Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Channing Tatum
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
The eighth film by Quentin Tarantino. It feels like more, doesn’t it? I mean, he’s so prolific that he MUST have more than eight films, right? I think it’s a testament to how good Quentin Tarantino is that he only has eight films. I’ve only ever felt “meh” about one of them. Jackie Brown. Of his entire filmography, Jackie Brown was the only one I felt was a little mediocre. Not bad, just not up to par of the rest of his filmography. Kinda like how I felt about The Good Dinosaur having Pixar’s stamp on it. For me, The Hateful Eight is everything that’s perfect about a Tarantino movie. I know there are haters out there (lol) but they can suck a big fat black Samuel L Jackson dick.
There are a few things that make a Tarantino movie great. First: The Dialogue. You have to have Quentin Tarantino’s bullet fast dialogue. It’s smart and edgy, and it brings something important to the second thing. The characters. Tarantino films always have great characters. The Bride. Mr Orange. Django. This film is no exception. Each actor brings something special to their role, and the dialogue boosts each one. Obvious standout for me would be Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy, Samuel L Jackson as Major Warren, and Walton Goggins as Chris Mannix. The third thing that makes a Tarantino film great is the aesthetic look of the film, which he has here in spades. The fourth is usually a great score, and Ennio Morricone is doing the score, and it’s perfection. Finally, you need to understand what came before you. Tarantino does a great job of painting a throwback to the spaghetti western of long ago, while putting his own spin on it. If Tarantino had worked with Clint Eastwood at some point, who knows what greatness could have occurred.
The Hateful Eight is only somewhat violent. It happens quick, fast, and only a few times in the film. It can be very violent, but all the violence is brief. This is not Kill Bill. The whole film does not revolve around violence, and in fact, most of it happens in the final third of the film. So, if you’re queasy, you’ve got a good two hours of film before anything bloody happens.
I’m betting that The Hateful Eight manages a Best Picture nomination. It didn’t get a Golden Globe nomination, but some films that open late pick up steam later in the year. I’m betting everyone is just now discovering how truly fantastic this is, and how it deserves a nomination. Easily one of the best films of the year. I’ve seen films that felt like a funeral dirge that have an hour less runtime than Hateful Eight. It kept me interested for nearly three hours, which is often really hard to do.
I really hope Quentin Tarantino has more than two movies left in him.
FINAL GRADE: A