refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery.
At Minnie’s, Ruth, Domergue and Warren meet three men Ruth becomes quite suspicious of: Bob, who is looking after the lodge; Oswaldo Mobray, who claims to be the Red Rock hangman, and Joe Gage, a cowboy looking to visit his mom. An older man, Sanford Smithers, is also there. Once we meet all of these people, the fun actually begins.
Where do I even start?
Some of the dialogue is pretty shocking. There’s one scene where Jackson reiterates a story about one of Sanford Smithers’s family members. I’d never gone through so many emotions in one scene. Depending on what kind of humour you enjoy, you’ll find the scene funny…or degrading. Up to you.
The little twists and turns are fantastic, and while some are to be expected (hint: look at the full cast, then keep it in mind during the film) it’s still a fun ride. What really makes this film shine is the cast. First of all, Jennifer Jason Leigh is fantastic in this movie. She’s nominated for a Golden Globe (and I wouldn’t be surprised if she received an Oscar nod) for a reason. She’s funny, witty, and makes Daisy Domergue out to be such an awful human being.
I didn’t think Samuel L. Jackson could be any funnier than I found him to be in Kingsmen: The Secret Service. I stand corrected. His timing is so great in this film, and he probably had me laughing the most.
The only drawback this film has going for it: the 70 mm issue. It’s been breaking down at some of the theatres it’s been screened at. The joy (sarcasm alert) of modern-day film is that most theatres screen their films with digital projectors. Ergo, Tarantino’s efforts to go vintage this time around are causing some issues at theatres:
*drives a half hour to see the roadshow version of ‘The Hateful Eight* *projector breaks*
— Emily Koelzer (@ejkelzoo) January 6, 2016
— Brent Rice (@brentrice13) January 3, 2016
And at the 2:50:00 mark, at the climax of the 70 mm Hateful Eight, the projector failed. This is why Hollywood went digital. — Chuck Murphy (@CmurphyDenver) December 31, 2015
So…that’s a thing that happened. If you’re able to go see it, then go see it. I quite enjoyed the fare, and wouldn’t mind watching it again. A nice, solid 4.5 out of 5 from me!