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The Hateful Eight
BLU-RAY disk
04.26.2016 By: Jason Adams
The Hateful Eight order download
Director:
Quentin Tarantino

Actors:
Samuel L. Jackson
Kurt Russell
Jennifer Jason Leigh

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A group of strangers are trapped in a lodge during a fierce blizzard—including a fugitive on her way to be hanged—and everyone and everything is not exactly as it seems.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?

Any new film by Quentin Tarantino is a big deal for movie lovers, but a return to a simmering character piece in the same vein as RESERVOIR DOGS is truly an event. This is what Tarantino does best as a writer and director and THE HATEFUL EIGHT doesn't disappoint.

The movie clocks in at nearly three hours (or over three if you watched the roadshow edition), but the script manages to be tight and perfectly paced while still wallowing in the things Tarantino loves—humor, violence and lots of people talking. The setup is straightforward but the plot is twisty and turny, yet it still takes its time getting to know each character. A less confident filmmaker might shorten or even excise the extended sequence in the stagecoach leading up to Minnie's Haberdashery, but each seemingly tangential monologue or story pays off dividends later on. The writing is some of Tarantino's sharpest, surgical in how it slowly builds and reveals each member of the title group.

The director has also assembled the perfect cast, most Tarantino vets, to pull it all off—Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern and a few other surprises. There's not a weak link in the bunch, but there's a surefire bravado to Russell's role that's a joy for fans that have sorely missed him in recent years. Same for Jackson, though that's a no brainer whenever Tarantino writes a role specifically for him. Leigh is also a standout for the way she eschews the typical female western role to be one of the most despicable characters in the bunch. However, if I had to pick, I think its Walton Goggins who steals the movie. Fans of Goggins in JUSTIFIED have been waiting for the right role to come along for the talented actor and Chris Mannix is the one.

The movie, gorgeously shot by Robert Richardson on original Ultra-Panavision lenses, is worth seeing for the cinematography alone (especially when it's coupled with Ennio Morricone's Oscar-winning score). The beauty of that image is the perfect vehicle for Tarantino to show off some of the most violent stuff in his career, as well as to confront the ugliness of racism in the time period. That element is handled in a way that develops character rather than preaches at the audience, although there is definitely modern subtext there if you're willing to look for it. I should also note it's tough reviewing this on Blu Ray after seeing the spectacular roadshow edition presented in glorious 70 mm. That was an experience I hope everyone got to enjoy in the theater, but if you didn't there's still plenty to unpack and enjoy with THE HATEFUL EIGHT at home for years to come.

THE EXTRAS

This has to be one of the more disappointing Blu Rays ever in terms of special features. There was better bonus content showed off at Comic Con last year than what's available on this disc.

Beyond the Eight: (4:58): This standard behind the scenes press kit is all fluff, with general interviews set amongst an overview of the film.

Sam Jackson's Guide to Glorious 70mm (7:48): This funny featurette gives an entertaining look at the history of the format and why it's so special that THE HATEFUL EIGHT used it. It's fine content, but this was already released online last year before the movie was even released.

A DVD and Digital Copy are also included.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS

With great characters, stellar acting and a memorable and timely story, THE HATEFUL EIGHT is Tarantino at the top of his game. The movie is definitely worth owning, but this lackluster Blu Ray treatment seems like a warning that a special edition will be released in the future. Something to consider.

Extra Tidbit: Kurt Russell accidentally smashed a real 1870 Martin guitar on loan from a museum during filming. Jennifer Jason Leigh's shocked reaction was captured in the final film.

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12:11PM on 04/26/2016

This movie was so damn boring!

I didn't enjoy a single second of it and there wasn't any great dialogue. The movie FINALLY got kind of interesting in the last chapter, but it wouldn't freaking end. It just kept going and going and going. I'm a fan of QT's, but I give this movie ZERO stars.
I didn't enjoy a single second of it and there wasn't any great dialogue. The movie FINALLY got kind of interesting in the last chapter, but it wouldn't freaking end. It just kept going and going and going. I'm a fan of QT's, but I give this movie ZERO stars.
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