Review: The Hateful Eight

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*HATEFUL SPOILERS BELOW!*

BRIAN: So I was thinking, when John Ruth came into the cabin with Daisy the first time, why wasn’t one of the guys waiting behind the door and put an axe in his skull? Then they could have just ambushed the other two (Bob could have shot Marquis in the barn when his back was turned, then they all could have just started blasting Mannix and O.B.). They went through all that pre-planning but their actual plan was stupid. But then there wouldn’t have been much of a picture.

BRAD: Great. I was struggling all weekend to really like the picture. Well like it as much as you did and you drop this observation on me and now I couldn’t care less for it. Sure it had great acting, fantastic music and cinematography and some sharp dialogue but ultimately this movie wasn’t clever enough for me. It was supposed to be a western version of The Thing and it just wasn’t suspenseful enough. I was hoping for more twists and turns but they never happened. The first 2/3rds were really good at setting the paranoia and suspense but the last 1/3rd was nothing but shooting and violence.

But was the Domergue gang’s plan to just get Daisy without harming anyone else? I’m sure they thought that she was only with Ruth and not Marquis and Mannix but what did they care if they had to kill 2 more guys to free Daisy? I’m sure their plan wasn’t to just knock out Ruth and sneak Daisy out in the middle of the night.

BRIAN: Yeah they were waiting to kill him when he dropped his guard. They weren’t going to leave any survivors, especially two bounty hunters and a sheriff. They were just expecting Ruth, though.

BRAD: I really liked Jackson’s character a lot and appreciated that he was basically one step ahead of the Domergue gang with knowing so much about Minnie’s Haberdashery (I thought a haberdashery was a clothing store; so why is there lodging and candy? Couldn’t they just call it Minnie’s Inn? It’s almost like QT wanted to use the word Haberdashery so much for no good reason other than to sound smug). But he was the only one who had these type of reveals and twists to the story. Mannix may have had a decent character arc but I was hoping for more surprises or shocks other than Jackson getting shot in the dick. Daisy mentioned that there were more of her gang on the way but that amounted to nothing.

There was also so many wasted or long scenes that amounted to nothing. Like what was the point of OB and Mannix setting up the railing outside for the outhouse? They never once went to the outhouse or outside again for that matter except to dump the body of Bruce Dern. And the scene where OB nearly froze to death and exclaimed that he ain’t ever going outside again (but he does) and lays on the floor in front of the fire and not one but two people just ask him if he’s OK and then again, nothing. It wasn’t even clever writing they just ask him “Are you OK O.B.?” Shit like this irritates me when the running time is 3 hrs long.

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BRIAN: Yeah there weren’t enough surprises. The whole coffee thing was set up like a big reveal but it just turned out who you thought it was going to be. And all the other guys were just in on the rescue. There should have been one of them betraying the others or something. Or It ended up that Daisy and Mannix were really working together. It was enjoyable but could have been even stronger. I still liked it a lot. I was engrossed and it was probably the quickest 3-hour movie I’ve ever seen. But it’s not perfect, so I’d give it an 8. 

BRAD: As much as I was let-down by it I still was engrossed too and I agree, the run time went quick. It’s really strange how I feel. Part of that for me is probably my past with QT with not initially liking his flicks the first time like Inglorious Basterds because I “didn’t get it” or something but this time I tried really hard to get where he was coming from and what he was trying to achieve yet I still feel like it could’ve been better. 

I’m still left wondering why he went through the trouble of filming this on 70mm for 90% of the film to be filmed inside a cabin. Seems like a complete waste.

Also, was it just me or was Tim Roth doing a very bad English accent to seem more British than Tim Roth already is?

BRIAN: I didn’t really like Inglorious Basterds the first time I saw it. I like it better now but I still feel a lot of even was boring and unnecessary, much more so than Hateful Eight.

Yeah he probably should have saved the 70mm razzmatazz for a different picture that was mostly set outside. 

He was putting on a proper English accent for Ruth & co. because in the flashbacks he had a cockney accent.

Another real nitpicky thing was that Ruth’s nickname was “The Hangman” but Mobrey was an actual hangman so he should have been “The Hangman” and Ruth just took people to the hangman so his nickname really should have been “The Hangman’s Friend.”

BRAD: “The Hangman’s Helper” has a better ring to it. Yeah that nickname bugged me too.

Hangman'sHelper

I didn’t even notice that Roth changed accents. But since Ruth and Co. didn’t know Ruth why the need to change his accent?

I feel like Bruce Dern was highly under utilized and killed off way too early. Although the Jackson/Dern scene was extraordinary but since Dern is the only fella who knows the truth behind the Domergue gang there he could’ve been better used in the story for paranoia or mistrust effect.

Inglorious Basterds has phenomenal dialogue though, as did Django Unchained. Both deservedly won academy Awards for screenplay. I feel like Hateful 8 wasn’t as witty or clever enough compared to those two. Like how that one scene where Mannix is questioning Marquis about his Lincoln Letter. Just banal writing in my opinion.

The one thing that always bothered me in every single QT movie is how “cool” every character is. Everyone talks so unnaturally sometimes. Like how Mia Wallace talks in Pulp Fiction at Jack Rabbit Slims. So cocky and weird. But almost every character of QT’s talks that way. They always sound so scripted and dramatic or something.

BRIAN: I’ve come to the realization that Bruce Dern is the fucking man. I’m glad he went with him instead of Harvey Keitel or David Carradine. And this picture totally changed my opinion of Walton Goggins and his gigantic head.

Yeah that cool dialogue is just Tarantino’s thing. Same thing Kevin Smith does but it actually works.

BRAD: I’ve always loved Bruce Dern. I’m also surprised QT hasn’t used William Devane yet either.

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BRIAN: I was also wondering how they were going to get out of the snow after the blizzard is over. There’s no way the wheels of the stagecoach would move in 2 feet of fresh powder. I don’t think they have snowplows back then. Maybe they were going to wait until April.

BRAD: Like the Donner party they would’ve resorted to cannibalism. The sequel could’ve been titled The Grateful Ate. 

And speaking of Madsen. Is there a reason QT is still using him in his movies? He’s so wooden it’s ridiculous. He’s been a has-been since 1996.

BRIAN: I honestly thought that was supposed to be a big part of the movie. My initial impression upon hearing about it was that it was 8 people stuck in a cabin for weeks and they have to start killing and eating each other.

BRAD: Yeah me too come to think of it. They were in there only a few hours. They had a light snack and tons of coffee. They shouldn’t have been that mistrusting or paranoid in that short time.

And did it never cross Ruth’s mind to handcuff her to a post or something heavy other than himself?

BRIAN: They were just mistrustful people by nature. If I was Marquis I’d have been mistrustful of everyone who said “n–word” 500 times an hour.

Ruth was mistrustful of everyone and everything, especially anything heavier than him.

BRAD: He was probably more than used to being called that from everyone. 

What would Channing Tatum have done if Ruth’s dead body had fallen on the basement door? He would be trapped if like how the rest of the film happened and the remainder of his gang were killed too and no one other than Daisy would be able to move Ruth’s body.

I can’t find much else to say. Which says a lot for QT. Maybe this is one of his weaker movies after all.

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BRIAN: I don’t think there’s a ton more to say. I liked it a lot, but it’s 3 hours of monologues that get the word “n–word” included as much as possible.

BRAD: Yeah I guess I liked it enough but I really have no use for it. It’s just a “cool” movie to me. I was hoping for more clever or a better looking movie (for 70mm) but it’s just typical QT self-satisfying dialogue. I think he’s one of the best screenwriters today but I think sometimes writer-directors like he and Wes Anderson, for instance, who have such a niche way of making flicks have to take a break from their own style. QT should try to direct a movie he never wrote for once and see how that goes. I would commend him for trying. Otherwise his shtick is going to get real old real fast.

BRIAN: I guess Jackie Brown was the closest he’s come to adapting something not his own, although most of his pictures are just long homages, and Reservoir Dogs was actually a ripoff remake. I’ve only seen Jackie Brown once and wasn’t that big a fan of it. I should give it another shot. 

BRAD: I rewatched Jackie Brown last year and it was better than I remembered from 1997 but I hated it back then. It is still easily his weakest effort but I would place Hateful 8 close to the weak level as Jackie Brown (unless we count Kill Bill vol. 2 as a separate flick but I don’t).

I like how he is the grindhouse homage king and for the most part it’s great but like I said sometimes it gets a bit much. He’s like that kid in school who only has one interest and that interest is not of the norm. But everyone thinks what he’s into is cool one day but eventually they go back to the popular things that they like because the kid is obnoxious about his weird interest. I’m a QT fan since day one but Hateful 8 needed a better finale than a simple ambush/shoot-em-up.

I just don’t think QT is challenged enough as a filmmaker anymore and part of that reason is that he writes his own fan fiction of old grindhouse fiction. And watching his films isn’t challenging to me as it used to be. He needs something else to challenge him and that’s why I would like him to try a screenplay not written by himself or at the very least a non-crime action flick. Horror would be a great idea and not like Death Proof; more of a slasher/supernatural flick.

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BRIAN: I think that the Weinsteins just let him do whatever the fuck he wants. He probably doesn’t want to work off someone else’s script because if it turns out too good it would bruise his fragile ego.

Score: 8 Racial Slurs Per Minute (out of 10)

BRAD: I totally agree. Well not that I believe it or not but he’s always teasing or threatening us that he’s done making movies after his 10th flick. But that too is such a dick thing to proclaim. It also goes along with my theory that he doesn’t like a challenge enough. It’s like, I’m done with making high-grade schlock homages folks, stores closed. “but what about how much we think you’re a great director, surely you can make something else?” Nah, I’ll never work with someone else’s idea ever! Fuck Off!

Score: 7 Sexually Suggestive Peppermint Sticks (out of 10)

 

 

2 thoughts on “Review: The Hateful Eight

  1. Pingback: Reel Quick: The Revenant | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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