5.04.2016

The Hateful Eight: Not For Kids & Other Thoughts

My thoughts on Quentin Tarantino's latest film, The Hateful Eight:

1. Not for kids.

2. Jennifer Jason Leigh: awesome to see her in a film again; she definitely deserved the Oscar nod, especially for recognition of the challenge that must have been her wardrobe and make-up throughout the film.

3. Kurt Russell: also awesome to see him in a film again; his acting seemed a bit cliche after awhile, but considering it's a western and Tarantino's fondness for capturing small idiosyncrasies of older film genres, it worked.

4. Tim Roth: one of my favorite actors since Reservoir Dogs, in spite of his personal anti-gun views; loved his beard and acting in this film; in my opinion, I think he had some of the best dialogue throughout the entire film and he delivered it superbly; no one can act out a shot to the gut like he can, and he only gets better with age.

5. Bruce Dern: a small, but essential, role; to me he'll always be the comedic Lt. Mark Rumsfeld from the film The 'Burbs, but I liked seeing him play this hateful old general whom I couldn't help but pity.

6. What has been seen cannot be unseen. I wish Tarantino would stick to his Reservoir Dogs style, in that he never had to show the ear being cut off to mess with the audience's mind. The visuals that come about in the story told by Samuel L. Jackson's character that result in split-second shots of a man-on-man power rape scene are visuals I did not need to see and I wish they would get out of my head along with the story and Samuel L. Jackson's voice. Out, damn scene, out I say! 

7. Tarantino Trademarks: Could you really call it a Tarantino movie if it doesn't include anti-gun actors shooting guns, Tarantino writing himself in when he shouldn't, excessive assault of women, excessive use of the word 'nigger' by white people (due to the time period is my guess, as opposed to films of his set in modern times with black people saying 'nigger' more than white people), men raping men, and allusions of white guilt? All were included, making it a bona fide Tarantino film.

8. Stunning scenery and cinematography. No matter how many trademarks I slowly lose taste for in a Tarantino film, the visuals are always something to behold. Even in scenes I don't care for, I do my best to appreciate the artistic merit of the image when it comes to telling the story. 

9. Tarantino, the storyteller. I remember when he won the original screenplay Oscar for Pulp Fiction and that is always what interests me the most about his films -- his style of storytelling; not only his out-of-order chronology which is another trademark of his films, but also his writing and word arrangements. I am always curious to see how he will tell the story, how all the backstory of the characters and plot twists will be revealed (there are some good ones in The Hateful Eight!), and the order in which the story will be told. After all, if there wasn't a script, would there be a movie? The writer in me says no. 

10. Over all, a film worth seeing for Tarantino fans. If people do not like Tarantino movies, do not talk yourself into giving this film the benefit of your doubts, because you will not like it, I guarantee it. 

I love film more than most people I've met, and I have a fond enjoyment for Tarantino films, but even I have to question myself as to whether or not I truly liked the film beyond its artistic vision due to the lingering disturbances it has given me. Ironically, to leave me this disturbed is proof positive it's a good film, which makes me automatically like it by default just for that alone. Touché, Tarantino.

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