Suspensful, Funny, and Violent — ‘The Hateful Eight’ is Tarantino at His Bloody Best

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

hateful-eight-0000001

The past few films of Quentin Tarantino have been concerned with the writer-director’s unique brand of revisionist history. Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds took Tarantino’s trademarked witty banter and infused it with his renowned pop culture sensibilities, but also presented a new streak of political thought into his films. These films also represented the biggest box office successes of his career. Never one to dabble in complacency, Tarantino is taking all his chips and cashing them in with The Hateful Eight, the director’s latest venture into the western genre. It contains numerous Tarantino signatures – the aforementioned clever banter, some non-linear storytelling, and some of the most startling and effective uses of violence that is found in modern cinema. But The Hateful Eight also brings Tarantino’s political streak further to the forefront, with a story that takes on the nation’s history of white supremacy and also further establishes that Tarantino is a master of suspense, something frequently lost when evaluating the tics that define Tarantino to many. The Hateful Eight is Tarantino at his most violent, it is also Tarantino at his best.

The closest comparison of Tarantino’s filmography to The Hateful Eight would be Reservoir Dogs, though the film also has a strong streak reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Thing. Starting out on a stagecoach in the snowy mountains, John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) encounters Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) waiting in the middle of the road, frozen bodies lying beside him, hoping to catch a ride to Red Rock. Though the two men are previously acquainted, The Hangman doesn’t trust anyone right now. He’s taking Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to hang and plans to collect the $10,000 reward. Marquis is allowed into the stagecoach, but further along the road Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) is also seeking a ride to Red Rock, where he claims he is to become the next sheriff. John Ruth lets everyone aboard the stagecoach piloted by O.B. (James Parks), but only after he’s disarmed them all. But a blizzard is coming to the mountain and everyone plans only to stay through the storm at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a local trading post en route to Red Rock. Upon their arrival, they learn that the Haberdashery is occupied with its own various group of rogues. There’s Gen. Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), a former Confederate general; Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the executioner of Red Rock; Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a self-professed cowboy; and Bob the Mexican (Demian Bichir), a hired hand of Minnie’s watching the haberdashery while Minnie visits her mother. John Ruth’s paranoia won’t subside, and he firmly believes that someone at Minnie’s isn’t who they say they are and are seeking to free the murderous Daisy Domergue.

At nearly three hours, the first two-thirds of The Hateful Eight is setting all the pieces in place before the bloodletting, which is mightily ample even for a Tarantino film. What is especially apparent in the film is just how adept that Tarantino is these days at building tension, a manner worthy of one of his idols in Brian De Palma. The central distrust of the story is borne out in all of its hateful characters, but driven by John Ruth’s distrust of everyone – whether he is right or wrong is a question best solved by actually viewing the film. But with its snowy setting and Kurt Russell in a prominent role, the aspects of The Thing are real without the angle of the supernatural, and only amplified by the wonderfully atmospheric score by the legendary Ennio Morricone. Needless to say, however, when shit goes bad it goes really, really, really bad for everyone involved.

As for the political angle, Samuel L. Jackson is the lone black man at Minnie’s Haberdashery, and is forced to deal not only with his reputation as a former Union soldier with a penchant for killing white Confederates, but is trapped in these close quarters with a couple of former Confederates, their prejudices still running rampant. But the character has to also deal with prejudices that remain buried. In one instance, a supposed ally in the confined quarters of distrust learns of a lie which brings forth a racist streak indistinguishable from the Confederates sitting across the room. Everything that builds on this front comes to a head in a chapter entitled “Black Man, White Hell.” But Jackson is as good as he’s ever been, hopefully good enough to where he’ll take home that Oscar that he should’ve won for Pulp Fiction or Jackie Brown.

Shot in 65mm Ultra Panavision and presented on a 70mm print, The Hateful Eight is as gorgeous a cinematic experience that one will find this year. Cinematographer Robert Richardson brings a classical style of crisp overhead lighting in the indoor sequences, and the natural snowy vistas look so vibrant that you’ll feel a chill in your feet as if you’ve just stepped into three feet of snow. In this modern era of antiseptic digital projection, the Ultra Panavision presentation of The Hateful Eight is one that reminds its viewer of the beauty and majesty of celluloid, not only as a means for capturing but projecting images.

Aside from Samuel L. Jackson, who undoubtedly steals the show and has a moment that is so shocking that people will be talking about it for a while, the rest of the cast is stellar. Tarantino has always been a good actor’s director, and his crackling dialogue gives them ample room to play. Not only does he have the film’s best facial hair, Kurt Russell brings that swagger that he brought with him in those great Carpenter films and Tarantino’s Death Proof. Walton Goggins is having a blast playing up his Southern accent in unison with his character’s cold-blooded brutality. In the mini-Reservoir Dogs reunion, Michael Madsen is gruff and understated while Tim Roth brings a certain British smarminess to his executioner. The most pleasant part of The Hateful Eight is seeing Jennifer Jason Leigh once again allowed to give a strong, well-rounded performance as Daisy Domergue. She can be ruthless with her words and still menacing even though she spends most of the film shackled to Russell’s hangman. Of course, no film can have too much Bruce Dern and his cantankerous Confederate has some tense moments staring down Jackson’s Marquis. Finally, Demian Bichir’s Bob the Mexican is an enigma, a riddle only to be solved as the film draws closer and closer to its conclusion. Rounding out the cast is a small but surprising role by Channing Tatum – I won’t divulge anything else about his character.

For fans of Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is catnip, blending all the director’s signature styles in a lush cinematic experience that few others could possibly pull off. It’s a funny, tense film that culminates in a number of shockingly violent moments. Detractors of Tarantino beware – there’s nothing you will like about The Hateful Eight. This film is somewhat subdued in its setting, slowly adding layer upon layer before unleashing a barrage of bullets, but it’s that stunningly crafted tension that makes every shot fired in The Hateful Eight mean something for the characters on the screen and those in the audience. This is a bold, bloody film that only Quentin Tarantino could’ve pulled off. Glorious 70mm is right.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Titans’ Episode 2: Birds of a Feather

Last week’s Titans set up everything we want from the DCEU’s...

The Curse of La Llorona Trailer
Say Your Prayers Before Watching the ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Trailer

Something terrible is coming. Details are scarce as to what we...

Destroyer Trailer
Nicole Kidman Goes Rogue in Trailer for Karyn Kusama’s Gritty Drama ‘Destroyer’

Things have finally started to turn around for director Karyn Kusama....

Event News Event Reviews
Alt 98.7 Presents Big Adventure: Music, Comedy & Comic Con Festival, Nov 3-4 in Orange County

In less than a month, Alt 98.7 Presents Big Adventure makes its debut,...

The 9th Annual Brew HA HA Craft Beer Photo Gallery

Photos by FanboyNation Craft Beer Expert, Dave Warner. Related

Long Beach Comic Con Photo Gallery

Related

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Taco Bell Xbox
The Newest Taco Bell Box is an Xbox – Your Chance to Win a Taco Bell Xbox

Taco Bell and Xbox are partnering up to give fans a chance...

Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
8.0/10
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Eagle Eyes
Protect Your Eyes with Eagle Eyes Glasses – Eagle Eyes TV Kit Review

Eagle Eyes TV Kit review – Feel the difference and get...

Nooligan Talks About His New DC Collectibles Batman Family Line

Visual Artist Nooligan uses the influences of his First Nation ancestry along...

DC Collectibles Brings Batman Dark Nights: Metal to Life

Straight from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL comics series comes...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
PFL 9 Lightweight and Light Heavyweight Semi-Final Results From Long Beach

Saturday, October 13, 2018 – Professional Fighters League (PFL) 9 took...

NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleased Results

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) continues its West Coast domination with...

Combate Americas: Camino a Copa Combate Results from Long Beach

Tonight Combate Americas, the premiere Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts organization featured...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring part ??? more of BEHOLD TACOCAT!

The next epic installment in the epic epicness Behold Tacocat! A...

Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter & the Cat Conjuring pt7 subsection1: Behold: Tacocat!

Tacocat comes to Hogwarts but is he friend or FOE?

Cultural Junkdrawer – Why is it so familiar? 2018 Summer movie recap.

In case you haven’t noticed: summer is over. Most of you...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep 5 Kavanaugh, Dr. Ford and The Fourth Estate

This week on Coastal Commoners, R.C. and Gary speak with Riverdale...

Coastal Commoners Ep 4 Talking Baseball with Ernie Paicopolos of FenwayNation

This week, Gary and R.C. speak with Ernie Paicopolos, the Editor-in-Chief...

Coastal Commoners Ep 3 The Dirty World of Politics

Editor’s Note: The views reflected in Coastal Commoners are those of...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Deadpool 2 Vinyl Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Deadpool 2 Score Soundtrack on...

Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

%d bloggers like this: