Spared or Spoiled Reviews: The Hateful Eight

The rule are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

The Hateful Eight (The Weinstein Company)

The Hateful Eight Poster

Written & Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring Samuel L. JacksonKurt RussellJennifer Jason LeighWalton GogginsDemián BichirTim RothMichael Madsen & Bruce Dern

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Quentin Tarantino is not a good director. But he is one of the best writers working. The Hateful Eight is a collection of cool conversations and gunfights sewn together awkwardly by a man who couldn’t tell a visual story with actual words on the screen. And yet again he does that Pulp Fiction non-linear thing here. And yet again there’s no need for it. But The Hateful Eight is incredibly enjoyable and violent and bad-ass and just all kinds of Tarantino. It’s just pure “Tino.” Okay? And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Verdict: SPARED

The Hateful Eight

“What you got there?” “It’s Mel’s blog.” “Is it any good?” “I don’t know. I can’t read. You?” “Me neither.” “Well that settles that then doesn’t it.” “I suppose it does.”

As the title suggests, there are eight folks who ain’t very nice. Outlaws, Gunslingers, Lawmen, Hitmen, Bagmen, Highwaymen. These are seven bad guys and one bad chick. And they end up in the same place. Tarantino introduces them to us one at a time without any sense of expedience (or timing). The movie moves incredibly slow. Perhaps annoyingly so. And I get it. The Ennio Morricone music. The beautiful old western setting. He wanted a slow spaghetti western feel, and as always, Tarantino took it way too far.

The Hateful Eight Samuel L Jackson

“I’ll show you way too far.”

But while he’s doing that, while he’s making us wait, he’s introducing each of these three-dimensional characters in beautifully tense scene after beautifully tense scene. They are all (there’s actually more than eight) incredibly well-written with the most amazing dialogue. And we get scene after scene of epic stand-offs and ultra-coolness just vibrating off their bodies. Quentin Tarantino can write his ass off.

The Hateful Eight Jennifer Jason Leigh

“What about all the times he uses the N-word? Mr. Tarantino sure loves that N-word. Don’t he nigger? What? I’m still in character.”

All the actors are good. While they’re talking that “Tino” talk. That steely eyed, I’m saying something really bad-ass, hope I don’t crack a smile, it’s gonna look really cool on-screen, “Tino” talk. I love that shit. And the really good actors can walk that line between; “Am I saying this because I’m scared?” and “Am I saying this because you should be scared?” That’s that “Tino” talk. That’s why his scenes are so tense. Nobody’s a superhero. Everybody’s scared to death. They’re just used to it because they’re bad-asses.

The Hateful Eight Sam Jackson

“I ain’t scared of shit. Except for this wide fucking tie and this Hasidic hat. Come to think of it. I look like a black Hasidic gunfighter dressed like a clown. You bet I’m scared of that shit.”

So Q assembled all of his major bad-asses from past films. Samuel L Jackson, Micheal Madsen, Tim Roth, along with some new faces like Jennifer Jason Leigh who would have stolen any other movie except that everybody’s so cool in this. Plus a couple of surprise cameos that I won’t give away. Jennifer Jason Leigh is getting a lot of praise for this role but she’s just another bad-ass reciting his dialogue. Just another bad-ass that he puts in some incredibly cool, incredibly intense scenes. The Hateful Eight is awesome. If I had seen this movie when I was in High School, I would still be quoting it. If my grandfather were still alive this would be his favorite film.

The Hateful Eight Tim Roth

“What the hell is he talking about?”

Every scene in this film is amazing. And really fucking cool. I mean it’s childish and it’s violent. But it’s like a Dungeon and Dragons campaign in the early stages, when all the super-bad high-level player characters meet in a tavern before going to slay the dragon and collect all the loot. But except in this Campaign, in this particular D&D game, none of these epic characters want to work together.

"What the hell is Dungeons and Dragons?" "I have no Earthly idea."

“What the hell is a Dungeons and Dragons?” “I have no earthly idea.” “That boy done lost his damn mind.” “Yep.”

I’m sorry if this review doesn’t really do this movie the justice it deserves. So, let me put it this way. Reservoir Dogs is my personal favorite “Tino” talk film. It’s amazing. Reservoir Dogs is beautiful because the characters are fantastic and the dialogue is so good. While Kill Bill is his best directed film in my opinion. For me it’s his best pure movie experience. So I would describe The Hateful Eight as Kill Bill meets Reservoir Dogs in the Old West.

Yes. The Hateful Eight is that good.

– Mel


11 thoughts on “Spared or Spoiled Reviews: The Hateful Eight

  1. Great write up! 🙂 The more I read the more I can’t wait till tomorrow when this comes out. Interesting what you say about ‘Tino’ as a writer compared to his skill as a director. I think I’m with you on that one

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tarantino definitely is a distinctive writer and filmmaker. I think my favorite of his is still Reservoir Dogs, which was interesting, because as I was watching it, I was thinking, I don’t know if I actually like this. But after it was over and I thought about it for the next several days, it continued to grow on me. The characters are so great in that movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Reservoir Dogs but then I saw the Hong Kong film City on Fire and, if you ever get a chance to see it it’s good, it’s the jewelry store heist from Reservoir Dogs but not just the same it’s shot for shot. He stole the entire movie. But all that backstory is his. Great writer but it’s hard to respect him when you see how horribly he ripped off a foreign film. It’s exactly the same. I wonder if he ever got sued. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No. He didn’t steal the idea. The back story of all the characters is his. It’s just the jewelry store heist which they keep cutting back to. It’s the same camera movement same shots same everything. Visually he stole the guy’s movie. Everything you see is someone else’s work. Every single frame is stolen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s funny because Hateful Eight feels more like a stage play than a movie. And I think it’s one of his best films because he doesn’t try to tell a visual story. It’s all dialogue.

        Liked by 1 person

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