It’s a Quentin Tarantino film. No matter what, it will be a spectacle. Even during his worst, most of his films surpass what is being released upon the modern day box office but not just the modern day box office. During his early work in the 90’s, Tarantino was creating films which had never been seen by moviegoers. He hit Hollywood with a bang when Reservoir Dogs released and put Hollywood on notice saying, “I’m here, I’m staying, so you better get out of the way.” If The Hateful Eight had been released in a year””or a month””where there wasn’t a new Star Wars film being released, everyone would be talking about this film right about now. And guess what”¦even with Star Wars out, people are still talking about it. Tarantino has added another hit into his quintessential library of films that every admirer of film needs to see.
The 70mm Roadshow began on Christmas Eve which is oddly fitting since the film is loosely based around the Holidays. Michael Madsen’s cowboy character, Joe Gage, is said to be visiting his Mother for Christmas. “There’s nothing like spending Christmas with your Mother,” Gage says. To which Demian Bichir’s character, Bob “The Mexican”, says, ”Everybody’s got a Mother,” when Gage’s motives are brought into question. The Hateful Eight, more so than all of Tarantino’s other work, is an actor’s film through-and-through. The first two-thirds of the film are spent with the entire cast getting to know one another. I fought on this side of the Civil War. You fought on this side. I just want to get to my Mother. I just want to get to my new job in Red Rock as Sherriff. All the early chapters are spent with this type of dialogue moments. The characters are interesting enough to warrant an entire movie being spent on getting to know these renegades, and I would love to see a spin-off film of each and every one of them. Kurt Russell’s John Ruth and Samuel L. Jackson’s Major Marquis Warren are the main protagonists of the movie, and both do a great job portraying their roles. Russel plays a mockup John Wayne figure, and Samuel L. Jackson plays what I assume would be Django if he grew to the age of 55. It’s as awesome as it sounds. However, the one who steals the show is Jennifer Jason Leigh: Daisy Domergue.
Playing the woman to be executed by the hangman, Daisy is probably the most interesting female character Tarantino has written since Kill Bill. Quentin often has a knack for writing terrific female figures, but I think Jennifer’s portrayal of Daisy might have just put her on the top of my personal list. There’s a specific (non-spoilery) moment when John, Major, and Daisy are all in the stagecoach heading to their destination when the camera focuses on her and what she might be thinking. It’s a diabolic, sexy, and great moment that introduces us to the notion that this woman has something up her sleeve. She doesn’t say a word and doesn’t even make a sound. She just sits there smiling”¦glaring. It’s awesome! Tarantino originally wrote the part of Daisy with Natalie Portman in mind, and I can see why he wrote the part thinking she would fit in well. Daisy has a sweetness to her behind all the Lady Macbeth scheming going on in her mind. Portman would’ve pulled that off well, but Leigh auditioned for the role with blood in her mouth””reportedly””and snagged the role. She is receiving an Oscar nomination for this role. Will she win? Probably not, but damn does she deserve it!
The 70mm Panavision really doesn’t add anything to the film. A huge portion of the movie takes place indoors, so the only real advantage the 70mm gives is seeing where all the characters are during certain moments in the movie. The landscape shots which take full advantage of the Ultra Panavision are gorgeous, showing off these John Ford-esque landscapes that will make anyone audibly awe. If the Roadshow didn’t make it to your series, you’re not missing much when it comes to the actual film itself. The overture and the intermission are cool; especially with Ennio Morricone scoring the film. However, that’s about it. I got a cool program. That was cool.
All in all, you have to go see The Hateful Eight. The movie has a run time of about three hours, but Tarantino’s movie is so perfectly paced with excellent dialogue that those three hours feel like an hour and thirty minutes. There is an off-putting moment in the film where it suddenly turns into a theory-crafting “whodunit” game of western Clue, but that scene is gone in an instant with the reveal of what is actually happening. The film warrants two viewings, so I’m going to see this movie a second time knowing what is going on and looking for all the clues. I can’t wait to see it again.
“When you get to Hell”¦tell em’ Daisy sent ya.”