Hateful Eight roadshow review
After waiting nearly three months for its arrival in a theater near me, I finally got the chance to see Tarantino’s most recent silver screen effort, “The Hateful Eight” (THE), as it was intended to be seen. The entire original cut in 70mm. It was both a great, and odd experience as most of the theater goers seemed to have no idea that this is what they were seeing (some even left at intermission thinking that the film was over). Let me tackle this review in 2 parts: The film, and the roadshow event.
Many of the people with whom I’ve discussed the film with feel that it was a bit too much (anyone who has seen it probably knows exactly what I am talking about), but I feel that the film was very Tarantino. The shots and angles used during scenes of action or mounting discomfort were not only uncommon, but broke the “traditional” rules of visual story telling while not detracting from the mood, a feat which is seldom seen. Another Q.T. trademark, the dialogue was fantastic and held nothing back which (aside from a few word choices) really pulled me into the time and environment created by the visuals. The visuals are the reason to see this film, all intermittent and establishing shots beautifully highlight the desolate feeling of isolation which is carried throughout the story and serves as a main factor in the decision making processes of all those who found themselves at the haberdashery. The performances of most of the cast were superb and a good portion of the story telling is done through facial expressions and non-verbal communication, something which I am a huge fan of. Overall, I would not say this is the best film Tarantino has made, but it is in the top half of his catalog.
Seeing The Hateful Eight in 70mm was truly a treat, and actually left me wondering how many films would really benefit from the 70mm treatment. Obviously, scenes were shot with this in mind in an attempt to maximize the upside of using film, but I feel many other movies I have seen recently could also set a much better mood if they had been filmed using the same techniques. I feel that the intermission was unnecessary. THE seemed almost like 2 different movies with 2 different paces, the pre-intermission, and post-intermission. The end of the pre-intermission half was both gut wrenching, and the weak point of the script in my mind. The language used felt out of place and forced, also, the situation did little to contribute to the plot or build the universe then it cuts to black and silence for 12 minutes. Upon coming back, a narrator catches us up on all the important points from the first half rendering the first half nearly useless as far as story is concerned. I feel that it was a bit of a misstep, but the new pace is set quickly and the rest of THE ended up being better than expected.