I hope enough time has passed for the strong feelings that some had to settle down and those individuals can now watch and appreciate this rare masterpiece in today’s films.
Review: In these long “stay-at-home” days, like so many of you I’m sure, I am catching up on a lot of missed movies and even a few series. The films I never got around to seeing for various reasons, some I forgot about, others I felt indifferent too and then others I just lost interest in seeing, the latter applies to the movie at hand, Quentin Tarantino’s controversial THE HATEFUL EIGHT: EXTENDED VERSION.
Taking place after the Civil War when tensions were still high, a chance encounter in Wyoming in the winter brings together a group of desperate people. They include bounty hunter Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a renegade turned lawman (Waton Goggins who steals the show), a former confederate general (Bruce Dern), and a legendary bounty hunter named John Ruth (Kurt Russell), nicknamed “The Hangman” because he always brings his quarry in to hang, among several other undesirables including his latest bounty, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). When heading to the town of Red Rock they end up stranded together in a log cabin due to a deadly snow blizzard. Soon it becomes clear not everyone is meant to survive until morning.
Originally released theatrically in 2015, at which time I saw it and felt somewhat conflicted about, but certainly having enjoyed it. The “extended version” appeared just under a year ago on Netflix, shown in four parts as a “mini-series”, about 45 additional minutes have been added to the theatrical version. Nothing really all that crucial is contributory here, some longer scenes and a few fresh ones as well, there is extended dialogue, more minor characters are given farther development and end-up playing more of an important role. The attributes of the original movie are still here though, Tarantino’s direction is excellent, the performance of the all-star cast is unmatched, combined with the wonderful cinematography by the great Robert Richardson, who has shot QT’s previous 4 films, Ennio Morricone’s Oscar-winning score, and Tarantino’s deeply absorbing and riveting dialogue. What it doesn’t do is add anything to the action scenes, which will undoubtedly will disappoint my dear readers, but those that were in the original theatrical exhibition are great looking and still present.
Drawing inspiration from director Sergio Corbucci and his superb film “The Great Silence”, as well as the rarely mentioned influence of the Spaghetti-western “Cut-Throats Nine” and Agatha Christie novels. THE HATEFUL EIGHT is Tarantino’s most divisive movie to date, perhaps with the exclusion of “Death Proof” (which shares a couple of cast members here). It is not your typical Tarantino movie, but then what is? It’s not a rehash of the popular (and equally wonderful) “Django Unchained”. What it does have is Tarantino, the iconoclast filmmaker, with the fearlessness to make something different where most would play it safe.
This may also be the most audacious movie of Tarantino’s career. It isn’t politically correct, it is admittedly sick, twisted, and violent, but It is also very much worth a re-evaluation by anyone who didn’t “get” this movie the first time around. One QT’s least assemble movies the “mini-series” format is less so. Broken up into segments the movie amps up it’s suspense and allows the viewer to take it in smaller doses, or you can still binge watch it as I did, in such a manner it is easier to take all the blood and violence and unappealing characters that had previously marred the movie for some.
THE HATEFUL EIGHT is a highly charged racial and political film that some turned their backs to when the movie was first released, some due to comments, which I choose not to go into, that the director made publicly. Also there were the usual thin skinned critics that complained about all the graphic violence and the bad language including multiple uses of the “n-word”. The politics are strong, the metaphors compelling and dense, still I hope enough time has passed for the strong feelings that some had to settled down and those individuals can now watch and appreciate this rare masterpiece in today’s films.