Phil’s (Not So) Quick Capsule Review:
The Hateful Eight is a tough film to watch. Not just because of the violence but because it’s like watching your child grow up and at every step knowing when they could be great they just aren’t no matter how hard they try. Tarantino’s eight film (we know this because he tells us at the start) is another Western (yes apparently Django was a Southern but outside of QT’s fevered ego to everyone else it was a Western) but probably for the most part has more in common with Reservoir Dogs than his recent output.
There were moments I loved this film, even more dubious moments like the odd 4th floor breaking narration which I found was quite clever and an interesting stylistic choice. The music and cinematography (in Panavison 70mm as we are told once again in the opening credits) are top draw, with Tarantino once again managing to draw out some amazing performances from what could be his best cast yet. The OTT effects work by long time collaborators Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero are as good as you would expect and It was generally very well written and it was pretty funny at times.
Yet I didnt love it. At times I was bored. At times I checked my watch. At times I just wanted the film to get to the point, which when you look at the story in the round is probably his simplest narrative yet. But all that said, and lets be honest baggy and undisciplined story telling is what we have come to expect from a man who managed to drag out a 90 minute action film across two near three hour movies, this film has two major issues for me that are utterly unforgivable: The violence towards women is nothing short of hateful and I never want to hear the word Nigger in ANY film ever, let alone a Tarantino film. I cringed by the time I’d heard it the 15th time. By the 100th I just wanted to stop watching. I know Tarantino probably ISN’T a racist, misogamist pig. But he makes it pretty hard to believe. It’s a shame because there are moments that made me believe this film was possible his fourth best film. The flowing dialogue, the simple story, the swerves and twists – all Tarantino at his best. At at 95 mins, with some language and violence control it could well have been. And this film NEEDED to be 95 minutes for every time there was a lingering shot of something that went on for MUCH longer than it needed to I kept thinking how that was another minute I wouldn’t ever get back, and another minute that could have been spent on the story.
Oh and just fuck off with the 8th Film by credit (which it isn’t by the way). Nobody but you and Bob/ Harvey care. This is a film you have to see. It’s Tarantino after all and that fact still (just) demands it. But man prepare for some mixed emotions along the way.
Best Bit: Violence!
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill
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Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the award nominated Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years, currently co-hosts Ross And Phil Talk Movies and is a writer/editor for his own blog Phil’s Quick Capsule Review…