Friday, January 20, 2017

The Hateful Eight (2016)

Ennio Morricone's (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) elegiac opening music sets the tone for this grim tale of eight eclectic characters holed up in a remote Wyoming stagecoach lodge after a winter storm strands them. Absorbing dialogue (overly talky first half but never boring) somewhat marred by Tarantino's insistence on tossing the "N" word in every chance he gets. Give it a rest, T.

The last hour is particularly well crafted when we learn the backstory behind Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) that John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) is escorting to Red Rock albeit turning the narrative into a gore splattered nightmare for our hateful travelers—a hardboiled Western not for the squeamish. Along with Russell's similar, in sobering brutality, BONE TOMAHAWK (2015), THE HATEFUL EIGHT would make for a helluva Western Horror double feature.

10 comments:

Elgin Bleecker said...

Tarantino is a talented filmmaker. I just wish he made better films – shorter, tighter, more focus, less talk. For me, his best was JACKIE BROWN, probably because it was adapted from Elmore Leonard’s novel, RUM PUNCH.

David Cranmer said...

He does seem to lose focus and perhaps it's because he tries to add so many different homages in a single film. Overall, though, I've been satisfied with his body of work. So many younger filmmakers attempt to emulate him and fail miserably.

Elgin Bleecker said...

He is unique. New guys try to copy him the way some try to copy Hitchcock. Can’t be done. I think Tarantino’s talent is in his ability to grab and hold your attention. Like the story or not, like the actors or not, like the humor or the violence or the talk or not, he puts you on his carnival ride and doesn’t let your out until the end. Although, I had a hard time with HATEFUL 8, too much of it felt like trudging through deep snow.

David Cranmer said...

Well said, Elgin. I would only add the copycats think by adding a whole bunch of shocking gore that they will top QT but like you mentioned he never fails to make the ride gripping. A true storyteller. My only chief complaint with HATEFUL 8 (besides the overuse of the N word) was that it was WAY talky in the first half—even for QT.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

David, I have not seen this film but I'd like to watch it in spite of my reservations about the (insensate) violence in Tarantino's films. I watched RESERVOIR DOGS only because of the hype. In the end it left me disappointed. I think he likes to shock his viewers, if I could put it that way.

David Cranmer said...

Prashant, if you didn't like the violence in DOGS then you might want to skip HATEFUL 8. Heads literally explode in this film.

tontowilliams said...

I watched this recently and quite enjoyed it. The violence is typical Tarantino, so didn't come as a surprise (not that I'd actually know, but it often seems unrealistic to me e.g. the coffee scene). What I did like was the telling of the second part of the story, nice twists and turns.

David Cranmer said...

Alan, the coffee scene did seem to exist almost for a dark comedy of sorts edge. Hard to take it realistically or the head being blown apart. Both seemed unreal.

Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely seemed a bit long to me. Some really interesting dialogue and characters though.

David Cranmer said...

I agree, Charles, that the first hour could have been shortened.