I'm a pretty big Quentin Tarantino fan. I've watched most of his movies at the theatre, and tend to like them all.
When The Hateful Eight came out a few years ago, Tarantino was knee-deep in his political drama that I believe turned a lot of people off, including me. I skipped seeing the movie. However, A couple of days ago, I finally caught it on Netflix.
One of the things that makes Tarantino's movies so intriguing is that as a screenwriter and director, he's incredibly undisciplined, but he's so talented, he can use that as an advantage to give us fascinating scenes that we're not used to getting from other filmmakers. However, because of that lack of discipline, we have to put up with stuff that is annoying in his films, i.e.: their absurdly bloated length, the mind-numbing coincidences, & the ridiculous dialogue moments. The Hateful Eight does suffer from these, but overall the powerful scenes and terrific acting makes up for it.
Make no mistake about it, this is a $45M stage play masked as a film. It's a small, simple story. That being said, it's filled with enough tension to work quite well on the screen. The handful of spaces used for the film simply work as a backdrop for the deliciously fault-ridden Tarantino characters to aggravate each other, and ultimately commit the over-the-top violence we expect. And the Robert Richardson shots look as beautiful as they should in a Tarantino movie.
Having been shot on 70mm, I should have seen this film in the theatre. However, since it's not an epic outdoor story, I don't feel horrible about not seeing it on the big screen.
I don't see any fall-off in Tarantino's work. It's been rock-steady his entire career. The Hateful Eight isn't his best movie, but the range between his best and worst film is slim. They're all very good. If the Tarantino style of storytelling is your thing, I'd definitely catch The Hateful Eight on a nice-sized TV screen, and make yourself an extra large bowl of popcorn, because it's going to take awhile to get through it.
Jon David Rosten, author of
Order "The Wicked Trees" off of Amazon, today!