The Hateful Eight Review

Whenever someone asks me who is my favorite director, Tarantino is a name that always comes to mind. He is not my favorite, Stanley Kubrick has that pleasure, but Tarantino is certainly up there (for me at least). I think all his films are great, and The Hateful Eight is no exception. It has a fantastic cast who deliver great Tarantino dialogue in glorious 70 mm.
When The Sun Comes Out, I’m Taking this Woman To Hang!
First things first, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing this film in 70 mm, which means the version I saw is slightly different than most theaters. There is an extra 30 minutes of footage, which is something I will discuss when I point out the negatives. However, what I love about the film is how the plot unfolds and how it interweaves these characters. It starts out establishing who the main characters are, and what their purpose is. What Tarantino does is he gives you enough to know something about the characters, but you still question which character you should root for. It is hard to root for one character because they are all flawed, and their actors bring such charisma to their respective characters. The standouts for me are Tim Roth and Walton Goggins. Both characters are very interesting, but their delivery of Tarantino’s lines is exceptional. They may be a bit over the top, but that is very much Tarantino’s style. It never felt like they were overacting, they felt like they fit right in with the world Tarantino set up. I already touched on it, but I will emphasize once more how much I like Tarantino’s writing. He writes in such an interesting way that offers a nice balance between entertainment and social commentary. It is not his best script, but definitely up there as one of his best. There is also something about the film that feels like a play. It is very dialogue heavy, with a limited use of location. The film is basically set in a stage coach, and a cabin. I personally really like this approach because all of Tarantino’s films have a focus on the dialogue, so this stylistic choice felt seamless. Before focusing on a couple of negatives, I need to mention both the cinematography and the score. I enjoyed Ennio Morricone’s score quite a bit. It felt reminiscent of film scores of the 1960s, which complimented Tarantino’s vision very well. Unlike the score, the cinematography elevates the film. So many shots are gorgeously crafted, which makes watching simple scenes much more exciting. I am sure the film will get a nomination for cinematography, but with such a packed year I am not sure that it will win.
Got Room For One More?
As you can tell, I like this film a lot, but it is not without a few mistakes. As my esteemed father pointed out, there are several historical inaccuracies. This does not bother me mainly because this film is Tarantino’s vision. If he wants to include words that have not yet been invented, that is fine. It does not detract anything from the plot. What the film struggles with the most is pacing. The first two hours of the film are incredibly slow. Now, this may be different for those who watch this film in digital format, but this is how I felt with my 70 mm experience. However, the last hour or so makes up for some of the film’s slow pace. The last hour had me on the edge of my seat and my attention never wavered. If the first two hours were shorter, or perhaps a bit faster paced, the overall pacing of the film would not have been so bothersome. Tarantino probably did this on purpose so he could effectively build up the characters along with their conflicts, but I just think he could have done so a bit quicker than he did.
Closing Remarks
The Hateful Eight is yet another impressive entry in Tarantino’s already impressive filmography. In my opinion, he has not had a misstep yet, even though some people do not like this film as much as I do. Perhaps some people had a bigger problem with the pacing than I did, but regardless this is a cinematic experience you do not want to miss.
Hateful8

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