Monday, June 13, 2016

3 Short Paragraphs: The Hateful Eight

2015, Quentin Tarantino (Jackie Brown) -- download

I wonder if Kurt Russell was growing the mutton chops for this movie or for Bone Tomahawk and the other movie just reaped the benefits. Either way, the face fuzz is most impressive and period appropriate.  Kurt's muttonchops play "The Hangman" John Ruth, a bounty hunter bringing in Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and interrupted by a nasty snowstorm, and another bounty hunter -- Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson). And then a new sheriff. This whole opening meet-on-the-road sequence perfectly sets the scene and tone of Tarantino's latest verbose epic. From the cold cold real snow (which actually collects on their hats) to the wide 70mm lovely shots of the desolate & beautiful land they are travelling through to the three men explaining to each other how they found themselves on the same road. Damn, I thought, I really should have made the effort to see this in epic widescreen cinema.

The stagecoach the above were riding in takes refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery. It's not a haberdashery, more a pit stop on a road serving coffee, food and a dry place to stay. When the coach arrives, there are already some guests, including Bruce Dern,  Michael Madsen and Tim Roth -- but no Minnie & Sweet Dave. Instantly there is suspicion and distrust.  Everyone is holed up together to wait out the storm. And nobody much likes the other. Of course, that distrust leads to violence and a Sam Peckinpah level of blood & death. Tarantino does love his source material.

I loved this movie, but not for its whole, but for its component performances. As a whole, it is violent people being violent to each other, and doesn't tell much of a story. But the performances just soar. I especially like Demián Bichir as Bob. It's classic western, so a deep, coherent story is not required. It has an Ennio Morricone soundtrack, so again, period appropriate. I love closed room stories but they always have a tight mystery to unwind. There is something to unwind, which generates the majority of the tension, but it's not much of a mystery. And it just runs long in the tooth, leading to the usual wonderful dialogue running willy nilly into masturbation territory.  But if anything could be said, I did not notice an almost three hour movie had just passed me by. Still wish I had seen it in the theatre though.

Graig states....