When I first heard about Quentin Tarantino's newest movie, "The Hateful Eight," I wasn't overly excited. It's not that I'm not a fan of his, I am to a degree, as I absolutely love Reservoir Dogs and Inglorious Bastards, but when I read the synopsis of "The Hateful Eight" nothing about it (or the trailer) captivated me. My boyfriend, who happens to be a huge fan of Tarantino's work, suggested that we go see "The Hateful Eight" on New Year's Eve, as it was a part of a special roadshow engagement in which the movie would be presented in 70mm. I figured I had nothing to lose, and though the movie was going to be 3+ hours long, there would at least be an intermission and I had never seen a film presented in 70mm before. What I was not expecting was how much I absolutely LOVED this film. For a movie I didn't think I would like, I was shocked at how much I loved everything about it, especially since it was a Western style movie.
For those of you not familiar with Tarantino's 8th film, "The Hateful Eight," it's about 8 individuals, each on their own mission to get to the town of Red Rock, Wyoming, who come face to face with each other while staying overnight at a Haberdashery to fend off an upcoming blizzard. What they aren't prepared for are the secrets and lies that some of the individuals are keeping which once revealed causes a fight for all of their own survival. The film takes place shortly after the Civil War, so racial tensions are incredibly high which adds to the tension of the film. The film stars some heavy hitters such as Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Channing Tatum. That cast alone should get you to watch this film. I would like to point out that Samuel L. Jackson is absolutely terrific in this film, as is Tim Roth but I'm biased because I love him.
During the first half of the film I was completely captivated. There wasn't too much going on in terms of action during this time; however, the acting was so good that it drew you into the story and the world that Tarantino had created. Throughout the first half of the film the tension slowly begins to build as we are introduced to each character and we find out why they are on their way to Red Rock, Wyoming. In true Tarantino fashion, there's a whole lot of swearing and a whole lot of use for the N-word; however, what I thought was lacking in the first half was violence. Now, don't get me wrong, there was some violence here and there, mostly directed towards Jennifer Jason Leigh's character, but not the violence I was used to seeing from his other movies. ALL THAT CHANGED during the second half of the movie. All that action and violence that didn't seem so apparent in the first half of the movie was happily waiting for us during the second half of the movie and it was glorious! So if you are looking forward to seeing blood spilled everywhere and heads exploding, then let me be the first to tell you you are in for a real treat.
Another aspect of the film that was really interesting was seeing it in 70mm. At first I didn't really take into account how great 70mm was because I was incredibly concentrated on the movie, but once my boyfriend pointed out to me the benefits of having a film in 70mm I couldn't look away. I loved being able to see the scenes played out so wide and not cut down. It made you feel more immersed within the film, almost as if you were there with the characters. I really do hope more films are done in 70mm because it really adds another dimension to the viewing experience.
In conclusion, "The Hateful Eight" has become one of my favorite films of the entire year. I loved the storyline, I loved the acting, I loved the creative use of violence, and I loved the humor. I think that "The Hateful Eight" is one of the most solid movies I've seen ever and I can't stop singing it's praise. Unfortunately, the 70mm roadshow engagement was only for the first week of the film's release, though I wish that they were able to have it for the entirety of the film's release. Regardless, for such a solidly good film, I think everyone should see "The Hateful Eight." It's a film that you won't soon forget.
The Hateful Eight Movie Review
by Shannon McGrew