Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – The Hateful Eight


Synopsis: John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) had one job and that was to bring his bounty, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), to Red Rock in order for her to face justice and hang for her crimes. But things take a bad turn when a blizzard forces him to rest at Minnie’s Haberdashery up in the mountains with six other strangers: a black bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson), two Confederates (one a soldier turned sheriff (Walton Goggins), the other a general (Bruce Dern)), a down home cowboy (Michael Madsen), a British hangman (Tim Roth), and a Mexican caretaker simply named “Bob” (Demián Bichir). But amidst these eight is one or more people who is not what they claim and as the night carries on, the secrets and pints of blood start coming out in true Tarantino fashion.

Review: The Hateful Eight was one heck of a film, to be sure, but I wouldn’t call it one of Tarantino’s best. I can see that he was trying to be atmospheric and at times, it succeeds. That opening title sequence is especially gripping, like something out of a horror or suspense movie. Where it cripples itself is the pacing and the dialogue. By no means is the writing bad, but it can repeat itself quite a few times and you can’t help wondering if this couldn’t have been trimmed down. The pacing hits the same problem when the movie runs through a whole lot of nothing to the point that I was actually getting bored. I feel like the whole thing would have worked better if it was a novel. In fact, according to Tarantino himself, it started out as a novelized sequel to Django Unchained before he turned it into The Hateful Eight. It’s an interesting insight that explains quite a few of the problems.

What propels the film forward is its Golden Globe winning score by Ennio Morricone. Every scene the music played was pure dynamite and had my undivided attention. The cinematography and visuals are also brilliant, though some of the attempts at being clever with them felt groan-worthy. Oh, I get it. The gun resting on his pelvis calls back to how guns are symbolic of phalluses in films. Yes, Tarantino, you’re very clever. Despite my gripes, it’s still Quentin Tarantino and even at his worst, he blows away Bay and Sandler’s best (in theory, anyway; I haven’t seen Grindhouse yet). That said, this isn’t one that I can recommend to everyone. Most of the general audience will be turned off by a lot of the violence, racial slurs that the characters throw at one another, and the sight of a battered woman (even if she is a criminal). It’s a good film in its own right, but it’s just not one of my favorites.

Fun Tidbit: Despite the film focusing on the number eight, there are in fact nine visible inhabitants of the cabin for the majority of the film. The ninth comes in the form of John Ruth’s driver, played by James Parks. The movie seems to acknowledge his status as a ninth wheel as he is constantly given brutal grunt work and subjected to all kinds of abuse.

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