Tarantino’s latest film, “The Hateful Eight” is bloody brilliant (no pun intended). There is a hell of a lot to love here, and as much as I still liked Django Unchained more, in this film it’s clear that Q.T. just gets better and better with each film he makes.
The plot of the film is highly absorbing, taking the audience on an interesting journey through an Agatha Christie-like mystery. The story plays out in one main location, and Tarantino has taken full advantage of this. As the various bounty hunters, men of the law and some mysterious fellow travellers are cooped up in Minnie’s Haberdashery during a vicious blizzard, tensions rise.
An outstanding cast, all playing interesting characters. However amongst the ensemble, Samuel L. Jackson stands out. His character of Major Marquis Warren steals almost every scene. His monologues throughout the film draw the audience in and we hang on every word.
There is a moment in the film that I found particularly interesting, showing off Tarantino’s love for Australia and this is when the character of Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) surprises her captor by showing off her musical skills. She proceeds to play an Australian folk song about a convict, “Jim Jones”. A nice little touch that I appreciated.
The small breaks of the fourth wall, with Tarantino providing a voice over during the film were interesting and clearly would have served their purpose if the film had been screened with an interval (as it was at the 70mm Roadshow print) however here they do seem slightly out of place. They reminded me of the breaking of the fourth wall by the characters in Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” (1997, 2007).
The film’s run-time sits at 168 minutes, though it really did not feel long. The story is perfectly paced, and so entertaining that I was completely absorbed the whole way through, and almost didn’t want it to end.
WOW! Tarantino and his D.O.P, the legendary Robert Richardson, shot the film in 70mm film, using old lenses from Panavision that hadn’t seen the light of day since 1966. Although I didn’t get to see the Roadshow version of the film, which was screened in 70mm, and included ten minutes of extra footage, the image on this blu-ray print still absolutely popped!
The 2.76:1 letterbox aspect ratio looks amazing, and you can tell that Tarantino has filled the whole frame with something interesting. This film is just great to look at.
The soundtrack to the film is wonderful. Ennio Morricone’s score is brilliant, adding a whole other layer to the film, creating a greater sense of atmosphere and drama, even though the film takes place in one main location, it feels much bigger!
The sound design overall is handled well, with the howling wind and creaking wood of the building adding to the sense of certain doom outside in the blizzard.
Special Features 2.5/5
The only let down with this blu-ray release through Roadshow Entertainment is the lack of in-depth special features. The disc contains a brief featurette on the making of the film with interviews from Tarantino, the cast and the crew. A small, neat companion to the film.
The other featurette on the disc is a detailed look at the 70mm process, hosted by Samuel L. Jackson. It is interesting and informative, though somewhat redundant as the 70mm Roadshow version isn’t included on the blu-ray. Still an interesting watch.
The special edition also contains a collectors booklet which covers a lot of information discussed in the featurette on the disc.
The lack of massively in-depth special features is only small element however, and does not detract from the film whatsoever. I still highly recommend purchasing this film!
Quentin Tarantino has done it again! Another wonderfully entertaining, funny and violent film from one of the true legends of cinema. Pretty much a perfect film, with a lot to enjoy, especially for fans of real cinema.