2016.40: The Hateful Eight (Blu-ray)
Its beautiful to look at. Its got a great central story, interesting characters, some brilliant casting (Bruce Dern- wonderful!). Its prime cinematic immoderation- fans of Tarantino will adore it. The Morricone score is great (not Oscar-worthy great though), the lifts of out-takes from his score to Carpenter’s The Thing feel oddly perfect. There’s some great tension. There’s a brilliant two-hour film in here.
Does it really need to be a Ultra-Panavision 70mm film? While the format does suit Westerns with their wide-open spaces (I’m thinking of films like Dances With Wolves here, or Sergio Leone’s epics) Tarantino doesn’t really have the eye for widescreen composition of, say, John Carpenter, and once we leave those wide-open spaces and we are confined to Minnie’s Haberdashery, the film becomes much more intimate and that extreme-wide framing rather redundant.
Some of the acting does slip into the over-indulgent. I don’t think Tarantino ever advises his actors to tone it down a notch. Maybe he should.
It’s loooong. The eventual bloody finale is great but it is an awful loooong time coming (I’m concerned at what repeat-viewing will be like). Would less be more? Some of that casting isn’t so great- (the ever one-note Michael Madsen, sorry but what the hell is he doing in this?). Tarantino’s dialogue feels as unreal as ever- probably works better on a page than it does in a film.