The Hateful Eight (2015)

More than once Quentin Tarantino has claimed that he would not make more than ten films and for the time after that he intends to write books on cinema history as well as theatre plays. The Hateful Eight may well have been a tryout for the latter. Like Django Unchained, Tarantino’s predecessor movie, it is another a quasi-Western. It begins in the snowy landscapes of Wyoming (inspired by The Great Silence (1968)). Bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and three proofs of his skills meet a stagecoach in the wilderness that is soon packed to capacity. Further passengers are John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell), also a bounty hunter, his still living bounty Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the maybe new sheriff of Red Rock, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) and the driver O.B. Jackson (James Parks). In the face of the snowstorm, they lodge at Minnie’s Haberdashery and encounter even more bizarre characters. As soon as all the figures are locked into a single room, the scenario turns into a chamber play. Eccentric characters, some openly dangerous and others who are not what they pretend to be; civil war-related tension and racism; biting dialogues; provocations, profanity and gore (almost parody in some places); strong performances (especially by Jackson and Roth); an interjected whodunit. Everything you can expect from a Tarantino. The movie is thrilling and funny, but also a bit too long and it contains a bumpy, maybe even superfluous rewind. The Hateful Eight was shot on 65mm film in an extremely wide 2.76:1 aspect ratio, a format used almost exclusively in some 1950s and 1960s films (including Ben Hur). It provides a much larger and therefore more detailed image, which is ideal for monumental epics. Coupled with Tarantino’s attention to detail and Robert Richardson’s cinematography, The Hateful Eight looks fantastic in both extreme wide shots and close-up.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Channing Tatum
Genre: Drama, Western
Rated: R
Runtime: 168 min.
Release Date: 2015/12/25
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino
Editor: Fred Raskin
Cinematography: Robert Richardson
Budget: $100 million