When the topic of Quinten Tarantino is brought up amongst movie fans, you can usually count on a good discussion and even debate over his films. Most movie buffs have a particular favorite and most have things they love about his films and even things they hate. Tarantino is quite a polarizing figure in the film community. While well respected, there are also those who find his work offensive and maybe even disgusting.
One thing is for sure, that is, he has left an indelible mark in movies. He has managed to challenge himself all while creating a world all his own. He has his core group of actors that are his muses as well as being the ones that deliver on screen the way he pictures it in his head. He has been able to maintain this consistency, all while telling stories over time periods from before the civil war, to World War II, to modern times. He has covered all genres from noir, independent, Kung fu and westerns.
His latest effort is his eighth film. It takes place around the same time as his, Django Unchained. Set in Wyoming after the Civil War in the middle of a vicious blizzard, it focuses on eight people who happen upon each other and are stranded in a secluded country store referred to as the haberdashery. When a bounty hunter known as Jon Ruth the hangman and his prisoner, Daisy Domergue, come across a former US cavalry Major turned bounty hunter, they reluctantly give him a ride. Forging through the snow and blizzard on their tail, they come across the soon to be sheriff of the town of Red Rock, which is the final destination for all of them.
When they arrive at the haberdashery, something immediately seems off to all of them when there are 5 very unusual characters holed up waiting out the storm as well. When Jon Ruth begins to suspect that one of them is there to free Daisy, the tension and suspicions begin to grow. Things slowly begin to reveal themselves much like a classic mystery story. No one can be trusted and no one can be counted out.
The Hateful Eight has many of the staples of a Tarantino movie, such as wonderful dialogue, perfect angle shots and deep character development. Like every Tarantino movie, he tries new things, new actors. With The Hateful Eight he has gone back in time, not only in the story, but in the equipment he used to shoot the film. He used 70mm cameras which were used in such epic films as Ben-Hur, Lawrence Of Arabia and Cleopatra. Only a handful of theaters in the country even have the projectors and screens that can show these type of movies. Shooting in 70mm is just another way Tarantino pays homage to the films of years ago that shaped his sense of film making.
The cast is made up of new players, classic Tarantino actors and some that have just recently started to become perfect actors in his world.
One of the new players is Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is wonderful in the role of Daisy. With her sarcastic and unworried attitude keeps you pulled into her and has you wondering what is up her sleeve. She brings to life an almost perfect portrayal of a Tarantino villain. Her performance brings her a well deserved Golden Globe nomination.
Kurt Russell makes his second appearance for Quentin, the first being in Death Proof, one half of the Grindhouse double feature he made with Robert Rodriguez. Russell plays Jon Ruth the hangman who is known for keeping his bounties alive so that he can see them hang. He is handcuffed to Daisy so as not to lose her. This is Russell’s second western of the year, the other being the bizarre yet brilliant, Bone Tomahawk. Russell fits well amongst the Tarantino core as the always suspicious and short tempered bounty hunter.
Making his second appearance for the director is Walton Coggins, who is most widely known for his roles in the two FX series, Justified and The Shield. Considering his two films he’s made are both considered westerns, his southern accent and demeanor couldn’t fit more perfectly in this world. Of course Samuel L. Jackson makes his customary appearance for Tarantino as Major Marquis Warren.
Tarantino has often said he will stop making movies after he’s made 10. This is his eighth (ironically coincides with the title) means die hard fans only have 2 more movies inside the mind and world of Quentin Tarantino. This is not his strongest film, but fans will be truly satisfied as his dialogue is in top form and his direction is as obviously meticulous as it always is. It may run long for average movie goers, but it will keep you watching throughout.