What can you say about a Quentin Tarantino movie, except that it is a Quentin Tarantino movie? In this, his thirteenth film, he reminds us not only of how movies should be made, but how much fun watching a film should be.
Beginning with the filming. Tarantino filmed this in 65mm and projects in 70mm. This, as the bonus material on the DVD explains, makes for a spectacular visual experience. I am old enough to have seen movies like Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, and Sound of Music when they first came out, these were filmed with the same technique and I remember how spectacular they were visually. Sadly, I watched Hateful Eight on DVD and although it is still grand, not as much so as if I had seen it in the theater.
The best parts of this film are the dialogue and the range of topics. Tarantino hits all the buttons of racism, bigotry, ignorance, loyalty, women’s rights, and betrayal. The characters are never who they say they are and like a good Agatha Christie story, the viewer is never sure of exactly what is happening.
Samuel Jackson, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern deliver performances worthy of the talent we expect. Michael Madsen acts as though he just came over from filming Kill Bill, which is not a bad thing. Walter Goggins is excellent. The last time I had seen him was as Shane in The Shield. Jennifer Jason Leigh is outstanding as the main female in the film.
At two hours and 48 minutes this is a long film, but it does not get boring. Once it starts it doesn’t let you go. As the film comes to a close, there are questions left unanswered and one is left to imagine the next few scenes.
This film combines all the elements that make Westerns like The Magnificent Seven, Bad Day At Black Rock, Rio Bravo, and The Wild Bunch great.
Yes, this has Tarantino’s trademark of excessive blood and guts, and his overuse of the F word, and some may be offended by the multiple times the N word appears. This movie has so much more to offer once you set these aside.
This one gets five cigars and is worth watching a few more times.