Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight is a Quentin Tarantino movie. That means it is violent - gratuitously over-the-top violent. It is also offensive - if anyone tracks number of uses of the N-word in a film, this almost certainly broke the record. It is also a work of art. This doesn't make it a good movie, just one that is well filmed.

I had the opportunity to see it in 70mm in the Roadshow cut, which is longer than the general release will be, and has an intermission. I recommend reading the Wikipedia article about 70mm, but the short version is that it's a much larger physical format than standard 35mm film, which makes for a higher quality picture. Tarantino acquired the lenses from 1959's Ben Hur to film this movie, and it definitely has a gorgeous look.

The film is a Western set a number of years after the Civil War. The titular Hateful Eight are trapped in a roadhouse by a blizzard, and large amounts of exposition and violence ensue. The acting is top-notch, as one might expect from Sam Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Tim Roth. The script is also expertly crafted, with a superbly done Mystery element. Whether you enjoy the final product, though, depends on your tolerance for gore, racism, misogyny, torture, and murder.

This is not a movie with heroes. These are the Hateful Eight, and none of them are good guys. Still, there's a good chance that if you enjoyed Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, you'll like this movie. It's not particularly more offensive than they are, and is extraordinarily well-made.

My overall scores are not an average of Performance, Plot, and Production - they are a measure of how much I enjoy a film. For a movie like this, it's somewhat hard to say how much I enjoyed it. It's a stunning work of cinematic art which is utterly devoid of positive moral qualities. So I'm going to kinda average that out to a 3.

Performance: 4.5/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Production: 5/5
Overall: 3/5
Bechdel: Pass (B)
Mako Mori: Fail
What are these?

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